When the Spandex-ed Bike Riders Won’t Say Hello

My kids went back to school today and I putzed for hours. My biggest rebellion was picking the chocolate M&M's out of the gorp I had policed all summer!

When the Spandex-ed Bike Riders Won’t Say Hello

They torpedo by me,
shaven of leg and spandex smooth,
refusing to tilt their head even ten degrees,
ignoring when I raise a hand in salutation.
I wonder if they are afraid a slight head bob
will add a second to their time,
they will lose their next triathlon,
be deemed aluminum not iron.

Perhaps it is because I often
travel in flip flops and cutoffs,
a dress or skirt occasionally,
that my helmet doesn’t match my water bottle,
a fanny pack bisects my waist.
Their dismissal renders me road kill or splinters of glass,
I will pop their inner tubes, rust their chains.

I want to erect a toll booth manned by clowns,
make them pay with laughter,
host a dragnet and detour them
to Santa Cruz or Portland for naked bike rallies,
attach playing cards to their spokes
and tassel their handlebars, have them
follow slow moving floats in a small town parade.
I want them to ride shotgun on a bicycle built for two,
we’ll stop at blackberry bushes,
pause while pedaling
as I point out distant landscapes.

There are a few solo souls who grin lavishly.
Most often workers,
heading home from the restaurant shift,
bareheaded, with open coats like mud flaps.
In sweet solidarity on bikes with too-wide tires,
that were not custom fit to our frames
and stress our knees,
that we borrowed or inherited or got cheap off Craigslist,
we salute one another.
And those with a Prius in the garage,
with practical headlamps and panniers,
with rain gear and a change of clothes,
we bow with purpose.

Fellow traveler,
you inhaling leaf mulch and noticing
the swell of stream each season,
you looking up in the direction of the setting sun,
you, of the rare and nomadic namaste,
who reach across asphalt,
I need you to know,
I am giddy for miles.