Have you ever noticed how people we know well can seem like complete strangers when we see them out of the usual context?
On more than one occasion over the years I’ve been guilty of walking straight past one of my club or riding pals at the shops; not because I was being rude, but simply because out of their cycling kit they look completely different.
For starters, shrouded in a helmet, sunglasses and often pre-dawn light, you can barely get a good look at their faces and hairstyles when riding. Then there’s the homogeny of most cycling kit which renders age, another key identification point, rather difficult to gauge when smashing out turns in a paceline, or busting a gut up a local col. Throw in the fact that most (but not all) regular riders also tend to be pretty lean, and I am constantly amazed when I discover the ages of some of those I ride with. You can tell they’re older from the way they look and dress off the bike, and the colour (or lack) of their hair, but certainly not from the way they ride.
So, my fellow riders. If I happen to have brushed you in public lately, please understand it wasn’t intentional. Unless, perhaps, you beat me in the latest crit on the weekend. Then maybe it was.