It isn't very often that I see another bike commuter on my way to work - that is, one that is going in the same direction/route that I am. A couple of months ago there were two other people ahead of me commuting to work (I can only hope) and that was it until today. I have gotten used to being one of the very few people on the road at the time that I head to work.
So this morning as I crossed over Hwy 99 on 117th Street I spied another cyclist ahead of me. I thought for sure that they would be going onto the Salmon Creek Trail at KlineLine, but they continued on. Dang it! My first thought was that I would just keep a respectful distance and stay behind.
NOPE - not gonna happen.
Well, now I figure out that I am riding just slightly faster than they are and quickly approaching them on the road. This guy was being downright leisurely and that was almost rude. I didn't want to appear as I was drafting off him going up to Hazel Dell Avenue, but I also didn't want to lag behind. So as I passed him I greeted him and kept going. At this point I think I continued with my pace, but it's hard to tell when you have just passed someone and you don't want to be passed in return.
Things started to get annoying after that - I ended up having to stop at every light after Hwy 99 - which stinks as I had some momentum because I wanted to keep slowpoke behind me - and stopping would allow him to make up some ground on me. The first light I had to stop at was the light at the "new" intersection of 117th/119th Street & Hazel Dell Avenue which was surprising because I almost never have to stop at that one and at that point I had worked so hard to get there (it's a grind all the way to 99th Street). Then a stop at 99th Street and a quick check in my mirror and I could see his blinking light getting closer and closer. Man it's a good thing I can clip in really quick when I need to! Then again at the stupid loser light at 94th Street. He never caught me and I wasn't going to let him.
So, in the end what I thought would be a nice relaxing quick ride to work ended up being a lot of work!
I'm really not competetive.