Mr. Bike, thank you very much


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So I’ve got this canary yellow Cannondale Super V500, which my wife and I bought as wedding presents to ourselves (her’s is grey).  While the wife’s bike languishes, permanently hung from the ceiling in our garage (she prefers the elliptical for her workouts), mine gets a regular run.

I’ve been pedaling around Montclair for the past 8 years. I go everywhere on it, and for the past year, I’ve been biking to the Bay Street station to catch the train to and from the city. What’s ordinarily a brisk 15-20 minute walk, takes me and my trusty Cannondale about 4 minutes. Every morning (weather permiting), I jump on my bike and boogie to the station.  After work, I unlock it, jump on and pedal home.  

Yesterday, after getting off the train, I was unlocking my bike when a woman, coming down the steps behind me remarked, ‘Oh, YOU’RE the bike guy!’ I’m the bike guy? And who the hell are you, ‘awkward comment lady’? This morning, as I made my way to the train, someone yelled out ‘Hey bike man!’ Is there a piece of paper with ‘bike man’ taped to my back? A few weeks ago, a crossing guard waved and said, ‘Go ‘head, bike dred!’ (I found that one particularly clever).

Well, it’s finally dawned on me that a 6’3″ black man with dreadlocks on a big yellow mountain bike is a fairly uncommon sight.  ‘Bike man,”bike guy’ and ‘bike dred’ are all people’s attempts to put words to the inexplicable.  I’ve got to admit, I’m rather amused by my local celebrity.  Whether its the fact that I’ve got a cool bike that I whip around Montcleezy, or the fact that I’m such an anamolous sight, people have clearly taken notice of this man on his cycle.  

Anyway, if you see me, feel free to say ‘Hi.’ But (a word to the wise) if you’re going to call out my name, it’s ‘Bike Guy’ or  ‘Mr. Bike’ if you’re nasty.

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