Since summer does to want to seem to give up this year, I have been continuing to take afternoon bicycle rides. Virtually all of the routes I follow take me on some portion of the nearby Greenbelt bike path.
Most of the people I encounter on the path during the early afternoon are other bicyclists and I've started referring to them as MoCABs (for Men of a Certain Age Bicycling)," that age being about the same as mine. (I presume, as we are all out biking in the afternoon, that we are also all retired.)
There are two basic types of MoCABs and they are pretty much in equal numbers. The old school guys wear shorts and tee-shirts, ride bicycles they have probably owned for thirty years, and are out to enjoy the fresh air.
Then there are the gents with their shiny new bikes, who are decked out with their helmets, elbow pads and knee pads, water bottles and backpacks. None of them appear to be training for the Senior Olympics, though they are certainly equipped for it. More than likely, they decided to take up bicycling for exercise, went to buy a bike and got sucked into getting all the safety equipment and gear necessary for the Tour de France. I applaud these guys for getting out for some exercise, but I have to ask, "Are you having fun?"
Since we encounter one another going in opposite directions, there is no conversation among MoCABs. Some nod or smile, but many just stay focused on the path ahead. Some take a leisurely pace (as I do), others are pedaling furiously. One guy I passed, riding a new multi-speed bicycle, was pedaling away, but not moving at a speed that justified his efforts; clearly, he was not quite sure how to switch gears.
Perhaps there is a secret meeting place for MoCABs where, after an afternoon of riding, they gather for a beer or a cup of coffee. If there is, I haven't yet been invited to join. Maybe because they are all going in the opposite direction...