Speed dating at 45kph 21 Nov 2012
Silly me, asking a girl out at that speed.
I was cruising slowly. It was a summery evening, and I was more than a little perspiring in my work attire.
She was in front of me, adroitly weaving through the grinding traffic. She was good. She was very good.
Riding is always safer in bunches, so I hugged her back wheel as long as I could. At one point she got ahead, but in the inner suburbs red lights are never far off.
Waiting together for the green, I turned her way and told her she was a skillful rider. We chatted for a bit, the light went green and she said something cheeky about beating me up the hill. She was Irish, and her accent suited her earthy, sophisticated charm.
She reached the hill's apex first. Like I said, she was good.
And then, as we began a racy, cadence-free coast down the other side, I said, “Look, if you're single, can I buy you a coffee”.
She smiled. She said she was deeply flattered, but that she'd just entered into a relationship. As we zoomed side-by-side, she asked for my number. I told her my name, knowing there'd be no confusion looking me up online. In return, she called out hers.
As our paths diverged, the last thing I heard her say, like it was the most important declaration she'd ever uttered in that heavenly Irish accent, was “Farewell, Ben Zipper”. To that I called back over the passing traffic, “Farewell, Janine Farber”.*
Inner city roads can be bumpy as hell. But as I negotiated those pot-holes, old blue-stones and patchy roadworks, I could have sworn I was riding on a cloud.
For now, farewell, Janine Farber.
* Dedicated to that beautiful Irish girl on a bike, who is not actually called Janine Farber.
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