And if you have the song from Sesame Street in your head....waahaa!
I woke up late this morning, really late. I normally wake up before my alarm and not only did it go off, but I apparently turned it off and went back to sleep; for an hour.
Moving as quickly and quietly as I could to get out of the house and reorganize myself from a planned ride, I choose to drive on the simple fact that it was still really early in the morning by commute standards and while I might be a few minutes late by driving, I would have been close to half an hour late by bike. On my normal shifts, in the summer, on my fast bike it is as fast to bike as drive, but not without all that.
So as I cursed as the other drivers and traffic in general, watched a couple of near accidents and came to a complete stop in the middle of a four lane freeway for no apparent reason in light traffic, I realized that I would miss the "walking guy".
He is a guy that no matter the season is walking with his bright orange vest as 6:15 every morning somewhere along the lake. He waves at every pedestrian, runner and cyclist that goes by. Initially I thought he was either creepy or crazy, but now I look for him and make sure I wave back. He is a part of my Monday ride, as is the reticulating bus followed by the short city bus that pass me going up Market.
I am a creature of habit and unless I have had a mechanical or something, tend to be in the same place within a five minute time period. It seems that a lot of other people are like this as well (besides scheduled buses). For instance: Tuesday through Friday I have a Jeep with a fleur-de-lis that passes me (or I pass depending on traffic) both in the morning and in the afternoon somewhere in the Kirkland area. The Jeep has had a lot of work done to it, with extra light bars, lifts and tires and yet always passes very safely. The Porche Boxster that I catch at the last light before work almost every morning. The little old lady with a small white dog that I pass going down the hill into Bothell on my way home.
There have been others that have come and gone, perhaps moving on to different jobs or houses. Maybe a victim of the down economy, or a different schedule or route. Some of the cyclists and pedestrians will be back when the weather is nicer. The older gentleman with two big panniers that I always catch on the flats past the lake, the kid on the single speed with flat pedals and a huge gear ratio (46-12?) that doesn't look like they will make the next pedal stroke on their way up Market street and the British guy that is fast going down and slow going up; I'm never quite sure where I will run into him (generally going up), but he always shows up somewhere.
These are the people in my neighborhood, the people that I meet each day.