I’m sitting outside a Safeway and a scruffy-looking fellow pulls up on a beat-up BMX bike. Throws me a look and then asks me if I would be willing to watch his ride while he goes shopping.
I nod in agreement, as he proceeds to tell about the pedigree of his bike. It was, from all I was being told, a real classic. But that was a long time ago.
I look at him – no shirt, loose skin, a tattoo of a cannabis leaf on his belly and a big jungle knife hanging from his belt. I won’t lie to you, I wouldn’t have wanted to run into this guy on a later occasion, but here in the middle of a bright day it’s more interesting than scary.
He continues to tell me he fixes bikes for a living and tells me he lives under a bridge by the freeway. From the looks of him I don’t doubt it.
Then he leaves. And I stay. Just to see him return with a gallon of milk and some Froot Loops and a bucket of ice cream. I’m a bit surprised, but play it cool. We are after all both cyclists.
We say our good byes and get on our way, he returning back to what he calls home, me, I continuing down the old highway 99.