Friday, January 18, 2013

Seen on the Hawthorne Bridge - don't blink or you'll miss him!

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I've seen this man many times in the mornings before 8 a.m. while I wait to cross the intersection when the traffic signal changes. He pedals east on Hawthorne after he's come off the bridge that crosses the Willamette River. His slender legs quickly bend and straighten, and the recumbent bicycle skims the pavement at full speed. A tall flag attached to the back of the bicycle whips side-to-side, in unison with his pumping legs. There's a mouth-locked-open sort of a grimace/smile on his face, along with a look of concentration which reminds me of a man plotting his next move on a chessboard.  To change lanes, he uses side view mirrors with the certainty of a mongoose locked onto the movements of a cobra. Many days after 5 p.m. while I wait for the bus, I've seen him heading west at the intersection of SE Grand Avenue and SE Madison, looking just the same as he does in the morning. His energy level appears undiminished by however he spent the last nine hours.  

All of that is to say that it's fitting that the man on the bicycle is a blur in this photo. On January 8, as I stood enjoying the view at the railing near the bus stop on the bridge, I looked east and noticed him coming toward me. I knew he'd be on me before I could take a photo in that direction, so I put the camera up to my eye as I turned to wait for him and pushed the button as he blew by me. 

Now that I look at the photo on the iMac, I wonder where the bike's flag has gone.

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