I almost biked over Jesus today.

I was biking to work. It is Bike To Work Day, but I’m also in the middle of a Bike To Work Month Challenge. Our company has now pulled into the lead, but it is going to be a pretty close race. Not so bad for a bunch of slackers.

I was riding along my normal route when I was passed. This happens occasionally, since my take on biking is slow and steady finishes the race. I was pedaling at a nice constant pace, giving me a good aerobic workout, but not trying to win, since the only thing I win is getting to work. Besides, I’m riding a mountain bike with hybrid tires. I’m not going to beat out someone on a road bike.

Jesus—who isn’t Mexican, but I like to say it with a spanish accent—sped by me, pedaling hard on his lighter framed bike with thinner tires. He was a couple yards ahead of me when he bit asphalt. A car slammed on its brakes. Jesus got up out of the road slowly. I tossed my bike on the side walk, and pulled his bike and hat out of the road.

At closer look, Jesus looked almost homeless. His bike was old and well worn, but not well loved. The chain had come off the gears. He himself was bearded, and although he looked clean enough, his clothes were spotted with paint and dirt, and I didn’t think all of it was from the road, but maybe it was. He had a pretty good chunk of skin taken out of his knee and elbow. And another good chunk taken out of his pride.

I stayed while he worked the kinks out, and let him use my phone to call someone. Through it all, I was extremely suspicious. I have a wild imagination. I thought maybe he had ditched on purpose to get me off my bike so that someone would jump out of the car that stopped and kidnap me. I was suspicious that he didn’t have a cell phone when I offered him mine. I dialed it myself and handed it to him when it started ringing, all the while, I held onto his bike. It made me feel better that he wasn’t sitting on his bike and I could definitely outrun him with his injuries. But maybe while chasing him, that would give the imaginary guy hiding in the bushes a chance to steal my bike. I tried not to let on that I thought the whole thing was a conspiracy.

He was grateful as we both continued on our ways to work.


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