Saturday, July 15, 2006

A Look at the Bikers

Though we have opted to walk the Camino, many pilgrims chose to complete the journey on bicycle. I can honestly say that this is an honorable feat. Though you move at a faster pace, biking the Camino is much more intense physically than walking it. Personally, I know that my legs could not pedal up the rocky slopes without rolling back down again.

So, as these admirable, athletic souls pass me by on the Camino, and call out the friendly greeting ,¨Buen Camino!¨ why do I have a sudden urge to reply with the finger?

Now don´t get me wrong. I wouldn´t actually flip a fellow perigrino the bird. I politely reciprocate, ¨Hola, buen camino!¨ But nevertheless, the feeling is there, and the time has come to look at why. Sometimes you don´t hear a biker coming up from behind you. You realize they´re there when they either ring their little bell, or someone yells out, ¨Guys, bikers!¨. Once you know of their presence, you´re not sure which side they´re coming up on, so there´s a moment where you look back to try and figure out which way to scoot. By that time they´ve zipped passed you, missing you by an inch. They basically disturb the peace. And often they genuinely scare you. Then again, maybe we just have a twinge of jealousy that they are going to have their next cafe con leche much, much sooner than we are. Either way, it is interesting that the most prominent divide among pilgrims is not one of race, class, gender, or age, but one of bicycle or foot.

Hasta pronto.


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