As I spoke with Hans, a natural separation between the pack and ourselves occured. As I would turn back to check the progress from time to time, the pack remained full width across the roadway, unconcerned. It was a lazy day, yes, but anyone given the chance is always thinking. Surpirsingly, our gain equaled still meters at each glance. I had thought then, perhaps we found a pocket of wind? It didn’t matter. I was beginning to feel flashes of anxiety. Reluctant to abuse gentlemanly conduct. Reluctant to not. There were other depths at play.
Hans is a good man. He has been in the peleton since my early days as an ameatuer. He is one of its elder statesmen, I suppose. As he and I have gained understanding of each others tickings atop the bike, it has become often that a warm smile of acknowledgement between he and I leads to a deeper understanding of this experience we have created. It is an unspoken understanding of what it is to be a cyclist. There, off the front, we again reconnoitered on what it is that we are doing with life. Such a grand moment to be sitting atop the perfect machine viewinf the world as kings. This moment we shared off the front of the picnicing groupetto was not lost on us. We embraced it like wise old men.
Our romance of cycling was shattered. Jean Marie had split the pack, and was now 300 meters ahead of our wheels. The schrapnel of the attack would be upon us soon. I bid farewell to Hans. The moment in the sun had concluded.