So, yesterday being a lovely, sunny morning, the other half and I took our jetlag out for a walk. It’s been a while since we were over here so we were getting acclimatised to the altitude, the actual sunlight, and the need to say ‘howdy’ instead of ‘morning’ when we passed someone on the street (the locals always love it when you make the effort to learn a little of their language, I find). Then, as we rounded a corner and headed back for home, my eye was drawn – of course it was – to the sight of two cyclists labouring up the hill towards us. ‘ooh, look, bikes,’ I said. ‘And they’re normally dressed too, that guy is in a suit and tie.’ This, surely, was the very embodiment of Pueblo cycle chic.
The other half, being a little more alert and a little less entranced by the sight of anyone on two wheels, started to pick up his pace a little. Especially when they spotted us and veered across the road towards us. After all, nobody wears a suit and tie around here, where formal requires your best cowboy hat and cleanest jeans. There’s only one set of people likely to be wearing a suit around here, as we discovered: evangelists. ’Have you ever had a conversation with missionaries?’ one of them panted as he came to a halt (the hill was rather steep). ‘Ah, no thanks,’ we said as we hurried on. Well, certainly not missionaries on bikes. And definitely not one that got past the ‘sorry, not interested, thanks,’ stage.
I suppose this serves me right for all the times I’ve managed to shoe-horn bicycles into a perfectly innocent and un-bicycle-related conversation, with the light of a zealot in my eye. But I am encouraged to discover that the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses or whoever have an eye to their carbon footprint in this world, as well as the likely fate of the next. Or is it just easier to catch up with an escaping sinner on a bike?