My friend Zoe

bike touring
Me and Zoe with our twinsie bikes.

I was going to write a post about the bike trip that I took a few weeks ago. But I realized it was going to be mostly about Zoe.

It’s one of my favorite stories to tell–how I met Zoe. I sat down at a picnic table at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in California. There were three cyclists already there. Eating. As we always do. They were a hodgepodge gang–a couple completing their PhDs at Berkeley. A guy cycling solo from Portland. And Zoe. Who was gone doing laundry.

More people showed up. People who’s faces I remember better than their names. We talked about Monterrey–where we all had come from. And we made bets on how many bikes and people would fit in a Honda Fit (three bikes and three people will all fit).

There were enough people gathered around the fire that it was hard to really get to know anybody there. You only knew them by their smile and the way they set up camp. Zoe came back from doing laundry and all I remember is she was cool. She had an unfinished sleeve and a New York accent and said to me, in a knowing way, “waking up and riding your bike everyday… this is the happiest you’ll ever be.”

The next day she continued with her friends–the couple from Berkeley. I rode with Sam. And I thought maybe that would be the last I saw of her.

But, somewhere between San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara, we met again–all of us on our bikes at the top of a hill. Our groups camped together that night and Zoe and I rode our bikes to the liquor store in town. And Zoe, as I soon would find is typical for her, was really indecisive about what to get.

And I was like, I really like this gal. And so we became friends. And she said New York City kind of sucks sometimes, but you should move there and we can hang out and ride our bikes together. A few months later I did move to New York City. And a few weeks ago we rode our bikes around New York State together. How crazy is that?

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