Cycling Reflections

Geneva Adventure Summer 2017

In Process Adventure: Attempt to get brief message to fellow cyclist and RN working for United Nations in Geneva needs your help!

(FYI: Hoping to form fun, playful connections between adventure participants themselves if/as they desire)


The Interaction

My Goal

The Challenge of the Communication

My Message

The Challenge of the Search

The Adventure, Conclusion, and Connections


As is hopefully clear from my guiding principles pageOn, I care greatly to make connections and play, while at the same time being respectful of people's boundaries.

Balancing these two elements can be a bit of a juggling act, particularly given unclear bike path etiquette, the relatively short duration of typical encounters, and vast differences in responses and desires between individuals. I find the process particularly challenging when the rider is a woman (as was the case here), due to the increased complexity of the interaction stemming from both interpersonal elements and cultural context.

So, sometimes, in the moment and continuing the juggling analogy, I "drop the ball".

The Interaction

I recentlyMid July, 2017 had a fun interaction with a fast, playful, fellow cyclist. Our conversation, though brief, was engaging and broad-ranging, covering cycling, politics, allocation of society's financial resources, life balance, and more.

Then, being in front at the time, she slowed down significantly. I rode past, thinking that perhaps she was doing this because of wanting her "space", and my certainly not wanting to intrude, and thinking that if she wanted to continue chatting/riding together, she could draft me.

Perhaps it was indeed that the case that she wished me to just ride on as I did, but in retrospect, I think it equally possible she was slowing down to acknowledge our nice chat before we went our separate ways.

Because of my being (perhaps overly) concerned with intruding, I acted in a way where, if she was indeed wanting to offer a friendly acknowledgment/goodbye, my behavior was rude, abrupt, and easily interpreted in a manner diametrically opposite to my intent.

My Goal

I am simplyHa! hoping to get a brief, fun message to this person, along with this web page providing context.

I am not asking that a 3rd party provide me her name, email, or other information that would be inappropriate. Rather, I wish to try and correct what I fear may have been a miscommunication on my part towards a friendly, interesting, outgoing person.

The Challenge of the Communication

While at the time it would have been relatively straightforwardAt least if I were otherwise than, apparently, I (yet) am to have handled things slightly differently, it is now significantly more difficult (assuming I can even locate this person) for reasons that I am sure are obvious. I am finding it particularly challenging to convey the lighthearted playful spirit which is the intent.

In this regard, the reader - 3rd party helper or, if delightfully found, mystery cyclist - may well be wondering why this whole thing is so important to me and why am I making such an effort:

It is my hope to get this web page providing context, and my message below, forwarded to my "mystery" co-rider.

Note that while having further communication with this person would certainly be fun - at a minimum to have a humorous email interchange about this playful search - what I care about most is simply that this message gets to her because, as I write in my guiding principlesOn "A thousand tiny disappointments eventually take a toll; every interaction matters."

In that regard it would be nice to learn if indeed this message is received. So if you would be willing to let me know if it is, I would appreciate it. Also, if you do decide to help, regardless of whether we ever find this person, it would be fun to know who you are - should you wish to share.

My Message

"July 2017:

Hello fellow cyclist,

Thanks much for chatting with me on the Minuteman bike path - it was both interesting and fun!

(Potential) Apology and regrets: If when I rode past, after you slowed down, I appeared in any way unfriendly, that was diametrically opposite my intent. I was having a delightful time chatting with you, and was simply wanting to take care not to intrude.

I applaud your working as a nurse in the context of the UN - the world needs more people like you.

PS Just after we parted company, I remembered the name of the TED speaker / Harvard Business School professor we were trying recall: "Amy Cuddy".

PPS I also forgot (and thus failed to mention) that we have a dancing sculpture you might enjoy at Technorama in Winterthur Switzerland, should you ever get to that part of the countryAppears to be pretty far from Geneva.. While I have never been there myself, I believe they have lots of wonderful science-artworks from all over the world, so perhaps it is worth a trip.

I hope my "unusual adventure" here does not seem too "crazy", but instead makes you smile.

Regards and thank you.

Appreciatively, Respectfully, and Playfully,
Your fellow rider in Massachusetts, USA, David Durlach"

I do not even know this person's name (or does she know mine). What I do know is:

The only way I can possibly get my message to this person is with your help! Without your help, the effort is almost certainly doomed to failure. With it, there is I believe there is a decent chance of success. And you and I will not be aloneSee concluding section below. in our search.

I am thinking possible ways to reach her could be:

If my message reaches her this summer, great! But perhaps it will not find her for years. I am basically "putting a message into a bottle and tossing it into the sea" with the hope that, with the help of kind "sailors through life" like you, it will in the end make it to its intended destination. (And even if it sadly never does, the journey has already been worth the effort.)

So even if you encounter this page years after its original posting (whether you are in Geneva, the USA, or elsewhere), if you think you might know who this rider is, it would be great if you would pass along this link If the rider is actually found, I will note that here so she not be repeatedly contacted - unless she wants such missives as an ongoing memento of her life adventure..

The Adventure, Conclusion, and Connections

At the outset, I realized that unless I found partners to assist, my effort was doomed from the start. So, I began by reaching out via email and phone to complete strangers both in the USA and Geneva, realizing I might well fail. But I knew the act of trying was certain to turn into a good story regardlessIndeed, I have already delighted several friends in the retelling..

I did have some initial failures, but then success! I connected with a wonderful woman who totally understood the spirit in which I was doing all this, and agreed to join me in my little adventure. In fact, our initial conversation so was nice, playful, and friendly - she laughed in kindly way at my foibles throughout - that if I had it all to do over again, I might well choose to repeat the same silly behavior on the bike path, as otherwise I would never have met this cool person. And I am having additional delightful conversations around all this as well.

Because this whole adventure is being done in the spirit of expanding fun connections and forming community, and because anyone who joins me/us in this journey is clearly open and playful at heart, I would like to connect you-all to each other (should you wish it) - indeed, that may be the most important outcome of this entire venture.

So, if you would like to be introduced to others, please email me. If we get a sufficient group, perhaps we could arrange an informal dinner at some pointIn the USA, Geneva, or both. (If in Geneva, I would not myself be able to be present, but would love to call in via Skype.) . (FYI: This gathering would most certainly not be contingent on actually finding my fellow rider - which I realize is far from guaranteed.)


Most appreciatively, a fellow traveler through life,