A Man In Uniform

He pulled up beside the racer at the light.
The racer wore a bright pink synthetic shirt and shorts covered in advertisements. His helmet and goggles were the same bright pink color.
“How was your race this morning?” he asked him.
“What race?” said the man dressed in pink.
“But you are dressed as a racer, non?” Maybe it was some joke.
“Yes,” said the racer.
“But where is your team now?”
“What team?”
“Certainly a man in uniform is not in uniform alone?”
“I am riding alone. I’m not sure I understand your question.”
Maybe it was a language problem. Or maybe he had been dropped. The team had abandoned him. He would be careful not to push this any further. He did not want to further damage his confidence.
“One cannot expect to have a top vitesse each day,” he said to the racer. He hoped to encourage him.
"Tiens, some water?" He offered his bidon to the racer.
"No. I have my own."
“There will be other races," he assured him. "And you will train harder for them.”
“I am training today, right now.”
“Yes. Of course you are training,” he said to the racer. That was one way to look at it.
The light went green and he let the racer ride ahead.
A racer's confidence can be a brittle thing.

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