We used to have a mail carrier (I'll call him Fred) who we were friendly with. He would take his afternoon break on our front stoop and visit with us. On hot, humid days he could always count on us for some cool refreshing drink.
Well Fred (not his real name of course) moved to a different delivery route which just happens to be on one of my favorite ride loops. Often times while I'm out on one of my bikes (mostly the Tour Easy these days), we'll see and wave to each other and occasionally have a few minutes to chat.
The other day my bride and I were having lunch in a local Restaurant when in comes Fred for a quick lunch break. He came over to our table and made the following statement...."Hey, you know that bike that you've got? It costs a lot of money!" My poor wife almost choked on her Turkey Wrap! I responded with, "Now you tell me!!" All three of us had a good chuckle over Fred stating the obvious.
Of course both my wife and I knew he was really just expressing his suprise at what a new Recumbent costs vs. a 'Regular bike'. He has a close friend who's seriously shopping for a 'bent and was thrilled to bump into us as he wanted to ask us where to shop. We all had a nice, quick visit and he was off to finish his route.
It felt good to be considered as a reliable source of bike related information. He was so thrilled to learn where to send his Buddy and since he knew us, he was quite confident that we were not steering him wrong. I've been getting a lot of information requests lately, and often from strangers.
Moral of the Story: Whether we're aware of it or not, people see us out there and they take notice of what they see. We are all bicycle ambassadors.