I got back a week ago from a family vacation in Rome and other parts of Italy. Before I left on the trip I was surfing around the BikeForums threads and ran across Koffee Brown's journal entries of her self-supported trip to Italy. I found her entries to be very informative and interesting and I even printed them out and took them home for evening reading. I thought "what an interesting person" and brave too to take on such a trip as a first time bike trip.
Well of course when I got to Rome with my family on Saturday, June 8th, my wife and daughter needed clothes since Air France was kind enough to lose their luggage for a 2.5 days. It was then Sunday afternoon on the 9th and the ladies were in a clothing store buying a couple of jersy tops. Just standing around a women's clothing store was not my idea of fun so I stepped outside and and found a wall to sit on and watch the crazy Roman traffic go by on the main street of Via Nazionale. As I watched, there was a slight break in traffic and there was a young woman on a mountain bike, fully loaded with panniers and a rear duffle bag strapped to the frame rack. I knew that Koffee Brown was African-American decent since she mentioned it in one of her threads and I thought. "No it couldn't be!" I mean life is strange but what are the chances of me seeing the very person I'd been reading about on a bike forum going by me on a street in the middle of Rome. I saw her coast on by up to the stop light about 200 meters away and wait for the light to change. I was so tempted to get up and chase her down, but then my family would have not found me and that could have caused major concern. In the moment I tried to decide what to do, the rider was gone. I told my family about it and they all thought it was just too far fetched of a story. How could it be possible!!??
Well, I've been in touch through PMs with Koffee Brown since we've both returned and we compared notes, times, and locations and we DID have a close-encounter of the cycling kind.!! She was staying in a hostel right near the Via Nazionale and was transporting some of her extra bags to a friend's for storage.
How strange life is. Just another wonderful example on how the internet and BikeForums can impact people's lives. We plan on staying in touch and she may move to Rome and the next time I visit I hope to have my bike to go for a ride with my fellow BikeForums member.
Thought you might find this an interesting serendipitous moment .