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Missed Connections: man looking for French woman on Bianchi bike

Missed Connections: man looking for French woman on Bianchi bike

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Archive Hugo Engels

Observant received quite an urgent email this week. Hugo Engels, employee at the Language Centre, is looking for a woman he met while cycling on Easter Sunday. The only thing he knows about her is that she works at Maastricht University. Observant doesn’t have a Missed Connections section, but we’re happy to make an exception.

The hills of South Limburg are currently closed to the public, so Engels was cycling somewhere else last Sunday – on Heggerweg, going from Spaubeek towards Nuth – when he was overtaken by a young woman on a road racing bike. When he realised that she was cycling alone and didn’t continue to accelerate after passing him, he decided to catch up with the woman and ride next to her “at an appropriate distance” from her. “In cycling, it’s quite exceptional for two people who are not riding together to keep the same pace. I complimented her on her pace.”

A short, “very organic” conversation followed, says Engels. “It’s usually very obvious when someone doesn’t feel like talking.” She told him that she also lives in Maastricht and works at UM, just like Engels. “She apologised for her poor Dutch. I could hear that she was French, so I jokingly apologised for my poor French.” Almost immediately after that, the woman turned onto Diependaalsweg, following the directions of her GPS. “I continued on the same road. It happened in half a second. I thought it would be weird to go back and follow her.”

The woman had dark brown hair and, “ironically enough”, looked like Dutch professional cyclist Marianne Vos. She rode a light green Bianchi bike, wore black trousers, a dark green T-shirt, a white helmet and, strikingly, no cycling gloves. “They protect your hands if you fall, but they also absorb vibration. Only tough cyclists don’t wear gloves. I thought it was cool.” Engels thinks the woman was between 25 and 30 years old.

As for Engels, he rode a burgundy Trek bike, wore black trousers, a black-grey T-shirt, a white helmet and – unlike his missed connection – sunglasses.

If you are Hugo Engels’s missed connection or know who she is, please don’t hesitate to contact us at observant@maastrichtuniversity.nl.

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