Finished a trip to the library, on the bike ride home, 30 lbs of books on my back. Like a big misshapen baby if that baby ate a dump truck full of concrete. Crest the first big hill, picking up speed down the other side. Weight on my back works with gravity, physics or whatever, and soon I’m going about 40 mph. Wind whips, music soars, I’m an eagle swooping down on my prey. Big SUV passes, barely going faster. Little boy in the back seat, staring at me in wonder. Wide white eyes, slack jaw like a fish. Yells something and waves. Can’t hear with the wind and my headphones, but I wave back. He sticks his head out the window to follow my progress as the car continues on. Then they’re gone, too far ahead. I smile. Kids.
Traffic light ahead, red for a while, cars are backed up. I come to a halt next to the SUV, first vehicle in line. The little boy sees me again and jumps like a bolt of electricity. He waves and points, but before I can respond, the light turns green and we’re off. High gear, legs pumping, I rip off the line like a a band-aid on a old wound. The SUV can’t even fathom such acceleration. Over my music I can hear the little boy yelling and cheering. Slowly, the car catches up, passes me, boy bouncing and waving and laughing out the window like a recently deployed Jack-in-the-box. I smile and wave again.
Probably made his night. He definitely made mine.