A while back I had an incident while riding my bicycle and I’ve decided to tell the story of the incident in hopes that some mild entertainment might be squeezed from it. The experience began as many before have, with me strolling lazily towards my dual-wheeled, man-powered mode of transport at that pace just faster than the intent bird watcher, but slower than the power walker who insists on carrying one pound weights in each hand, swinging their arms with enough vigor to knock the breath out of the person who misjudges the incredible arc those arms are making.
Upon reaching my destination of the nearby bike rack, my ears were graced with the pleasant squealing of car tires, a sound less surprising than the ending to Rocky IV, as well as a slew of syllables unrecognizable to my finely tuned inner ear, but still easily placed as coming from the nearby family of Chinese descent currently battling the serene rumble of a convenient delivery truck.
After having removed the lock safeguarding my baby blue/ old pickup blue/ aqua bike frame, my true journey was about to begin. I began down the sidewalk, squeezing past the middle aged woman, with a purse large enough to safely house its own ecosystem, struggling to decipher the code that makes up the instructions of the electronic parking meter while her dear child whined impatiently from the plush leather seat of their Volvo. Within a few seconds I was nearing the corner where I make my departure from the sidewalk and enter into the wide world of the open road. My last obstacle came from a small group of college students carrying their U of M bookstore plastic bags. I was forced to go directly through their tight entourage, nearly bumping into two of them due to their stressed university minds not being able to comprehend the idea of oncoming traffic and the necessity/courtesy of clearing a navigable route.
Finally, I left the cracked, crooked concrete behind for the smooth asphalt, taking a right turn wider than Jared before Subway and still narrowly avoiding a sudden SUV door opening, courtesy of a polo and khaki clad senior citizen looking an unhealthy, tanning bed induced bronze and sporting a well cared for hair style possibly a result of the fine work done by those skilled hair stylists under the employment of the ever popular Great Clips hair salons. I accelerated past this scene, dancing on my pedals, cruising past the parked cars on my right, claiming the single traffic lane as my own, while catching glimpses of the steady pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk. It is at this time my bicycle decided that my stable position on this earthly domain would best be left behind for a slightly less stable, but considerably more exhilarating flight over my handlebars through the warm summer breeze so many cherish. Drifting gracefully over asphalt and all its forgiving features, with arms outstretched as if to graciously accept a surprise gift, I descended like a falcon speeding towards its unlucky prey. Like the Wright brothers renowned flight, mine was of minimal length but with fairly profound implications.
Forever leaving a part of my smile behind, I got up from my landing, quickly being greeted by a nomadic shrink interested in learning about my current feelings. I quickly removed myself and my bike from the presence of this office-less psychologist and returned to my starting point, a mere half a block away, passing by again the elderly bronzed Great Clips customer, the still sidewalk clogging college kids, the ever persistent parking meter mother and her unappeasable offspring, the chatty Chinese family and finally my starting point, my place of employment, where I could better assess the results of that rapid landing.
In the end a little time and a few trips to my friendly neighborhood dentist would leave me in satisfactory condition. Let the pieces of my front teeth act as sufficient sacrifice to appease the bicycle gods long enough for your ride home to be one free of such interesting experiences.