gravel and gravity…

Poised at the top of the aptly-nicknamed “death trail,” I wiped sweat off my brow and adjusted my ponytail. The Oklahoma humidity pasted my t-shirt to my spine and sprouting breasts, nestled in pools of sweat in my new bra. Feet clad in dusty ropers placed just-so centered on pedals, fingers curled around worn handgrips, reaching for brakes… yup, hard to grasp but in mostly working order. Delaying the inevitable, I blew fat grape-flavored bubbles, plotting my coup de grace…

Tossing my head to unstick hair from the back of my neck, I stood elegantly for a moment upright in the pedals, suddenly two feet taller, and feeling the exhilaration of every inch, and… SWOOSH!!!!!!

The trail that I had gingerly pedaled down uncountable times seemed more treacherous suddenly, the grippy tires of my used 10-speed unable to gain permanent purchase in the gravel and odd weed scrub. Branches stretched out to snatch at my sweaty visage, paling with the beginning of full blown terror. It never occurred to me to simply slow down, or leap off, or even use the brakes. I simply was on a mission and had to see it thru to the end, no matter how detrimental to my overall well being that turned out to be. I fear I was a bit melodramatic even then…

It was when I careened none too gently around the large curve half-way down Ginger and Charcoal’s mountain that I finally lost all pretense of control, and I remember noticing the small bumpy stone that would be my undoing. Moments later, flying through the air, pure joy bubbled in me even as I saw the ground rushing toward my prone figure with unbelievable speed. The dull thud resonated through me as I hit and began my descent, belly down, limbs akimbo. 10 feet later, I sat up, coughing and dusty, to see my thighs sprinkled, or imbeded actually, with gravel, a swath of red and brown pockmarked into my aching flesh. Standing and limping gingerly toward the trees where I assumed the bike had flown, part of me wanted to sit on the dusty trail and cry while waiting for Gramps to rescue me on his way down the mountain toward home. But somewhere in the pain and tears, throbbing skin and cricket calls, I felt a burst of confidence. I had done it, had tried to race down the trail, and I had LIVED! I would surely endure a whupping for the stupidity of the stunt as well as the condition of the bike, but hot damn, I had done it. Bragging rights would be mine, and my siblings and younger cousins would look up at me in awe. Yeah, it had been a successful day…


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Kristen
    Jun 17, 2016 @ 20:10:26

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