Thursday, October 14, 2010

Caution to the Wind

I was standing at the stoplight of 17th S. and 13th E. today, waiting for the light to turn green. Across from me in the left hand turn lane was a middle aged woman on a powder blue bike with a basket. Wearing a helmet, sweater and shorts with a spandex under-layer. She was a picture of normality on a sunny fall morning.

The light was red for the traffic heading North and South on 13th and there wasn't any crossing traffic on 17th south. Everything was quiet. We- the woman on her bike, the people in their cars, and me on my feet- waited with the impatience that comes with being stuck at a light with no cross traffic.

"You might die." The traffic light seems to tell us in the insufferable tone of the self-righteously safety minded. "So don't even think about running me..."


Then the woman on the bike moves. She lifts her head- looks both ways- and puts her foot on the pedal. Her eyes widen and her mouth splits into a maniacal adrenalin induced grin.

She goes for it.

Passing me, her hair blowing in the wind, she pedals as hard as she can down the hill. Her face shares how exquisitely exhilarating life can be, and that sometimes the rush is worth throwing caution to the wind.

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