The drive home was long, as it always is. My mind clouded with events of the day and thoughts of the long upcoming holiday weekend. It took moments before the flashing blue lights and alternating high beams of the trooper car tugged at a more cognitive level of my consciousness. I slowed. My car crept along the left side of the road as I followed the officer's gestures to stay to the left. Inquisitiveness or morbid curiosity, I am not sure which, forced me to steal glances at the accident. Why was I compelled to see the cause of the commotion?
What I saw unsettled me: a broken wheel, a bicycle, a ten speed I think, off the shoulder, in the sand. I thought of the child who must have ridden the bike. I imagined a young boy, not quite a teenager, on vacation at the nearby campground. I saw his gritty face from the dusty road, and the perspiration from his exertion. I heard his labored breathing as he climbed the hill, another challenge conquered, one of many on his road to adulthood.
Then the car, carelessness, I don't know by whom. It happened all too quickly. A screech of tires, the acrid smell of rubber, and a thud as the bike and boy flew through the air. For a few moments the broken wheel rolled free then it settled at the edge of the grassy meadow.
The bike, with bent frame and missing wheel was rudely left behind at the edge of the pavement, an all too real awakening to life's realities. I am a biker too.