The Biker and The Mountain

Biking on the narrow sidewalk, people streaming along side. Cars speeding ahead, always in a hurry, always going somewhere. Why does everyone go so fast? Do people ever have time to just look around? Some do. Some are struggling to even find a place to rest. Some are struggling to feed their families, to feed themselves. They have no time to relax. They walk briskly toward their destination; driving fast trying to be on time. To beat the clock.


Biking faster and faster, trying to get away from the people, from the noises. A car honks. Pedaling even faster, trying not to get hit. The driver rolls down the window and a large hand emerges, one finger held up. f*** you. It means nothing. The driver disappears down the long road flowing into a sea of more cars, going on with their life, the biker never to cross their mind again.


Finally turning onto a narrow road with no sidewalk. A highway, spiraling up and up. The pavement turns to dirt as the city disappears. Trees surround the road. The biker pedals hard. Beads of sweat dripping down their face as the sun beats down from the light blue sky. To touch the sky, wouldn't that be a great joy? To suddenly spread wings and soar upward toward the silky blue wonder? What would it feel like? Imagine it to be silky smooth or hard as rock, or imagine flying up and up and never reaching it. Never feeling anything. Your hands spread out on either side, you feel the cold air on your face, it feels good after the heat of the earth below. Looking down, what you see, or don't see for that matter, is ten times better than touching the sky. The people all down there working like ants, are nowhere to be seen. You see the pure beauty of the earth. The beauty of the world.


The biker pulls a deep breath into their burning lungs. The backpack full of food and water has become heavy on their back. Their legs are sore from pedaling. Rest. Stop. The words sound lovely in their head. But on the biker goes. Stopping? What on earth for? In a groove now. Stopping would just make it harder to get up the steep hill. The biker runs their tongue over their cracked, dry lips. Their throat burns. The only thing that promises to sooth it is... Water. Reaching down, pulling a water bottle from the holder on the bike. Guzzling down. Ah. On the biker goes as the steep hill becomes flat. The muscles in their legs relax slightly before pedaling up another steep hill.


Down. Faster, faster. Enjoying the rest for the moment. One last hill. The biker looks around breathing the cool air into their lungs. Almost to the top of the mountain. Almost... There. The bike falls to the feet of the biker, feeling tired and exhausted. Walking to the very edge of the cliff, looking out below, the breath exhaled all at once. Looking down on where the biker used to be. The city is far off. Miles and miles away, like a dark ink splatter on a beautiful canvass. The biker feeling dizzy, struggles to keep balance. It is so wonderful. Scary and wonderful at the same time. So close to the edge. The biker trusts the rocks to stay put. It is as if the mountain is a person, the biker trusts it. Loves it. But still, a voice buzzes in the back of the biker's head. Will the rocks break apart from the mountain, will it let the biker fall? A scary thought. Down, down? Not back to the city. The place where the biker had been before. But a world where the biker exists in what seems like an entirely separate world from the mountain. The mountain doesn't let it happen. But the biker is still worried. A little worry in the back of their mind. Almost nothing.


The biker doesn't go back home. The biker stays. Parting with the mountain only briefly. Sometimes the biker has to return to the city. But it isn't like before. Something has changed in the biker. The mountain has changed the biker. It has shown the biker, their weaknesses and strengths. It has become so much a part of the biker that without the mountain the biker would be lost. The biker shyly whispers, I love you, to the mountain. A soft wind engulfs the biker, swirling around. The biker is kind. Never wanting to cause harm to the mountain. The mountain loves the biker too.





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