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The Upper Peninsula Tales
I could smell the flowers blooming as I lowered my car window, I knew I was in the Upper Peninsula just from the smell. Just then, I saw fifteen people biking in a perfect straight line. I thought to myself, “how could anyone want to bike all day long?” I waved and smiled at the people, and then I began laughing to myself. I turned up my air conditioner, I turned up my music, and hit the gas pedal. About two miles later, my car just stopped. I am assuming that was because I was completely and utterly out of gas. After saying some inappropriate words I decided to push my car over to the side of the road and see if there was anything I could do. After checking every part of my car I decided my best bet was to sit on the side of the road and wait for some nice soul to come along. The problem was, I was in the middle of nowhere.
Well, low and behold the next people to come along were the bikers. They all smiled at me and stopped in a perfect straight line, except for one who had a hard time stopping and almost fell over. They smiled and asked if I could use a hand. I just stared at them and shook my head. There was no way that I was going to bike my way through the Upper Peninsula, I would rather rot here all day long then ride with these fools.
They asked me if they could eat lunch in the field behind where my car had broken down, I grunted at them and shook my head. As they all got off their bikes and parked in a perfect straight line, all with their handle bars turned at the same direction. They took their lunches out of their bikes’ front pockets. My stomach began to grumble and I realized that I had not packed any food for myself, because I assumed I was going to cross the bridge that evening.
One of the bikers, a tall skinny man with a very funny tan shouted out to me “Wanna join us for lunch? There’s plenty to go around.” I wanted to say no, but my stomach had a different agenda. As I walked over to the group of people I noticed that there were eleven teenagers and four adults. I wondered who in the world would join eleven teenagers and four adults together in the middle of the Upper Peninsula. As I sat down they handed me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and told me to eat up. Well I did. After eating two sandwiches, I finally stopped eating enough to ask what in the world they were doing in the Upper Peninsula.
The tall and skinny tan one replied, “We are on a trip, around Lake Michigan. It is our version of a pilgrimage. My name is Amir Rockman I am their tour guide. All of the bikers seemed to look at him with a strong sign of respect. He continued, “This is Wendy, she is almost like the mother of all of us.” He was pointing to a brunet with a fire looking helmet on and who had a small gap between her teeth. “This is my brother Assaf, he is the adventures one who also cares for as all. He does most of the cooking and he drives our van with all of our supplies.” Amir pointed to a man that looked like a shorter version of him. “This is Bob he is our spiritual leader and star bike rider.” Amir was looking at an old balding man wearing a Sponge Bob biker shirt, which I could not believe was their star biker. “And last but not least, these are our eleven teenagers. They come from all of the country all with one thing in common, their love to bike. But each one of them, are all different in their own ways.” I gazed at the eleven young faces and could not help but smile.
Amir caught my attention again, “Well that’s all of us. Together for a month we bike and camp and well bike and camp. We pray, tell stories and eat. It’s a great life.” I just grunted. Amir responded, “Well since your car is broken would you like to spend the night with us? We will be camping right here all night long.” I thought about my options and realized sleeping in a safe warm tent with actual people was better then sleeping in my car all alone and unprotected.
Four hours later we had a warm campfire going and we all had full stomachs. Besides having one of the best meals ever I also had the chance to talk to five of the fifteen people on the trip. Amir was not kidding, they all come from completely different backgrounds and all have stories to share. I will recall all of their stories word for word. And now I shall begin.
The ISRALIE BIKER, a free spirited man, who loves to explore lands far and wide. He has been all over Asia, Europe, and the United States. He loves to bike and roam free. Although he loves the freedom of his life, he too is the most responsible of the fifteen on the trip. He plans the meals, and cooks them too. He takes care of the sick and lends a hand when needed. Besides biking all over the world, he works at a camp, with children with life issues that are like wars of their own. He helps battle the wars with these kids and fight off the monsters in their lives. He is a good-looking young man and when he finds time for love, he finds love in the simple and believes that true love is true. He knows what he wants and when to go for it.
Next there is the GROCCERY STORE CLERK, a sixteen-year-old boy from Indiana. His name is Adam and he lives a hard life. He makes up for his mother’s lack of support by working everyday after school at his local grocery store. Besides making his riches at his local grocery store, Adam may come off as a silent teenager who does not like to socialize with many people. But shortly after talking to him, it is notable the he is one of the friendliest boys in the world. He loves to tell jokes and makes people laugh wherever he goes. He is always surprising people, and doing things that many do not except him to do. Outside of Adam’s happiness he is conflicted by his sexuality. He has recently become openly bisexual and is conflicted by the feelings he gets when around certain people. He is unable to decide on what he wants in life.
There was also a RABBI, who although has reached a ripe old age is a determined fellow. He does not give up. He once broke his arm but did not tell the group of bikers until it was fixed. He also always beats his competition. There was no hill that he could not bike up. Every chance he has to be the winner he takes it. Not only was he the strongest of the fifteen bikers, but he was also the storyteller for the group. Every night the fourteen other eager bikers sat around the Rabbi eagerly waiting to hear one of his old stories. They were so outrageous that it made the audience laugh harder. During the day he tells the bikers around him of conspiracies that he knows about. He told stories that were so bad the teenagers could not help but snicker.
There was a TEENAGE GIRL, who attends one of the best private high schools in the country. She is a very smart student, and when you meet her seems like one of the most innocent girls as well. She knows the right things to say at the right times. But although she is able to put such a nice front up, behind this front she has had a very troubled life. Her parents divorced when she was very young and she at first blamed it on herself. She let out her feelings by endangering herself, drinking, experimenting with drugs and boys, all at a very young age. Although, she has come a long way since those times she is a very promiscuous girl. She has had many relationships in her lifetime, and in a way it is mostly what she bases her life on. Although she is such a strong girl, and is able to handle most situations on her own her, crutch is all of her male partners in her life.
There was the LOUDEST TEENAGER, who was named Zach, although many of the bikers called him Zackypoo. At the beginning of their trip he did not talk for a week. During his lifetime he had not had many friends and mostly kept to himself. During their journey, however, Zack has opened up and is now one of the loudest bikers on the trip. He sings funny songs to help get his friends up and himself up difficult hills. His songs are wild stories about rosters, and everyday there is a new one. Zack has changed the most out of all the bikers; he will return home a new person and will be the loud and talkative person that he truly is.
It has become now too dark to write more about these characters. Tomorrow we will continue on our way and I will tell the tales of the other ten bikers.