Yesterday morning my alarm went off at 5am. Yes, it’s still summer. Yes, I set it for 5am on purpose. Yes, I did the same thing again this morning. On Saturday That Laura, my little brother Pete, and I headed out for a 17 mile jaunt along the river. This morning, Pete and I did the same route again. My brother has recently started cycling the two miles to work and back and when he expressed an interest in doing longer distances, I jumped on it.
I have a simple rule: If you like bikes, I like you. If you ride a bicycle, or even its ugly cousin the unicycle, you pretty much have to be Satan for me not to like you. I don’t know much about bike parts and that kind of geekery, but I can talk to you about rides until your face falls off.
I already like my little brother, so I knew taking him on a bike ride would be great. We rode along the Sacramento River when the air was still cool enough to send goosebumps skipping up my arms. I know this trail like the back of my hand. I’ve ridden it in the dark, knowing exactly where I was based on the rise and fall of the pavement beneath my tires and the black shadows of the trees around me.
Since this trail is an old friend, I chattered about bumps in the road, blind corners, the mint that grows here, the blackberries that grow there, the gravel that always gathers around this corner, the fence that marks the end of the hardest part of the hill and all the little details that I have learned about this trail over the last few years.
When Pete was 3 and I was 8, he used to copy what I said. Not in that irritating way when someone instantly repeats you over and over. Although he did that, too. The copying I’m talking about was when I’d hear phrases I used come out of his little mouth within the context of normal conversation.
As we rode in the quiet of the morning, I heard Pete say some of the same things I’ve said on The Rocket. It’s so relaxing. It’s better with company. Of course, there were familiar utterances of another vein, too. My butt hurts. My legs are sore. I wanted to get off and walk the hill, but I didn’t let it beat me.
In a lot of ways, riding my bike with Pete feels like we’re kids again. Only better. When we were kids, we were just brother and sister. Now we’re friends and I can’t wait to show him another one of my favorite rides next weekend.