Into a Headwind

The garbage truck had passed us and then gotten caught at the light three times now. We were in South Everett, on one of those roads that seems like it would run straight forever, with long spans of greyed blacktop between the lights. The type of road that is never fun, but always seems to connect you to the ones that you want to ride. A necessary road.

The idea didn’t occur to me the first time it passed us and we felt the pull of its wake when it passed. I thought about it the second time it passed when I recalled a memory of drafting off one years ago along Detroit Ave in the middle of winter. I was late for class and the putrid heat coming off the truck’s open back gave off a little warmth.

At the third light I jumped past Jack and began to spin up to speed. With one last look over my shoulder I cut hard left and slid into the the behemoth’s slipstream and surrendered to its pull.

It’s an odd phenomenon to experience exhilaration at the absence of something, but maybe that was the speed talking. I put light pressure on the pedals. Clicking through each gear till the tallest and I was carried away from Jack. Away from the commuter who was trying to cling to our two man train. Apparently the road climbed, but I felt as if I was descending.

It’s easy right now.

I risk a glance over my shoulder to look for Jack. He’s back there somewhere, so ease off just a bit fall back and the pull of the garbage truck starts to ease and is then gone when I shift right into the bike lane and soft pedal until Jack catches back on.

“That was fun” I tell him when he catches back on.

We rode the rest of way home taking turns at the front into a headwind.


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