Carpenter Preserve (Part 1)
I’ve eaten dinner, and my seven-year-old body is energized with adrenaline, fizzing with the electrical sparking of excitement. I pedal my bike, my knees pumping fast, hydraulic pistons pushing me further and further ahead of my father, who is leisurely cruising on his much larger road bike. The wind grips my face, and pulls at my hair, a feeling of shackleless freedom.
Perhaps my real appeal for biking started much earlier than I first assumed.
I pull up beside the bridge, doing one of those ironman triathlon-style bike dismounts; amateurly of course. But children think they are invincible, and I was no exception. I push my bike down the hill, next to the wide-open recreation field. I let go of the handlebars, and the pink bike topples down. Careless, childish, blissful.
My father pulls up and rides down the hill gently.
Bridge overlooking the creek
Unlike me, he gently dismounts and sets his red and gold bike against its kickstand. By the time he shoulders his backpack, I’m already at the creek bed. I crouch down on a flat rock, peering into the clear, swiftly tumbling water for fish. I dip my fingers into the water, cherishing the sensory chill that spreads up my spine from the cold. A few black blurs streak through the water. Minnows. I reach into the pocket of my teal fleece jacket and pull out a pack of crackers. I open them up, crush them into pieces, and sprinkle them into the water. The tiny fish grab the orange bits and gobble them down. I laugh. I love watching the fish. It’s my favorite part of the creek, but my walk has just begun.
By: NHS Arete Student Olivia Dungan