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Going to the Sun

David Steele
Colorado
david steel going to the sun

Picking up speed, the cheap, white knobbies make a zuzzing noise against the road. To my right, the cut wall of rock races past. On the left, a guard wall that I’d certainly flip right over hazards at the drop off beyond the road. Looking down doesn’t inspire any confidence, so I keep my eyes pinned ahead, trying not to steer too much lest the pixie bike send me airborne.

I’ve ridden down this stretch of the Going To The Sun highway before. Loosing almost 3500ft over fifteen or so miles, it’s plenty of downhill fun. But this time, the equipment was the crux. Ten-inch wheels. Pink sparkly frame paint. One gear. Only a coaster brake. Certainly nothing that I’d consider fitting for a fully grown dude to ride down a big hill. It was only there because Myke forgot to take it out of his car after a missed downhill race on the thing.

But after some practice in the top parking lot, it became pretty clear that the pixie bike wasn’t impossible. I could fit only one knee under the handle bars. The other had to go out to the side. I certainly wore my helmet. And after the first hundred yards, I gained an entirely unwarranted faith in the tiny contraption I was riding. On a real bike, there’s this sense of comfort and control. But since the pixie bike was so tiny, it felt like I was rocketing over the asphalt on a magic carpet.

Every time someone coming the other way in a car passed me, I made a point to stare them down. Very few drove away without a laugh.

Burning oil smells hit my nostrils at some point, and the coaster hub was too hot to touch. A few miles after I started, I skidded twenty feet to stop. Looking back, I’d worn straight through the tire. The casing stared out, looking a lot like the grins that stuck to our faces after the pixie was safely back in the trunk.

david steel going to the sun
david steel going to the sun
david steel going to the sun