As Felicia bit down on the straw of her Camelback and sucked the lukewarm water into her parched throat, her legs pumped with relentless force pushing down as hard as she pulled in the tightly bound toe clips. With gloved hands she gripped the handlebars, engaging her upper torso in contracted energy. She noticed only a couple bikers on the mountain trail today. “Probably, due to the warnings,” she thought.
The first time she had gone out mountain biking with her boyfriend Jacob, Felicia fell in love with the sport. She filled her lungs with pine fragranced air, enjoying the exercise and time spent outdoors.
One morning, Felicia stopped over at Jacob’s to bring him blueberry muffins. She took out the key he had given her months before, slid it into the lock, and turned the knob.
“Jacob! I have a surprise for you.” Felicia strained her eyes in the darkened studio apartment and immediately became confused by the shapes formed under the sheets of her boyfriend’s bed. He wasn’t alone.
“You bastard!” Felicia screamed. She began pelting him with the warm missiles.
Jacob threw up his hands to protect his face as the pretty blond slid down under the covers. “Felicia! What are you doing here? Stop!”
With each word, she fired away. “How – could – you – do – this – to – me!” Felicia stormed out, but then turned and yelled, “Whore!” She threw the key at Jacob and hit him in the nose, slamming the door behind her.
In the weeks that followed, she continued biking to clear her head and mend her broken heart.
The thick evergreens that lined the path and the tender wild flowers which bloomed in the understory in shades of purple, yellow and orange were swallowed up in darkness as the clouds above her gathered. She swerved to avoid the large rocks, but pulled up on the handlebars and hopped over the smaller ones utilizing the shock system of her bicycle and picked up the pace.
The rush of crashing water from the swollen river beside her thundered louder. Felicia felt a cool breeze at her back and the fine golden hair on her arms stood on end. Rain began to pour down on her helmet and she had to stop and take off her sunglasses to navigate the muddy trail. Her heart and mind raced, as the river overflowed its banks and water streamed across the trail. She pedaled to a rocky knoll jutting up from the forest floor, when she heard a man’s voice call out, “Over here!”
She rode to him and he reached out and pulled her by the hand up the steep embankment.
“We don’t have much time. C’mon!” He dragged her up rocky slope. They reached a shelter under an outcropping of rock as the rain pelted overhead as the river roared below.
“Felicia.” She locked eyes with the handsome man with gentle brown eyes and curly hair that glistened, realizing she hadn’t let go of his hand.
I am dusting off my “Rockhopper” to start mountain biking again. With all the tennis I play, it has been hard to find the time, but recently I learned that one of my knees may have to be replaced in the future if I don’t. My kneecap slid over when I twisted it thirty years ago in a skiing accident. It has been grinding the back of the cap ruining the meniscus. This is very common in women. In order to move it back into position, I need to build my thigh muscles. I will be out on the trails breathing in that pine scent in Colorado once again!