The Hill

by Blagica Bottigliero

We've started a new type of routine in our house. Around the lunch hour, I take my red bike and cycle the short distance over to a local cafe. It's a short ride, maybe five minutes. But it's one of the new things I look forward to everyday. And it's all because of a hill.

Do you remember being a kid? Riding your bike all over town, your friend's house and that new dirt mound at the construction site? I do. Pretty vividly. I had a red banana seat bike and took that thing all over my little neighborhood. If I felt adventurous and didn't think my parents would find out, I would take my bike over to the dirt trail that branched out to the main road. There was a sidewalk that was the perimeter to our neighborhood. I would pedal and pedal as fast as I could.  I had to be home at a certain time, but I was also full of adrenalin being in a part of town where I usually go with my mom or dad during ice cream runs. 

Which brings me back to the hill near my house. I live in a neighborhood full of hills - it's wild. There is one particular street that I can zip down, make a quick left and boom, I'm at the cafe. I get the same anticipation rounding the corner to get that hill as I did when I found that dirt road. 

My feet kick into a fast bit of rotation to keep some momentum, the street dips and I cruise.  Red backpack behind me, pants rolled up, I turn into that 10 year old girl again.  The street has a few speed bumps.  No matter what I'm wearing or who's outside planting their flowers, I edge up on my seat like a BMX rider and hop those bumps like a pro. With seconds, I hang a left, roll up to the cafe, lock my bike and go on about my to-dos.

Now and then, I wonder if someone on that street sees me practicing my daily ritual. It would be fun if there was a little kid glancing at this older person zooming down the hill. Maybe that little kid would laugh and point, showing their mom or dad the crazy lady who flies down the hill with her legs out to her sides. Maybe the mom or dad will get reminded that zooming down hills on a bike is fun. I hope so.

Go find yourself a hill.