Paki stepped off the Trail-A-Bike and carefully turned our two bikes-into-one, hinged contraption around. As we headed back Otta accelerated quickly away from us and expanded the distance between us. “You think he thinks he’s got something to prove?” Paki calls to Lola.
“Maybe he just likes his snazzy new helmet,” Lola responds. “How’s your helmet, Mr. Cutie-Pie?” she asks.
“A much better fit, thank you,” I respond.
“Nice job with the ‘thank you!’” she declares, adding, “You’re welcome!”
Otta’s lead becomes even greater as a group of cyclists zooms by us as we return to the tee-intersection we’d turned at heading out. We waited as the filed past and began to roll forward when a man at the end of the group slows and asks, “You going this way?” indicating the direction the dozen riders had headed.
Paki replies, “Nope. Heading back. Have a good ride!” and waves.
“You too!” says the man in return.
By the time we go through the underpass at Beaver Road and make its near ninety degree turn Otta is no longer in sight. “Well,” Paki says, “He’s a big boy. I’m sure he knows his way home.”
“You’d hope,” Lola says. “Do you think he’s okay?”
“If I were projecting I’d think maybe he feels like he has something to prove. Too many video games and not enough exercise, but I don’t know, you’ll have to ask him.”
“Think we should go back?” Lola asks.
“We don’t even know if he went home or took another turn. Let’s ride down to Motor Vehicle and then head back. That should give us at least ten miles.”
The constantly moving river is right where we left it and again appears but this time on our left. Lola again remarks on its beauty declaring, “Look, Jack! There’s the river again!”
“It is nice, isn’t it?” I respond.
As we approach MLK Drive Paki asks, “What do you think, Jack? Four more miles?”
“Sure!” I say. “I’m not even tired!”
“Sounds like a yes to me,” Lola says.
“I’m gonna take it as a yes, too,” Paki replies as we start down a gentle slope. The slope combined with gravity increases our speed and the Trail-A-Bike again starts to wobble. “Hey! Jack?!” he hollers, “Can we save the shake, rattle and roll for Bill Haley and the comets?”
“Save what for who?!” I holler back.
“We love you too, Jack!” Lola says before the two of them start singing, “‘I said shake, rattle and roll, shake, rattle and roll! Shake, rattle and roll, shake, rattle and roll! Well, you won’t do right to save your doggone soul!”