Cycling Stories


March 20, 2020


Finalist: Winter 2019 Writing Contest

I pedal harder and harder until my lungs start to burn, and then I lift myself from my seat, forming a 90-degree angle with the ride, like a bourgeois staring out the open roof of a limousine.

The music travels through the wires up to my ears, and the spinning of the wheels is a jazzy drum brush, always in sync with the groove, with the Strat quack of the far-off desert rock.

Chaotically going down the hill through the trees of the forest park on a roller coaster without rails, the slippery mud tripping the wheels up in mischievous amusement, the threat of a broken neck.

I often go along the river, for my city is a hilly city, feeling the smell of urine and seeing the tents of the ones who never got a chance as I pass under the bridge that connects the two banks.

The tourists always block the red lane and stare at me in childish confusion as my bell rings at them, but I forgive them because, at times, I’ve been a tourist, and they know not what they do.

Sometimes a dude in colorful, tight clothes passes me on his light, thin bicycle, and I try to race him even though I’m wearing jeans and my tires are semi-flat and my chain needs oiling, life ain’t fair.

I leave it lying by the ancient wooden tracks and climb the abandoned freight train, from up there I gaze at the great road of the world as I smoke that cheerful smoke, my fingers orange with rust.

As I start back home, the cars bitterly honk at me like angry ducks, despite the fact that there’s space for everyone. It’s not me but themselves they’re angry at anyways, do they ever just ride for the feeling?

Francisco Miranda Torres is a literature major from Lisbon, Portugal, who’s also passionate about literature, cycling, and scuba diving.
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