The family of four on bicycles was picture postcard perfect. Dad leading the front followed by oldest son, younger daughter, and wife bring up the back. From the behaviors, I would guess that Dad exercises regularly, boy and girl are on bicycles daily, and Mom gets out for the weekend ride on occasion. In the early evening darkness, their lights, helmets, and safe actions followed a script of safety, togetherness, and spending time together.
The particular scene that stayed with me occurred when they crossed an intersection. For the observer that was not paying particular attention, nothing happened. If you were watching you would have noticed the difference between the four riders. Dad was riding with confidence but on high alert. His behavior reflected someone who had accepted the responsibility that comes when you must take care of the others. This responsibility trumps everything else.
Young son was riding with carefree confidence. Everything in the way he rode his bicycle reflected price and a sense that he was good at what he was doing. I could almost hear his thoughts; “Now I run like a deer; I’m king of the mountain.” (Psalm 18.33)
Young daughter was confident while willing to follow the lead. A slight hesitation came with everything. She knew what to do. She understood the fundamentals. At the same time, she wanted to make sure she was in her place, on her mark.
Mom was going with the flow, slightly out of her element. The bicycle was her size. At the same time, she was not sure what she should do at the moments of decision. A hesitation and decision to break late were obvious. A wobble in her steering across the intersection followed. Even her speed spoke of not really belonging. I did not hear any complaints but the body language said she would prefer to be doing something, anything, else.
As the dawn creeps into a new day, I wonder about the way things will unfold. If I could watch my actions, I know how I would want to see myself riding.