I have had some bizarre things happen to me when riding home from work on my bicycle, but nothing quite like today.
I took a turn onto a main street that marks the beginning of the last leg of my ride home. Today, I happened to turn into this street just as a small child turned in on the sidewalk about a block further up the street.
He was riding a Wal-Mart special that had obviously seen its better days. It was one of those rugged one-speed kids bikes that you have to pedal backwards to break. He was hauling a backpack much too large for such a small child, and obviously laboring to get up the small slope.
As I passed, I glanced aside to offer a friendly smile as I usually try to do when I pass people. As I caught his eye, however, it wasn’t a friendly smile that he returned. Instead, he wore a challenging stare.
I could almost hear the Western “showdown” music in the background. As I topped a hill and switched into a higher gear, I started to pull ahead. Behind, I could hear the clatter of his Wal-Mart special as he pumped faster, gaining on me. I switched into an even higher gear. The clatter got louder as he continued to gain.
“Screw this,” I thought, as primal instincts took over. “I can totally WIN THIS.” I switched into the highest gear, the gear of epic awesomeness… Gear 7.
As I pumped frantically down the hill, the clattering got even louder. Suddenly, with a WHOOSH, the kid passed, tiny legs pumping so fast they could barely be seen.
As he turned the corner, he flipped me off.
And that is how I got pwned by a 10-year-old.