Sometime in 2015 my brother invited me to bike around Salt Lake City with his friends. Salt Lake has rental bikes for use scattered throughout the city. They are green, and can only be used, or unlocked, by paying a machine. I genuinely support this idea.
I was tired and didn’t want to go, but my brother insisted, so I went. We met up with his friends, my brother rented me a bike. We rode around the city, smoking herbs and goofing off. I had fun, despite wanting to sleep. It was good for me to get out.
We raced a few miles north towards the State Capitol building. Along the way we came across a multilevel parking garage. So what do a bunch of explorers do? Walk to the top! The view was good, I’ve always liked the ‘higher up’ perspective (hence why I’m always climbing buildings). We took photos, smoked more, and plotted our race down the garage to the street level; I was gonna win!
My brother and I lined up, planning the exit/ entrance to be the finish line. We took off, speeding down the ramps! Neck and neck we talked shit, our laughter echoing off the concrete walls. We rounded 1 corner, 2 corners. Turning the final corner, the finish line in sight, I pedaled full speed. I guided myself straight, but my brother kept turning-
“What are you doing?!” I yelled. *CRASH!!*
His handlebars smashed into my left hand, the force of his body nearly knocking me over. I was pissed, the adrenaline I’m so familiar with rushed through my body. I silently biked out the front door, my brother shouting words I do not remember. We stood outside, waited for his friends to finish their race down the garage. My head was focused on the collision. I was upset, pumped, and exhausted. After assessing myself, I discovered my hand wasn’t broken, just bruised and bloody (I wasn’t worried, I know what a broken bone feels like). A few moments of light anger later, we biked on. My brother was also upset. We weren’t mad at each other, just in general. Colliding was painful and obviously unexpected.
We made it about 3 blocks before I shouted to “stop!”, and as my fading focus threatened to knock me unconscious, I dropped off my bike, tactfully collapsing onto the damp grass nearby. I couldn’t move for a few minutes, I had to let this black out spell pass. My brother apologized again, and I told him it was fine. Two of his friends were ahead of us and rode on, but one stayed back and took photos, along with my brother.
After about 15 minutes recovery time, we rode on. I wasn’t in much condition to bike, but I did regardless. Capitol Hill was only 2 short miles away. I didn’t want to ruin my brothers night out, plus I wanted to have fun. We stopped briefly at another Green Bike station so my brother could swap his bike for a different one (the crank powered light had broken in the accident). I rode lazily behind them, quietly. A car drove past us, the windows were down and someone yelled “Nice bike, faggots!” Which I shook my head to.
The final half mile is uphill, hence the name ‘Capitol Hill’. We made it to the top, snapped a few photos, explored the grounds. There is an entrance going to a park a few hundred feet down the hill with steep stairs and many switchbacks. We didn’t go down it, fortunately, though I would have regardless. We decided to walk down it another day, not wanting to ditch the heavy rental bikes.
After half an hour or so of enjoying capitol hill, my brother suggested we head back to his car. Biking down the hill was fun. We took a different route, one less steep than the straight shoot down on State Street (say that 5 times fast). It was fun! We bid farewell to my brothers friend at the bottom. With only a two miles left after some biking, my brother and I returned our bikes to a station and walked. We talked about life, our dad, death, music, his passions, my passions, Jackson Browne, and the bike crash. He was sorry, and I was too (for being upset at him). I enjoy conversations with my brother. There is no judgement, there is no worry of saying something ‘wrong’. The last two miles were my favorite of the night.
He drove me home. We hugged and said goodnight. I went to bed after cleaning my hand. I slept well that night. I’m glad I decided to go instead of sleeping. Sleeping is a waste of time. 😉