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Switchbacks

At first, I was confused.  And yet, not so confused at the same time.  When I wait downtown to give Justin a ride home I see all sorts of strange things, and this was only one moment of many.  But the sight was more interesting than usual, and so I watched more closely.  We were parked on a hill at a waiting curb, four kids in the back begging to be let loose, and an older man on a bike weaving back and forth, back and forth across the two lanes of traffic traveling upward and past us.  Back and forth, back and forth, slowly pedaling and minutely moving upward, his switchbacks barely gaining inches.  At first I was concerned he would be hit by the traffic behind him, but he kept looking behind him and then traveling once again across the road.  I wondered what the point was, and perhaps if he was drunk.  And then, finally, I realized.  He couldn't have gone up the hill without the weaving.  It was too steep, and this was his way to conquer the hill without abandoning the bike.  It took longer.  It was further to travel.  It was slower.  But he stayed on his bike, and he made it to the top of the hill.  He won.  Switchbacks.  There is definitely a time and a place.

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