A Bike Race Brings the Difference Down

A poem I wrote a few years ago in honor of Hayward's Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival  

Amid cheers of loved ones, out-of-towners, and smatterings of locals
 congregated on Main Street's crowded side, 

 The vast Bicycle Armada glides.

 Two thousand five hundred, did I hear?
 Sailing furiously down Main Street
 Into wooded wilderness.

 Two thousand five hundred look-alikes
 On fat tired bikes.
 But they, themselves seem neither fat nor tired (yet!)

 Hunched over handlebars, determined
 The helmeted hopefuls fly
 In wild-eyed animation.

 Wave after wave, the countless waves go by
 inspiring awe, and even tears from sidewalk sentimentalists
 who with wave and cheer, race on with them -- vicariously.

 Two thousand five hundred souls hodgepodged,
 Cobbled together from different ilk.
 Following the clarion call. . .

 From Minnesota and Montana
 Texas and Kentucky.
 From urban sprawl and hamlet

 Together, they ride.

 Farmer and Banker
 Undertaker and Mechanic
 Minister and Bartender

 Together, they ride.

 Republican and Democrat
 Believer and Skeptic
 Liberal and Conservative

 Together, they ride

 Management and Labor
 Judge and Lawbreaker
 Teenager and Elder

 Together, they ride

 Male and Female
 Minority and Majority
 Builder and Boomer and Buster

 Together, they ride -- side by side.

 So very different, but on this September day
 So very much alike.

 On Main Street, in a small Wisconsin town
 A Bike Race brings the difference down.
 Sailing, they cast it all aside -- and together, they ride!

 All hearts united.
 All minds directed
 To the common end
 A common friend -- the finish line.


lorilei said…
riding with the wind......

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