I quietly slipped out of our summer house and crept to the backyard shed. The bike was there, just as I had left it. I quickly changed into my hiking kit before anyone in the house could wake up and realize that I was gone. I got my bike out of the shed and walked far away from the house. The morning was still quite dewy, but I didn’t mind, I climbed the bike and rode on.
We were at the summerhouse for vacation, and I had only been waiting for the right opportunity to slip out of the house and go on hiking again at Barton Creek Greenbelt. The first time that I had gone had been in the evening when Mum and Dad had been out to their favorite restaurant. Mum was not going to have anything of her 16 years old daughter going mountain biking. By the time they woke up, I would be long gone.
The early morning breeze blew past as I rode the bicycle and I occasionally inhaled the comforting air. I had been there before, so I knew my way around. I rode to Zilker Park that was inarguably the starting point for all the bikers.
Although, it was as early as 7. am. I could see several bikers around who were warming up for the task ahead. I stopped at the Park and double-checked my backpack. I was sure that I had packed a bottle of water earlier, but I still checked to be sure. The mistake that I had made the first time that I went biking was that I didn’t go with water. Because of this, I could not explore as much as I would have loved before I turned back.
“Hello, pretty, ” I heard a male voice say, but I continued double-checking the contents of my backpack. I was sure that whoever it was would back off when he sees that was not responding.
I took a swig of water and climbed my bike.
“You sure you don’t need a map?” the voice said again, and this time I looked back.
“You don’t know when to back off, do you?” I said in the stern voice that a mother would employ on an erring child.
I turned back to look at the Bug, and I couldn’t help but gasp for a few seconds. The first thing that I noticed about him was his startling blue eyes. After that, my eyes could not help but run across his body in a sweeping motion, and I could not help but love what I saw.
I finally caught myself in time and coughed.
“You like what you see?” he asked in a slick, sexy voice and winked.
I groaned. He had to be an arrogant sod to top it.
“Not in the least,” I said and gave him a disdainful look. I saw the snide smile wipe off his face and I smiled to myself before riding off on my bike.
I followed the 7-mile trail that ran from Zilker Park to Lost Creek. The trail was obvious and hard to miss, and it ran parallel to the river. The last time I came biking, I had an earphone on so I could not revel in the beautiful scenery around me. This time, however, I was prepared to enjoy the beautiful scenery along with the biking.
Although the trail wasn’t the main trail since there were other ones, it wasn’t in any way easier than the others. There were enough stumps, roots, and rocks to keep me on my feet always.
Several bikers raced past me, but I maintained my speed. For me, it was not the speed but the fact that I was in my world while biking. There were miles of single track that ran through it for those that wanted seclusion, of course. I was about going for one of these single track when…
“Can’t you gather more speed, ma’am?”
I sighed and chose to ignore the Bug again, and perhaps be would go away. I turned to the single track, and I heard him turn with me.
“I can’t believe you turned from the main trail just to avoid me,” he said.
At this point, I couldn’t keep mute and listen to him talk any longer.
“You think very highly of yourself, Bug,” I said without taking my eyes off the road.
He snorted and laughed. “Bug? Really?? I’ve been called many names but calling me a Bug is a brand new level.”
“Just focus on biking and stop bugging me,” I said as I swerved a little to avoid a medium-sized rock.
“I caaaaa…ARRRGGGGH!” I heard a shout behind me and then a crashing sound.
Looking back, I saw Bug struggling to get up with his bike a few feet away from him. I had no choice but to climb off my bike and go over to lend him a helping hand.
“Come on, come over quickly. Can’t you see that I’m in pain,” he groaned out as he beckoned at me.
I hurried towards him and was about pulling him up when he got up himself laughing.
“Really?” I said, annoyed.
“Well, that was the only way to get your undivided attention,” he said and pulled his bike up. Apparently, he was unscathed, and his bike was also as good as new.
“So, can I have your full attention now?” he asked.
I shook my head incredulously and walked away from him. I got on my bike and picked up speed. Soon enough, I was all alone again, having dropped him off far behind.
I finally slowed down when I got to the creek. The creek was deserted when I got there, I stripped to my swimsuit and quickly got into it for a quick dip. That was also another thing that I was not able to enjoy the last time I came biking.
“Wow! I wish I had a camera to capture this moment,” I heard Bug say, and I sighed but ignored him.
He perched himself on a nearby rock and watched me swim. When I had finally swum to my satisfaction, I got out of the creek.
I was about leaving the creek when Bug spoke again.
“Do you want to know what my name is?”
“No. I will make do with ‘Bug.'”