I gripped the black rubber handle bars of my bike, and squinted as I led my friends Caylin and Bria through a dark pathway made from sand and large pieces of gravel, causing all of us to bump up and down on our bike seats. With every bump, my white and purple polka-dotted bike bell would ominously ring…
DING-clunk. DING-clunk, clunk. DINGDING-clunk.
I knew this wasn’t the path we should have been taking. With every turn, I hoped to see the park that I rode through with my family when we took our own trip to IGA, the well-known grocery store on Tybee Island. I longed to see the post office, and to feel the smooth concrete of the back streets underneath my tires to quiet my unsettling bell. But doubts settled in my mind, for it had been a year-and-a-half since I’d ridden my bike to IGA, so maybe I was forgetting some portions of the ride. Not mention Siri, Apple’s automated voice for GPS and any other random questions or sassy jokes, was leading us, and she had to know what she was doing, right?
Yet the more we rode, the more I realized that the path we were taking was not where we needed to be. But I truly didn’t know where we should have been, so we continued on.
The bumpy road eventually ceased, and I sighed in relief to see that we were on some sort of normal road. I saw a wooden bridge to my left, and as we turned right, there were street lights, cars, a few shops ahead. My relief ended, however, when I realized we had to cross the four-lane highway to get to the other side and continue our journey.
We stopped at the edge of the highway, a car vrooming past us. My toes barely touched the asphalt as I tried to balance myself and move the pedals in position for me to easily begin the process of racing to the other side with Caylin and Bria. We each did our share of looking both ways, making sure there were no other headlights in sight. When it looked like we were in the clear, our feet met each of our bike pedals, and we pedaled as hard as we could across all four lanes.
Once we heard it, I could hear the whoosh of cars behind us, and exhaled heavily.
“Guys, aren’t there chocolate bars at the gas station?” Caylin asked.
I had noticed the gas station while we were rushing across the highway, and Caylin was right; we didn’t have to go all the way to the IGA for two or more chocolate bars so everyone staying at our house for spring break could make s’mores on our porch. But there was something in me that wanted to keep going, to be successful in finding IGA, even if Siri was misdirecting us.
I continued riding on. “No, let’s just keep riding to IGA.”
And we rode on.