Today as I was leaving work, a train was coming through Kendall square and had blocked my chosen route across the tracks toward Hampshire.  So, I decided instead to leisurely ride up Fulkerson and jump every little curb and stump I could find, expecting the train to be long gone by the time I got to the other crossing.

Unfortunately, I arrived at the crossing as the train was only pulling in, just nearly enough for me to consider if I could get in front of it and across the tracks in time to avoid a collision and then to quickly remember that I can’t jump train tracks and now is not the best time to prove it to the world.

While I waited for the train to pass, four young rascals on BMX bikes rode up.  I never know what to do in these situations.  Perhaps something like, “Hey dudes, I have a bike too and am literally old enough to be your father, let’s hang out!”  I just don’t know if I’m going to have anything in common with these kids or if they’re even going to want to talk to some old guy with a bike or what.

Apparently, all you really need to have in common with kids like this is the BMX bike, because one of them immediately came up to me and said hello.  Then another.  By the time the train passed, we were all heading to behind the A.J. Wright to ride, then over by the loading dock at the auto parts store.  It was kind of cool that these two spots were already in my daily routine and though I had never run into anyone else there before, I knew I wasn’t the only one had discovered them.

It was also cool that they just included me as if I was one of them.  We apparently all spoke the same language.  At 14, 16, 18, 19 and 31 years of age, we could all agree that a bike should have 20” wheels and perhaps some number of pegs, though I am apparently the only one of the five of us that believes in brakes or a seat post.

I watched as two of the kids attempted trick after trick on the sloped pavement nearby while the other two fawned all over my iPhone.  The younger one also admired my freecoaster hub and has apparently already put $50 towards his, but then can’t get Burger King with the others for lack of funds.  (Watch Ian Schwartz make great use of his freecoaster hub in this Lotek video on YouTube.) We agreed to all see each other again, perhaps at the bike shop or riding around town.

Now I have to go learn some tricks so I don’t feel like such a clumsy dork around these kids.  I’ll show ’em next time!

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