Old Will Road

Ben Adelle took to his mountain bike with the ease and confidence he had displayed in high school, when he’d worn the crown of a star athlete, born to the game of football. Bronc riding was something else. He’d given it a whirl at age nineteen, like so many boys his age, thinking it raw and dangerous and fun. His first ride was his last. No sooner had the gate cracked open than the horse shot out, so much whip and speed to him that he bucked Ben off in three seconds, sending him to the hospital with a busted cheek and a broken nose and a knee wrenched close to sideways. Now at fifty-five he couldn’t always breathe right, but the repair to his nose left him with a better profile than he’d started with, and for that he was modestly grateful.

It was his habit to climb onto his bike in early evening, capturing that space before twilight, when the meadows shone green and gold. He’d pedal from his ranch at the base of the Ruby Mountains up toward the canyon, his head down and shoulders tight, his mind in sync with his body.

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