Biking to Telegraph Hill

Written by: Carolyn Devonshire

My bike was transportation; Mom didn’t drive
But sometimes I sped off on an adventure
To Telegraph Hill the miles were only five
Big sis and I made the ride a joint venture

What she didn’t know was the trek was uphill
Although one could coast nearly all the way back
The journey before us sis tried to fulfill
Red faced, she screamed, “I’m having a heart attack!”

“Keep pedaling,” I said, “we’ve two miles to go.”
It was then we made the ice cream sundae bet
The last one home would have to shell out the dough
By determination my sis was beset

At the top of the hill I took a brief rest
I looked down the long road; sis was not in sight
I was just eleven and filled with such zest
The exhilarating ride gave me delight

Far down the road, sis was attempting to ride
Her pace was slow; on her face was a scowl
I called to her, “Hey, just put the bet aside!”
She was closer now; I thought I heard her growl

Eleven years older, she’d something to prove
Heading back I soared past her down the steep hill
When my sis reached the top, she could barely move
More than a ride, this was a test of her will

About an hour after I arrived at home
I washed up and changed for my big ice cream treat
She came into view; in her mouth I saw foam
Sis was walking her bike, her trip incomplete

At age twenty-two, she collapsed in the yard
Mumbling something about sibling rivalry
She’d never dreamed a ten-mile trip would be hard
Mom tried to take her to the infirmary

The sundae? It was yummy, but sweeter still
Was beating my over-confident sister
My big sis had failed in this arduous drill
Her aches told me this ride would not reoccur

*Entry for Gwen’s “My Bicycle” contest.  (True Story)