There are three skateboarders; two pre-teens and a tall, lanky man wearing a t-shirt advertising Coca-Cola. The kids’ dad, maybe? He has greying sideburns. They flip and jump the curb, copy-cat, challenging one another.
As I continue to watch, a small boy about five years old furiously pedals a green bike up the paved pathway and cuts a right turn around a tree trunk; too sharp, he wipes out, sprawls on the ground beneath the bike. At the window, I wince, waiting for the crying to start – despite the helmet, his elbows and knees are bare and I can feel the scrape of concrete. But, surprisingly, the kid is quiet, lying there a minute and then rising, stoically, brushing his palms on his pants and bends over the bike.
The force of the fall has twisted the handlebars in the bike’s fork, so they’re no longer aligned square to the frame. The kid’s too small, he can’t twist them right.
The skateboarders had stopped to watch, too. After a pause, the tall skater stops, kicks his board vertical and carries it with him to the fallen bike, then lays it on the ground. He straddles the bike, clamping the front wheel and fork between his knees and twists the handlebars. Adjusts it again, then gives the bike to the kid.
As I watch this, I figure the tall man and the kid are related; maybe it’s a whole family, here in the park having fun on wheels. The man demonstrates the twist, points something out on the bike frame, and the kid listens, then nods. Then the man flips his skateboard upright and glides away, following the other two teens, as the three glide north toward the boulevard. The smaller boy mounts the bike, then pedals back toward the playground.
No connection, then; just one guy helping another. The brotherhood of sport.