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Rolling peach derby enlivened the neighborhood

Last summer, my wife and I wanted to buy a box of peaches at the Farmers’ Market in Ashland, nothing else, so we decided to ride our electric bikes.

My wife’s bike needed a little adjustment. She went back into the house, opened the garage, quickly repaired her bike, closed the garage from the outside with the remote control and hid it under some flowers next to the house entrance.

The purchase was quickly done. However, despite the electric pushing aid, the drive back was exhausting — perhaps more so because we are senior citizens. But exercise was what we wanted. It is our substitute for visiting the gym. We drove by our neighborhood friends. They were busy stuffing bags and suitcases into their car. Mother and daughters were heading to San Francisco.

My wife leaned her bike against our garage door, unbuckled the box with the peaches, picked up three and ran back to the neighbors. The peaches were meant to be juicy treats for the long drive to San Francisco. Meanwhile I bent down searching for the remote garage door opener among the flowers. I found it by accidentally pressing the “open” button.

Obediently, the garage door rolled up; my wife’s bike tilted precariously. I jumped up and held it steady. The door rolled up farther, the box with the peaches fell off the bike and hit the concrete driveway. The lid burst open and 21 peaches rolled down the incline. I managed to catch three.

Two peaches took the right-hand bend to the road too narrowly and ended up in the flowerbed. Some had taken on so much momentum that they reached the other side of the road. All of them, synchronized, took the right turn and rolled on to form a broad front of downhill orange balls. They rolled faster than I could run. I yelled to alarm my wife. The three neighbor ladies and my sweetheart ran into the street and tried to catch the speeding peaches. I watched the fruit whirl happily down our street. It looked so funny! I was glad that there was no car in sight. Two peaches escaped the four women capture team and rolled on and on, past the T-junction of the next street, slowed and finally stopped where the road flattened. It was there, about 300 yards from our house, we caught the last two escapees.

Then we all cracked up laughing.

I learned later that another neighbor had watched the peach escapade from his kitchen window, amused by the rolling and bouncing spheres. He was amazed at how fast the peaches were hurtling down the road.

Udo Gorsch-Nies lives in Ashland.

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