As I kid, I was a voracious reader. My sister was too, so between the two of us, we went through books at an astonishing rate. One summer, when I was probably nine or 10 years old, I realized I had run out of good things to read. Uh oh!
There I was, out in the middle of the country, at the height of summer vacation, and we were out of books. Can you imagine the horror?
So I hatched a mad genius plan. We would ride our bikes to the bookstore!
The nearest bookstore was a place called the Paperback Trader, and they were pretty much the only affordable option for a kid on my particular budget. Besides, I was absolutely certain we could get there and back before anyone noticed we were gone.
Somehow, I convinced my sister to go along with me in this scheme, even though it hadn’t occurred to me just how far away the bookstore really was.
In fact, round-trip, it was a full 25 miles.
Still, we knew the way by heart, since our parents had driven us there and back so many times to buy books.
We were ready for the journey. My sister’s bike had a banana seat and a white plastic basket decorated with flowers. I had a black fixed-gear Huffy bike with checkerboard padding. I also had my backpack, two Whatchamacallit candy bars, and a whole pocketful of quarters for buying books.
What could possibly go wrong?