That spring, Danny finally outgrew his old bike, the one he’d learned to ride on. It had fit, just barely, during the fall, but now his legs banged awkwardly against the handlebars, leaving angry red stripes across Danny’s knees.

Dad said that, thanks to little Sandy’s new dentalwork, any new bike would have to wait until Christmas.

“I can’t just walk everywhere all summer!”

“You’ll appreciate your new bike a lot more once you have it,” Dad said. “And that means you’ll take better care of it. I’ll show you how to give it a nice tune-up; it’ll be fun.”

Danny stormed up to his room and threw himself on the bed. It wasn’t fair. Why did parents always have to be like this? It wasn’t his fault he’d outgrown the old bike. They probably just didn’t want to pay.

“The city garage sale is coming up,” Mom said the next morning. “I bet you can find a nice used bike, and your father’d help you fix it up.”

Four hours’ worth of poking around dusty piles of junk later, Danny was about ready to go home, dejected and bikeless, when he saw sunlight glinting off spokes in the corner.

The old Flyer was definitely a garage-sale special—it was sturdy, ran well, and had cost only ten dollars. The fact that the bike had looping handlebars, a banana seat, and a definitively made-in-1973 paint scheme mattered less than the fact that it moved.

Dad, who was an amateur mechanic and doted on his old Schwinn, had helped give the old girl a tune-up. He’d even let Danny reattach the bike’s chain after cleaning it; thanks to carefully watching his father, Danny had been able to do it on his first try.

The real piece-de-resistance, though, was the sleek battery-powered light Danny picked up at Wal-Mart—he’d been so excited by the purchase that the Flyer’s unveiling and maiden ride happened at night. Danny had torn through the city streets like a man possessed, reveling in the speed, the wind.