Thrill Rider

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Chapter 9: Speed is Needed

Micheal Peterson:

“I’m going to need so much more horsepower if I’m going to catch you,” I say, staring at the picture of Run-and-Gun I have pinned to the wall of my hideout. Turning to my bicycle, I walk over to her and pat her gently on her handles.

“I’m sorry precise, but I think it’s time for an upgrade. Don’t worry, I won’t toss you out.”

Bending hugging to hug my bike, I straighten myself back up before turning back to the wall.

It had been a week since Brian, mine, and Thrill Rider’s encounter with Run-and-Gun, and in that week, he had robbed another bank. Walking in and then out in less than 30 minutes, he made off with a few thousand dollars. Despite the best efforts of the police officers, he is just too fast to catch. After all, a motorcycle can squeeze through traffic. Police cars cannot.

If I wanted to catch the bastard, then I would need my own pairs of wheels. Fast wheels, that can go from 0 to 100 in less time than it for me to breathe.

Opening a nearby drawer, I pull wads upon wads of cash I spend years saving.

“Let me see,” I say, “Let me see. How much do I have?”

I take all the cash out and stack it all on the desk in front of me. As soon as it is all out, I start counting it.

“A little under 1500 dollars,” I say, putting the last of the cash on top. “Okay, okay. Think, think, think. I can’t actually buy the motorcycle or else, they’d ask me for something like my ID. But without a motorcycle, there’s no way I can catch Run-and-Gun. Tapping it over, walking around for a bit, a lightbulb goes off above my head.

“That could work”, I say, looking at 1500 in cash I have. “Ahh, man. There goes everything I manage to save. Why couldn’t I be rich like Batman? Or Iron Man? Ahh.”

Looking inside my desk once more, I pull out a large, black duffle bag. I open it up and immediately start putting all the cash I have inside of it. Once I do, I check the time. According to my phone, I only have to wait five hours.

Five-ish Hours Later

As I walk up to the empty motorcycle store, I start to look at their sections. Luckily, I have plenty of time to do some research before I came here.

“A few scooters,” I say to myself. “Some classics here and there. Not what I’m looking for. A very neat-looking tourer, but I need speed, not a peaceful stroll. Maybe when I’m older and I can bestow the title of Thrill Rider to someone worthy.”

I look around to make sure I’m alone.

It’s late at night here in Los Angeles. The air is cold, the sky is pitch-black with very few stars shining, and I am out here dressed in all black with a large duffle bag filled with cash scoping out JC’s Motorcycle Store. A medium-size store with glass windows that display dozens of beautiful bikes, I check once more to make sure I am really alone.

“No one is here,” I say, jogging quickly across the empty street. On the other side now, I press my hands and face against the glass window. The store is dark inside, which makes it hard for me to see exactly what there is for me. Moving from motorcycles to motorcycles, trying to figure out what can help me the most, I stop on a stunning, dual-wheels, dark-blue motorcycle. A sportbike if I remember correctly.

Wrapping my hands around my eyes, I zoom in on the sticker on it.

“1200 dollars,” the sticker says. “Okay. Well, it was fun having this while it lasts. Oh, this is going to sound so bad.”

For the last time, making sure there is no one around me, I reach into the duffle bag and pull out a rock. I wind it up like a baseball pitcher, and like a baseball pitcher, I toss the rock through the window and into the store.

Immediately, without even a second to waste, the store’s alarm system goes off. There are lights flashing, and one or two or maybe even a dozen bells ringing all at once.

“Have to move fast! Have to move fast!”

The store’s security gate keeping me from running in, I pull out a pair of bolt cutters from the duffle bag. Finding where the lock is, I cut it open and tosses the lock to the floor. Sliding the gate open, I run to the sportbike as fast as I can.

“No time for a key,” I say, pulling out a bunch of tools. “Though I doubt the storeowner just keep them around.”

Using a screwdriver, I unscrew the protective cover off and place it on the seat. Now, face to face with a mess of wires, I turn on a small flashlight and hold it in my mouth.

“Come on, come on, where’s the switch connector? There!”

Finding the connector, I now need to find where the ignition switch is. I try and remember what I was taught when I was a kid.

“First the connector, and then the ignition switch. Now, the ignition switch is usually mixed with two other wires, but nonetheless, they should all have separate wiring covers.”

As I just stand there, trying to figure out which wire is which, I feel every second that passes. It feels like each second is a bag of bricks that someone had thrown on me, and the more I stand, the heavier I feel. By the time I find the right wire, it weighs like there are at least 80 bags of bricks on me.

Hooking up the connector to the ignition wire, the sportbike then roars to life, the sound of its engine echoing like thunder throughout the empty store.

“Yes,” I cry, tears actually forming in my eyes. “Yes! Woo!”

Wiping my tears, I jump onto the bike. Before I ride off though, I pull the straps of the duffle bag over my head. Making sure to take out the tools and put them in my pockets, I toss 1500 in cash to the floor.

“Keep the change,” I smile as I lower myself. As I did, I kick out the stand and both the motorcycle and I shoot forward.

“Oh no, no, no,” I say, the motorcycle moving faster than I expected. Basically leaping over and through the broken window, it lands on the street, making me bounce up and down before landing on a “sensitive spot”.

“Ouch,” I say, only seconds before falling to the side and rolling onto the cold empty street. The motorcycle goes by itself for a little longer before slamming into the side of a parked car. “Oh, yea. Just what I need. More alarms.”

Pushing myself up and dusting myself off, I limp over to my motorcycle. Grabbing and lifting it back up, I toss my leg over it.

“Okay, this isn’t like grand theft auto. Still shouldn’t be too hard.”

As I look around the motorcycle, making mental notes of everything I see, everything that can be moved, and what exactly that does, I begin to hear sirens not too far in the distance.

“Okay beginner luck. Please oh please be with me tonight.”

I wrap my hands around the handles and twist them back. As I do, smoke shoots out of the tailpipe and the back wheel starts to turn. Breathing in and out, in and out, I take the final leap and throw my foot onto the side.

“Oh man,” I yell as the motorcycle takes off, the winds immediately throwing bugs in my face. “Oh, man. I should’ve also brought a helmet. Why didn’t I buy one?”

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