Between work, making YouTube videos, and everything else, this is coming together far more slowly than I’d like. But here’s another scene, and another thread to the story.
The bike was fast. Gary loved it. He pressed the little button on the handlebar, and it shot off. The first couple of times, the whole bike had squatted on the suspension, and the front wheel had lifted off the ground, scaring him. He had quickly learnt to lean forward to balance that out.
He was zipping along the cycle path on an old railway line now, but would move onto the roads soon. When he had more confidence with the acceleration.
This one was different to the ebikes he had read reviews of. The motor kicked in if he pedaled, boosting his speed, but if he wanted to go real fast, he pressed the button. He didn’t even have to pedal then. There were rules that said bikes could only go so fast- fifteen miles an hour, he thought- or they’d be motorbikes, with plates and licences and all that. This one broke those rules, for sure.
It wasn’t quite silent. The motor made a high pitched whine, and the tyres made a rippling buzz on the hard surface of the path. What would they sound like on gravel?
The turn off was up ahead, coming at him faster than he had anticipated. He released the button, and quickly sat back as the motor became a drag on the back wheel. It still wasn’t going to slow him enough, so he gave the rear brake a gentle pull. The pads bit the disc, and the front of the bike dipped. He stretched even further back, and squeezed some more. The back wheel locked, and the ripple became a light scraping, not quite a squeal, of rubber. But it had done the job. He released the brake and leant into the turn.
Down the ramp, and then left, and he passed under the cycle path, onto a rougher surface. He slowed all the way down, then, just before coming to a stop, pressed the button. The bike didn’t tuck as much as before, because the tyre couldn’t grip the same, spinning and sending gravel shooting out behind. The small stones pattered against the ground, and he could hear them over the crunching of them being lifted and thrown. The back of the bike slewed right. He shifted his weight, and it wiggled back. Almost too much. He released the button, straightened out, then tried again. This time, he held it.
He was going to enjoy this bike. But first he had to do the deal to get it. He grabbed the brakes and swung around, carving nearly a full semi circle in the loose surface.
“You like it?” Lee asked, as if he couldn’t see the grin on Gary’s face.
“Love it man. So much power.”
“So, it’s yours right. If you’ll do the deliveries. And you’ll get paid for them too.”
“I’m in.” Gary jumped off the bike and leant it against the wall under the window. “Can’t take it home though can I? Questions, y’know. Mam’ll wanna know where it come from.”
“I hear you. Get it from me yard. I’ll give you a key. Run a few errands for me, then play the rest of the night.” Lee assured him.
“Yeah, I can do that.” The rush was too much to pass up. “So, what do I do?”
“Simple stuff. I give you a bag, or bags, tell you where to meet the buyer, and how much to take from them. You bring the cash back, I give you your share. Don’t be wearing that though.” Lee pointed at Gary’s City top. “All black. I’ll give you a mask, a balaclava. I’ve got some somewhere. And no helmets. Police won’t chase you if you’re not wearing a helmet. They don’t want to risk it. Give it enough juice to get away, then hide down an alley or something. When d’you want to start?”
Gary wanted another ride on the bike, but he was thinking about the uniform Lee had just laid out. “Tomorrow? And week after next it’s holidays, so I can do more runs for you. If you’ve got the customers.”
“Oh, I have them. Should have more in the next few weeks, too. Come here tomorrow evening, and I’ll give you a key and a balaclava, and we can see how good you are.”