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The Extreme Team #7Wild Ride
By Matt Christopher
LITTLE BROWN FOR YOUNG READERSCopyright © 2005 Matt Christopher Royalties, Inc.
All right reserved.
Chapter OneJonas Malloy blew on his icy fingertips and rubbed his hands together. Despite the bright April-morning sunshine pouring through a window, it was cold inside the Malloys' garage. But Jonas didn't care. He was busy cleaning his mountain bike to get it ready for the first ride of the season.
"'Bout time you came out of hibernation," he said to his bike as he squatted down next to it. Arranged on the floor beside him were some clean rags, a pair of rubber gloves, a small bottle of bike-chain lubricant, and a dry paintbrush. He selected the brush first. Starting at one end, he used it to flick a winter's worth of dust and dirt from the frame and wheels.
"Want to tackle my bike next?"
Jonas looked over his shoulder. His father stood in the doorway, a big grin on his face.
Jonas jerked a thumb to where his dad's bike leaned against the wall. "Already took care of it. Anything to get us out on the trails sooner!"
Mr. Malloy's grin faded. "Jonas, I know you're anxious to do some biking. But even though you and the bikes are ready, the trails might not be. You know my rule: Until the trails are safe, no riding."
Jonas spun the bike's back wheel. "I know," he mumbled.
"Course, thatdoesn't mean we can't ride to the trails," his father continued with a smile. "How about we ride over after lunch and take a hike up the mountain to check things out?"
Jonas's eyes lit up. "That'd be great!" he replied. "Thanks, Dad." He held up the paintbrush. "Meantime, I'll keep cleaning my bike."
Mr. Malloy nodded and returned to the house. Jonas turned his attention back to his bike. He went over every inch of it with the brush. Then he rubbed it all over with a dry rag to remove any last specks of dirt the brush had missed.
"Now for the chain," he said. He flipped the bike over and balanced it on its handlebars and seat. After pulling on a pair of rubber gloves, he picked up another soft, clean cloth and draped it over a section of chain. Holding the cloth-covered chain with one hand, he turned the pedals with the other to make the chain move. After a few turns, the cloth had cleaned the outside of the entire chain.
Then he picked up the bottle of lubricant. Working slowly and carefully, he applied the thick, black liquid to each link. He waited a few minutes, then once again ran the chain through the cloth. When he was done, the chain was clean and freshly oiled.
Jonas flipped the bike over, leaned it against the garage wall, and stood back to admire his work. The bike shone like new. As he began to pick up his cleaning supplies, he couldn't help but grin.
I can hardly wait to get it muddy again!
Excerpted from The Extreme Team #7 by Matt Christopher Copyright © 2005 by Matt Christopher Royalties, Inc.. Excerpted by permission.
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