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    [TWN-X] 8TR-01 Gonna Ride My Bicycle

    8-Track Riders
    Episode One: Gonna Ride My Bicycle.
    Written by Darrel James Vanwinkle
    November 6th, 2013

    Starring: 8-Track Riders of Forest River
    Robert Ryder, Black Rider (the leader)
    Deryk Sherwood, Neon Rider (the best friend)

    Allies:
    Mr. Kevin Carson He owns and runs the local bicycle shop, although strange things seem to happen around that place...
    "Raven" He is the storyteller and teacher of the Native American tribes.
    "Coyote" He is the trickster of the Native American tribes.
    Roolock He is an Elder Dreamtime Lord of immoral fun and witchcraft.
    Lord Pouchlaw He is the main Dreamtime Lord in charge of the Kangaroo Academy in Dreamtime itself.
    Lord Parcelpaw He is a Dreamtime Lord that governs over the Courier Roo services.

    Known Villains:
    Empire of the Night:
    -- L. Fire Charger
    -- G. Smoke Hoof
    -- -- the Stampeders


    Chapter One: I Need a New Chain.

    "Mr. Carson?" asked the preteen black boy holding a broken bicycle chain in one hand. "My bike's chain broke. Can you help me?"

    The elderly Native American man came out of the back room and sat the boy down as he examined the chain. "Rattlesnake does not seem to favor you, does he? Makes the second time this month this happen to you. But I like you, Robert, so with Raven's blessing, I will help you with a new bike chain. Then you can make Rattlesnake happy by making his sound when you ride. I am glad bicycles are back in once again. Clean, quiet, and healthy for one and all. Even Coyote respects those who ride them."

    "He does?" asked the young Robert Ryder, a young male who had an average build although he looked as if he did chores regularly. He had black hair, brown eyes, and a negro complexion. He generally wore a black tee shirt, dark blue jeans, and gym shoes.

    "Oh yes, young one," said Mr. Carson as he got up to fetch a new chain. "Coyote is a trickster, therefore he would dare to try riding one just once simply so he could say he has. That is more than Raven would do."

    "But Raven can fly," came the smiling response from Robert. "He rides the wind trails where the rest of us can only dream of riding."

    "This is true, Robert. We live in an ideal place with a retro outlook on how life should be. Although there are those who would seek to shatter this paradise."

    At that moment, another young boy ran into the shop all excited. "AH FOUND SOMETHING COOL!" He then stopped when he saw that Mr. Carson had a customer. "Oh, Ah'm sorry, Mr. Carson, sir," he said with a cute blush. "But Ah found something really awesome in the library's newspaper archives." This young boy was of below average height but athletic. He had blond hair, blue eyes, and tanned skin. He wore a white tee shirt and khaki cargo shorts along with white tennis sneakers. And he had the Outback lilt which was common for those living inland as opposed to those living on the shores of the continent of Australia.

    "What did Coyote reveal to you, young Deryk?" asked Mr. Carson with a chuckle as he fetched a new chain for the other boy.

    "Who?" He then took a breath and continued. "Anyway, Ah found this really cool newspaper article from 1830 along with a yellowed picture of a native American wearing an all black Indian outfit with a Lone Ranger like mask who rode a black mare. The article says the bloke was the master of the Eight Tracks and thus was chosen by the spirits to be the protector of the region against the forces of evil. The article called 'im... the Black Rider. The only thing it doesn't explain is what or where the Eight Tracks are. Do yas know, Mr. Carson?"

    "Oh yes, Deryk," he replied thoughtfully as he remembered trying to best the tracks himself when he was a boy. "The legend goes, the one who can ride all eight tracks in a single day will receive the blessings of the spirits to be the protector of the region. I tried this myself when I was younger... but I failed. And here is why. Each track is two hours long and every track is one hour away from the other. There are only twenty four hours in a day, so in order to complete the twenty three hour run, you cannot stop for anything. Not even sleep. I remember the article you speak of. It is said that this warrior rode his mare through the tracks in record time... twenty one hours. I tried this myself and it cannot be done. I always went over the limit. I finally had to admit defeat and return to my village to seek another path for my life."

    Robert grinned. "I'll bet I could do it. If Rattlesnake will permit my chain to stay intact, that is."

    "Oh no yas don't!" exclaimed Deryk. "Ah aim to do this myself! Ah challenge yas to a race on the eight tracks! The one who can do it in the shortest time wins!"

    "So that's how you want it, do you?" said Robert with a smirk. "Very well, then let's make this sporting. We get in a good night's rest, then in the morning, Mr. Carson can take us to the Eight Tracks and see us off at the first track. And then he can await us at the end of the final track. Then he can judge who crosses the finish line first in the shortest amount of time."

    "A bicycle race isn't the same as riding a horse, boys," said Mr. Carson with a chuckle. "But Raven willing, I will close the shop for tomorrow and oversee your contest to make sure there is no cheating. I will bring two horses who will permit young riders to ride them. If you and your horse can complete the eight runs in one day, then you will have won your bet. You cannot do this on bicycles; that would be cheating."

    Deryk brightened a bit. "Ah can ride a 'orse," he said with a grin.

    Robert got out his wallet and pulled out a card with a miniature certificate printed on it and held it up to be seen. It read: Junior Horse Riding Champion 2028. "As you can see, so can I."

    The Outback boy seemed to get sour at that point. "Don't brag so quickly, mate. Yas rode on flat surfaces; the eight runs are surely not flat. There will be obstacles to-"

    The black boy pointed at one of the lines on the card which read, Obstacle Course Champion - Record Time. "I am not bragging, Deryk. I am just warning you; I am simply good on a horse. But the town doesn't permit horses on the streets or else I would be riding one right now instead of a bicycle that keeps breaking down. Sometimes I think the spirits are out to humiliate me."

    "Showing off yer awards is bragging." He then departed the shop looking upset.

    With a sigh, Robert looked at the elderly Mr. Carson. "What did I do wrong with him? I was giving him a friendly warning not to be so proud by over estimating my skill. He acted like I was smearing it in his face."

    "In a way, you did, young Robert," he replied as he fitted the new chain on the boy's bike. "Rather than just saying that you could ride a horse, you showed off your certificate to prove you could do it. The card was not necessary at this point in time. And when he mentioned possible obstacles as mentioned in the old article, you blatantly pointed out on the certificate where it told of your obstacle time record. To him, you were bragging about your accomplishment. Pride can dismount you even before you race. And swallowing pride can be as bitter as eating cow dung."

    "Eww... Mr. Carson. That is sick."

    "Only to those untried," he replied with a knowing smile as he thought about Raven and Coyote's sense of humor toward mortals.

    End of Chapter One.
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