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Fixing a Broken Bike in the City

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Fixing a Broken Bike in the City

Commentary

Fixing a Broken Bike in the City

Fixing a Broken Bike in the City

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Katie Davis has a commentary about three boys fixing a bicycle. Katie writes her neighborhood stories in Washington, D.C.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

There's still a month left before most children go back to school and for some kids that means another whole month of afternoon bike rides. Here's a commentary about three of them.

They live in Katie Davis's neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

KATIE DAVIS reporting:

Three boys lean over an upside down mountain bike, turn the pedal back, spin it, smooth a spoke, true the wheel. Leon is wearing a faded T-shirt, the one with the picture of his father on it. Julio says, I wish my father were dead. Leon looks down at his 12-year-old chest, at the letters Rest in Peace, Daddy.

He died in prison, says Leon. But the boys already know this. Leon unbends a spoke and sends the wheel spinning. Cyrus grabs the tire, stops it cold. I've never seen my dad. He might be dead. Mine is in Arizona, Julio says, and spits into the street. Last time I saw him I was eight.

Julio spins the wheel again hard and the chain pops off. If he walked up right now, says Julio, I'd beat him with this chain. Yeah, nods Cyrus.

I watch these three boys truing one wheel and I see the father wheel. They keep working because when a wheel is true, it is steady and balanced. It can take them down Snake Hill to Rock Creek Park and the river.

It can take them away.

SIEGEL: Katie Davis writes her neighborhood stories in Washington, D.C.

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