The story of Bike Girl.
- This is a bit of an experiment.
And this is only the very start of the story.
Just to see if I can get it to post.
The contiuation of the story may take a few weeks.
Post # 10614, The Yahoo internet group "VanDwellers"
Rather than a larger unit, I just bought a new 2006 Trek 3700.
It'll be intresting to see how we both adapt.
So you will be living off your bicycle?
It all started a long time ago. I was young and she was just a kid.
But we addopted each other so, she was ~my~ KID!
The things we did together changed her. The things I taught her
changed her world.
She is gone now, killed by a drunk driver.
But even gone, she is still with me.
Teaching me to learn from myself, ... to listen to myself.
And through that, ... I will re-learn, ... return myself back to who
I was before.
Before the "Road", the long hard fast years ... On The Road!
In my learning to return, I'll change.
My world will change! And perhaps yours will too, for the better.
In memory of "BikeGirl" Sara. I should have spent more time with you!
Why I bought the Trek;
It sort of started at the gas pumps.
I was out with my co-worker.
We needed fuel so I stopped at the local pumps.
We were in RC-2 and parked next to a guy filling his Hummer.
Hummers do not get very good fuel mileage like RC-2 does.
I made a comment about the high price of fuel to my co-worker.
I filled the tank as she did the windows.
The guy in the Hummer stated that if fuel got any higher that he'd
have to start riding his bike to work.
I mentioned that I should as I live 4 miles from work.
He lafted, "At 4 miles you could WALK to work!"
From his drivers seat, he told me the office was 60 miles into town
twice a day.
And that his other car was a BMW 1150GS motorcycle. "Bike to work."
(Hmm, I'd thought of "Bicycle" to work.)
And that he fills up every day after work on his commute home.
I look at his pump after he'd left. $36.50, just over 12 gallons.
EVERY DAY? Ouch!
RC-2 took on 3.5 gallons at $10.00, this would last me about a week.
And RC-2 used low grade fuel (then $2.84/Gal) & the Hummer used high
Every work day, 120 miles of driving & over $35 bucks for fuel?
Every working day!!??
He didn't look like he liked his job that much.??? Maybe it was the
As I hung up the pump Cel did the last window. I asked her if she'd
walk 4 miles to work.
She stated that she would if she had to, but would get a bike
Then without notice she proclaimed "Shall I walk, or shall I ride?"
Cel knew it as soon as she'd said it.
Something was wrong!
The look on my face, my momentary hesitation, a flashback.
She caught it. Whatever it was, she caught it.
I think we all do this, get hung up on a thought or moment from
one's own past.
But most of you can better hide it than I.
I spend too much time alone. I forget to hide things.
As we got under way, she could wonder no more.
"OK, what was that? Where did you go?"
I tried to brush it off, What was what?
"You know, at the pumps, I said something, and you left!"
"You seemed happy, but you did leave!"
My mind had drifted back to the early days of Sara.
When we pulled into my encampment I told her about Sara.
Sara was a street kid. She'd come from a bad home in a small town.
It is had to hide in the streets of a mid-western small town.
Her folks were party animals. Always drunk or high.
Her mother had died when she was very young.
An accident while drunk. Just after the birth of her little sister.
With two young girls to raise, her father took on his wifes best
friend as a live-in.
She became the diaper changer, cook, housekeeper, and eventualy ...
They never married. She just lived there, a stand-in mom. And
drinking buddy for dad.
By 13 Sara was know as a constant run-away. Never at home, yet she
stayed in school.
At 14 she was spending more time away from home than at home.
One night the local police picked her up while walking out by the
edge of town.
They wanted to know where she lived, what she did.
She'd told them only what they needed to know.
She showed them that she had food & clean clothes in her pack.
This was a time before it was common for children to carry backpacks.
She carried one with most of her stuff inside.
She had a job after school, at the laundry mat.
In exchange for cleaning she could use the machines.
And the owner often gave her food and blankets, clothes, and
supplies to keep her going.
Then her little sister had died from a head injury.
Seems she got hit by something at school. On the playground. An
She was listed as OK, but stayed in the hospital about a week.
Ran up a big bill that caused more fighting at home.
"Drunks always fight!"
Her sister went home, slept two nights. Did not wake up on the
The police were all over the place. Drunks crawling out of every
nook & cranny.
Sara had lived almost two years on her own. She'd never missed a day
She always had clean clothes & had kept herself clean & well kept.
She was never in trouble. And she was about to turn 16.
I'd met her in the first of those two years. She had spent her
summers with me.
I knew the county DA, and after taking her in to talk with him she
was granted written permision to go.
This allowed her to get out and see the country, life in a road
It was the fall after that second summer when it happend.
The last big fight!
Her dad had been spending more time at the bar.
The hospital had been sending out collection people.
With both girls out of the house the step-mom/girlfriend is left
alone to answer to bill collectors.
While dad was at the bar a bill collector found him. A big fight in
The bartender finds out that dad owes a big bill, he'll likely not
collect his tab, throws dad out!
Dad goes home. He's mad at the bartender & the collectors when he
Girlfriend unloads on him about the collection agents. BIG FIGHT!
Both are quite drunk and it is the last big fight.
It ended when girlfriend fataly shot dad.
Girlfriend/step-mom goes to prison.
Little sister is gone.
Dad is gone.
Mom is gone.
Mom & Dad were both orfans, that's how they met.
Dad & girlfriend never married.
Sara, for the first time in her life, is very much ALONE!
This was OK with her, it was the state that got it screwd up.
She was not 16 yet. At 16 she can be her own person, her own
Not 16, ... go to foster home.
They pulled her out of her school to take her to a foster home and
She ran away and was back in her school the next day.
That is where they found her. In class at her school.
Two more times, two more homes & schools, she always came back to
Then they took her to another home & school, over 100 miles away.
Two days later, she walked into her school. Filthy dirty from her
trip, and hungry, but at school.
She thought about trying to run, but was just too worn out & hungry.
Mr. Dunn (the DA) stepped in. He had her put into a cell at the