Authors: Franklin W. Dixon
“Good as new,” said Ranger Curtis. He looked down at Frank and frowned kindly. “Now, be careful in the park, Frank! I don't want to have to do this again anytime soon.”
“Yes, sir,” Frank said. He turned to Mrs. Ackerman. “Thanks, Mrs. Ackerman. Now can I go check on my bike?”
“Sure thing, Frank.”
Before she was even finished speaking, Frank was off and running. Behind him, he heard Mrs. Ackerman yell, “And remember to be careful!”
Two minutes later Frank was back where his bike was. Or rather, where his bike used to be.
The ditch was empty.
CATCH UP ON ALL THE HARDY BOYS
#1 Trouble at the Arcade
#2 The Missing Mitt
#3 Mystery Map
#4 Hopping Mad
#5 A Monster of a Mystery
#6 The Bicycle Thief
This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author's imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
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First Aladdin paperback edition August 2011
Text copyright Â© 2011 by Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Illustrations copyright Â© 2011 by Scott Burroughs
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The text of this book was set in Garamond.
Manufactured in the United States of America 0711 OFF
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Library of Congress Control Number 2010938942
ISBN 978-1-4424-2644-3 (eBook)
And They're Off!
he crowd was cheering so loudly, Joe could barely hear the announcer. It didn't matter. He knew when the announcer called his name, because the crowd started screaming, “Joe! Joe! Joe!”
Joe stuck one hand up in the air and waved to the hundreds of people who lined the streets of Bayport for the annual Junior Bike Rally. Frank did the same when his name was called. They were next to each other on the starting line. On
either side of them were a dozen other kids they knew. Chet Morton and his sister Iola were on their left. On their right was Phil Cohen, Bayport Elementary's resident tech expert. But Frank and Joe ignored them all. They each knew that the biggest challenge would come from the other.
This was going to be a tough race. The track led all around town. They would ride on roads and on dirt paths through the woods. Although the roads
had been closed for the race, none of the racers knew the exact route they would take. Instead, they would have to look for little blue flags that would mark the path. This was going to be a challengeâand Frank and Joe were ready for it!
“Ready, little brother?” Frank asked.
Joe stuck out his tongue. He hated being called “little” anything. Especially since he was almost as tall as Frank (though he was a year younger).
Before Joe could respond, the race judge stepped out onto the track. The crowd grew quiet.
“On your mark!” the judge yelled. He pulled a white-and-black checkerboard handkerchief from his pocket. The racers readied themselves on their bikes.
“Get set!” He held the handkerchief high up in the air. All the racers stood up a little on their pedals, to give themselves an added push.
“Go!” the judge screamed. The crowd screamed with him. The noise was deafening. But the racers didn't notice. They had only one thing on their minds: winning.
“And they're off!” yelled the announcer.
Most of the racers stuck together at the start. They were a tight pack of bicycles, so close together that every turn threatened to knock the riders into one another. A few of the boys pulled ahead. Frank and Joe weren't worried about them. This
was a long race. It required patience. Starting in first place didn't mean ending there. They stayed in the pack. Frank and Joe raced past the town hall, Bayport Elementary School, and even their own house. All along the streets of Bayport, people cheered as the racers rode by.
At the second mile, they came to the first difficult part of the race: a few hills right in a row. Joe and Frank made their way up and down the slopes, pedaling a little faster to get up those hills. All was fine until one of the racers in front of them missed a turn and crashed right in front of them!
Frank and Joe both pulled back on their handlebars and swerved just in time, right before they caused a bike pileup! Joe looked back to see if the other rider needed help, but someone was already on the way to help.
The race continued, with one fewer racer. The sun was hot and bright. The wind threw dirt from
the road into their faces. But they kept going. They were already at the halfway mark. Now it was time to kick it into high gear.