Stolen Bikes : Sara & Margo Adventure Series, Book 1
Daring detective work helps sisters Sara & Margo solve the mystery and get into plenty of adventures.
High tech gadgets produced by their Dad, Henry, help them aid the local police officers.
In this, the first book of the series, Sara and Margo, together with their friends, Anne and Daniel, use night vision and self flying drones to find and help catch a pair of thieves stealing kids' bikes in their town.
This is Nancy Drew and Enid Blyton's Famous Five, using James Bond type gadgets such as mobile phones, apps, drones, night vision and other tech tools that their technology inventor dad comes up with for his top secret clients.
Cool hardware combined with good old fashioned adventure combine to keep young readers turning the pages.
Olga was filling buckets of water outside the stables. She turned to see one of her horses come thundering up to her. Riding the horse was a slight, blonde, 12 year old girl.
“That will be all for today, Sara!” called Olga.
Sara slid off the tall, brown and white horse and said, “Come on Princess, I’ll give you a nice rub down.” In a few minutes, with a little help from Olga, Sara had removed the bridle and saddle from the horse and Princess was contentedly chewing some hay while Sara brushed her side.
Olga, Sara’s riding instructor, had shown again and again how to brush a horse after riding. Cleaning the dust and sweat out of the horse’s coat was only half of the reason for brushing. Spending time winding down after riding, close to the horse, creates a bond between horse and rider that no amount of training can create. Olga had coached riders to Olympic level. She knew how to meld horse and rider into one.
Sara loved being with the horses at Olga’s stables. She loved the smell of the stables, the sound of horses shuffling in their stalls, letting out a whinny now and then. But today Sara’s mind was not at Olga’s stables. She was almost unconsciously brushing Princess’ silky coat, while in her mind, she was furiously pedaling her new bike, racing her sister, Margo.
Sara was an active girl with blonde, extremely straight hair which she usually tried to curl in any number of ways.
Summer holidays wouldn’t start for another 2 weeks, but exams were over and Sara’s end of school year gift was a brand new mountain bike. 21 speed, click gear shifters and a red and white colour scheme that wasn’t too girly, but not as brash as the boys liked their bikes. Sara had ridden her new bike to Olga’s stables and couldn’t wait to meet up with Margo to ride out to the public playground about a half a mile from home.
“Sara!!” Jumping at the sound of her name, Sara realized that she was still brushing Princess and Olga was calling her.
“Aren’t you done yet?”
“Coming!” Sara called back. Going around to face Princess she put her arms around the horse’s neck as far up as she could reach and gave Princess a hug. “See you on Thursday,” she whispered to Princess. After closing the stall gate and checking that the latch was secure, Sara picked up the brush and her riding crop that had fallen on the stable floor. Keeping the stable tidy and taking care of your equipment was very high on Olga’s priority list. Everything had a place and everything must be in its place.
Her riding crop now hanging on its peg, brush in the brush bin, Olga smiled at Sara and waved her away, “Go on, I know you want to be on your new bike again! See you on Thursday!”
Sara shouted a quick goodbye to Anne and Mark who were still in the stables and trotted over to the bike rack by the side of the stable. Anne and Mark were Sara’s class mates who also had riding lessons with Olga.
Hands on the handlebars, one leg on a pedal, she pushed off and – almost fell over the handlebars because the pedals wouldn’t move. Straddling the bike, trying to keep her balance, Sara had forgotten that riding to the stables, the chain had gotten stuck between two chain rings.
Aaargh! Something needed adjusting, but Sara couldn’t budge the chain. Pushing the bike in a tight circle, Sara headed to the far end of the stables, where the workshop was. That was where Peter could usually be found. Peter was Olga’s all round assistant. He worked at the stables a few afternoons a week, mowing the grass and fixing anything that needed fixing. Sure enough, Sara heard a grunting sound from the workshop. Peering inside, she saw Peter hunched over the workbench, struggling with something.
“Peter?” called Sara. The grunting stopped and Peter looked over his shoulder. Seeing Sara, he turned around and put a pair of pliers down on the workbench.
“What can I help you with, Sara?” Peter asked.
“My chain got stuck,” said Sara, pointing to her bike. Peter came out of the workshop and knelt down beside the bicycle. To say that Peter was stronger than Sara would be quite an understatement. His arms were bigger than her legs. His hair was cut short and his skin was a dark brown – tanned from long hours working outside in the summer sun. Peter’s fingers coiled around the unmoving chain and with one yank, the chain was free.
“Wow! Thanks!” Sara was already reaching for her bike, but Peter hoisted it up and hung it from one of the pegs that sprouted from the edge of the workbench.
“You don’t want the chain getting stuck again, do you?” asked Peter. ”Let me get a screwdriver. I’ll adjust the shifter so it doesn’t come off again.”
After Peter had put Sara’s bike back on the ground, she once again leapt on it with a running start and this time pedaled quickly down the stables’ driveway. Sara glanced to her left to check for traffic, not expecting any cars because the road leading to the stables was a dead end and no one ever drove there. The far end of the road led into the woods to a foot path at the base of Morrison Hill. The local scout troop usually hiked there and had cookouts.
Sara’s stomach wrenched as she tried to turn and brake at the same time. The driver of a van coming down the road had slammed on the brakes. Sara felt the bike’s wheels slide out from under her and knew it was going to be a painful landing on the gravel road. In a split second, she was on the ground with the van sliding to a stop just a hair’s breadth from mangling her new bike.
As Sara sat up, her hip let her know about the big bruise that was coming. She gasped from the pain, but realized that she was OK and so was her bike. But the driver didn’t seem very relieved. A very tall man got out of the van and yelled at Sara to watch where she was going and that she wouldn’t be so lucky next time. He put his big boot on Sara’s bike and pushed it to the side of the road. Without another word, he turned around, climbed back into his van and drove off, leaving Sara sitting at the side of the road. A single tear pushed its way out of Sara’s eye and rolled down her suntanned cheek.
Sara clenched her teeth, brushed the tear off her cheek and pushed herself up. Sara took the rest of the ride home a lot slower. As she was getting off her bike at the front gate of her house, she saw that her hands were shaking.
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