The next time I rode Scottie after his rescue mission, I was worried. On the way home from The Bicycle Business, Scottie seemed like he wanted to quit every time we slowed to a stop. So I rode in the right lane all the way, kept the throttle gunned at stops, and we did make it safely home.

I didn’t ride him for several days after that. Mostly because I didn’t need to, but also because I was worried.

Then on Second Saturday, some friends (who were originally supposed to meet me in Midtown) wanted me to meet them for dinner on the other side of town. It was too far to walk. It was dark. The streets were busy. It was cold.

Should I call it a night and stay home?

Should I ride Scottie over?

What if Scottie doesn’t cooperate?

Well it’s not that far. Even if we get there and Scottie doesn’t want to come home, I’ll be with friends and can get a ride back.

I text my friend: I’m coming.

I geared up and got Scottie.

He started right up. Just like last time. But this time, he died as soon as I gave him gas. He started right up a second time. Anticipating a second stall, I waited until there were no cars coming before pulling out onto the road.

We rounded the corner of my block and Scottie was pulling the same kind of want-to-quit business.

He probably just needs to warm up. We’ll go around the block a few times.

He made it around the block twice and we were on our way.

J Street was packed, so we’ll take G Street up to Alhambra.

We cross over 21st Street on G, just two blocks from home, and Scottie stalls. Only he doesn’t stall out and die, just loses steam. I gas the throttle. He lunges and loses steam. Lunges and loses steam. I turn on the right blinker and we coast in the bike lane. Three cars pass us. We get to 22nd. I turn right to head back home.

At home on I Street, I park Scottie, put him on his stand and text my friend: Never mind. Scottie keeps stalling out.

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