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Contest Winner: Maggie and the C&O Bicycle

Thanks to all who ventured into the C&O Canal Discarded Bicycle Photo Scenario Contest.
You clearly have the panda, the president and Jack Abramoff on the brain--the three of them pop up in a remarkable number of your imaginations.
And the winner is...

The saddest, most touching entry came from PSnow, who writes:

The rough and ragged homeless Adelaid, who could only slowly limp after and yell in response, watched in agony as the teens laughing and taunting her rode away with her bike. A bike that had given her freedom and a means to expand her small world.
The boys laughed as they rode off and ran the bike into curbs and rocks and finally into a tree on the path. The front wheel wobbled to its death. With a sure sense this adventure had ended, the boy smirked, raised the bike in victory and threw it into the mire of the canal.
Eyes watering in tears and rage, Adelaid sat in the street - leaves, mud and wetness around her as if in the same grave as her bike.

CT offered the most practical approach:

The canal is a fine place to do some extreme riding. The muddy pools, blind curves, and unforgiving concrete walls provide an alluring challange to an ardent rider.
This rider simply hit an algae patch. It's worse than inch deep water, because even the near-studded tires of a mountain bike can't get traction, and there's a tendency to hit the skid before you even notice that you're on it. This rider broke into a skid, recovered, but then hit a pothole. The front wheel was tacoed by the impact with the shallow pothole, bringing the ride to an abrupt end.
He simply left the damaged bike where it lay.

But for pure writing and pacing, I enjoyed Maggie's. The winner is:

The boy now had the best Christmas gift of all, the Mercedes of bikes, envy of all his friends. Yet his heart remained troubled by the events of a world gone too far, a world generally empty of kindness and full of those who did not abide by "do unto others" and fiercely shielded their comfortable lives from anyone in need. He prayed for something...something to warm the materialistic hearts around him. Suddenly, a voice was heard," Heal your own heart first. Have no false idols. Material things mean nothing." The boy sprang from the bike, tossed it into the muddy canal and, as he skipped away, his smile coincided with the emergence of the sun, warming the homeless man near the corner.

By Marc Fisher |  January 8, 2006; 1:14 PM ET
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

I humbly thank you, Marc Fisher, for liking my bicycle story! (And for thereby voting in favor of HOPE.)

Posted by: maggie | January 9, 2006 2:52 PM

Well done, maggie!


Posted by: bc | January 9, 2006 4:42 PM

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