“My grandma told me this story all about how your dad built a motorcycle and rode all over the country on it,” he said.
“Really? I wonder why he said I wasn’t allowed to have one then?”
“Maybe you could invent something even better, like a flying bicycle.”
“That’s a really good idea, Austin.”
Astrid’s mind was spinning ideas the rest of the ride, and when everyone was done, Astrid had Austin bring the bike he had been riding up to her lab. Then she got on the phone.
“Do you have any idea how many hoverdisks my dad has?”
“He had at least fifteen made up,” she replied, “though a few of them were broken in testing.”
“Could you have someone send a couple up to my lab please?”
“I’ll get them right over, Astrid. Bye.”
By the time a lab technician arrived with a rolling cart holding two of Dr. Maxxim’s hoverdisks, Astrid had the bicycle up on her workbench, had removed both wheels and had built a pair of simple brackets in their place. The hoverdisks were two and a half feet in diameter and six inches thick. She attached one hoverdisk to each bracket. Finally she connected one of her large test batteries to the two levitation devices, securing it to the bike frame with duck tape.
“Alright Austin,” said Astrid, with Robot Valerie’s help, setting the bike on the lab floor. “Would you like to be the first person to ride on a flying bike?”
“You bet!” he shouted, climbing into the seat. “What do I have to do?”
“Just try to keep your balance,” said Astrid. Then she turned on the hoverdisks.
The bicycle immediately rose from the floor, at first just a few inches, then a foot, and then it continued upward. The girls shouted excitedly, but no more than Austin, who looked to be thoroughly enjoying himself. The hoverdisks were humming quietly, slowly pushing the boy higher and higher. Then suddenly he was at the ceiling and he had to tilt his head to the side. Immediately the bike flipped over. Austin flailed his arms, as the now inverted hoverdisks drove him into the floor.
Astrid quickly jumped forward and disconnected the battery.
“Are you alright?” she asked the boy.
“Did you see me? I was flying!”