Steve-O, Dawn & JohnJohn and I sat in the front of the truck, marveling at the signatures at the bottom of each of this kid’s text messages. When making arrangements with kids to take them riding, texting is part of the game.

As we waited for Steve-O to return home with his Burger King breakfast (a food choice he later regretted on the ride), we tried to figure out what all these codes meant. John had about five texts with this mystery language, and we were stupefied. Once Steve-O arrived, we asked for translation. Seems John was receiving inside information, terms Steve-O has developed with his friends, and now John is part of that circle.

I cannot remember what lou without oopty means, but I do remember the significance of the conversation. Riding to and from trail heads is when you really get to know the kids. We got to know a lot about Steve-O that day.

I’m not going to share what he shared, I’m just going to say that he shared a lot. And we had a great ride, too.

As we go on these rides, and these kids open up, the opportunity to support positive life choices or just give them a place to vent their frustrations is apparent.

At-risk youth are under a lot of stress. Family, peers, the justice system, violence, self-doubt, confusion, and identity formation all play a role.

This kid looks forward to the rides. He always shows up.  He’s a great rider, too.

We get to promote a healthy hobby AND support these kids through transitions. What a beautiful thing that is.

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