New toys taken for a spin on Christmas day
From under the trees to out on the pavement, the tranquility of the early holiday morning came to a halt Saturday afternoon as the air turned mild and an array of Christmas bikes were unleashed on city streets.
From the horns, bells and motors coming from the youngest generation of Northern Nevada bikers came an assurance that the local two-wheeled culture should thrive for years to come.
On the west side, fearless 6-year-old Katelyn Schulze revved the brand new neon-green Kawasaki pocket bike that she received from Santa. Donning a white helmet and ski goggles, the tike dragged up and down the street at full-throttle (around 16 mph) as the exhaust blew smoke at family members.
“I like boys toys and girls toys,” she admitted later, unwrapping a set of three Barbies.
A remote-control robot from the Sharper Image boogied backwards across the living room carpet, culminating its dance moves with a series of hip-swivels and a loud burp, drawing laughter from Katelyn and her 2-year-old sister, Peyton.
Father, Paul Schulze, Marine veteran and entrepreneur of KP Aviation out of Reno, a company that sells jet turbine engines, said he takes his daughter to work a lot. “There’s tons of long, flat, off-road places out there for her to ride.”
As Katelyn gave her dog Tanner a pat on the head and a Christmas kiss, Schulze’s father, Leonard, an architect from San Diego, said that he and wife, Virginia, plan on moving to the area soon.
“We don’t want to miss this,” he said, extending his hand, meaning Christmas; meaning family.
Elsewhere, 2-year-old Hailey Gazarek took her very first bike for a ride with her grandma, Cheryl Bell. Dressed in her brand-new green Christmas outfit, she pedaled the Barbie three-wheeler up and down the sidewalk near the Nugget, turning a series of dainty donuts as she got the feel of the ride.
Bill Cone and daughter, Erica, 9, were out for a ride with her new O.C. Choppers Stingray Schwinn. The old-school-style bike featured super-wide rear slick tires and plenty of chrome and alloy, looking like something as at home outside a biker bar as a school cafeteria.
Erica had been totally surprised by her mom. “I pointed it out to her and told her I wanted it when we were out one time … but she didn’t buy it,” she said, looking up and smiling. “Then I see this huge box for me this morning and was shocked.”
For others, their toys involved balance of a different kind. Aaron Brinkhous of Carson received a pint of Jose Cuervo Tequila from his friend’s girlfriend.
“It’s your best friend or your worst enemy,” he quipped, in line at the AM PM on Highway 50.
Out in the parking lot, a group of skaters on new boards passed on their way to Mills Park.
Toys may have gotten a little more complicated and technologically focused, but nothing seems able to replace the old-fashioned need for speed.
Contact reporter Peter Thompson at email@example.com or 881-1215.