Directions: Read the story and answer questions 1 - 8.

1 “Do you want to come with me?” Kelly asked her brother as she rolled her bike out of the garage. “I’m going to meet some friends at the bike course down the block. We’re going to practice for the race next week.”

2 “No thanks,” Marcus replied as he bounced a ball in the driveway. “Sam’s coming over to play basketball.”

3 Kelly rode off on her bike while Marcus waited for his friend. Marcus was fast, and he usually did well in most sports. He didn’t think it would help if he practiced the course. It could be hilly or sandy, and Marcus knew he would still speed along.

4 When race day finally arrived, Marcus and Kelly put on their helmets and rode their bikes to the Oak Park Trails with their parents.

5 “My stomach feels like I swallowed some butterflies,” Kelly told Marcus when they saw the crowd of kids. They joined the other bike riders behind some bright orange cones.

6 “Kelly is always nervous,” Marcus thought. “Don’t worry. You’ll do fine,” he said as he focused on the road ahead. As soon as the starter yelled “Go!” Marcus’s legs pumped up and down like two machines. He quickly zoomed to the front of the pack.

7 A few minutes later he was zipping down the trail, and there wasn’t anyone ahead of him! Marcus raced along the trail. He bumped over tree roots and rode past some pine trees. Then the path looped around a pond. Marcus was surprised that the course was so long.

8 His tired legs felt like they weighed a hundred pounds. All at once, a flash of color caught his eye. There was a line of bike riders on the trail ahead of him! “How could this be?” Marcus groaned to himself as he pushed forward. “I must have taken a wrong turn and made an extra loop in the course,” he thought.

9 Marcus gritted his teeth and pushed his achy muscles harder. He realized his speed alone wouldn’t be enough this time; knowing the course was just as important. He edged past a couple of bike riders, but he couldn’t reach the riders who were in the lead.

10 After the race Marcus saw his sister at the finish line, and he rode over to her. “Wow, you must have done a good job in the race. What place did you get?” Marcus asked Kelly.

11 “I came in third place. Mom and Dad said I would even receive a medal!” Kelly answered excitedly.

12 “That’s great! I came in ninth place. But I’ll do better next year because I’ll be smart enough to practice the course with you,” Marcus replied with a grin.