by Andrew Crisp
Garrett Weaver, a 16-year-old high school student, and his mother Chelsy walked into the Front Street location of George's Cycles on Thursday, April 26, his eyes wide. Before him stood a brand new Specialized SX, a full-suspension downhill mountain bike.
The Florida Kids Wish Network partnered with George's Cycles and Fitness and Specialized Bicycle Components to bring him the new bike as part of their wish-granting program. Garrett could hardly contain a wide grin.
"I want to do a little bit of cross country, a little bit of downhill. My old bike is a single-speed," he said.
Garrett's tiny BMX bike wasn't suited for mountain biking, but despite his six-foot, two-inch frame having outgrown the bike, he displayed a passion for cycling at the Eagle Velodrome.
Garrett suffers from Common Variable Immune Deficiency, a condition that leaves him without a sufficient number of antibodies to fight off illnesses. He deals with painful illnesses, swelling joints and must receive a gamma globulin infusion every month.
"He misses a lot of school," said Chris Housel, his principal at Meridian Technical Charter High School. "But he always makes up the work. He never complains, and he doesn't make excuses. "
Garrett said that when the rainy weather ended, he had plans to bring the bike to the first dry trail he found.