Here is the original story from the front page of the Austin American-Statesman of March 24, 1981. Scans of the original article are here.
Six-year-old bicyclist goes 25 miles as uneasy rider
By Terry Box
American Statesman Staff
Six-year-old Peter Frouman got to ride home Monday in a Department of Public Safety helicopter. He earned it.
The lanky, sandy-haired student at Pleasant Hill Elementary School left his home in Southeast Travis County Monday for a bike ride, got lost and ended up 25 miles away in Lytton Springs, sunburned, tired and hungry.
"I was very surprised he got that far," said Peter's mother, Ruth Frouman of 9106 Nuckols Crossing Road. "He's never done that before. Never. I had only given him permission to ride in front of the house.
Frouman said she last saw her son riding his second-hand Schwinn about 11:45 a.m. Monday.
Erline Adkins of Lytton Springs picked him up at about 4:30 p.m. near US 183, southeast of Austin.
"I knew a child that young shouldn't have been out on a bike by himself that close to the highway," Adkins said. "I asked him what he was doing and he said he went for a bike ride, got lost and had been riding and riding and riding." Frouman said her son went to a carnival in Austin with his father Sunday and the boy apparently decided to ride his bike to the carnival, near Municipal Auditorium, or to his father's home.
When Peter had been gone for more than an hour, Frouman began searching the neighborhood and called the Travis County Sheriff's Department.
Adkins said she noticed Peter riding on FM 1185 as she was going home from work in Lockhart and later saw him near U.S. 183.
Adkins took the boy to Webb's Country Store in Lytton Springs and phoned Caldwell County Sheriff Kenneth Reed.
Reed picked him up and at that moment Reed heard the missing child report on his radio.
"I drove him to the county line where they picked him up in the helicopter and took him home," Reed said. "He was happy as a lark."
His mother wasn't.
"He's not going off this property for a month," she said, "We're not going to keep his bike. We're going to take it part or sell it. He's just not mature enough for it yet."