Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Past bikes #1

Buddy Stine has just informed me that she's going to attempt to document all of the bikes she's owned. She's going to be writing about them over the next 30 days. She suggested I do the same. Actually, she sort of challenged me to.

But as we know, I'm a coward when it comes to challenges. Also, my memory is awful. And I've had a ridiculous number of bikes, especially in the last 10 years or so. For me to successfully complete this challenge would really highlight my non-trivial wanker gearheadness in an uncomfortably intense way.

Anyway. Let's start with number 1 and go from there shall we?

Before number 1 were a few number 0's. Trikes and Big Wheels and such. Everyone (every single one) in the 70's rolled on a Big Wheel for a while, usually until they cracked open the plastic wheel with the "brake" on it. Righteous man. If you don't know the butt pain resulting from jumping your Big Wheel off a board laid across some bricks, many times, then you missed out.

Anyway. Number 1 was a Raleigh BMX purchased in a Las Vegas toy store. My parents were divorced. My sister and I lived with my mom who was broke. The old man wasn't into child support, unless you include the 40 gallon plastic drum of brown rice dropped off on the front porch one fall afternoon in 1976.

But what the old man lacked in direct cash support he made up for in toys, speed, and adventure. So my sister and I flew down to LV where (in true divorced-parent, guilt-induced spending)  the first place we went was a giant toy store where we could each pick out anything we wanted.
At first I tried to talk dad into buying me a chopper bike, because it seemed so cool. He agreed, but convinced me to get the BMX bike by appealing to my stated desire to "do jumps," which in retrospect, was probably an attempt by me to appeal to my perception of what he would want me to like. Whoa.

I don't know of any pictures of this bike, but I was about 6 when I got it. My dad shipped it up to Washington at the end of our stay. I remember exploring Cheney with that bike with my buddy Justin. I remember riding off an "eyebrow" in a farm field west of town, where I fell about 10 feet, right onto my face. That sucked. Thinking about it makes me just nearly taste that impact-to-nose flavor that is so painfully distinct to nose injuries.
I had that bike until I was about 10m when I got bike #2. More on that tomorrow maybe.


Noah Sutherland said...

This is great! I'm starting my list. I'll have to go dig through my parents' photo albums to see if I can come up with any of the older ones.

bihlbee said...

Never had a Big Wheel. Never got to pull the rear hand brake and do a wicked power slide on my own ride. For a long time I was a vocal advocate for the production of an adult sized Big Wheel. Some for those of us who never got to give a real go before our knees would no longer fit under the handle bars. At least I'm not bitter.

Dan O said...

Cool. Always fun to hear of people's bike "list" and assorted history...

Anonymous said...

We lived out in the country with little pavement (none) and no sidewalks so my big wheel memories were at my friends house in town. Ah, yes. My first bike was my sisters hand-me-down "manly-ed up" by my dad who was pretty crafty with a welder. Dual top tubes cut and rewelded to a more manly position and the ape hangers were cut and rewelded ala bmx with a small cross bar welded in place. knobby tires and painted blue. Ugly as sin, but I wish I still had it(kind of). Died herocially in a fire. I think it may have committed bikocide. Wade

Unknown said...

My dad said he would buy a bike for me if I washed dishes for my mom for a year. Trouble was, that was during World War II. So at the end of the year he was in a bind, because bike production was close to non-existing. But my uncle had a shoe repair shop in town, and knew a guy at the Sears store who could sell my dad a bike if my he would give the guy a pound of butter. Remember, there was no butter to be had during the war unless you lived on a farm and churned it yourself. So I soon had a classic cruiser-type, single-speed, coaster-brake Columbia (I think), which was actually a fairly light bike compared to the borrowed ones I'd ridden. I'm guessing that's an earlier model any other bikes that will be mentioned here. ;)