I was riding around the other day and saw a kid riding a stingray. That wasn't very special, but I noticed that it wasn't stock. It had been painted! And it had teeth on it! Yes, the paint seemed to be a green krylon special, crudely done over the stock job, and the teeth were made out of white cardboard. But still, I felt a little happiness in my heart, knowing some kid was kicking around on a custom chopper. Not THAT custom, but a little custom, which is pretty damn good for a 9 year old.
Maybe in a few years I'll see him on something even crazier. I can only hope...
We have a kid, 15, that has been working in our shop off and on for the last year and hanging out for about four years. He customs his "find" bikes. He is the master of finding the abondoned el-cheapo bike. Right now he cruises a red candied(his paint) Huffy trike with rear basket, custom script and knobbies.
Schwinn Racer(hot rod 3 sp.), noname cantilever frame 1 sp., Peugeot U-O8, Kia 10 sp., soon-to-be-custom Sears Free Spirit 3sp.(project), department store mountain bike 21 sp.
Thanks to this thread, I remembered to give a kid on a new stingray a bit of appreciation. It wasn't custom, but obviously the 10-11 y.o. kid has the right idea, and who's to say it might not someday get a new paint job or some creative bolt-on stuff? He saw my "rat rod" style fat whitewalled cruiser frame, too. Got to set a good example, maybe I'll go back to wearing my helmet.
There are still kids hacking on bikes, but there are so many cheap store bikes around, and kids have money these days...