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  1. #1
    Senior Member Red Baron's Avatar
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    What is your earliest Bicycling Memory

    I know most of us can't remember more than 30 minutes ago, but what is your earliest bicycle memory.

    I remember 1954 (or 55) I'm 6 or 7 , my aunt giving me her 'Gasp" girls bike, and riding it down our steep gravel drive way, about 200 yards. I was in second grade. I took a broom handle, cut it and tried to make it into a boys bicycle. Yep you guesed it, No Go- I didn't have bar clearance. I had to stand up to pedal, seat in full down was too high.

    I was deprived as a child since I never got to ride a trike, lived on a farm way back in the sticks, too impractical.
    **Fate is a fickle thing, and in the end the true measure of a person is not fate itself, but how they master it**

  2. #2
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    My 7th birthday present, 1959. A red and white CCM Imperial Mk IV single speed coaster-brake bike with 20 in wheels. In those days, kids were generally allowed by their parents to ride pretty much anywhere. We rode on city streets and roads since there weren't any sidewalks anyway. What were then new suburbs are now almost inner city neighbourhoods. I remember riding on streets that I would think twice about riding on now as a 54 year old. The most popular kid's bike accessory back then was an actual siren that attached to the front fork and was driven by the front wheel (like a dynamo). The faster you went, the louder it was. Some older kids were lucky. They had some of these super fast 3-speed "racers". 10-speeds were still years away. Racing bikes existed, of course, but nobody every saw one of those. Occasionally, you might see some kook on a balloon tire bike, but adults riding bicycles were a pretty rare occurrence.

  3. #3
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    It was 1956 or 57. I was 5 or 6. I kept trying to ride my cousin's bicycle on dirt street in Odessa, Texas till I reached the point I could balance and pedal. I could only stop by crashing. I remember I got in trouble for tearing up my good pants. I consider it the day I learned to (balance) ride a bike.

  4. #4
    Senior Member guybierhaus's Avatar
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    Summer 1953 I'm age 8. Was interested in learning to ride a bike. My older sisters each had a 26" balloon tire blue bike, but they were too big for me. A class mate, Richard Fritz, lived 2 blocks down the street and had a 20" bike. He wasn't particularly interested in riding it and loaned it to me for a couple days. I apparently was still too short for even a 20" bike as I remember leaning the bike again a stone wall a few houses from Richards so I could get on bike. I had nobody helping or directing me. Pushed myself along with my right hand pushing on the wall and eventually pushed off the wall and I was riding!! Spent the next few hours getting better. Don't recall ever falling that first day; but the joy of learning to ride may have erased any falls. Believe I borrowed that bike a few days. Eventually was able to ride a sisters bike and Christmas of 1953 I got my Rollfast. The photo is all that remains of the Rollfast, and like wise Richard has also pasted.

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  5. #5
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    I have two memories from childhood.
    I am the youngest of 5 brothers, my dad asks my older brother if he wants the hand me down bike, he whines about it. I take it when they are not looking, it is too big for me and no training wheels. My feet can't reach the pedals when they are at the bottom of the stroke. I prop it up against the car and take off. By nightfall I am riding that bike pushing the pedal down as far as I could and draging it up to the top on the top of my other foot so I could get it around for another stroke. I was 4 or 5 years old. Rode that bike until I was 13.

    My other memory was flying down my friends drive way which had a blind entrance - this must have been about age 6. I met a early 50's Buick (It had a big chrome strip down the side). I made a quick turn and the Buick held her course, my hand got wedged between that chrome strib and the grips - took the meat off my left ring finger, still have the scar to this day. I suspect the driver dropped a load in his pants. One of a very few times in my life where it probably should have been my last minutes.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  6. #6
    Senior Member snavebob's Avatar
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    I was maybe 5 years old in 1959 when my Dad taught me how to ride a bike. The bike was probably a 20 inch coaster brake bike. It had been handed down from my two older brothers.

    I still remember my Dad pushing me by the seat down the sidewalk and me saying, "Don't let go!" and him saying "I won't." Soon I was pedaling away down the street and heard him shout from a couple houses back, "Brake!" Too late, crash.

    I rode that bike for another 5 years until my Mom ran over it while pulling into the garage. It was a great bike! I wore out many baseball cards by sticking them into the spokes.

  7. #7
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    Early 60's. I was 5 or 6. My girlfriend had a bike with training wheels she let me borrow. She was older and could ride a different bike without training wheels. I asked her how long it took her to learn to ride without training wheels. She said, "about a week." I gasped thinking a week was waaaay too long for me to learn to ride without training wheels.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Terrierman's Avatar
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    My earliest bicycle memory is from riding up and down the sidewalk in front of my Aunt and Uncle's house in Craig Missouri from what must have been 1957. Craig is a dink of a town in NW Missouri, in the Missouri River floodplain. My dad owned the hardware store, and my Uncle was the town doctor, his wife was the nurse. My grandparents lived at the end of the block. My cousins were younger than me and they still rode tricycles. My bike was an upgrade from a scooter that I started out on.

    It was a nice place for early childhood. I can remember being at other friend's house who had a son several years older than me and listening to him play "One eyed one horned flying purple eater" over and over again on a record player that he had in his bedroom. Times are much different now, not nearly so bucolic or safe for our grandchildren as they were for us. A sad loss.
    It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.

  9. #9
    Happy Rider
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    My folks bought me a bike that was WAY too big. The took the seat off and wrapped a towel around the seat tube, and I rode on that for about 2 years until I grew enough to put the seat on.

    I guess their frugalness is why the pants they bought me when I was 6 are the ones that fit me when I was 12.
    Bike to live, live to eat!!

  10. #10
    Hwy 40 Blue Hwy 40 Blue's Avatar
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    About 1957. I'm maybe four. Teenager from down the block goes riding past as I stand in our front yard and he's PEDALING BACKWARDS. The big English bicycle is rolling forward and yet his feet are whizzing around the wrong way. He smiles and waves. I was fascinated because this was impossible. My trike did not do that. Wow.

  11. #11
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    One of the few memories I have when I was five is my first tricycle. As I recall it was tan and marroon. I believe it was a "Mercury". I used to try to keep up with the older kids on the two wheel bikes and crashed frequently. Hmmm, some things never change.
    Last edited by roccobike; 08-28-07 at 11:51 AM.
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  12. #12
    My other car is a bike TruF's Avatar
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    1964. Pink Schwinn Sting-Ray. Flying down the hills with a playing card clothespinned to the spokes.

  13. #13
    Cycling Anarchist Trsnrtr's Avatar
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    It was a junky orange bike with 24" wheels. I was 5 years old (1956) and my big brother kept pushing me down a hill in our back yard until I figured out how to keep it upright.
    Dennis T

  14. #14
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    I remember having a nice tricycle at about age 4. We also had a driveway and a cement sidewalk that ran around half of our house, running up to all three of our doors. I remember flying around that sidewalk over and over again.

    We also had a red child's tractor that was powered by pedals and I was riding that at 4 & 5 too.

    Then I got a little 16" bike at 6 or so, I remember riding it with training wheels on and I still remember my first successful ride (and some falls along the way) without the training wheels. Later came the wild rides down a nearby hill, with baseball cards in the spokes.

  15. #15
    Senior Member RockyMtnMerlin's Avatar
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    1959 or so. Red bike with a "tank" that held two batteries that powerd a light. Crashed that thing more times than I can count, but always got back on it. Funny, I have no recollection of where that bike went when I "graduated" to a Honda trail 55.

  16. #16
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    First memory actually is not a very good one. About age 5 or 6 riding down the hill in the street in front of the house on a hand-me-down 20" coaster bike. Rember waving to my Mom as a car pulled out from a side street. Looked up and all I saw was the front of a car heading straight for me! Mother and everyone screaming at me and the car driver. I swerved and the car stopped.

    No damage but I think I got grounded for a while. Must be why I like the South Park character, Butters. He is always getting grounded.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    Although not my first memory of biking, I remember crashing in fourth grade riding to school. The older kid next door slid his gym bag across the road at me when I rode by, and he hit my front wheel and down I went. I know I could locate the picture of me looking really sullen, with a swollen face, cut lip, and my right hand in a cast. I can still feel the bent metacarpal.

    Thanks for bringing back the memories, Red Baron. And guyblerhaus, that's a great picture. Remember those book racks that clamped down with a spring to hold your school books?

  18. #18
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    One of my memories has to do with being about 12 or 13 years old, and deciding one day to take a "long" ride all the way out to Eastgate (an early version of a strip mall). It was seven miles away -- and I'd never ridden that far yet. Got there fine, but on the way home, it began to rain buckets. No choice but to keep going. I was so proud of myself for having ridden 14 miles all by myself, on major streets, and through the rain.

    Other memories include using my bike for my paper routes, riding my bike back and into the woods to make forts with my buddies so we could play "war", jumping off a bike and just letting it fall where it was, and knowing no one would take it.

    When the first English racer appeared in the neighborhood, I was blown away.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Velodiva's Avatar
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    Not my first memory, but I'll always remember the day (age 6??) my dear Dad took the training wheels off my 20 inch bike and off I went - free and "grown up."
    In bocca al lupo!

  20. #20
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    My brother gets a bike for his 8th birthday (we had to be 8 before we could get bikes). I was 6. Oh, I wanted to learn how to ride that thing, so he and his buddy offered to "teach me".

    Got me up on the bike, I couldn't reach the pedals. One on each side of me, they pushed me as hard and fast as they could and let go. A wild ride for about 5 seconds, then crash.

    Kept at it and finally, with a smaller bike I learned how to pedal and ride it around a circular farm drive. Man, that was one of my peak memories in my life!

  21. #21
    Don't mince words Red Rider's Avatar
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    I got straight A's for the last two grading periods in 3rd grade, so my parents gave me a second-hand bike -- balloon-tired, spray-painted green -- it was fabulous! A real big bike! I don't remember the size, have no idea of the make, but oh! The places I went with that!

    The second most vivid memory is that same summer, an older kid lent me his "English Racer." I was on my tip-toes at the bottom of the pedal stroke, and it had the skinniest tires! It was my first experience with caliper brakes and I found out why I liked my girl's bike better.
    When my feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, "Oh, *****, she's awake!"

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  22. #22
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    I remember very clearly my first bike. I must have been 4, because I hadn't started Kindergarten yet. It was one of those solid rubber tire jobs with no freewheel. I had training wheels. One day I noticed I couldn't corner well. Had Dad take 'the trainers off. He gave me a push and I crashed. I got up, he gave another push, and I found "IT." That sweet balance spot. Ahhhhhhhhhh. I miss that bike. I complained that it was a fixie wih no brake, but now I want a fixie.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Lots of festering scabs from the gravel streets.

  24. #24
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Guess my dad influenced by choice of bikes at about 7. He bought me a 10 speed English racer style bike, with drops. Been my favorite style bike ever since. I recall the hassle I had getting used to no training wheels. He was a very patient teacher. Thanks dad.

  25. #25
    tsl
    tsl is offline
    Plays in traffic tsl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
    Lots of festering scabs from the gravel streets.
    Those are my earliest motocross memories.

    Which shouldn't be surprising since my earliest cycling memory is the day we took the training wheels off. My dad launched me down a hill--a pretty steep one--and straight into a tree.

    With incentive like that, it wasn't long before I figured out how to steer and brake.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

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