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Old 12-03-11, 08:51 PM   #1
INOX NYC
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Childhood memories of bicycling.

I was born in 1960. As a kid I shared hobbies with my sister and parents (that's what families did in the 60s). Two of those hobbies were biking and stamp collecting. In 1968 the Walt Disney stamp came out and the four of us rode our bikes a few miles across Brooklyn to the stamp store to get our First Day of Issue Disney stamps. I was riding my brand new bright yellow Ross Apollo 5 speed which was THE bike for a kid to have in 68 and which my father busted his hump working OT to pay for. Everyone locked up their bikes except me and my father even said I should lock up but I was eight and I knew better and I said we'll only be a minute. Needless to say a minute later my Ross Apollo was gone and I was sure my father hid it to teach me a lesson. It didn't sink in that it was really gone until I was paying my bus fare, riding alone for the first time on a city bus, not a school bus, and I felt the tears welling up in my eyes. I still remember looking out the window and seeing my sister wave to me as the bus pulled out.
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Old 12-03-11, 10:01 PM   #2
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I was part of a poor family and as such I never got the Haro bike, with the coveted gyro, I wanted in the 80s. My grandfather did his best and built the best landfill-picked bike a kid could ask for. Undeterred by the spray painted monster and lack of cool graphics, I set out to find jumps to do on my bike. The first one I attempted the frame literally broke in half from all the rust inside and I went flying. The second bike my grandfather built was a bit sturdier.
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Old 12-03-11, 11:28 PM   #3
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Around 1960 or 61 I was 6 years old and my 13 year old brother was giving me a ride to school. I was riding "side-saddle" on the top bar. We were going downhill in an alley and we went to pass one of the neighbor kids who was walking to school. Just as we got abreast of him, he took a stick he was carrying and jammed it into the front spokes of our bike. We went flying. That's all I remember.
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Old 12-04-11, 12:24 AM   #4
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When we were little, my brother and I were given Western Flyer bikes and we rode them everywhere. We got good at sanding them down and spray-can painting them.

Just 2 years ago I signed up for a charity ride that included a large hill at the edge of town. I texted my brother to tell him that I felt alittle hesitant about the ride and he reminded me that we used to ride up that hill. My eyes got a little misty as I rode up it the next day with no problems at all and remembered that the last time I rode up it, I was about 10. As long as I kept the momentum going, it was easy.
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Old 12-04-11, 09:43 AM   #5
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i was born in 1960 too, but biking was never something the rest of my family did much. i have very, very few memories of my immediate family members being on a bike at all.

it's still a pretty good general memory though, since most of the neighborhood kids had some kind of bike. whole days were spent riding around the neighborhood or to the closer surrounding communities.

i still live in the same area but hardly anyone rides now, let alone adults. unless i take my bike downtown and ride along the riverwalk (or take my bike to one of the trendier areas of town and ride there, but that seems kind of weird) i'm one of a very few recreational adult riders out riding around.
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Old 12-04-11, 10:52 AM   #6
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As a kid, I knew almost every street in our city, and I came close to riding on just about every one of them. When my parents thought I was somewhere in the neighborhood, I was on the other side of our city visiting friends.

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Old 12-04-11, 11:01 AM   #7
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we transferred- a LOT. dirt roads and alleys were, and still are, my favorite rides.
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Old 12-04-11, 11:05 AM   #8
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I was born in the early 50s, but in those days, 5 and 6 year olds didn't ride bikes, at least where I grew up. I didn't get my first bike til I was about 9, but I learned to ride a year or so before that on a neighbour girl's bike. She was in high school, and fully grown, so her bike was miles too big for me.
I had to stand to pedal, because there was no way I could reach the pedals while seated on the saddle.
I can remember pedaling in circles on our front lawn for what seemed like hours at a time because I wasn't allowed to ride on the road.
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Old 12-04-11, 04:35 PM   #9
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Nearby was a parking lot with two light standards that defined the apices of an oval track, with a bicycle lap time similar to the stock car lap time at the county fair 1/4 mile oval. Over the years I accumulated several or many (don't remember) skinned elbows and knees from wiping out in the turns, after striking a pedal or losing it on some sand. The Schwinn Speedster never complained.

Ha! Inox! Dad bought a similar bike for me, don't remember the brand name on it. Stingray knockoff, right? I rode it a few miles, and parts like the brake calipers and derailleur and fenders started working loose. Some of these had the weird and vaguely cheap-sounding name Shimano! I think it wasn't comfortable either and handled poorly, as if the headset was too tight maybe; it's so long ago I don't remember. We took it back to the dept. store where we bought it. Then, got my black, camelback, single-speed Speedster. It was the best bike Dad could afford. In those days single speed coaster brakes bikes were normal and common. After that experience with derailleur and caliper brakes, I was very happy with one speed, and with the Schwinn's comfort and handling.

Last edited by duffer1960; 12-05-11 at 06:32 AM.
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