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  1. #1
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    Did your parents support your bicycling when you were a child?

    It's kind of a wonder that I actually still like bikes at 30 years old. The bicycling bug hit me hard when I was about 9. Unfortunately my dad considered biking a waste of time and money. So I wound up with bikes scavenged from dumpsters and yard sales. The bottom rung of the biking ladder. He wouldn't help me fix them and wouldn't pay someone else to fix them. Hell, he wouldn't even get me a helmet. I rode these bikes daily as my transportation to school and on weekends I would go out a long way for rides in the country. When I went off to basic my dad threw away all my bikes. The first good bike I had was when I got stationed in Seattle. I found a 4 year old Cannondale mountain bike in the newspaper. I bought it and it was one of the happiest moments of my life. I rode the hell out of that thing. Even rode it to Port Angeles twice. Then I bought an older Trek road bike and the PNW was my playground. Fast forward a few years and I'm out of the military. I had to move to the South and it was just too hot and humid to ride. I physically can't take that kind of heat. Sucks the life right out of me. I sold my bikes, which was real sad. Now, ~10 years later, I'm back in the PNW and enjoying bikes again.

    On some level I have to thank my dad. He taught me a lot about bicycling by not helping me out. There were many things I had to figure out on my own. Hard won experience is the best teacher. He's kind of turned around now. He recently bought a very nice Trek for himself and supports my car free lifestyle.
    The best thing about a bicycle is that it uses no gasoline, therefore the chance of fiery death is greatly reduced.

  2. #2
    Senior Member PedalingFool's Avatar
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    Did your parents support your bicycling when you were a child?
    Absolutely... I lived in Detroit as a kid and got my first bike when I was 7 years old.

    It got stolen and it broke my heart so my mom had her boyfriend steal me a bigger and better bike and bought me a can of black spray paint...

  3. #3
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Did your parents support your bicycling when you were a child? Absolutely. And they still do. Both my parents have cycled since they were kids, continued to cycle all while I was growing up, and still cycle now that they are in their 70s.

    I grew up surrounded by bicycles. My father always had a basement or garage full of bicycles and bicycle parts. He built and repaired bicycles for various people in the neighbourhood. The house was always full of bicycle bottles, bicycle clothing, and Bicycling Mag when it was good.

    When I got into Randonneuring about 12 years ago, my father also got into Randonneuring. He not only supported events, but rode some with me, including a 300K randonnee.

    When Rowan and I get to the Canada portion of our Round-The-World mostly-cycling trip we're currently on (we're in Germany right now), I hope that Rowan and I will be able to ride with my father (and possibly mother too) again.

  4. #4
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    We always had bikes. It was a good way to get around our small town. My mother still supports it.

  5. #5
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    My parents did support it. They bought bikes for my brother and I. I think they were grateful we got into something that kept us out of the house. I know they were well pleased that we had the ability to ride to our friends houses when we were teens. I sure beat toting my brother & I around.
    '83 Fuji S-12S LTD
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  6. #6
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    My folks kept us in cheap riders as kids. I had to use my own lawn mowing money when I bought my first 10 speed, but I'm sure my Dad probably helped a bit with the purchase. They wanted to instill the idea that we should pay for and maintain the stuff we really wanted and I'm sure that paying for it myself made me even more conscious of maintaining it well. My Dad commuted to work on what must be an early 60s Raleigh 3 speed. He still rides it today (although now retired).

    But perhaps the best way they supported me was in allowing me to ride wherever I wanted. If myself and friends wanted to ride to another city (or just tour the countryside) for a few days, they were fine with it. Of course, it was a simpler time. They knew we would stealth camp on our trips and had no problem with that. I don't know if many parents today would allow that.

  7. #7
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    My parents had a pair of 3 speed "English Racers" in the garage when I was a small child. I don't recall ever seeing them ride the bikes, however. At one time when I was in my early 20's my mom bought a department store cruiser and I rode with her once for a couple of miles. I don't think she kept with it for very long.

    I was bitten by the bug when I was stationed in Germany in the 80's. Best way to see the countryside. Both my daughters are now in their 20's. One daughter loves to ride with me, the other gives it lip service but finds it too much effort.
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
    But perhaps the best way they supported me was in allowing me to ride wherever I wanted. If myself and friends wanted to ride to another city (or just tour the countryside) for a few days, they were fine with it. Of course, it was a simpler time. They knew we would stealth camp on our trips and had no problem with that. I don't know if many parents today would allow that.
    (Emphasis mine)

    You're not kidding.

    I don't know how old you are. I'm 47. When I was a kid my friends and I would ride all day. During the summer vacation it wasn't unusual for us to leave our homes @ around 8-9 am and not show back up until dark. We'd ride everywhere. No one ever assumed we'd been kidnapped or killed. Such a thing was unimaginable.

    OTOH, my ex-wife freaked out whenever one of my kids disappeared for a half hour - and my kids grew up in the middle of a national forest down 4.5 miles of dirt road. I never could figure out why she was so paranoid. There was very little chance of the kids coming to a bad end out there. That's one of the reasons we bought that house in the first place.

    Different times. (shrug)
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  9. #9
    Goodbye Leeroy Jenkins tagaproject6's Avatar
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    No. We were poor and a bike is a frivolous toy. I kid!

    I don't know about "support", it was just part of growing up. My friends and I would go and bike somewhere looking for adventures and new places to see and it would usually take us a whole day. As long as we were back before the street lights came on, no one was really worried.
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  10. #10
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    Entered my first race at 7 y.o. on a non-closed road course. They whole family(except mom and sis) were pretty regular cyclists.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by PedalingFool View Post
    Absolutely... I lived in Detroit as a kid and got my first bike when I was 7 years old.

    It got stolen and it broke my heart so my mom had her boyfriend steal me a bigger and better bike and bought me a can of black spray paint...
    That is badass!

  12. #12
    Senior Member jack002's Avatar
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    The bicycling bug hit me hard when I was about 9.

    Same here

    Unfortunately my dad considered biking a waste of time and money. So I wound up with bikes scavenged from dumpsters and yard sales.

    Same here. The only new bike I ever got growing up was from my grandmother. I bought myself a new Schwinn in high school, then it was stollen I bought a new Motobecane and eventually got an almost new Cannondale.

    I also learned all I know about bikes on my own. I recall taking the freewheel of my banana seat bike apart and put lots of vaseline in there. Then one cold morning couldn't ride it cause the vaseline had all frozen in there and the hub spun free forwards and backwards. Built my own wheel when I was in junior high school too. That turned out better than the freewheel did.
    Biking isn't a sport because anybody can do it. I can bike, you can bike. For goodness sakes, my mother can bike! You don't see her on the cover of Sports Illustrated, do you?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Not sure how to answer this.

    I like most of the kids in my set had a bike. 2 or 3 speed bikes where the shifting and brakes were both controled by backpedaling. Most such bikes with only rear brakes.

    Generally parents both bought the bikes and tought their kids how to ride them.
    Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.

  14. #14
    Senior Member ChrisM2097's Avatar
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    I grew up in western CT and southeast Florida. My parents absolutely encouraged us to ride. I know I had a big-wheel when I was a kid, but the first bike I actually remember riding was a 26" Huffy - my first "real" bike. My first time out on it, I hit a bump and fell off. I rode that thing all over the neighborhood, and absolutely loved it.

    There was a brief period when I was around 20-25 (1996-2000?) or so when I didn't have a bike - but this was the time when I was moving to CA, looking for a stable job, and getting married. Cycling was not foremost on my mind.

    Up until about 15 months ago I owned nothing but BSO's, and I was an occasional salmon & sidewalk rider. I knew nothing of bike fitting, and even less about bicycle maintenance and mechanics.
    Last edited by ChrisM2097; 08-09-12 at 02:25 PM.
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  15. #15
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    Being still a child (well kinda 15) my mom fully supports me cycling. My dad thinks its a huge waste of money and time, time I could have used to play football according to him. His face when I told him im going to buy $2000 bike was priceless.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    In this part of the country there were some rites of passage that just about everyone had. In my generation kids got bikes and rode them everywhere. At 16 they got a drivers license and maybe or maybe not got to drive. For my kids it was first they got a big wheels and they were gone all morning then they got a bikes and were gone all day. At 16 they got a drivers license. My parents taught me how to ride, I taught my kids how to ride and nature took over from there. Today my wife supports my cycling.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  17. #17
    Still spinnin'..... Stealthammer's Avatar
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    My parents were very supportive of my cross country training, my cyling, and my motorcycling, probably mostly because it never cost them a cent. I think they were also very grateful that these activities kept me away from the guys I hung out with when I wasn't running or riding, and it cut down on how many cars and motorcycles I bought to repair or modify and then sell, to buy more cars and motorcycles to repair or modify......
    Just your average 'high-functioning' lunatic, capable of passing as 'normal' for short periods of time.....

    “The difference between genius and stupidity is; genius has its limits.” - Albert Einstein

    “We all know that light travels faster than sound. That's why certain people appear bright until you hear them speak.” - Albert Einstein

  18. #18
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    yes in 1960 my folks got a bicycle for my birthday - felt like they had given me wings - wings of wheels.
    been riding , with some ebb and flow overtime, ever since
    ride long & prosper

  19. #19
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    My parents grew up in the depression and could not afford to have bicycles, they worked very hard to make sure we did and my father taught me how to maintain them from a young age. He never learned how to ride a bicycle but was a brilliant mechanic.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Flying Merkel's Avatar
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    Dad bought me a used rental Stingray when I was 6 and a used rental Varsity when I was 13. He showed me how to patch tires and clean & adjust bearings. After that I was on my own until high school graduation. My present was a brand new 1979 Univega Viva Sport. Loved that bike. It was a revelation. I stupidly sold it about 1989 to a guy who never finished paying for it and never rode it. It disappeared when he divorced.

    When I bought my first mountain bike for $650 and rode it into the ocean a few days later, Dad thought I was crazy.
    Pronounced "Murkle"

  21. #21
    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    I never had high end bikes, although I wish I still had that Stingray. They were very uncool in the mid 80s. I finally got a used root beer with yellow mags Schwinn BMX when I was around 10 and rode the wheels off it for the next few years. We built tracks and raced each other, I used to ride to the NYC from Dirty Jerz and just turn around and come back just to be able to say I had done it, I used to ride for hours. My dad taught me how to ride at 5 with no training wheels on a 20 inch bike and my lil bro wanted to ride so bad he learned later the same summer. He was not yet 4. So yeah, despite being not particularly wealthy, and cheap in addition to that, my parents supported the hell out of me riding as a kid. Now I am getting verklempt about my old man...Better go be extra mean to someone in the 41.

  22. #22
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    My father didn't support me riding, I learn to ride this year because he didn't want me to learn when I was younger. His focus was mainly school and other sport ( Cricket and soccer). Never learn how to swim either because he didn't want us to learn. He doesn't know I learned to ride and I probably will not tell him.

  23. #23
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    Back in the 60s it was anything to get the kids out of the house. Couple of times was handed a picnic lunch with a water jusg an told not to come back until supper time.
    We have met the enemy and they is us.

    Pogo

  24. #24
    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve0257 View Post
    Back in the 60s it was anything to get the kids out of the house. Couple of times was handed a picnic lunch with a water jusg an told not to come back until supper time.
    Haha, mommy and daddy's "special" time...

  25. #25
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    Yep, sure did. Neither mom or dad rode a bike a day in their life that I know of, but they and a neighbor used to push me on a bike w/o training wheels until I got the hang of it. 2nd bike was a black Schwinn I rode on our dirt road. 3rd and current bike in '75 when I was too tall for the little Schwinn. BTW-that little black Schwinn was a great bike.
    "Of course you eat too much" (Looigi) There are things people say that are so true you can never forget the wisdom. I still eat too much. Without denial.
    Awarded 2014 Billy Madison "Ultimate Insult" by jsharr. Must have been something about my rambling, incoherent response...

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