Do we all have interesting bike-related childhood memories? I would assume we do, since until you hit 16, the bike is your only means of independent transportation!
I remember before I had a bike, two neighborhood boys named Ricky and Randy tried to teach me to ride. This consisted of them sitting me on Randy's bike, running to get up speed, and letting me go, only to roll into the ditch. (They were both very nice kids, so I refuse to believe it was deliberate! ) I think I eventually got my own bike with training wheels (I remember my dad running along behind me my first time riding without them.)
My family was strapped for cash--my first bike was actually a full-sized women's bike, because it was on sale for $30 at Copps department store. I couldn't reach the pedals from the seat and had to ride standing up for years! I don't remember what finally happened to it, but I know I had that bike for a long time. My next bike was a gorgeous purple-and-chrome thing from some local guy who repaired throw-away bikes. One day as I was riding it uphill, the top tube snapped right off at the front, where it had been badly re-welded. My dad had a talk with the guy who 'repaired' the bike, and he said he never offers any guarantee on kid's bikes because kids abuse them. (And naturally, after that my dad blamed ME for the bike breaking!)
My brother had a bike with a banana seat. I remember once or twice we doubled up on it, and made the same ride to town that is now my daily commute. More often, we would take our bikes to Pulaski, a 14-mile trip. Our mother would purchase a day of peace and quiet for 75 cents: one quarter for us to buy her the newspaper, and a quarter for each of us to buy ourselves some Star Wars trading cards. That was in the days when bubble gum was still included in card packs, and I still remember the smell of that weird, brittle, rocklike stuff.
Funny how those distances we all rode as children seem too far to ride for most adults. Oh, well.
So, what do you remember?