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Where did you ride when you were a kid?

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Where did you ride when you were a kid?

Old 05-12-21, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by friday1970
On your mom!

Just kidding

When I was 12 or so, I'd ride from NE Fort Wayne suburbs to Grabil to buy those large jawbreakers and other goodies from Souder's candy store, roughly 26 miles round trip. While this isn't much to me at all now, back then, it was an adventure. If my parents knew at the time, they'd have grounded me and tossed the bike out.
I did about the same thing going to some county parks. Except my mom knew about it. All she said was to make sure I packed a good lunch and took plenty of water.
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Old 05-12-21, 07:49 PM
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As a kid, once I graduated from trying to balance in the back garden, I learned to ride in the new-built estate behind our house in Dublin. The road was a closed loop, so traffic was light. Enough that as we got older, we had a “Tour de *our road*” where we raced each other on laps of the estate. We’d have TTs, mass-start stages (all 5 or 6 of us) and for a “mountain” stage we’d reverse the route so we went up, not down, the 100m, 2% section.

When I was 12, I went to a new school that had a cycling club. Every Sunday 50 kids and a handful of teachers and dads would set out for 50 miles in the Wicklow hills (or on the flat in Kildare or Meath, but the Wicklow days were the ones that kept me coming back for more).
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Old 05-12-21, 07:58 PM
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I spent my childhood in Tucson, AZ, and I was all over the place. Began riding when I was 5. By age 11 I was riding as far as Colossal Cave Mountain Park, which was a 22 mile round trip from our house. We moved to San Diego, CA, right around the time I turned 13, and I rode all over there, too. We moved to Oregon after I graduated high school, and I began road racing when I was 18.
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Old 05-12-21, 08:08 PM
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I too had the to the end of the block rule for a time. Soon that rule was changed to pretty much anywhere on the west side of the one highway that ran through town. But because I had a couple of friends on the east side of the highway I eventually was given complete access to a one horse southeast Kansas town. And I rode every inch of it from sunrise to sunset.
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Old 05-13-21, 09:45 AM
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At age 66, I grew up in the Santa Cruz mountain foothills of Calif. Each house had about an acre and grammar school was 1.5 miles away. The local kids and I lived on our bikes, riding to school, riding through the fields and lumps and bumps of new construction. All of this was done on our heavy single-speed coaster brake bikes. One wealthy kid actually had a Stingray which the rest of us lusted. I begged to get one too but my parents said my bike was perfectly good. Since our ‘development’ was rather isolated, we only rode the local streets, over and over, some times with our dogs running along side.

Bikes were not locked at school since bike theft was unheard of. In fact bikes were never locked, just dumped in the front of what ever friend’s house we were visiting. Also learned how to take off tires to patch tubes, which 9 times out of 10 was the back tire, which meant using a crescent wrench to get the rear wheel off and dealing with the greasy chain.

We moved to what is now called the Silicon Valley when I went to Junior High. I rode my bike to school and locks were required. Had a paper route and would go on big rides with my cousin up to local dams in the foothills, maybe an hour each way. We felt free on our big adventures.
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Old 05-13-21, 12:30 PM
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My family was in a semi-rural area and worked a lot. If I want to go somewhere, it was by bike. To the lake to fish with my cousin at 6 am or to the mall 15 miles away.
going to soccer practice was awful. Bike, workout, tiredly bike home the 7 miles.
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Old 05-13-21, 01:33 PM
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Semi rural but the road was bad for speeders and big chicken trucks and sewage trucks going to the local plants nearby. I'd ride my Walmart style mtb in the yard all over. Then risk the 100 yards to the gravel road down the hill to the friend's house and back.

That's it.

Bit sad really. Were probably plenty of nearby gravel roads or trails. Just the typical childhood yard riding.
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Old 05-13-21, 02:08 PM
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Growing up on a farm in Iowa we lived on a gravel road (or is it called a cyclocross road? LOL) but were about 1/4 mile away from a 'blacktop' road. When my siblings and I turned 10 we each got our very own "10-speed" bike. Mine had a bag and my brothers were jealous. I used that bag to hold all of the beer cans that I would pick up from the ditches. I could probably fit 10-12 cans in there. With the 5 cent refund in Iowa I guess it was my first job! And I'm pretty sure that someone in the area drank an Old Milwaukee on his way home from work because I always seemed to find an Old Milwaukee can in about the same spot!
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Old 05-13-21, 03:19 PM
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In 1948 I learned to ride in our farm yard, with me climbing on a box so I could get on the bike, then coasting down the lane until I crashed. Not many places to ride except up and down the local gravel roads. In about 6th grade we moved to a small hilly Iowa river town: Rode to school (Naturally located at the top of the highest hill in town) and all over town delivering papers via bike - or sled in the winter. It was a basic J. C. Higgins single speed steel bike, and I envied the "rich kids" who had the fancy Schwinns with lights, horn, and spring shocks. Like a kid, I abused it, but that Sears bike was almost indestructible, except I broke several rear axles by overloading it with 2 heavy newspaper bags on rear carrier - not the bike's fault. Gave the bike away when I got my drivers license. The kid I gave it to rode it through high school, then gave it to his younger brother who did the same. The last I heard about it was that he gave it to somebody else. Who knows, that thing may still be going.

Started riding again in my late 30s.
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Old 05-13-21, 03:42 PM
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I rode all over the near-northwest Chicago suburbs. My 20” Schwinn (pre-Sting-Ray) expanded my world.
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Old 05-13-21, 03:45 PM
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I lived in three different suburban neighborhoods in North Carolina as a kid. All had lots of trees and there were trails in the woods made by generations of kids, I assume. We'd zoom through the woods and bounce over tree roots and get red mud all over ourselves and our bicycles. BMX bikes were all the rage then (late 1970s, early 1980s) but most of us had "banana bikes". It didn't matter; we took them off as many sweet jumps as we could find.

In one neighborhood, we had a house with a long driveway and a pretty large yard; maybe an acre. Nobody had a fenced-in yard that I can remember. This was the kind of place where you'd just let your dog out and not walk them on a leash. There was a bike trail that kids used that went right through our back yard! There weren't many kids around; maybe five or ten and I knew most of them, but they'd zoom down the hill on the street in front of our house, down our driveway, and continue through a bare single-track path in our wooded back yard and keep going through our back-door neighbor's yard and down their driveway also. It was a long downhill "run" from one side of the neighborhood to the other.

I wonder if kids are still doing that there. Maybe I should check Google Earth...
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Old 05-13-21, 06:49 PM
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When I first started riding, I lived on a gravel road out in the country. My bike was my transportation. School was 3-room building, a short 3/4 mile away and most of my friends were within a 2.5 mile radius from me. Back then, about half the school rode bikes. There was no bus. A few parents would pick up their kids in cars, and as soon as they were clear, they'd let all the bikes take off.
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Old 05-13-21, 06:58 PM
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I grew up on a dirt road just south of Cheyenne. There were about 5-6 abandoned construction sites where a foundation had been dug and left. These all turned into pretty fun burmed bowls and bike parks. I wonder if there were older kids creating something, cause there were sweet jumps and stuff.

By the time I hit my early teens, it was the early 90's and mountain biking was a thing. I mostly bombed the hills and jumps around town but occasionally caught a ride to nearby Vedauwoo or Happy Jack for actual riding. I was hooked.

By the time I was 18 I was racing road and tri's and put the mountain bike down until last year.

These days, my fast days are behind me but I'm riding road, mountain, gravel, and generally trying to balance it with married life, work, and kids.
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Old 05-14-21, 02:24 AM
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los angeles coastal suburbs...but everything was downhill from the house except for a half mile of flats at the beginning/end of the ride.
most rides on the uncrowded sidewalks in the < 6 miles range total with a few in the < 15 miles range. first bike that really got a decent amount of miles
on it was a sears free spirit road bike/downtube shifters around the age of 11-13. then, it became all about bmx bikes like red line, mongoose
and kuwahara. so did the bmx bike thing over the same distances for about two years. sure, the hill(s) on the way home were there but
didn't have to calculate them into the equation since there was no other viable option except making the (then unknown) call of shame.
even back then, would rather ride/walk home than get picked up. that spirit of independence...

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Old 05-14-21, 09:13 AM
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In the sixties in Ventura County on a 20" tire kick back two speed hub. The same bike I later put butterfly handlebars and banana seat for delivering news papers. I think it was a Murray that I cobbled together with the help of the nice man at the Schwinn shop in Oxnard. I took that bike on some incredibly long rides and didn't have a good perception of dark thirty so got caught coming home in the dark with no lights more than once. It scares me to think about it, no patch kit or pump , no way to call for a ride , just dumb luck! Back then , the gas stations would take pity on you and patch your tire if you were nice and maybe willing to sweep the islands.
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Old 05-16-21, 12:28 AM
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Rural New Mexico, and sunny southern California. In New Mexico I was often chased by dogs, and the goat-head stickers which grew everywhere meant I learned how to put on tire patches pretty well by the time I was 8. There were no paved roads in the area where we lived. In California I used to ride the homemade BMX track by the Brea Dam, There was another one by the highway interchange at Euclid Street and I-5, across from the Anaheim Plaza. I had a Royce Union BMX bike with drum brakes, which were the envy of my friends. At the age of 12 I got my first road bike, and old Araya tourer, and I could ride from Featherly Park near Corona all the way to Huntington Beach. Sometimes, I would follow the coast to Long Beach to see the Queen Mary, or head south toward Aliso park in Laguna Beach. I had already completed a couple centuries before I turned 13.

I am now teaching my daughter to ride, the streets here in Tokyo are a far cry from the dirt roads around Shiprock.
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Old 05-17-21, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by 50PlusCycling

I am now teaching my daughter to ride, the streets here in Tokyo are a far cry from the dirt roads around Shiprock.
My mom grew up in Shiprock and Cortez, a tall English/Irish/okie girl feeling out of place among the Utes and Navajo in the fifties. Grandad was a handyman and construction worker and his last job in the sixties was something around uranium mining, I’m not clear on what. He lived on Beech street by the school in Cortez and fixed neighborhood kids’ bikes in the 70’s and early 80’s. I’m always wondering if I’ll run into someone here who knew him.

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Old 05-17-21, 09:48 AM
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I got a Department store banana seat bicycle one Christmas and just rode around our neighborhood with the other kids, then my family moved to a small acreage surrounded by other small acreages (5 acres or so) and the resulting gravel roads. I never went too far because there wasnt anyplace to go except the other kids houses but my dad constructed a plywood ramp for me that was only about a foot high but he used the full length of plywood to make it so it was 8 feet long (not much airtime, but reasonably safe and fun ) but that action was still a bit taxing for a banana seat bike and i eventually broke it in half --

Then the parents bought my brother and I BMX bikes. In addition to the ramp, we had found a little sandstone and red dirt formation behind a pond (ponds are also full of mystery when youre' a kid ) - so me and the neighbor kids nicknamed this place "The Dunes" and we'd play ride on the little dirt formations that formed jumps and whoops -- and a few of these were large enough to be pretty dangerous. Like the OP's example, we would find old blasting caps and beer bottles there and especially around the pond. Once even discovering an old aluminum canoe when the shallow end dried up. Once we got it sea worthy again it didnt take long to find out why it had been abandoned but we tried. IT wouldnt track straight and had a serious list to one side, but it was cool to fish out of a boat with our Zebco 33's

In addition to The Dunes, the ramp at the house got upgraded by the addition of bricks under the front to keep raising it higher and higher (the parental units didnt know, obviously) - We upped the ante and would put more and more bricks under there - usually at a dare - until there were 8 bricks precariously perched under there and putting the angle at a X-Games level. Its all fun and games until someone needs a wrist cast after all --- but i dont remember anybody getting seriously hurt or anything. We all survived.

When i was 11 years old, i got my first mini motocross bike and the BMX largely gathered dust after that and i didnt take up cycling again until i was 18 and i bought a mountain bike to cardio train for motocross. The Dunes were still there - and the little jumps and whoops that were there as a kid were still challenging on a full size mountain bike

Thats about it -- adulthood soon followed
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Old 05-17-21, 11:13 AM
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I grew up in a town of 600 people in rural Pennsylvania. As a little kid with a bike, I rode around town, rides of maybe 1-1.5 miles max, and thought I was going a long way. There was a patch of loose gravel over on Conewago Street that was fun to hit at full speed and then hit the brake (coaster brake, of course) and skid. That worked well till I tried to turn at the same time.

When I was about 15, I got one of those 40# 'Ten Speeds' that were popular then, no particular make I can recall. I started venturing out of town, riding the back roads, ever vigilant for my nemesis - farm dogs. It seems like every other farm had some dog who was always loose, off leash, and always some kind of German Shepherd cross. I remember cresting the hill on Quaker Valley Road in my lowest gear, and hearing the approaching barking of one of them, and pedaling like mad - in my lowest gear - as the barking got nearer and nearer! Then I remembered I had more gears and I was heading downhill, so I shifted up and sprinted away.

I think my longest ride back then was maybe 30-32 miles. I rode all the way into Gettysburg and back! Then, like most people my age, I got a Drivers License and forgot about cycling for 20 years.
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Old 05-17-21, 11:26 AM
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I grew up in various places, dad was in the army. The photo is taken at Fort Sam Houston, Texas in the early fifties. I rode everywhere, as far as I could. After Fort Sam we moved to Silver Spring, Maryland, and my friend Bob and I would take off early saturday morning bike all over Washington DC and Silver Spring.

Fort Sam Houston, Texas, early fifties.
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Old 05-17-21, 11:28 AM
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Inner-city Chicago, officially something like Near Westside between the medical district and Little Italy. Rode all over my neighborhood and over to Little Italy often, also would ride to downtown, Michigan Ave and Grant Park, with two friends. One had a fixed gear Schwinn cruiser, other had a Huffy maybe 18 speed?, I had a bottom tier kids "MTB" even more BSO than the Huffy, without even a single Shimano component that BSOs often had for advertisement purposes. It was probably 15 or 18 speed but, not knowing anything about bike mechanics, could only really get into about 4 different gears.

Most of the time I'd ride on the sidewalk, except if they were crowded. The scariest incident I had was when I opted to use the road to cross one of Chicago's many bridges over the river, when a CTA bus close passed me and nearly shoved me into the steel beams separating the sidewalk from traffic. Set me up for low expectations (still regularly reinforced) about drivers being ******bags.
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Old 05-17-21, 12:47 PM
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Riding in the Everglades

When I was a kid, you could ride in the Everglades. In the 1920s, Florida had a land boom and many miles of roads were built into the Everglades. This was done by digging a canal and using the dirt to build a road that was a few feet higher than the water in the swamp. The boom went bust but the roads/canal remained open and available for people to use. As kids we would go on these roads on our bikes along with fishing poles or BB guns. Can you imagine a kid riding around now with a BB gun? The cops would go crazy and start blasting away. In some ways the past was much better for kids than the present crazy times.
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Old 05-17-21, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty
When I was five and first learning to ride, I had a rule that I could only go to the end of the street, except there was one kid I knew two houses past the end of the block and I was allowed to go there. I remember riding to first grade sometimes with what seemed like a ton of other kids.

We lived in Phoenix. When I was six we moved to a "horsey suburb" part of the desert that was not yet built out. At first I was still confined to the block - but the block was much longer, the kids further apart, and we rode our bikes all over the vacant lots. There was some dumped dirt catty-corner from my house that someone had sculpted into a decent launch ramp. As I got older I'd go alone beyond the existing streets into the state trust land over the ridge to the north of Thunderbird Park where there was all kinds of interesting junk for a kid - shell casings, broken beer bottles, ATV parts... someone had dumped dirt in a large semicircle and made it into something like a pump track, but I didn't have any clue about pumping then and just rode around it. I learned to ride off-road alone through the arroyos and sandy patches. Dad got me the thickest inner tubes he could find for the goatheads. After a rain storm there would be huge puddles and tadpoles that grew up into toads and burrowed away in only a few days. As the developers came in, one street at a time would get graded, and that was fun because the edge of each level grading made a nice drop to the next one. There was a decent water park nearby (first called Oasis and then Waterworld, now Hurricaine Harbor). My schools were nearly all too far away to ride a bike, but I tried it a few times. Once in middle school I didn't want to ride home in the heat so I let the air out my own tires and then went to the office to have them summon my mom. The road to Deer Valley high school went through Thunderbird Park and that was a tough climb and terrifying descent for a kid, it's since been re-graded into something much easier to drive. That pass added two miles, but going around Adobe dam added four, too much for a kid commute. At least that way there were some offroad trails to take. There was a pass through the hills on 47th Ave but it was gated off - that would now be blocked at the other end by the 101 as well. Later, visiting home from college, I'd explore the area north of the canal around Pyramid Peak.

Where did you ride when you were a kid? (See if you can keep yourself from any kids-these-days misanthropy or name-dropping your bike in your reply)
I lived out in the country with mountains, with very small population. I can ride my bike around the mountain block, which was nearly eight miles, without seeing a car passing by. I enjoyed that time. Now I'm afraid riding on roads because I got hit from behind.
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Old 05-17-21, 05:07 PM
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I dont' recall having restrictions....by the time i was in 6th grade I went everywhere...I grew up in the wretched city, Topeka, KS...and on the 4th of July (up until about age 13 or 14) would ride out past the city limits to by fireworks. By my standards now, it was very far, but when i was 11, it was a journey.
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Old 05-17-21, 05:56 PM
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I rode my bike to school every day all through junior high and my first couple of years of high school. All of my friends did the same. The bike racks were packed with hundreds of bikes. On the weekends, we rode our bikes to the park to play whatever sport was in season. No helmets were ever used, but this was the late 60s and early 70s.
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