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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 05-17-21, 06:10 PM
  #51  
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A few of the neighborhood kids raced BMX, starting around '75 or so. We all started racing modified Stingrays, with coaster brakes. At the same time the original mountain bike pioneers were riding on Mt Tam and starting the Repack races we were basically doing the same thing a couple valleys north. I don't know how many times we repacked our Bendix coaster brake hubs after melting the grease out of them riding our fire road BMX tracks. We tied fishing rods to our bikes and rode/pushed over the 2 ridges between Lucas Valley and Fairfax to go fishing at one of the lakes on Tam. We all eventually got purpose built race frames w/ cantilever brakes and the repack days were done. We still rode all over central Marin on those bikes...in Levis and t-shirts, never a helmet in sight.
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Old 05-17-21, 08:19 PM
  #52  
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When I was a kid I just rode all around the neighborhood. It was fun and that's what we did. This was pre-internet and no handheld games to play
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Old 05-17-21, 08:41 PM
  #53  
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I learned to ride at 5 - at 6 I was going "dirt'n" with a friend through the trails to the local gravel pit. Pretty much out there from school to supper from Sept to snowfall of grade 1...... those trails and the pit kept us busy for a couple years. Back then I was riding a BMX on the trails, my buddy had a mountain bike - those were brand new in our area.

I didn't really have any boundaries, just had to make it back myself. Rode to school a couple times, had to cross the arterial highway and ride along it for a little bit - then after we moved we lived too close to the school to bother trying to lock up the bike. Not to mention that I would have had to carry it down and up the hill where they hadn't replaced the bridge over the railway and cross the tracks.

As I got older, ranged further through the whole valley, lots of little trails through the right-of ways and undeveloped space betwen the new developments. I used to basically see how muddy I could get, how high I could jump - I didn't do that a lot though, was tough on the bike back pre-suspension and I did my own repair.
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Old 05-17-21, 09:18 PM
  #54  
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When I was 12, 13, 14, I used to go down "snake hill" adjacent to Highland Park in Brooklyn. It was steep enough and I was stupid enough to go as fast as the cars, sometimes faster (but on the sidewalk). I had an old, well used Rudge with those rods and levers that actuated the brakes. But a couple of the rods had been replaced with clothes hanger wire, so the brakes barely worked. At the bottom of the hill was a flat runout maybe 100 ft long. I'd either ride onto the dirt and slide, or jump the curbs at the intersection at the end of the runout. I'll be 73 later this week and am grateful to still be here (it took quite a few more years for me to develop judgement and common sense; at least once I got it, it stuck with me).
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Old 05-24-21, 06:49 PM
  #55  
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No Restrictions: Didnít know where I was going, but I was on my way

From age 7 to 15 I rode all over North Stamford, CT on both the state two lanes and mainly on narrow secondary roads that were essentially black topped 18th& 19th century cart paths with lots of hills and blind curves. My closest friend lived 1 mile away and owned a horse, so we traveled miles together on backwoods trails, me on my balloon tire bike and Charlie on his horse.
I got a Raleigh 3sp around 12 yo and then regularly ventured the 8-9 mi downtown, eventually ending up at the forbidden pool hall (yes, they let us in and let us shoot pool in 1962)
Parents were pretty clueless in those days, so we had the freedom to ride and do whatever we thought we could get away with... our bikes were the ticket to freedom and independence and our survival skills were self taught. All that history is probably why I enjoy cycling so much now.
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Old 05-25-21, 02:04 AM
  #56  
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I taught myself to ride a bike in the huge meandering basement of a high rise apartment building in NY. Back then, during the 1960s Cold War era, the only obstacles were Civil Defense barrels of emergency water, etc., stacked in the corners. Only the super and a few kids used the basements for anything. I guess I was 8 or 9 years old then. Never had access to a bike before, just borrowed one from a friend and figured it out in a day or two.

After that I got my own bike and rode with friends. It seemed like we rode hundreds of miles and hours and hours, but in reality we probably rode maybe a couple of miles between friends' houses.

That was pretty much it until I joined the Navy and needed transportation to and from base. We were young, broke, had no car and there was no other transportation. I bought a new 1976 Motobecane Mirage, a decent entry level 10-speed, and got hooked. I commuted about 20 miles a day round trip on and off for years, lots of meandering around sunny SoCal, rode centuries with a club including in Baja, even did a little racing (at which I was not very good but had fun).
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Old 05-25-21, 09:57 AM
  #57  
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First bike was a Coast to Coast branded single speed with balloon tires. Lived on a ranch with no pavement within several miles, so most rides were on country roads to play with other kids on other farms and ranches. Today, 65 years or so later, much of my riding is still on those kind of roads accessible from my house.
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Old 05-25-21, 10:40 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by canklecat
I taught myself to ride a bike in the huge meandering basement of a high rise apartment building in NY. Back then, during the 1960s Cold War era, the only obstacles were Civil Defense barrels of emergency water, etc., stacked in the corners. Only the super and a few kids used the basements for anything. I guess I was 8 or 9 years old then. Never had access to a bike before, just borrowed one from a friend and figured it out in a day or two.

After that I got my own bike and rode with friends. It seemed like we rode hundreds of miles and hours and hours, but in reality we probably rode maybe a couple of miles between friends' houses.

That was pretty much it until I joined the Navy and needed transportation to and from base. We were young, broke, had no car and there was no other transportation. I bought a new 1976 Motobecane Mirage, a decent entry level 10-speed, and got hooked. I commuted about 20 miles a day round trip on and off for years, lots of meandering around sunny SoCal, rode centuries with a club including in Baja, even did a little racing (at which I was not very good but had fun).
Really, the only other person I know who refers to "the super" is my sister who grew up in the same Bronx apartment building I did! I did store the three-speed in the basement until it was stolen. Next bike was after college purchased at a fancy shop in east-side Manhattan - a Peugeot.. Riding around Yonkers and White Plains.
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Old 05-25-21, 11:55 AM
  #59  
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So listen, when I started this thread I had intended it to be a two-parter. But I'm not sure part 2 is going to work or go straight off the rails. Posting now...

Where would your kid ride today?
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Old 05-25-21, 12:40 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty
So listen, when I started this thread I had intended it to be a two-parter. But I'm not sure part 2 is going to work or go straight off the rails. Posting now...
Saw and read it. No advice - no kids of riding age. But I'd keep him away from the prison , expect him to explore beyond the initial confines and to check out the pond!
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Old 05-25-21, 01:00 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by Outrider1
For a point of reference, I'm 58. As a kid my bike, as well as those of all the kids in the neighborhood, were lifelines. I literally lived on my bike. From calling on kids a few doors down to come out, to fishing trips up to the local pond, the library, corner store to get pumpkin seeds and candy, to the edge of the woods where we hopped off and hiked back in the woods to find the right tree to build a tree-fort in, my bike was an extension of myself, my freedom machine! I grew up in a suburb outside of Cleveland, OH, and as the new suburbs popped up, our bikes were our exploration vehicles around the construction areas and into these "new territories." I use third person and say 'we' because every kid had a bike and from sun up until having to be home when the street lights came on, we were on our bikes!
This pretty much describes my childhood bike experience, from 6 (when the training wheels came off) to about 12 or so. Once the snow got too deep we were forced to walk, but otherwise our bikes were used to get everywhere - library, school (just to fool around, we weren't allowed to ride bikes to attend classes during school), parks, woods (this was well before MTB), ravines, streets - I even rode to a friend who lived out of town, a whole 5 miles or so, but for a 10 year old kid it was quite the adventure.

There were still quite a few dirt/gravel streets when I was a kid, about half the streets in town were not paved. So we did a lot of skidding contests. The alleys behind the houses were always unpaved, and due to erosion were always at least a few inches below the level of the paved streets, so they made natural ramps we could use for jumping. There was a lot less traffic back then, so we rarely even used lookouts to tell us whether the jumps were go/no go - just a quick glance up and down the street as we approached the ramp.
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Old 05-25-21, 01:04 PM
  #62  
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I grew up in a small town of 1500 in rural Northern California. When I was little I was forbidden to cross the highway that split the town. Otherwise, I didn't have any restrictions and spent a lot of time on small country roads and levees. In 6th grade, I was finally given permission to cross the highway so I could ride my bike to school during the week and to church on Sunday where I was an altar boy. And I could ride out to my best friend's house in the country who lived 3 miles from town. That was awesome.
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Old 05-25-21, 01:53 PM
  #63  
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First, on the sidewalk, which was commonplace for small kids in my locale. I rode around my block a lot. Then I was allowed to go further if I walked my bike across the street at intersections. Then I was allowed to ride in the street within an area enclosed by some higher speed roads (35 mph!). And so forth. We were a one car family, so I knew all of the cycling routes from riding on the back of my mom's bike. There was a point when I could get to the dime store, later on to K-Mart, etc.
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Old 05-25-21, 02:59 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by surak
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.
My dad grew up in Austin in the 40s and 50s, when it was primarily Irish and Italian. He said that when he was a kid, he could go on the sidewalks on the little streets by himself, but never the avenues without an adult or a "big kid." Probably a 12 year old...
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Old 05-25-21, 09:05 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by kahn
Really, the only other person I know who refers to "the super" is my sister who grew up in the same Bronx apartment building I did! I did store the three-speed in the basement until it was stolen. Next bike was after college purchased at a fancy shop in east-side Manhattan - a Peugeot.. Riding around Yonkers and White Plains.
Mount Vernon, here. Yup, never heard that term ("super" for the building superintendent) used anywhere outside that region. Most places it's the janitor, maintenance guy, or facilities engineer when they get fancy. Although in the TV show "One Day at a Time" Pat Harrington's character Schneider referred to himself as the super. That show was set in Indianapolis. I never spent enough time there to know whether that was a legit regionalism or something made up by Norman Lear derived from his shows that were set in New York.
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