Friday, August 04, 2006

My First Bike....







how could anyone forget? I'm not sure about your childhood, but back in the mid 1940's tricycles were the popular bike, til you could ride a two wheeler. I'm not sure if there were training wheels back then, but my bike didn't come with any. I had to learn to ride it without them, and it seemed the norm, to me.
I remember getting it in the summertime, not on my October birthday. My little sister had graduated to what was called a " 6 yr trike", with the larger front wheel, bigger frame and a platform across the back that you could give someone a ride. It was the traditional red and white. The new bike was maroon...and cream and a Schwinn...and was a very big deal in the neighborhood. The girls were jealous, and the boys tried to make you crash and scratch it up...right away!!!
I loved my Schwinn, but as with most children, I outgrew it a few years later. It passed to my younger sister and I was given a lovely blue Hiawaatha bike with a seat across the back fender for giving a ride. It had a battery run bell and a headlight...boy, was I decked out.
Back in the 1940's and 50's, kids rode bikes, alot. Even as a teenager, having a car was not an option for most of us. Maybe at graduation, but mostly, when we were old enough to drive, we drove the car of our parents...and were content(at least a little). And if the car was gone, most of us would hop on our bikes and petal where we wanted to get to....the library, the swimming pond,the root beer stand or a friends house.
Of course bicycling is still around, and in some smaller town and villages, the kids still do ride all over on their bikes. But only til they can drive, then look out!
Cycling has had a comeback for sure, over the years, with as many kinds of bicycles as there are people to ride them, mountain bikes, racing bikes, trail bikes and so much more. But being a kid, the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer just wouldn't be the same without a snappy bicycle to ride around the neighborhood. Do you remember your first bike???? P.S. Note the bare feet and snazzy zip on the ride side jeans...LOL

20 comments:

Patti said...

Oh yes - a second had Schwinn I bought from my cousin for $25.00. My parents couldn't afford to buy us bikes - I know that now as an adult - but I didn't know that then. Instead my mother preached the philosophy that if we had to work for something ourselves and earn the money to buy it we'd appreciate it more. We wished we could get new bikes like our friends had but we didn't complain. I rode that bike for years!

The Calico Cat said...

I have fond memories of my first bike... I remember that it was so short especially compared to my parent's bikes. (I also remember that my dad's bike had a child seat on the back for my younger sister.) No photos though...

quiltpixie said...

my first "grown up bike" came unassembeld and sat in its huge box in the front hall until my dad returned from work a few days later to put it together... An aunt had won it and written my name and address down as she didn't want a bike, but figured I was ready for a two wheeler.... Brown CCM.... ahhh those were the days.

Linda_J said...

we had a bike that we older kids shared but before that we rode my dad's old one---painted in John Deere colors and had the widest set of handlebars I have ever seen.

Later we three older kids all had paper routes. I had one after school and the boy's the morning route of a competing paper which covered the whole small town we lived in. I would take a third of it when it was Sunday papers and all the ads. They would do my route on the afternoons I had girl scouts. Long, long ago since I am in my early 50s now.

McIrish Annie said...

You bring back great memories. I was one of five and we never had much money. I remember my dad and I going to the bike store and buying a used bike. It was blue with the balloon tires. I didn't care. I rode it everywhere. You are right even in H.S. we rode our bikes everywhere!! Most families had only one car and Dad drove it to work so it wasn't available til after 5.

thanks for bringing up such good memories!!!!

Peggy said...

I have a Schwinn that I bought at a auction. It reminds me of the one I wanted growing up. It even has a working headlight and horn on it thats all original. Thanks for the memories.

Libby said...

Mine was a Schwinn that came with training wheels. My brother (10 years older) took them off before I was ready, but I managed. It had a big white basket with colorful vinyl flowers attatched to the handle bars. We lived outside of town at that time, but I rode to the end of our road to get the mail. Later I graduated to a 3-speed, then 10-speed racer style that I rode through high school after we had moved to town. What fun and freedom those bikes afforded me. Good memories *s*

Fiona said...

I remember my first bike - it was a tricycle. After that I never had a brand new bike - they were always second hand but I always had a bike. Then when I was eighteen and at university my Dad bought me a brand new bike - it was a Peugeot and I loved it! I used to cycle all over the city.

Screen Door said...

OK - Confess, you were one of the cool kids... only the cool kids had baskets!!!
Last weekend I bought a basket for my bike because I wanted to start bringing the camera out for blogging. My SIL says,"how charming" It's not charming..it's a really hip basket. Remember banana seats and banana handle bars? Never had those either but wished over them...
be sweet
Melanie

Karen said...

I had a turquoise Schwinn and liked nothing better than getting a friend to go a "bike hike" with me, often along the trails in the Forest Preserve around La Grange IL. Sometimes we would get as far as Brookfield Zoo, where there was a place to slip in for free and we would zoom up and down those broad boulevards on our bikes.

Katie said...

I don't remember any training wheels around then either. My parents would neither one ride a bike but my mother decided she would teach me to ride. She insisted I start by the big tree in the back yard because the ground was a little elevated there. I never learned to ride it on that grass but finally did it by myself on the sidewalk in front of our house. The problem was the landings there were much harder and I still have the knee scar to prove it. My husband grew up very poor in rural Arkansas. He never had a bike and after our kids learned to ride, they insisted he learn. We all laughed our heads off watching him wobble around but eventually he did manage to ride it. What he always wanted and never got was a red wagon. One year we got him one to hook on the back of the riding lawn mower. What he could do was really walk on stilts. None of the rest of the family could ever do that.

dot said...

We did not have fist bikes. I grew up in a poor family so we had hand me down, fix them so they work bikes, but boy did we have fun. We would have races around the block, see who could jump over the most kids, of coarse we had a ramp to go over, see who could jump the ditch. We would ride double, so the fun summer days on our bikes. We would even use bailing twine in the winter to make chains for our bikes to try to ride in the snow. What memories.

Sweet P said...

My first bike was a turquoise Schwinn too. I got it for Christmas and used to ride it around in circles in our screened-in porch until summer came.

My older brother had a bike with a banana seat and a sissy bar. That was one cool bike!

Thanks for bringing back the memories.

Dawn said...

Oh what a fun bike and cute picture! I had one of those bigger tricycles to ride until I was around 6 or 7, and that was in the 60's!

Patty said...

love the picture Finn, and oh how I loved my trike. I had a big one cause my father wouldn't let us have two wheelers EVER. His brother was killed on one. Naturally like a normal kid I snuck and rode one whenever the opportunity allowed.

Sue said...

My first bike was a Schwinn, second hand. It was green. I remember my dad running behind me to balance me till I could do it one my own. I was about 8 or 9. I often rode it to school with the bike lock key on a chain around my neck!

ForestJane said...

I got a bike for Christmas the year I was 8.

It wasn't under the tree, and I really thought I'd been bad, because I only had gifts from my parents - clothes and stuff, mostly. I was gullible for a second grader, and my big brothers were ALWAYS telling me I was such a brat, Santa wouldn't bring me anything.

So there I was, trying to be quiet, surrounded by wrapping paper, socks, and new gloves, so nobody would know that he really had left stuff for them and not me.

Then my dad takes one of his presents into the adjoining room that was always kept closed off (think parlor) and yelled for me to come - apparently Santa'd left it in the wrong room... lol

Tanya said...

What a fantastic photo and story. I also started out with a tricycle (well, it was my older sister's) and learnt to ride a bike never using training wheels. I still remember the first time I actually managed it - I was on top of the world (lets forget that it was all downhill and there wasn't much peddling involved, at least I could balance...). I have both a bike and a car and I still cycle a lot - to work mainly now. I'd never give up my bicycle.

Tracey said...

My grandma had one of those that I rode ALL THE TIME when visiting her! Oh my! What memories that brings back, Finn! She was my g-ma that lived in town and I remember being completely amazed how *easy* it was to ride a bike on a paved street!! Being a country kid, we didn't have that 'luxury' at home. ;o) I remember that the bike felt like riding on a tank though compared to my bike at home! LOL!

EileenKNY said...

My dad worked for sanitation and my first bike came out of someone else's recycling. I didn't get it till I was 10, because when we lived in the projects, no bikes were allowed. So I had training wheels on a 24". Embarrassing, but the next year, I got a new bike with handle brakes and that was the coolest thing. We even had to get licenses-little round discs that went on the back wheel to show you had taken the safety course and passed the test. That was in the '60s.
Even though bikes have come back, I think skateboards outnumber them. I guess they're easier to keep track of for the kids.