What bike did you have as a kid?
Yeah, I had a chrome Schwinn predator as a kid. My parents bought it for me for my 10th birthday. I ended getting a dyno vfr like 5 years later (it was (basically the same bike only with single piece cranks). These bike were mostly used for jump and the occasional ride to a friends house.
Here is a picture of me on the dyno in 10th grade:
MY Schwinn was an 84 predator. You can see a 1984 catalog scan here (it is a classic bmx):
I learned to ride around 1966 on some sort of red/white bike that had streamers coming out of the grips. I got into conversions early though, I had a 5 speed with a banana seat and some sort of caliper brakes, but I wanted to be able to do some sort of skid trick like my friends, so my dad and I converted it to a coaster brake bike.
The first bike I remember was pink and purple, had a basket, and was called “Miss Kitty.”
The second bike was hot pink with paint spatter all over it. This bike ruled.
The next was a green Giant Boulder MTB/Hybrid? I remember my dad taking me to the bike shop to buy it – it was such a big deal to get an actual bike store bike.
The Giant was the first bike I ever used for transport. I road that thing as a pre-teen and into my early teen years, using it to get to my friends’ houses, the park, pizza place, etc! Oddly enough, last night I fell asleep thinking about riding this bike around the ‘burbs of New Jersey. My parents and little brother ride it around their Colorado neighborhood now, which is pretty cute.
I never had a bike of my own until college. As a kid I would pretend to ride my brothers Huffy Mudslinger, but I couldn’t really ride a bike until the end of high school.
The first bike was an old 20″ single speed, from age 7 to about 12. I lived out in the sticks, but rode that thing everywhere. “Around the block” was 5 or 6 miles. Favorite memory: I liked to see how far I could coast without pedaling, in so doing learning a lot about the effects of lubrication, tire pressure and wind resistance.
At 12, I got a 24″ Schwinn with a 3-speed Sturmey-Archer hub. That extended my routine cycling to a five-mile radius from mainly just around the neighborhood.
The whole family got new bikes when I was 16, my mother and I getting 10-speeds. That one bit the dust in a head-on with another bicycle, mentioned in “The Art of Falling” thread. After that I used my mother’s 10-speed until I got the Raleigh I still use today.
Sweet 5 speed Schwinn Stingray with crazy stick shifter. I thought I was bad-ass until my mom kicked my ass on a 10 mile ride on her 1 speed loop frame Hollywood. I learned something that day.
edmonds59, the kid across the street from me had that same bike, only in a metallic orange. He beat the crap out of it in less than a year. Come to think of it, later on he beat the crap out of every car he had in less than a year, too.
I had an “American Eagle” BMX bike, I guess that would have been about 1984-85. Later got a Ross BMX bike around 91, then a 24in Roadmaster 10 spd MTB about 93. That was my last bike until about 2005 when I got back into biking.
I was 5 and the bike was a small green schwinn with coaster brakes and solid rubber tires. It’s been 25 years since I last looked at kids bikes but I’m not sure one can find one with solid tires anymore. The ride probably would be a little firm but at least you wouldn’t have to worry about flats.
Stu, based on what I did with mine, that dude would have to be an absolute monster to beat the crap out of it in less than a year!
Imagine Andrew’s picture, but with a Stingray. I’m just lucky I was still able to have kids.
Man, I can’t believe how many of you went through childhood on a single bike, or a small number of bikes. I can’t remember a time in my life when I did not have a bike. I remember a blue (single speed) monster of a schwinn that I learned to ride on — later run over when I left it propped against a garage door in the alley behind my house; my first three speed a red Schwinn, a bike that had rear, pannier style baskets, a gold Miyata Frontier that was stolen from the front porch in broad daylight after being parked there for about five minutes (my all time favorite bike), the replacement raspberry Miyata 310 that I’ve kept for the past 20 or so years, but not ridden, and the “lead sled” a green no name hybrid that introduced me to mountain biking, PORC and Venture Outdoors (bike now living with my niece in Chicago). My current fleet includes a blue Nishiki road bike, a Schwinn Moab mountain bike (that doesn’t see enough use), and the unicycle collected from Rob sometime last year. Each of these bikes has some special memory for me. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!
Do Big Wheels and Green Machine’s count as recumbents? After those, it was a Huffy BMX knock-off that got run into a few trees and crushed against a few curbs before I spray-painted the frame metallic purple, and the wheels with some weird textured gray paint that was supposed to look really cool, but really didn’t.
From there it was a brown and yellow “10 speed” my sister had been riding, until for my 14th birthday I got a Schwinn World Tour that I rode basically non-stop for two and a half years until I moved away…
…that was almost 25 years ago, and I didn’t really ride anything until a couple of my neighbors got me back out, and reminded me of how much I loved it. Now I ride whenever I can.
BTW Andrew, outstanding action pic. I have no equivalent pics, I suppose I could have had one of those Flintstone birds carve an action shot into a slab of rock. Polarock, I suppose.
Sara, what up with the rasberry Miyata? I thought you were going to dust that thing off?
Started on a fairly large tricycle- wheels must have been around 18 inches. Graduated to a Stingray, then some sort of larger black Schwinn with a battery powered horn in the enclosed section under the top tube. Rode that one a lot for about 6 years. Off to college with a Green Schwinn varsity 10 speed that got stolen. Next was a Motobecane Grand Record I bought used for $100- still have the replacement frame after the first cracked after around 10 years. Still riding it almost 30 years later, but share it with two other bikes- Trek 520 and Specialized Rockhopper, both replacements after the original frames failed after maybe 25 years.
@edmonds – The work on the raspberry Miyata is “in progress.” Not surprisingly, the tires were completely dry rotted. Replaced those. Then I started reading the “steel wheels” thread, and thought I should probably replace the brake pads too. Rest seemed pretty much ready to go with just a little dusting and some lube spray. Hope to take it out for a ride SOON!
I had some huffy with white tires and coaster brakes. I don’t think I’ve seen solid white tires on a non-children’s bike.
I think big wheels should count, check out this backflip: http://kottke.org/10/04/big-wheel-backflip-on-a-megaramp
learned to ride on a bright blue Schwinn that had curved albatross style handlebars with white grips, chunky metal fenders. rode that pre-school through kindergarten before handing it down to my lil sister. come first grade i got a sweet black Peugeot BMX which i rode up through 6th.
rarely equate memories to school years, though riding to and from school were moments of independence i loved and took pride in, so it makes sense here.
I don’t recall what bike I learned to ride on (the one that I tipped over when the training wheels came off). However, the bike that I’ve spent most of my life riding from about the age of eight until mid-2008 (heh) was a Schwinn Sidewinder mountain bike. All black with silver writing outlined by a thin line of fluorescent pink. It was slick.
RIP big guy. He’s in the basement of my parent’s house. I finally figured out in mid-2008 that biking with half my body over the handlebars meant that the bike was too small. Heh. Whoops.
A had a blue thing that was hard to pedal with a coaster brake. Big heavy, and with a top tube shaped like those beach cruisers.
2nd bike was a red and white Huffy dirt bike with a coaster.
No shout outs for “free spirit” yet? I know it was far from my first bike (likely some BMX) but that yellow 10-speed with impaler shifters is the first one i definitely remember the model…
I also had a speedometer something like this, which I thought was the best thing ever.
I use to get 2 to 3 “new” bikes every year growing up. By “new” I mean that my grandfather found bikes and various parts in the trash and would cobble together a bike and give it to me. I’m not sure Pap knew what he was doing, or if I was some sort of demond kid, but those bikes never lasted very long. I remember one very painful episode when a girl’s frame snapped in two at the bottom bracket going down a very steep hill. I bit the pavement with the handelbars still in my hands wondering what happened. I still have the chipped teeth to remember it by. I’m not sure that giving a kid a brand new bike worth hundreds of dollars can even come close to the love I got out of those old bikes. Thanks Pap!
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