Friday Group Ride #158


Charles Dube’s driveway. A stout piece of plywood and a stack of cinder blocks. We had jumped our bikes at nearly every house in the neighborhood, but his was the longest driveway and the best paved. We pooled at the back, next to his mother’s parked car and waited our turn to hurtle ourselves off the teetering ramp. The last jumper would linger by the takeoff to mark the distance.

As the day progressed we got bolder and began jumping over one another’s prone bodies, the bravery of the jump turning into the bravery of the jumped. It was that fearless time of youth when getting the lift of the front wheel just right seemed easy and power skidding into the gravel at the edge of the road is what you did, because you could. It was all effortless.

Perhaps not coincidentally Charles was the best jumper. A year younger than most of us, he was nonetheless the fastest both on and off the bike, that natural athlete letting us know, even at that age, that we were only average.

These days of jumping our dirt bikes seemed to go on and on. How many hours did we spend there daring each other to do ever more audacious and stupid things? How much blood did we shed from knees and elbows and sometimes heads? None of us had ever even seen a bike helmet.

I recall too sprinting down the sidewalk one day in the pouring rain, my friend Sean and I hustling to get to his house before we were soaked to our skins. And he just failed to lift his front tire to ford a curb and over he went, face first onto the sidewalk, the rain splashing angrily around him and his front teeth broken. I remember the blood streaming down his chin and the look on his mother’s face when we finally got there and the jagged smile he wore for months after.

I have had countless good and bad times on bicycles throughout my life. The intensity of the ones in my childhood seems to have imprinted the bicycle on my psyche, and I wonder if I had been a different kind of kid in a different kind of neighborhood if I’d ever have become the cyclist and person I am today. It’s a thing that is pleasantly impossible to know.

This week’s Group Ride asks what your cycling childhood was like. Did you ride BMX like I did? Were you the best jumper? Or was your path into this life different? What do you remember? And what, from that time, still inspires you now?

Image: Matt O’Keefe

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  1. dstan58

    We did exactly the same thing at H.T. Bigelow’s house. Plywood from a construction site? Check. Worked loose cinder blocks from H.T.’s retaining wall? Check. Sting-ray bikes bought at the hock shop for $5? Check. Football helmet? Check. Bandages from Mrs. Bigelow’s first aid kit? Check. Launch yourself down the driveway, pull up on the bars at the lip of the ramp or suffer the consequences. Heck, suffer the consequences anyway, because it took a while to figure out, in the 1975, pre-X Game atmosphere, how to jump a bike properly. Good times.

  2. Ron Callahan

    We LIVED on our BMX bikes when we were kids.

    Our favorite place to jump was an area of the neighborhood that we called Coasters. It was were five or six house had been torn down to clear for the highway that eventually split the subdivision in half.

    The Coasters part was the hills between each lot where the houses used to be. You could start at the top of the hill and have a good old time tearing across the yards and the driveways, then swooping down the hills between the lots.

    Our big jump was a 4′ by 8′ sheet of fiberboard that was laid up on a big mulch pile in what used to be someone’s backyard. We would start in the former driveway, go down the hill into the backyard, hit that ramp and fly what felt like twenty feet.

    As we became more brave, we started building ramps at the top of the hill so we flew out over the drop off.

    I broke my Stingray in half after hitting that jump so many times. That was my first bike, bought new from the Schwinn shop (not a $5 thrift store buy). My parents weren’t too happy about me cracking my frame.

    That led me to using my paper route money to buy my first ‘real’ BMX bike, a CYC Stormer. That’s where the constant bicycle upgrade obsession that persists to this day started.

    Schwinn Stingray to CYC Stormer to GT Pro Series to Haro Series 1. Bought a Cannondale road bike and an early Specialized Stumpjumper somewhere in there as well. Bought a Kona MTB a few years later.

    I eventually sold all of these bikes, but I now have a Haro ‘old man’ race bike to go along with my Pake single speed and my Giant TCR. I still know where the Stumpjumper and the Kona are….

  3. Steve P

    I wonder if we got as much air as we thought we did. Everything seems huge as a kid even if it’s not. Though we were dumb and fearless, so maybe we really did go that hard and that high.

  4. Cory Burns

    Some of my best memories of early riding were of my friends and I racing to school in shirts and ties, jumping the edges of driveways where grass meets the black top and curls up just enough to be able to “get some wicked air” when ever possible. Arriving sweaty to school with a toe strap around my ankle from my dads old road bike as my pose and i arrived with just enough time to cool off before a day hitting the books. Now days with three kids and a full time job the passion is just as intense and i cant help but get just as excited when the sun is out and the wind is calm and i get a few hours by myself with nothing but the road ahead of me. thinking about nothing or everything depending on whats going on at home or work. it is truly a gift to have that kind of freedom we so often take advantage of.

  5. Walt S

    I was a little kid with a red bike with training wheels that was a little too big, but it made no difference. Every time I would get on it to ride, something magical, something unexplainable, would happen. Being able to ride around the block was the first big bike adventure I remember. Later there was a red J. C. Higgins 3 speed that was also too big (I would grow into it, was the logic). It had shiny chrome fenders and rims. It was so over-sized that the only way I could ride it was to lean against something, like a car or the side of a house, put my feet on the pedals, and shove off, teetering precariously down the road. Stopping was the reverse, but it did not quite work so successfully. I really knew nothing about the history of bike racing or anything even remotely so sophisticated. I only knew that riding was invigorating and fun, which it is still to this day. Some days when I go out and the weather is perfect, the sense of adventure strong, I can feel those first rides still a strong influence in my bones. I still love red and I still love to ride.

  6. John H

    I was the worst of my group…underweight, and an old steel bmx bike. Couldn’t bunny-hop to save my life…but still I followed the others…and paid for my attempts…but good memories remain…I never got one of the truly cool bikes of those times(Redline) and to this day I still have a spot deep in my heart and psyche for a P.K. Ripper….god how I wanted one.

    Also, the psychological(and physical for that matter) marks left in me when one day while going off a board and brick jump on the sidewalk, I watched in slow motion horror as the lower half of my forks and my front wheel dropped from my bike mid-air and went as far left as the brake cable would let them, leaving me contemplaing my doom the whole “time standing still” way down.

    Thirty years later, I still obsess over the health and fit of the forks and headset on my road and cx bikes…

  7. papogi

    Oh yeah. My first BMX bike was a Cycle Pro. Then I got a Thruster Timmy Judge model. Chrome, blue anodized parts. Too cool. Jumping curbs, bunny-hopping ever taller things, building a dirt track in the woods with berms and a table top (a bunch of pallets covered with dirt). Then I discovered 10 speeds when I was at a friend’s house and his older brother had a white Raleigh with Simplex Campy-copy pats and sew-ups. Literally changed my life forever. I love the mechanisms of the bicycle itself, but also the way that riding allows thoughts to flow so effortlessly and with such clarity.

  8. Ransom

    I didn’t have the fearlessness when I was ten. I got bolder in my twenties and then have backed off a bit in the last decade or so…

    But I do remember a lot of fun playing at it. I lived in San Francisco, so once you got up the hill, velocity was easy to come by. Skidding for great distances on the downhill run… My dad and I built a proper(ish) ramp, with a tabletop and landing slope. Probably two feet high, maybe. It took me all day to get the nerve to ride over it at all, while my friend Joel was clearing the top and backslope and landing on the far sidewalk on his third go…

    I remember a much flimsier ramp that the kids put together at one point, set up on the edge of a curb to jump into the street. Probably 1/4″ plywood. I remember how it flexed massively, and then springboarded Omar into a heap in the street, hip skinned up. He was probably the toughest of the kids on Bocana street, but that was a bit much… That was one of my earliest lessons about structural integrity, and the difference between strength and stiffness…

  9. MattC

    Schwinn Sting Rays with street ‘slicks’ (which were COOL). BMX hadn’t been invented yet…growing up 60 miles from Butte Mt (the home of Evil Knievel) we HAD to jump our bikes. Old wooden doors from a shed, stacks of 2×4’s to give the desired height of both take off and landing ramps. Shorts, tank tops and tennis shoes were our only body armor. Spring streets still littered with gravel from the cold Montana winter…daring each other to move the landing ramp further and further away. Until Rick finally moved the ramp a STUPID distance, and pedaled down the hill as fast as a human can make a single-spd Stingray go, overshot the landing ramp by MANY feet landing on the front wheel, the ensuing superman crash/skid. Never seen that much road rash. His parents were PISSED, he was grounded and our ramps were gone. Ahhhh…those were the days!

  10. Tom in albany

    3 speed schwinn with a banana seat that got stolen the first summer i had it. rode my sister’s bike until i fit on my dad’s bike. I used to ride and walk all over the town exploring on it.

  11. scaredskinnydog

    For us it was garbage cans. Remember The Happy Days episode when Fonz jumped 13 garbage cans? Well we would line them up and see how many you could clear. The alltime best was when Russ Romain went for 4 cans. His front wheel cased the top of the 4 can knocking the lid off. His back wheel slid into the open can leaving both bike and rider stuck in the toppled trash can. We laughed so hard we cried although Russ didn’t find it amusing and always swore that he didn’t get stuck in the trash can. It was all The Fonz’s fault

  12. Bart

    About 8 houses down from me there was a retired guy who had a single car garage full of old bike parts. He would chain “custom” built bikes to a tree out by the street with price tags on them and all the kids in the neighborhood would pine for the newest ones. These custom bikes had all manner of mixed seats handlebars, shifters, breaks, etc. Each was truly unique. Our parents would help us trade in last years bike for a new one each year which we would then proceed to bash and smash as best we could.

    I remember the year I got a blue bike with a blue, sparkly banana seat and the long “chopper” handle bars with matching blue grips and tassels. It had 12 speeds! So cool.

    Our favorite was to ride off retaining walls and jump as far as we could. These walls usually had stair steps to them so you could go off from one block high, or two, or … 10. I never had the guts to go off the high levels and I saw too many kids break arms or other parts doing that. I was the youngest in the neighborhood so I saw a lot of stupid stuff I never had to do myself. We also built ramps to jump off but the retaining walls seemed to hold the most attention in our neighborhood.

    Now, I can’t imagine letting my kids do that stuff. But I’m sure they will!

  13. Andrew

    Lived at the top of a hilly neighborhood growing up- a lot of time riding up and down the street- the hills were really hard without gears. Didn’t do a whole lot of riding through middle school, and one way or another ended up a really fat kid by 9th grade. Went away that summer to a summer school program, and signed up for biking as my daily activity (no idea why). I was embarrassed about how fat I was and I wouldn’t take off this big hooded sweatshirt, no matter how hot it got, but I rode every day, and the funny thing was, I was actually a pretty fast rider, fat or not. Got home that summer and everyone was like “wow- you lost a lot of weight”. Kept it up, never looked back, and haven’t ever been out of shape since then. Thank God for bikes!

  14. Ben

    Thinking back I cannot determine if it was the 1/4 sheet of plywood and cinder block, hijacking my brother’s Puch that was clearly too big for me to ride beyond ‘the perimeter’, or the first time I stopped in the woods to catch my breath and heard silence that snagged me. In any case, I’m good.
    I only hope there are a few more moments like those to come.

  15. nrs5000

    Learned to ride on a pine green metallic stingray with matching green seat. I still remember the first time I got going by myself without training wheels. I didn’t know how to stop so I rode for several minutes, up and down our block, which had very little traffic. A bit later that day I popped my first wheelie. It was pretty weak, so next time I pulled back harder on the bars. A lot harder. Thereby smashing the back of my head on the chipseal our neighborhood was paved in, and the bike crashing down on top of me. Been in love with the bike ever since.

  16. brucew

    BMX hadn’t been invented yet when I was a kid. Schwinn hadn’t even come out with the Sting Ray yet either. My first 20” was a cruiser style bike with coaster brakes, a rattle can paint job, and training wheels.

    When the training wheels came off, my father thought it would be a good idea to use a hill rather than run along behind me. He launched me down the side hill next to the house. The speed scared the livin’ bejesus out of me, I promptly forgot how to steer and plowed full speed right into the red maple tree.

    We used lesser grades after that.

    The bike that was with me for most of childhood was a 24” Schiwnn with a 3-speed Sturmey-Archer, full fenders, bottle generator light system, and a paperboy rack on the back. For much of my youth, there wasn’t enough boy to push past second gear on the thing. By the time there was enough of me to push third gear, I’d earned enough on my paper route to buy a Kawasaki.

    Still, it probably explains why, with crit bikes and stage racers in exotic materials in the fleet, my favorite bike is my commuter, with full fenders, a triple, dynamo hub, rear rack and panniers.

  17. LesB

    Like brudew, I was well into adulthood when BMX’es came around, and when they first came out, I wondered why all these teenagers were riding child’s bikes.

    The cycling accident that had the potential to be my worst ever was my first ever, and happened on my tricycle. I dared myself to creep the front wheel as close as I could to the top of the stairs going down to the cellar. Crept a bit too far, plunged down the stairs and ran up against some solid object. Rammed my crotch against the head tube.

    Ended up with a black & blue wang.

  18. Dan

    20″ stingrays were the ride de rigeur in my day. Practicing for the move to mini-bikes and motocross lent for some serious loss of skin along the way. I remember challenging a local girl to a race around the block. big girl with Nelson Vail thighs. Last chance attempt to pass on the final turn and I came in way too hot. Still wearing that badge of courage on my left elbow. Good times.

  19. SusanJane

    First bike I remember? We bought a no-name with Green Stamps (anyone remember those?). Purple. Oh did I love the color. Sparkly purple banana seat. Hand breaks. It was the fastest bike in miles. If kids watched the cross street and a single side street we could ride from the top of this steep hill, down through the tract housing, and end up in the golf course parking lot. Off road and on road, but watch out for the goat’s head stickers — forget tacks those things could almost go through car tires.

  20. Maremma Mark

    Wow, did I grow up with all of you guys but just can’t remember your names? The post and all of the replies read like pages out of a diary that I never kept…some of them are eerily familiar. I was doing all the same crazy stuff in the early to mid 60’s, way before BMX but we got our bikes to do things their builders would have never imagined or believed. I have the scars to prove it too. Beyond the wild fun and laughter, I think it gave me a sense of limits, like what could really harm you beyond simple repair and what was possible to pull off. It took going slightly over that line a bunch of times to dial it in though. Many times our mother’s reactions were worse than the actual crash. It sure was easy to have fun back then and it almost always meant being outdoors!

  21. Noel

    I was 10 years old in 1980, just in time to catch the first BMX explosion. My brother and I, and all our friends, positively LIVED on our bikes. I started out with a white Huffy Barnstormer (Schwinn Stingray banana seat knockoff) converted to a pseudo BMXer, and longed for something better. Eventually wound up working a paper route and buying a brand-spankin’-new first generation 1983 Haro Freestyler frame and fork and building it up. Man I loved that bike. Rode it across town to the arcade, record store, movies, and various places where there were cool (or stupid…) things to jump over or off of. That I managed to make it through those years without breaking a single bone amazes me. Several years of riding a quarter pipe on a daily basis (Bob Haro approved, built by a friend’s carpenter uncle using plans from a BMX Plus magazine article written by Haro himself), jumping off or over anything that would stand still long enough, trying to bunnyhop hedges, friends in chairs, etc. and the worst I ever got was two stitches in my left knee from crashing while jumping “The 22,” the most infamous jump in the neighborhood.

    Those were great years…

  22. Ryan Hedemark

    In the early 80s, I had a pretty nice DiamondBack BMX rig. I wanted nothing more in life than $500 for the top tier Redline I saw the racers on in BMX mags. We had a huge field behind our house (where a giant strip mall now lays, replete with a Trader Joes, a Chili’s, a LensCrafters, & ironically, a Performance Bike shop.) We used to suicidally launch ourselves over huge ditches we would dig, off dirt jumps we crafted with our shovels & sweat. I sport a cross shaped scar on the bottom of my chin, from a gravel jump landing gone terribly wrong, that reminds me of those wondrous days of my youth when I look in the mirror. When I ride my fixed gear C’dale track bike I often feel like I did riding that old DiamondBack. Riding just to ride & because riding is quite possibly one of the most awesome things there is to do in this life!

  23. fentanyl patch quilter

    My first bike was a chromed-out mongoose bmx, complete with the plastic spokes and stunt pegs. There was a barren lot right across the street from my house. All the neighborhood kids and I built ever-evolving dirt jumps, improvised pump tracks and what I would now consider to be a short-track course. I remember not liking other games/sports during recess, so once that bell rang, it was time to huck the gnar, get bloody and impress the girls. A short couple years later, my mom entered me in some local bmx cross races. At that point I was racing a Praying Mantis with full on sew-up tires, pedals that had sharpened spikes and Vans shoes. It was all down-hill from there. Even at 10 years old I knew that by buying a license, wearing a full face helmet with matching leathers, I had sold out.

  24. Miles Archer

    I would have died to have had a schwinn with the banana seat and the 3 speed shifter. I had a junker that my parents bought at a police auction. I don’t remember a lot of jumping off ramps, but we did a lot of riding on the dry hardened clay where the housing developments were going in.

  25. Peter Kelley

    My first stunt: rode a trike off the side of a backhoe trailer, splitting open my chin for 3rd time.

  26. Michael

    My first bike was a hand-me-down tiny paper-boy bike, but my second was a green single-speed stingray, with banana seat (no back bar though) and high-rise handlebars. We’d ride through the fields and do stupid things that were great fun. One favorite jump was the cattle-loading ramp – the perfect jump, with a great slope and height and there was no way you were going off the side of it (although you could hook a handlebar in the fence). The ramp ended over the railroad track, where the railcars would be parked during the loading process. So, you had to have enough speed (and it was flat leading in, so it all had to come from your legs and not gravity) to make it over both sets of tracks. Fortunately, they were close together and a somewhat narrower gauge than what is common in the US.

  27. Boy_Howdy

    This got me thinking of my first bike – a Ross Apollo single-speed. Jumped off of many things on that bike, and had at least a few horrible spills on our gravel driveway.

    I recall when I was too old for it, we sold it to some kid down the street. Later that day, I was dismayed that I saw he had left it lying in the street. Crying, I begged my father to buy it back from the family because he didn’t know how to treat it. He did.

  28. Patrick O'Brien

    I read about the early mountain bikers getting the rear hub so hot from coaster brake use that the grease liquified and ran out of the hub. We did that as kids in the late 50’s by coasting down the big hill (ancient lake shore) in Waukegan Illinois then trying to stop at the bottom before making the turn onto the lake shore road. Didn’t help having a big basket full of fishing equipment on the front of the J. C. Higgins bike.

  29. jorgensen

    We were riding “BMX” before the manufacturers had caught on. The hot dirt bike was a Schwinn Slick Chick with a horizontal tube welded in about half way up the seat tube, all steel pedals, Schwinn tractor tires, the loop above the banana seat cut off and the struts placed under the saddle with big fender washers to protect the seat vinyl, details you know. And I forgot, motorcycle MX grips. There were technical reasons for the Slick Chick, it was lighter and used the same sized rim front and back. Oh yeah, ditch the chainguard, kickstand and any reflectors.
    This was late elementary school. In junior high I used this bike to draft a guy going the same way to school who was riding a Raleigh International, ticked him off to no end as he pounded away in a 52 x 14 in an effort to drop me.

    That all changed soon enough, sold that bike at a modest profit and bought a set of used Campagnolo Record pedals and a Phil Wood bottom bracket for my road bike. Started racing the next year.

  30. gmknobl

    I started riding a tricycle. It took until my late elementary years (4th grade I think) to learn to ride a two wheeler. I rode something akin to a safety bike. I still remembering telling my dad not to let go as I rode downhill on a school parking lot. A friend of mine (Eric?) was there too. My dad let go. I rode anyway and though scared, was able to turn. After that, I didn’t need him any more.

    Biking gave me a great sense of freedom, especially when I took it on the dirt roads in the country miles from Bedford, PA, where we had a cabin we’d go to during the weekends.

    I remember being jealous of a friend who claimed he was faster of me. I was a little upset. He then explained how his bike had three speeds. Mine had a shifter but was just a small metal box with nothing hooked up. Of course, I’d pedal my heart out but he’d beat me. Later, my dad would get us (me and my two sisters) ten speeds. I don’t remember the brand but they sounded japanese. Much later, I would inherit his Sears Free Spirit bike.

    After we moved to NW MD from Adelphi (a DC suburb) I rode more that summer. The mechanical speedometer I had I’d always try to get up to 30 mph and it’s needle lurched unsteadily up and down. On one hill I could almost and maybe I did. But I couldn’t maintain that. I did have a generator attached to the front wheel (it made a heck of a racket) that powered a headlight but I didn’t use it too much at night. We moved up to NW MD before I went to middle school but there were few in my area who rode bike like I enjoyed riding. So I eventually stopped riding. Of course, there were no sports programs for biking in high school. I do remember one of the first years in that area my dad and I went out and rode the 17 miles of the Antietam Battlefield rodes. It was an Easter Monday and unusually hot – in the mid 80s at least. We were both quite tired but exhilarated by our several hour ride. We had great fun and it’s a memory I’ll always cherish.

    Eventually, I took my dad’s free spirit to college. There one loose associate of some people I became friends with invited me along to ride locally. We went down into Ellet Valley, a local spot in the country from Blacksburg. But in so doing went down a steep twisty hill. I was rather embarrassed that he wanted me to climb back up this hill. I’d never done anything like that before. So, I walked after a short bit and we didn’t go biking again. This was in 1981 and I was still impressed by Lemond’s recent TdF feats. I was finding out how hard riding bike actually could be. This was new to me. But it was frustrating and again, I didn’t ride bike for several more years.

  31. gmknobl

    I know you don’t like long posts but I feel it’s appropriate here.

    Anyway, in college I started out at about 145 lbs, maybe 150, and no fat. My metabolism was high but I was lazy. About my sophomore year I started putting on muscle. I was a late bloomer at 20 finally getting to be a real “man” in physique. Still I didn’t ride and my metabolism soon dropped. I slowly put on weight and eventually got fat. I reached up to 230 lbs at 5′ 10.5″. That was big enough. I got off my duff and decided to loose weight. Who likes a 40″ waist anyway, especially when I’d been a 34. I decided to lift weights and do a little running and swimming. I went on a diet. I soon started loosing weight but then squat thrust my back into a slipped disc. Lifting weights was out and running really hurt my knees. So, I got out the old Free Spirit and rode bike. I really lost weight. Soon a friend of mine enthused about mountain bikes and being able to go anywhere on them. We bought Raleigh Chills. We took them out to Colorado for a friends wedding. This was in the early 90s. When we went out to the Bear Creek Canyon with our tents we soon found the altitude made riding quite difficult and neither of us were in good shape to do more than 30 minutes of riding. Pikes Peak was straight out.

    But I was still enamored of biking so got some smoothies for the mountain bike (it worked better than the now rusty free spirit) and started riding all over creation but mostly on the roads. A couple years later that friend called up wanting to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway. I arranged a trip with my Dad’s help and I set about practicing by putting gallons of Gatorade in the paniers on the back of the bike and riding the local hills. It was tough but got my muscles really going. He came over and we did our trip. The trip was fun for me but he and his friend had a hard time. Frankly, practicing in Newport News on the flats doesn’t do much for your hill climbing.

    Eventually I realized my mountain bike was slower than a road bike so I spent the money (I had more in my pre-married, pre-child days) and got a Klein Quantum Pro. I rode everywhere again on the road and felt like I did on my old safety bike on the dirt roads in PA. I’ve enjoyed that sense of freedom and fun ever since then, having ridden RAGBRAI, numerous MS 150s and even my local suffer fest, Mountains of Misery.

    I still gain weight in the winter – up to about 200 – but still loose that weight fairly easily so by high summer I’m 175 to 180. I’ll be 50 on April 12th and will ride Mountains at the end of May to show myself I can still do lots of fun riding.

  32. Gary R

    Wow, it’s just incredible how similar so many of the above stories sound to my own. The whole BMX thing started in my early years of bike riding, so I (and the rest of the neighborhood) jumped right in. Must’ve been around ’77 or ’78, right through to ’83, ’84? The neighborhood gang did our share of plywood ramp jumping. Lots of crashing too. I remember my group of friends of influential 8-10 year olds watching in awe as the ‘older’ kids (13, 14 yos) staged fake bike-to-bike crashes in our neighborhood intersection. Drivers would stop, get out, ask if they were alright, as the kids writhed on the ground in (faked) pain! We laughed so hard. And sure enough, were staging our our scenes in a year or two!

    We also spent lots of time at ‘the trails’. Wooded lots (there were so many of them then) along the canals in the suburbs outside of New Orleans. Swoopy, fun dirt trails. And there always seemed to be old and weathered adult magazines, and kids smoking, in the woods around the trails. It’s all become long-since rundown apartments now. Some are now roads.

    I look back so fondly on that time. No coincidence that the bike, and the riding, that was such a focus back then, is still a HUGE part of my life now. Thinking back, it seemed like there were several groups of kids in my neighborhood, and the surrounding ones. All riding around on bikes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that happen again in any of the 4-5 different neighborhoods, in different states, that I’ve lived in as an adult.

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