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When I was a kid...

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When I was a kid...

Old 08-01-18, 01:09 PM
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When I was a kid...

When I was a kid, back in the 1950's, my bicycle was my prized possession. Nothing else came close. It was my chariot, my trusted steed and my gateway to the world beyond our driveway. I would think nothing of jumping on my "English Racer" in the morning and cycling through our town and covering mile after mile with the wind in my hair and a smile on my face. It was an exquisite, black English Raleigh which my parents had bought for me on my twelfth or thirteenth birthday. Some of my friends had Rudges, but "everyone knew" that Raleigh made Rudge (sic) and were far superior. HA!

Having access to my father's dinghy in the summer time, I'd hop on my Raleigh at eight or nine in the morning, ride the fifteen miles to our harbor on the Long Island Sound and, after six or seven hours tooling around the harbor in the dinghy, I'd hop back on my trusty Raleigh and pedal the fifteen miles home... without a thought and without the hint of an ache or a pain!

What happened?? Now, everything hurts from my thighs to my wrists and the "wind in my hair" only makes me work harder! In my eighth decade, I long for (and pedal for) the joy of my youth!
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Old 08-01-18, 01:12 PM
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Old 08-01-18, 01:21 PM
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"Youth is wasted on the young. What a crime to waste it on children."--G.B. Shaw
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Old 08-01-18, 01:28 PM
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Yep, I think my bike was my most prized possession, too. Used to go on rides with my sister out in the country, and it was what I did my daily paper route on as well. For all the bike riding I do these days, I don't ever remember as a kid hills being hard to climb up. I likely had a lot more energy back then.
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Old 08-01-18, 01:43 PM
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hey at least you still have hair!
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Old 08-01-18, 01:55 PM
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Charming anecdote. I also have similar memories of cycling experiences which I estimate to be about 5 years newer. Living in Montreal, after a hard winter it was simply magic to be able to ride on streets not covered with snow every spring. It usually corresponded with our Easter break. What a joy! Not only were we out of school for almost a week, but we also were allowed to ride our bikes. I have a very happy memory of a bunch of us in our schoolyard trying to do jumps over a snowbank that hadn't melted yet. So much fun, especially for me because I landed the longest one.
We were not supposed to ride our bikes there, but we also used to play bike polo in the schoolyard, we would have to lift our bikes over the fence. We would kick the ball with our feet, crashes were sometimes spectacular, but we had so much fun. We also played pickup football with no pads or helmets. The worst thing that ever came of that was being tackled into a pile of dog excrement. What a great childhood!

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Old 08-01-18, 02:01 PM
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As a kid my buddy and me would ride the 5 miles to the old abandoned Ford Plant in Milpitas, CA, and ride the 2 mile loop of perfectly smooth concrete that was inside the old plant. (ok, you had to dodge some anchor bolts and plates that ran down the middle, but the edges tended to be clear.

Weaving back and forth between the support beams was great fun!

They turned the thing into a mall, now old people speed walk instead.
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Old 08-01-18, 02:15 PM
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Hey @DrDyno - congrats on pedaling into the 80's. Just wondering, did you take a cycling layoff from youth until retirement?
As a 67 year old kid, I hold in very high regard all of my cycling elders.
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Old 08-01-18, 02:25 PM
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Have you looked at the 50+ forum or any of the subforums for older riders https://www.bikeforums.net/fifty-plus-50/? You are not alone at 80 still riding but certainly a diminishing number. It is true that a recumbent is often the solution for the aches and pains that come with using a DF bike. The good ones are not cheap but certainly do make riding more fun when there are fewer aches and pains to discourage riding.
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Old 08-01-18, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by DrDyno View Post
When I was a kid, back in the 1950's, my bicycle was my prized possession. Nothing else came close. It was my chariot, my trusted steed and my gateway to the world beyond our driveway. I would think nothing of jumping on my "English Racer" in the morning and cycling through our town and covering mile after mile with the wind in my hair and a smile on my face. It was an exquisite, black English Raleigh which my parents had bought for me on my twelfth or thirteenth birthday. Some of my friends had Rudges, but "everyone knew" that Raleigh made Rudge (sic) and were far superior. HA!

Having access to my father's dinghy in the summer time, I'd hop on my Raleigh at eight or nine in the morning, ride the fifteen miles to our harbor on the Long Island Sound and, after six or seven hours tooling around the harbor in the dinghy, I'd hop back on my trusty Raleigh and pedal the fifteen miles home... without a thought and without the hint of an ache or a pain!

What happened?? Now, everything hurts from my thighs to my wrists and the "wind in my hair" only makes me work harder! In my eighth decade, I long for (and pedal for) the joy of my youth!
nowadays, it’s “the wind in my hairs”
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Old 08-01-18, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
Hey @DrDyno - congrats on pedaling into the 80's. Just wondering, did you take a cycling layoff from youth until retirement?
As a 67 year old kid, I hold in very high regard all of my cycling elders.
Think about it. I am 68 years old riding in my 7th decade. Someone in their 80's would be riding in their 90th decade of cycling
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Old 08-01-18, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
Think about it. I am 68 years old riding in my 7th decade. Someone in their 80's would be riding in their 90th decade of cycling
if you are 68 you are living in your 69th year.

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Old 08-01-18, 03:54 PM
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I didn't know anything about gearing back then but the schwinn stingrays were a lot slower than my typhoon.
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Old 08-01-18, 04:10 PM
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When I was a kid, I rode my bike EVERYWHERE in my small town. I think I had one flat between 6-16 years old.
Riding a bike cost me ZERO dollars, except for that one time I bought a headlight.

NOW, I can't seem to ride it more than a month without spending over a hundred dollars.
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Old 08-01-18, 04:16 PM
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There was no such thing as bike maintenance then. And get a flat? T.S. Ride it home on the rim. Repairs? The stem on my sting ray (clone) broke from me torquing on it, so my dad ARC WELDED it back together. Worked for a few months. You made stuff last back then.

I looked at a 20" Stingray bike recently, a real one, and I was shocked at how small it was. I can't even imagine trying to ride something like that nowadays.
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Old 08-01-18, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
Think about it. I am 68 years old riding in my 7th decade. Someone in their 80's would be riding in their 90th decade of cycling
Their 90th decade?
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Old 08-01-18, 04:59 PM
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Getting old ain't for sissies!
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Old 08-01-18, 05:18 PM
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Mind over matter, my friend. I'm 66 and can still do that stuff. It just takes a lot of mental resilience the following morning.

Great post.
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Old 08-01-18, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Litespud View Post


nowadays, it’s “the wind in my hairs”
In my case, it is 'the wind across where I USED to have hair'
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Old 08-01-18, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by 02Giant View Post
Their 90th decade?
Once you have lived for 80 years, the following decade is your 90th
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Old 08-01-18, 08:12 PM
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To clear up the "Decade" debate... I am several weeks away from my 73rd birthday. I am in my 8th decade, to be completed the final day of my 79th year.
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Old 08-01-18, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
Hey @DrDyno - congrats on pedaling into the 80's. Just wondering, did you take a cycling layoff from youth until retirement?
As a 67 year old kid, I hold in very high regard all of my cycling elders.
I took a hiatus from cycling the day I got my driver's license... 1961. In 2001 (40 years later and 56 years old), my wife and I bought a matching set of GT comfort bicycles. She rode hers twice; I rode mine maybe a dozen times, converted it to a hybrid and rode for maybe another four or five months. I retired in 2012 and, once again, chose cycling for exercise. After much research I settled on a Jamis Commuter-4 which I still enjoy (on most rides).

As an aside... prior to my beautiful black Raleigh, I remember a red & white Huffy to which I laundry clipped playing cards on my fender stays to make it sound like a poor man's motorcycle as the spokes hit the cards! HA! I must have been ten or eleven years old.
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Old 08-03-18, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
Once you have lived for 80 years, the following decade is your 90th
I think you mean 9th.
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Old 08-03-18, 11:18 AM
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When I was a kid in the 70's, my father bought me a yellow Raleigh Chopper with 3 gears. Huh!! Those days, we lived in a quiet neighbourhood, not too many cars and buses on the road. On one of those quiet day, I cycled through a lonely cemetary with not a soul in sight. Low a behold, came a pack of wild dogs ... and they gave chase to the yellow Chopper. I have never cycled longer , faster nor screamed louder than that day in my life. I also found out that day that 3rd gear equates to roughly 6 dog teeth inches away from being bitten .
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Old 08-03-18, 11:55 AM
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I still have a very vivid memory of childhood riding -
While going downhill at full speed on my 20" stingray-style bike, obviously with a big grin on my face,
I caught a bumblebee full in the mouth -
I spit him out as fast as possible, but he gave me a fat lip that lasted for several days ..........
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