Baby Boomer Memory: Wanting That Coolest Bike Ever!
It's a childhood 'right of passage'. Getting that first bike.
I remember getting my first bike and putting that old Trike in the garage attic somewhere. I didn't need that skunky old thing anymore, that was for little kids!
Now, of course, there was a lengthy period of having training wheels on that first bike (which was a hand-me-down from my older brother), but hey, it was a bike! And who can forget those first wobbly rides when those training wheels came off (and the bumps, bruises, and scrapes when she tipped!).
Yep, all was grand in this kid's world...except it wasn't exactly the best it could be.
No sir, the best it could be was introduced by Huffy in March of 1963. That's when they introduced a brand-spanking' new bike they called the 'Penguin'. Now, truth-be-known, we never called this thing a 'Penguin'. We called it the coolest thing ever!
Those banana seats and high-rise handlebars? Oh man, we had to get us one of those!
But of course, we didn't for several years. You see, our Pa's would look at our current bike (which, with these beautiful new wheelie bikes on the market, had become...well, skunky) and say 'The bike you got still works, you don't need another one'. Yeah, doggone it, back in 'those days' you didn't get something new and fancy just 'cuz it was new and fancy...the old clunker had to have bitten the dust.
So we set out to make that old one bite the dust. Crash, boom, bang...' Gee Dad, the wheels are crooked, spokes are missing, the handlebars are bent, the chain keeps coming off...' and whatever else we could add to this old bike-pile-of-junk.
I don't know at what age I got one of those 'Wheelie Bikes' with the banana seat, but one thing I do know is it was cool! I'm sure we got it used somewhere (Pop wasn't big on new) and it was over-the-moon cool...until I got a driver's permit. Then bikes were, well, for the little kids.
But for a time, man oh man, a banana seat with high rise handlebars...it was nothing short of plain, flat-out groovy!
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