My first bike...

There have been two times in my life when my clothing taste was "fashionable". I can assure you that when I achieved this wondrous state, it was completely unintentional.

Once was when the country went mad and decided bell-bottom jeans were a good idea. As someone who HAD to wear them because the local Penneys sold them cheaper than straight-leg, let me assure you they were not, are not, and will not be a good idea.

The second time I looked fashionable was when people thought old-looking jeans were a good idea.

See, my clothes had to last. For a long, long time. So they tended to fade and get holes in them. Of course, unlike the sheep...err, fashion-conscious crowd, I did not have to spend extra money to get that faded, holey look to my jeans. My pants actually WERE faded and full of holes.

But at least the look was popular if unintentional.

Now, one might wonder how I, of all people, got holes in my pants. I have always been a voracious reader (as was my eldest sister at one time). It was so bad that one summer, Mom and Dad banned Sue and I from the library and insisted we go outside and play some to get some exercise.

Ironically, I did get a lot of exercise playing baseball, basketball, and even occasionally football with some of my childhood friends, but that is for another comedic piece. This one is about my first bicycle.

It was blue. It was a dirt bike style, sort of and it was the mother of all hand me downs.

Grandma Alda, the one who lived about a mile from my current home, lived in a "Senior's Trailer Park" where you had to be something like 55 or older. Well, someone left a bike in her front yard for several months so it became my older sisters.

After she got a new ten speed, I got my first bike. And what a bike it was. 

It was a blue "dirt bike". It had no chain guard, the handlebars were stripped so had an unfortunate tendency to flip forwards at the most inconvenient times, and the brakes were...well, questionable at best.

Now, a normally intelligent person would have taken great care with such a "fine" piece of machinery. I mean, the combination of bell-bottom pants and no chain guard alone was more than enough to develop the afore-mentioned holes in my pants.

I actually became an expert at finding places to crash. Whenever my pant legs got caught in the chain I knew I was going to crash. It was just the cost of riding that bike which I did love to do. So I would try to maintain my balance until finding (hopefully) a nearby grassy place. 

Barring that, I would find gravel as it was still better than wiping out on the pavement. I got more rocks buried in my knees...

Of course, I was not content to just get my pant legs caught...I had to do dumber stuff.

Like, we would make jumps of firewood and plywood. You would think that having handlebars that were stripped would keep me from jumping. After all, there was the possibility that they would not hold, would spin over frontwards thus leading me to a painful crash.

Now go back and read that paragraph again, this time replacing  the word "possibility" with the words "virtual certainty".

This was before kids had to wear shin guards and elbow pads and helmets to ride a bike, allow me to point out.

So now you have a picture of a guy wearing ripped, faded bell bottom jeans riding a bike that crashed every 15-20 minutes still somehow deciding it was a good idea to pop wheelies, jump ramps, and...well, just ride the bike in general.

I think of someone that intelligent, there is just one thing worth being said.

Remember my name and vote for me...

4 comments:

Riot Kitty said...

LOL! These days if I have a hole in my jeans, I get a new pair of jeans, but I remember the whole Debbie Gibson jeans-with-holes thing. Unfortunately jeans with holes did not last too long after being washed...in seventh grade I found that out the hard way ;)

pheromone girl said...

Reminds me of my infamous "ass jeans" a long forgotten paid of old Levi's that had holes in the knees AND the butt. I always wore men's boxers under them (I was sooo cool) but the neighbor ladies were mortified.

Sean's dad once told him the story of these jeans that survived in my closet until the mid-90s, just for remembrance sake. Now, to make the boy blush, all I have to say is "ass jeans".

crisjesse said...

Through most of elementary school we lived in a trailer park way out in the boonies. There were a ton of us kids in that park, and a lot of bikes.

When anyone got a new bike they'd take their old one to the dumpster and lean it against the side. Free parts! Most of the bikes in that park that lasted any length of time looked like stone soup.

One time I got some new parts for the front of my bike that way. There was an oval street that cirled a couple rows of trailers, and we used to race around it, ride wheelies around the corners, and try as many stupid things as we could around it.

I found out that when riding a wheelie around a corner it's good to make sure that your "new" bike parts are secured tightly. I was almost done with the corner and the front wheel suddenly went bouncing out in front of me and left me on a poor unicycle. Being the smart kid I was I freaked out. Instead of simply dropping back off the bike and safely on my feet, I rode it out until the front end had to come down. The pavement congratulated me with a kiss, and I've had a problem with overtightening parts on any vehicle ever since...

Then there was the time I put my feet on the handlebars and put my hands behind my head as I rode pass a group of girls, trying to impress them. I tell you what, I definitely left an impression on them!

Darth Weasel said...

old clothes as good memories...who'dathunkit?

and C-Jess, sounds like you and I had pretty much the same bike. Awesome.