15 February 2011

Remembering our First Loves

We all have that bicycle from our past that we remember above all of the others, the one that holds a special place in our hearts. It may be our first bike, it may not. It may be the bicycle that sparked our interest in riding. Whatever the reason, it is special to us.

Mine is a KHS BMX bike from 1978. It was dark red, with bright yellow pads. It wasn't my first bike, but it was my first new bike, and the first one that I bought with my own money.

Just down the street from my parent's house there was a field that some of the neighborhood kids had carved a BMX track into. I wanted to ride the course so badly, but my bike at the time was an old muscle bike from the late 60's that was a hand-me-down from my brothers. Not exactly built to take the jumps and whoop-de-do's that were scattered around the track. I asked Mom and Dad for a bike, and in typical parent fashion, they didn't see the need to go spend almost $200 on a new bike when the one I had worked "just fine". I was told that If I wanted a new bike, I would need to save up my money, and buy it myself.

So, that's what I did. I saved my allowances, and became almost obsessive about collecting aluminum cans for recycling - in Utah in the late 70's, there was a big aluminum recycling movement. Every Saturday, a semi truck would pull up in a nearby store parking lot, and people would line up to hand over their bags of aluminum for cash. I was a regular there, filling up garbage cans with my week's haul of aluminum to be weighed, and exchanged for the money that would help me get my bicycle.

I don't remember how long it took, but I know that my parents were surprised when I came to them and said that I had the money and wanted to go get my bike. We went down to the local bike shop and picked out the perfect one. I rode that bike everywhere.

Me with my KHS, and Hoover with "The Wheel" in my back yard.
I wish I had a better picture, but I couldn't find one.

I wish I still had it, I rode it for years, but eventually, bikes slipped down on the scale of importance and what was once my pride and joy became a permanent fixture in the garage. Eventually, it was given or donated away. According to my mom, we put it out in a garage sale many years after it was purchased.

What was your first bike love? Leave a comment with your story, or if you have a blog, write your story this week.

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