Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bikes and Boards

Note: This partial post was originally posted on August 5, 2010. Not much to write about market wise, so here it is.

(Tonight's post was inspired by reader Watchtower who offered that he wanted a Schwinn Stingray more than anything as a kid, but it never happened. Here is the model in question:

That is a fine bike!

Of course this got me all nostalgic about the means of transport in my youth. Maybe you will take a ride down memory lane?

BMX Bicycles
As soon as I could, I loved riding bikes. Not unique, I know. My first bike was this crappy thing that had plastic wheels and was made out of tin foil I think. I took it over a 3 foot jump, landed, and the frame broke in half and stuck me in the leg (no stitches needed!). I was not put off on my bicycle career by such a thing.

Skipping ahead, I wanted to share the hottest bikes from my golden years of BMX riding. Maybe you had one? Maybe you wanted one? Maybe you will have no idea what I am talking about? The last one is likely, but it is my blog!

Names like GT, Haro, Mongoose, CW, Redline, Kuwahara, Diamond Back, Dyno,

A few bikes of special note:

While I never wanted a GT Performer, this bike really set off the BMX/Freestyle bike mania:

Curvy frame!

A real Hutch BMX racing bike was out of reach for any mortal kid not from a rich family as these babies were BIG Bucks but the best available:

Another bike I never saw in real life, the Kuwahara Ripper:


Ok, you know a Porsche is a "super car" in terms of performance? Well I worked 6 weekends one summer with my dad doing railroad work, mostly rail installations, to get the dough for a top of the line racer. The Bike "Pistol" Pete Loncarevich rode to numerous victories. The bike I always wanted, a Haro Group 1 RS-1:

I loved that bike! I had it one half Summer and the next Spring I left it out one night, ONE NIGHT, and it got stolen of course. I used to sleep with the bike in my room and I forgot one freaking night. Geez.

Skateboarding Decks
Stuck with no bike and looking at quite a few weekends of work to get a new one, I passed the time building half pipe ramps and doing a little skateboarding instead. We "liberated" wood from various construction sites (I never said I was a saint!) and decks were way cheaper than bikes plus near impossible to steal from under my bed at night. I actually grew to love boarding, but I was never any good at it.

Decks are a true artist medium as every rider used his own board as a medium for expression. The graphics were really wonderful. A few selections for your perusal (most pics from the great site Skates on Haight).

My first deck, a Powell Yellow Ripper:

I have no idea why, but I liked that one!

A great friend of mine communicates his love was a Santa Monica Airlines deck, this is the Bulldog:

Very nice.

The legendary Tony Hawk and his revolutionary bottle nosed deck:

That thing was cool as all get out.

A Steve Caballero Dragon Deck:

I like it!

Finally, the baddest deck art I have ever seen, the Tommy Guerrero Flaming Dagger board:

This was by far my most wanted board. Amazing artwork.

So what happened? I had enough saved up to buy a Guerrero (they were red by then) but I had been bitten by the boxing bug! The gym was 12 miles across town so I had to buy a second hand 10-speed bike to get across town (lots of hills, city traffic) and I needed something quicker than a skateboard and more adjustable than a BMX bike. It happens!

Well, sorry to get off track. Anyways, I like this break from the usual stuff so I hope you do as well.

Have a good night.


Jennifer Hillier said...

You already know I like posts like these.

Is it me or is that GT Performer a little girly-looking? :P

I wasn't a skater, but I do remember getting my first 10-speed (which was probably really a 5-speed) at age 10. I thought I was so badass until I wiped out in front of my house, scraping both knees.

My favorite bike was red, can't remember the brand, with a long white banana seat, ribbons on the handlebars, and a nice big plastic basket. Those were the days...

getyourselfconnected said...

JH, Yes, having a GT performer in my hood was not a good idea. That Haro was my favorite bike ever, one night I forget it outside, geez.

Watchtower said...

My inner child still wants a Schwinn Stingray, lol.

getyourselfconnected said...

Yes, thought the repost might get you all nostalgic again.

GawainsGhost said...

I had a 10-speed as kid. In college, I had a 5-speed mountain bike. (Austin has a lot of hills.) It was a pain to go to the grocery store though, because I could only buy enough food to fill my backpack.

As for skateboards, yeah, I had one of those. We all did back then. Once, they drained the pool at our complex for some repairs. So I called my friends and they all came over with their boards. We rode the pool. That was fun, because there's a shallow area then a slope to the deep area.

Then one of my friend's dad built this giant U-shaped ramp out of plywood in his backyard. This was long before skateboard parks, so that was where we rode. The skateboard craze was just beginning then, and Channel 4 News came over and filmed us. Yeah, we made the news, doing wheelies and wiping out.

Ah, the glory days of youth.

GawainsGhost said...

I've changed my mind. For Friday Night Entertainment, I recommend Black Sabbath, "Rock n Roll Doctor."

Anonymous said...

That GT performer happens to belong to me.I have had it for 22 yrs.It has stay og for the pass 22 yrs other that the grips and tires.I still ride it on a reg basis.

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