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What did your first bicycle mean to you?
#1
My first bike meant freedom. I could travel to all four corners of my small city and beyond. With enough water bottle holders and snacks I could spend an entire Saturday exploring with friends. There was nothing better than showing up at someone's house on the other side of town and basking in the glory of their surprise: You rode all this way?

The reason I wonder what first bikes meant to others is because of my experience with my children. Upon receiving their bikes I had imagined weekends of worry wherein I would spend the days worrying about them. For some reason, the bike bug never bit any of them. Where we live, bicycles are the most common transportation for junior high and high school students to use for their commutes. I couldn't understand why they didn't spend weekends at the mall or doing a convenient store tour in the city. More often than not, I have had to head out in the van to pick up my son and his bike to spare him the return ride from his cram school late at night. I used to ride (and still do) with a motto that if I ride out, I ride back in.

So, I'm curious, was your first bike akin to a cowboy's trusted steed and worthy of your sacrifice or was it simply a soulless tool for getting from A to B and not worthy of any more thought?
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#2
My first bike was FREEDOME as well. It was 1966 and I had a Schwinn Sting-Ray. It was blue with metal flake banana seat and sissy bar. I eventually put a springer-long-Chopper front forks on and was envy of my friends. Rear slick and 3' sissy bar. Now, I have a Philodo H8 Fat Tire and I love it!
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#3
(05-22-2024, 12:22 AM)Al S. Wrote:  My first bike was FREEDOME as well. It was 1966 and I had a Schwinn Sting-Ray. It was blue with metal flake banana seat and sissy bar. I eventually put a springer-long-Chopper front forks on and was envy of my friends. Rear slick and 3' sissy bar. Now, I have a Philodo H8 Fat Tire and I love it!

Oh, my friend had a banana seat and I envied it!
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#4
My first bike kind of symbolized growing up a bit and being more independent. I could explore farther away from home, have fun, and experience so much more in a single day. I think the word "freedom" sums it up pretty well

And even though the bike was too big for me, purple, and crappy in many ways, I didn't care, I loved it!
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#5
Freedom to roam, explore and see what you'd miss while driving around, I shifted to a more sportier discipline of riding a few years back but reading stuff like these made me realize that I haven't ridden my bike to just enjoy what I loved about cycling in the first place. Thank you for posting this, will be going on a coffee ride first thing in the morning to just relive my beginner days and just rediscover why I loved this sport in the first place.
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#6
(05-23-2024, 11:38 AM)Dusan Wrote:  My first bike kind of symbolized growing up a bit and being more independent. I could explore farther away from home, have fun, and experience so much more in a single day. I think the word "freedom" sums it up pretty well

And even though the bike was too big for me, purple, and crappy in many ways, I didn't care, I loved it!

Was it a hand me down or just whatever was available at the time?
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#7
(05-30-2024, 01:33 AM)Jory Wrote:  
(05-23-2024, 11:38 AM)Dusan Wrote:  My first bike kind of symbolized growing up a bit and being more independent. I could explore farther away from home, have fun, and experience so much more in a single day. I think the word "freedom" sums it up pretty well

And even though the bike was too big for me, purple, and crappy in many ways, I didn't care, I loved it!

Was it a hand me down or just whatever was available at the time?

It was a hand me down from my older sister, actually. But it had two wheels, pedals, a saddle, and it rolled, which was more than good enough at the time. Smile
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#8
(05-21-2024, 07:54 PM)Jory Wrote:  My first bike meant freedom. I could travel to all four corners of my small city and beyond. With enough water bottle holders and snacks I could spend an entire Saturday exploring with friends. There was nothing better than showing up at someone's house on the other side of town and basking in the glory of their surprise: You rode all this way?

The reason I wonder what first bikes meant to others is because of my experience with my children. Upon receiving their bikes I had imagined weekends of worry wherein I would spend the days worrying about them. For some reason, the bike bug never bit any of them. Where we live, bicycles are the most common transportation for junior high and high school students to use for their commutes. I couldn't understand why they didn't spend weekends at the mall or doing a convenient store tour in the city. More often than not, I have had to head out in the van to pick up my son and his bike to spare him the return ride from his cram school late at night. I used to ride (and still do) with a motto that if I ride out, I ride back in.

So, I'm curious, was your first bike akin to a cowboy's trusted steed and worthy of your sacrifice or was it simply a soulless tool for getting from A to B and not worthy of any more thought?

My whole adult life I wanted to ride a bike but my marriage was a big limiting factor. So after my divorce, I pawned my wedding rings and jewelry and bought an entry level road bike. And it was AMAZING!!! and a little bit terrifying. But it felt like freedom and finding myself. And cycling has given me my self-esteem back. And now I have a lot of bikes. LOL.
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#9
Big Grin 
Epiphany.
No angels...
A consciousness expanding moment wherein I grasped the entirety of my physical world. This was about 65 years ago.
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#10
I get the frequent mentions of 'freedom,' but the bike as a partner in self-exploration applies here, as well. I was a kid in the 1970s, and since we lived out in the country, my brother and I rode bicycles to go play tennis and see friends, or hang around the local college campus. We had to ride roughly five miles one way, to get to civilization, and much of those back roads were very hilly. The agony of having to get off and push a single-speed bike with coaster brakes up the hills gave way to mastery after about two weeks of daily riding during the summer. I remember very distinctly the pride of working into the fitness level of being able to stand up and pedal all the way up those hills without having to stop, get off, or push. It was the first time I felt proficient at something I had worked hard to master. My bike came to resemble a partner in progress, and I rode further and faster through the following months, and then years.

My love of cycling was born in that wonderful, proud sense of mastery and strength. I realized I could do far more than I'd believed about myself, and the good feeling I get while pedaling has lasted me a lifetime. Now, as I look back on the beginnings of my loving cycling, I realize this practice has sustained me for over 40 years, and the lessons I learned about my body, my endurance, and my capacity to train through the difficulties have kept me pedaling. I now have a high-end Trek gravel bike with Di2 that rides like a dream, but I will always have a soft spot in my heart for that British racing green Raleigh that my parents bought me for Christmas in 1974. Because of that bike, I will ride any bike, anywhere, anytime. I'm not just a road or gravel cyclist, I ride a fixie and a mountain bike too. I love cycling because I love the way it makes me feel. I plan to keep on pedaling right through old age!
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#11
my first bike meant a sense of freedom and independence to me. I got my first bicycle at the age of 12, my friends got it earlier, I was able to spend more time with my friends and this strengthened our friendship. associations about childhood and carefreeness still come
Cannondale Trail 6
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#12
My first bicycle was a hand-me-down as well. This was my grandfather's, Royal Enfield. So, with a sense of pride, I would boast to friends that it was "Made in England". This is the 80s-'90s in India and I was lucky to be born in a family of doctors. Not many of my friends had bicycles and I was one of the few to have one. Bicycles have always meant freedom and independence like most of you. They have been "ice-breakers" whether I am in a foreign land or the land I was born but was a bit hesitant to start conversations. My bike always took the "initiative" and then I had an easier time with the "strangers"
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#13
Wow my first bicycle was something I received from my father many years ago. It was a used girls bicycle that he discovered under forgotten things in the barn. He repaired, oiled, and greased it into suitable condition for riding. I lived on a farm and had chores but I also had lots of freedom. I remember the handlebars grips were above my eyes, it was a blue bicycle and I was full of pride just standing next to it.

I can remember lots of falls learning to balance on that bicycle. The step through frame gave me a place to sit as I spun the pedals. Suddenly I could ride about the farm, and up and down the road to where the pavement and road ended. I road that bicycle a lot of places, miles, & miles in the dirt paths that crisscrossed the farm and can remember crying when I had to leave it in the barn when we moved into the city...
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