I learned to ride aged eight, on a full size Schwinn with balloon tires and coaster brakes. That bike went on down to my sister and is in my daughter’s garage now, waiting restoration. A wonderful bike, but not the first that comes to mind.
My best bike ever was a folding bike, French, as I recall. Bright yellow. I acquired it as a bank promotion back in the seventies. Banks were giving away the shop, or the bank, as the case may be, back then. Banks were paying all kinds of interest to have your money, and offering all kinds of promotions to get it. For some banking transaction I scored the little yellow bike.
It went on vacations and was handy to ride over to the playground to get the kids home for supper. It was critical around the neighborhood, tracking down which house over a four square block area two girls might be.
I remember the girls and me, riding the back roads from Mentor to Willoughby, to buy ice cream cones on a hot summer night. These were quite the olden days; we rode facing the traffic. Another trip was to a little city park in Willoughby, with a tall bluff overlooking Lake Erie. I’ll bet these were ten mile round trips.
Fortunately, nothing ever went wrong with the little yellow bike, or I would have been in big trouble. The wheels kept on rolling, the brakes kept on stopping. The only maintenance issue was air in the tires, resolved by a trip to the air pumps at a gas station.
Except—one pedal began flying off, gratuitously. A sharp left and the left hand pedal would fly off the left hand peg. I’d pick it up, throw it in the basket, and back home snap it back behind the flange thingy that held it in place. I never saw the difference between the right and the left that kept the right in place, but sent the left pedal flying on a banking left turn.
One night I made the sharp turn into Whitney White’s drive. The pedal flew, I coasted over, retrieved it, told the girls it was time to come home. Whitney’s dad jumped up from his lawn chair on the drive. “I can put that back on for you.”
“It’s OK,” I answered. “I can do it.”
“No, let me,” said Whitney’s dad, one stride later.
Whitney’s mom grabbed the back of his shirt. “She said she can do it!” Whitney’s dad sat back down.
I wish I could remember what I did with that bike.
Borrowed shamelessly from Wickipedia