Two Wheeled Freedom

As you know, I love bikes.

This first image is a photograph of me and my first bike. I don’t actually remember getting the bike, but suddenly it was there. What I do remember is once this bike reached a certain speed it would start to wobble and shake and then buck me off like a wild horse. My brother would chase me on the wheel horse with the giant mower blades inches from my back. My little heart beating thinking I was going to get chopped up, but that is what older brothers are for. I don’t hold a grudge. I just wish we had a wheel horse now so that I could chase my nephew with it.

The last image was shot by my mom in Wyoming. This was about fifty meters outside our garage which was uphill from where this jump was. I would race out of the garage, downhill, build speed and then launch myself. As you can see, I’m sporting classic style here. Pant leg taped to keep from getting stuck in the chain, jeans and no helmet. Helmets are for losers and accident prone morons.(*see footnote) Also notice under the bike are a series of boards to show just how far i was jumping. This was critical and mom was the independent verification of actual distance. She was not accredited by any government agency but she was all we had. I was riding a steel frame DG which weighed about as much as a Buick Regal. I also raced this bike during the early days of BMX. The racetrack was in the parking lot of the grocery store in Laramie. High tech.

These photographs are thirty plus years old and they look pretty dam good.

*Statement not approved by the FDA.

10 Responses to “Two Wheeled Freedom”

  1. mike a says:

    Wow this all brings back some great memories. As a kid a bike was my ticket to freedom. Everyday we would explore our little town. And there was always the jumps, we loved being stuntmen. Yes helmets we for losers, no safety nazis, my dad thought my head was harder than pavement. The good ole days, when you had to pull your pant leg out of the chain by yourself back in the woods somewhere. We were men. Great post

  2. Jason Timmis says:

    Yep, besides the taped pant legs on the jeans it looks like you had the ever helpful tongue sticking out for extra concentration. You just needed hockey cards taped to your forks and sticking into your spokes to get the motorcycle rumble and you could have looked as cool as me……as I severely bit into my tongue on the landing.

    …Then when my younger brother got a new bmx bike for his birthday that had actual shocks we knew we were going to have to increase the height of the jump…and the speed needed…but where to get more wood..clearly if we took anymore of the neighbour’s fence boards SOMEONE would notice.

    Good times ;-)

  3. LionelB says:

    Panning shot. Space to move into. The light nicely handled. Kudos to your mum. Plus Kodak Gold looks better as it fades.

  4. Harold says:

    I see something new. So many of us transformed our two wheels into rockets, circus acts and reenactments of the “The Wild One” All great acts of creativity which is/was a springboard for other explorations in life. All without really knowing what we were doing. Perhaps that’s the secret. Just do it and maybe figure it out later.

  5. Oh man, check out that humongo chainring on that bad boy. DG, strong ass bike, but heavy as hell. I rode a black and yellow Huffy with a LIGHTNING BOLT on the side. That was one awesome bike. Me and my friends would spend countless hours dirt jumping down at “the jumps”. Of course, no helmet, we were warriors on our bikes. Great post!

  6. Dan, you make me laugh! I appreciate it so much…

  7. Chris Fuller says:

    I had a purple three-speed bike with a banana seat at about the same time. Classic. Hit a tree with it. Bent the forks. It still ran. Good times.

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