One of my earliest memories involves a bike. Specifically, my first time without stabilisers. I went about three yards before veering off course. I then careered sideways into the hedge. Character building stuff. I can’t recall which bicycle I had back then, but can remember subsequent ones. One of which appears on this infographic by Halfords of bikes through the decades.
In my teens I had a Raleigh Activator. It served me well. My favourite by far, however, was a BMX I had in the 1980s. It came from a second-hand shop. I say ‘shop’. It was more a large shed in somebody’s back garden. My next door neighbour had one too. Inspired by a TV show called Kick Start, we used to pretend we were on motorbikes. Showing our age there, I know.
We were both timorous types. As a result, we stuck to our parents’ driveways. I stayed well away from said hedge too! The ‘stunts’ we performed were limited to wheelies an inch from the tarmac. This didn’t matter a jot. We loved our bikes and got a lot out of riding them.
The same can be said, of course, for bikes through the decades. Every decade boasts a much-loved design. From the 1950s Cruiser through to the electric bikes of today. I would have loved to own a Raleigh Chopper. That said, given my close encounter with the garden boundary, something easier to balance like the aformentioned Cruiser would have been useful.
Back to the present day, Xander is having balance bike lessons at school. Unlike me, he is fearless. It was little surprise that he enjoyed his first session. When asked about his day, his response was emphatic. “No, I didn’t have a good day – I had an awesome day!”
It won’t take him long to master. With this in mind, he will need a normal one soon. As he is obsessed with technology, I wasn’t surprised that two particular designs caught his eye. Of those in the infographic below, he liked the Raleigh Vektar and Bowden Spacelander best.
When the time comes though, I’ll steer him towards some more suitable kids bikes like those at Halfords. And away from any hedges too, naturally.
What was your favourite bike as a kid? Does it make the list here?
Disclosure: this is a collaborative post.