My First Bike

Red Schwinn Typhoon

I was writing in a Google+ Bike Commuting Community about my first bike (that I can remember) and my memory wandered into my childhood in South Central Los Angeles where I grew up.  I had this red Schwinn Typhoon bike when I was 7 about 1959.  I remember the day that  I took the training wheels off and some Hispanic kids a few houses from my house propped the bike up and shoved me down the hill.  Wow I was going so fast that I forgot that I was riding without the training wheels. Leave it to the Internet to give me a photo of the bike as I could only imagine what it looked like up until today.  I remember taking the fenders off and learning how to change a tire on this sucker with my dad’s crescent wrench.

As a kid I had a red Schwinn Typhoon I would ride it on the sidewalk in front of my house at 12203 South Main Street at age 7. There is a hill on Main Street and my brother, friends and I would ride really fast down the hill north towards 121st Street and see who could hook slide the longest before running into the street at the end of the block. I remember that my dad had to put a stop to this foolishness as it was marking up the sidewalk and wearing out tires.

State Bike’s Undefeated

Funny how I started hook sliding last century on a fixed gear and I may end up doing it again.  I am currently considering buying a fixed gear bike.  As an adult I have been cycling a long time with cantilever brakes on a road bike and disc brakes on a mountain bike.  The concept of re-learning to ride without brakes controlled by my hands is both exciting and scary.  So far I am looking at fixed gear bikes similar to the one pictured here from State Bike. Since I live in a city that is not very large and has relatively low traffic volumes I feel confident that I can learn to ride a fixed gear bike on the street without getting hurt.  I love riding my Serotta Rapid Tour for long rides and commuting, but sometimes I just want to get on a simple bike without all of the complicated gearing and go for a quick ride around town.

My Serotta Rapid Tour

I am amazed when I think about all of the sporting or exercising activities that I have participated during my life.  Cycling is the only one that I can think of that I have done in every decade of of my existence on this planet.  Cycling has brought me the benefits of mental and physical health, I have made lots of friends with other cyclist both in person and in cyber space and most of all I have had lots of fun riding a bicycle.

Not riding today because I have to go to work, but this is why i like bike commuting and that is another story.

Posted in


Leave a Comment