Riding bikes has changed since I was a kid

Published 4:53 pm Monday, April 29, 2024

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Bicycles were all over the city over the weekend and cyclists wear different clothes than we used to when we rode bikes. We wore jeans or shorts and they are wearing gear that’s streamlined for greater speed. They also wore helmets. The most common type of bike was a Schwinn and if you had one, you were riding in style.

We worried about getting our pants leg caught in our spokes, not falling off. We worried about flat tires on our bikes and made sure the handle bars were adjusted to our liking. We had to worry about the chain coming off too. We had to worry about many things because it was our means of travel when we were young.

We put baseball cards in our spokes to make noise and adjusted our wheels to make them sound good. We hauled everything from people to baseball gloves on the handlebars! We even double-pedaled from the rear wheel. Bubba and I thought we were the double pedaled champions of Washington, which we were not! Some of the baseball cards that we put in our spokes we wish we had now because they would be valuable. I put cards of Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris and many other well-known baseball players in my spokes. Bubba and I adjusted the seat so he could get on and double pedal.

Rose Ann had a girls bike also. Her and Thad Hodges rode that bike double peddling around the new high school but couldn’t catch Bubba and me. She put my baseball cards in the spokes to make it sound like a car. My baseball cards at that! I had collected them and was proud of my baseball cards. I got them from Mrs. Jolley’s store for five cents.

We were proud to host the cyclist in our home town. They bring merchants and restaurants a lot revenue to their stores. It helps our community with revenue and we really appreciate it. They buy gas and stay at our motels. It is a win for our community and we invite them back any time.

They were the best of times with the best of friends and in the best of places, Washington N.C.! The Original Washington!

Harold, Jr.