November 1st, 2007

Bike 03

My Bikes — Part I

Some posts by casperflea and ww1614 about kids and bicycles a while back got me reminiscing about my first bike, and then about the other bicycles I've owned and ridden. I started writing this not long after, expecting it to be just a short little post with a few lines about each bike, but as I researched the bikes in question, mostly trying to track down representative photos, I kept wandering off on tangents. Old memories were dredged up, and the stories got longer. I wasn't even sure what makes some of the earlier bikes were when I started, leading to a lot of very random searching early on as I pored over web sites full of forgotten bicycle lore. Forgotten by me, anyway. In the case of my first bike, it wasn't until I stumbled across a reference to AMF on a vintage bike board that the memory finally jogged loose of the box in the attic with the AMF logo on it.

I've owned eleven bicycles over the years. I currently have three, although two were bought in the last five months, and one of those was as a result of researching this post. One of the tangents mentioned above was discovering that some of the images I found were attached to eBay auctions. I wound up buying a bike identical to one I used to own, and was sorely tempted to bid on a couple more. For purposes of easy reference I've given some of the bikes alliterative names, but back when I was riding them, I usually just called them "my bike."

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Four down, seven to go. As mentioned above, I wandered off on all sorts of tangents while writing this. The vintage three-speed tangent brought home how good a bike I'd had back in high school. Turns out those bicycles were made in Austria by Steyr-Daimler-Puch, and are still well thought of. Armed with that knowledge, the eBay tangent brought me into the possession of one of those bikes, along with a 1966 Fall/Winter Sears catalog and an autographed Ray Sadecki rookie card. I malign him a bit above, but Sadecki actually wasn't that bad a ballplayer. It's just that in 1963 it seemed like every other pack of baseball cards I bought had his picture in it. Still, that quirk of fate planted him firmly in my consciousness for all time, and truth be told, I really like the picture on Topps used on the 1960 version of his card, sort of a young Noah Bennett. Or perhaps Wally Cox.

Next time, the ten-speeds.