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Ah, the 1970s…

November 21, 2012

My elder brother scanned some old family photos the other day and acknowledging my addiction emailed these to me. The memories just came flooding back; the house I grew up in, my Mum, Smokey the cat getting a can of lead paint dropped on his head, only returning home when the hunger pangs couldn’t be ignored any longer – we made our own adventure.

Kids these days getting ferried here & there in monstrous 4WDs… that’s not a childhood to remember.

My First Bike, The Purple Meanie (First one I remember anyway)

Bicycles (in fact just about everything) were expensive in 1970s New Zealand. My Dad ‘did-up‘ this old shopper for me in a fetching shade of puke-purple. The rusty mudguards were sanded down and painted over. White-wall tyres scrubbed clean. Sissy-bar, purple metal-flake banana-seat and ape-hangers added. Man I loved that bike, rode it to school, rode it everywhere, it was so comfortable.

Best practice was attaining maximum-speed on wet grass and laying down the biggest ‘broady’ possible. You know, speedway style, totally sideways with the inside foot off the pedal and skimming the surface. That was living!

My Yellow 10-Speed “Racer”

Ah the 70s, bad hair-cuts, flared jeans and 10-Speed bikes. This was my first ‘new’ bicycle, purchased from the local ‘mower & cycle’ shop. It was a lot of money for my parents to spend on me but they got their money’s worth, I rode the hell out of it! My first obsession was a form of track-racing: I’d cruise down to the local netball courts and ride around and around and around and around and around (always anti-clockwise) counting my mileage on that little clicker on the fork. Then the BMX wave crashed on our shores and I’d take this same bike down to the BMX track at the Takapuna dump to ride the jumps and berms. One year the Redline (or was it Mongoose?) factory team came down from the States to race. I couldn’t get over the size of some of these ‘men’ riding little 20″ bikes and getting paid for it. What a highlight for them too, flying halfway around the world to ride in a rubbish dump! Love BMX to this day.

Year by year more bits got removed from the bike in the name of ‘weight-saving’ and eventually it kind of looked like a road-racer with a slim saddle, chrome fork, yellow bar-tape and a home-sprayed metallic blue paint-job. Man I loved that bike!

Then came punk-rock, motorcycles and the many substance-abuses teenagers crave, but eventually I found my way again. Bikes are so cool.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike Anderson permalink
    October 15, 2014 6:48 pm

    Thanks for the memories :)

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