It’s amazing how an image can be conjured up so easily when you think of your first bike. Thoughts filled to the brim with nostalgia. Do you remember what yours was like?
I was a child of the 70’s and 80’s living in a small close-knit community within a town. All of the children played together on our street nearly every day, and as we got older and more independent we ventured together further afield. That’s when the bikes really came into play, as we would go to the local park, or the fields and canal together. I didn’t (nor did my brother I think) have a first bike with stabilisers, as we were around 8 or 9 when we received our first bike for Christmas. So by this point I’d either learnt to ride using one of my friends bikes, or it was a case of learning through trial and error, I’ve a feeling it was the former. My first bike was second-hand, but you really couldn’t tell it was. When I received it, it was as shiny as a new pin, pale blue with the famous Raleigh badge on the front. As I’m from Nottingham everyone had that brand, the loyalty to the local economy was strong. The only real way you’d realise my first bike wasn’t new, was it wasn’t the bike fashion of the day which was the very cool 70’s style of choppers you can see below.
You’d think I would have been envious of all of the kids on their cool choppers, but I wasn’t. Maybe this was a sign to come of my love of the pre-loved and vintage style. My first bike was actually a very similar but a smaller version of what I ride today.
It too had one of those flat areas behind the seat that a pair of panniers could be used to house. Of course I had no use for panniers growing up, I used that flat area to give a friend a cog. We would race down the hill on the bike with our legs outstretched, usually losing a trainer or the contents of our pockets by the time we got to the bottom.
My mum and dad didn’t pass on my bike to my brother, I remember it so vividly the one he got, that I had to mention it. Does anyone remember the Raleigh Vektar?
It was a game changer as I remeber, there hadn’t been anything quite like it before. It had sirens, and a radio I think, even counted how many MPH you were doing and the distance. He loved that bike so much.
If you too fancy a trip down memory lane, then visit Halfords – Bikes Through The Decades.