When we visited Coventry last year and spent time at the Transport Museum, I showed Monkey a display of different bicycles and we talked about cycling through the decades. From the days of the Penny Farthing to the road racing bikes that a friend uses. He was mesmerised by the changes in design and tyres over the years. Growing up in the 1970’s as I did, an iconic image of the time was the Raleigh Chopper. A bike that my younger brother lusted after but never owned.
It was the bike that all the cool kids had, and a totally different design to the bikes that my brother and I used to ride around our back garden. A frame mounted gear lever seems so much more grown up than one on the handlebars and the high back seat was just ‘the thing’. I had a little red Sprite bike which was my first proper bike. I loved it, although I was never very confident at signalling. I never completed my Cycling Proficiency at school, and it’s something I’m quite keen for Monkey to complete when the time is right. It’s hard to believe that in today’s money this Chopper bike would cost you £250.00!
I’d love to go back in time and talk to my brother about the bikes of the future, would we ever have imagined that this decade would see the rise of the electric bike? Would we have thought it was an idea that would ever take off? Probably not, but it has, and even Daddy P got to try one out a few years ago when we were in Spain.
I hadn’t ridden a bike in a very long time and was rather apprehensive about riding an electric bike with my son on the back and I just couldn’t get on with it, but Daddy P rather enjoyed it.
I can certainly see the attraction of riding one in a big city, cycling through the decades has certainly evolved over the years hasn’t it?
We bought Monkey’s first bike from our local Halfords, and it’s fair to say we’ve not been too lucky at getting him to ride it without stabilisers. It’s a far more traditional bike, much more like the bikes my brother and I owed as children.
Monkey’s grown considerably since we bought his beloved Police Bike, and we really need to convince him that it’s time to upgrade and ditch the stabilisers. This Spring I’ll be on a mission to get him back to Halfords, looking at their range of kids bikes. I’m pretty sure this bike is a 14″, and I think we’ll need to move up to an 18″. Not sure how that transition will work with a boy who hasn’t learned to ride solo yet, but time will tell.
What was the iconic bike of your childhood? Did you own it, or were you like my brother, and just green with envy?
disclosure: I have been compensated for this post, although my thoughts still remain my own honest options