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I got a Ross with spokes, instead of BMX
#1
I got a Ross with spokes, instead of BMX
When you are young, and bullied and want to fit in, there are always others who want to beat you down just to feel superior.

When I was a kid, the popular kid's bike in the early 80s was a BMX with synthetic rims instead of standerd metal spokes. The BMX bikes were far more expensive. I begged my mom to buy me a BMX one Christmas, but instead, I got a Ross with your standard spokes.

I got teased and bullied for not "keeping up". It hurt, but the truth was that the assholes who treated me like shit were not my friends. It was never about the things you own, it was always about whom had your back. My mom always had my back. The assholes who tormented me back then, I have not seen in forever.
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#2
RE: I got a Ross with spokes, instead of BMX
I had a department store ten speed.  Hand breaks on the handlebars and a gear shift between them, a knockoff of the classic Schwinn.  In the summer of 1973, I would leave the house on it around 10 AM and ride the 2 miles to town.  I would roam around, play pinball at Jack's, flirt with mischief, then line up with the other paper boys to roll and throw my route.  84 papers on the good side of town.  I was lucky to have that.

One day, riding home in the evening, I pedaled to top speed just for fun.  Flying down Patmos Road, I came to my turn.  I reached for the break.  As I squeezed, the break came loose from the handlebar.  It fell and lodged in the metal spokes, the cable quickly wrapping around the forks.  The bike instantly stopped, or least the front half did.  I flew over the handlebars, or at least my top half did.  My legs hit the handlebars.  The gear shift skewered my nuts.  My right shoulder hit the pavement.  I slid on it a ways then rolled over.  The back half of the bike landed on my nuts.

I crawled to the ditch and began breathing again.  I sat in disbelief.  What just happened and how?  How am going to get the bike home?  How am I going to walk the last 50 yards with a grated shoulder and skewered nuts?  Bill, the neighbor kid, came out and helped me.  He was my age.  We had a difficult relationship.  He could be a real prick, start picking at me, and we'd fight.  That day, he was nice, my friend.  It was the bike that beat the shit out of me.
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#3
RE: I got a Ross with spokes, instead of BMX
Mom and dad bought my first bike with Green Stamps...for anyone who remembers those.

It was blue, typically a boy's bike color, but it was my favorite color. I was seven and tiny but they got a bike I could grow into, meaning I had to stand up to ride it as I could only reach one pedal at a time when I sat on the seat. On my 16th birthday I got a three-speed to replace that bike while my friends got their first cars. <sigh> But I got nine years out that first bike.

Dad kept on with the "she'll grow into it" thing when he ordered the blazer for my school uniform. I never did grow into the bike or the blazer.
       I am the storm.                                                             
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#4
RE: I got a Ross with spokes, instead of BMX
My first bike that was mine (as opposed to a hand-me-down) was a Raleigh three-speed. My fondest memory of it is being chased by an angry ram across a neighbour’s field. I got away with my bones intact, if not my dignity. Loved that machine.

And Ranjr’s nut-skewering story is going to give me nightmares, I just know it.

Boru
Ignorance is never valid grounds for the rejection of established facts.
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#5
RE: I got a Ross with spokes, instead of BMX
My first bike was a huffy 10 speed that was apparently assembled from cast iron pipes and thick sheets of steel stamped and crimped into something vaguely resembling the silhouette painted on ground in bicycle lanes. 2 days into my ownership I skillfully navigated the bike down a concrete embankment with me still on it, resulting a significant number of stitches and facial scars visible to this day.

This gave me an exaggerated appreciation of high quality bicycles. I saved on and off for 15 years to get a fairly top end bike, not flashy by contemporary standards, but very high quality. It was very satisfying to lay my hands on it.
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#6
RE: I got a Ross with spokes, instead of BMX
Until I bought my own, all my bikes came from garage sales.

AWTY: My first tennis racket was from S&H, a Don Budge.

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#7
RE: I got a Ross with spokes, instead of BMX
(April 20, 2021 at 12:43 pm)brewer Wrote: Until I bought my own, all my bikes came from garage sales.

AWTY: My first tennis racket was from S&H, a Don Budge.
I learned to ride a bike on a small bike that belonged to the grandchild of a neighbor.  Both tires were flat and not in a way that they could be fixed, so I rode on the metal rims until I got that monstrous bike that would still be too big for me today.

Mom used to give me a box of S&H Green Stamps and the books to stick them in when she needed me to be entertained for a while.
       I am the storm.                                                             
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#8
RE: I got a Ross with spokes, instead of BMX
(April 20, 2021 at 9:24 am)Ranjr Wrote: I had a department store ten speed.  Hand breaks on the handlebars and a gear shift between them, a knockoff of the classic Schwinn.  In the summer of 1973, I would leave the house on it around 10 AM and ride the 2 miles to town.  I would roam around, play pinball at Jack's, flirt with mischief, then line up with the other paper boys to roll and throw my route.  84 papers on the good side of town.  I was lucky to have that.

One day, riding home in the evening, I pedaled to top speed just for fun.  Flying down Patmos Road, I came to my turn.  I reached for the break.  As I squeezed, the break came loose from the handlebar.  It fell and lodged in the metal spokes, the cable quickly wrapping around the forks.  The bike instantly stopped, or least the front half did.  I flew over the handlebars, or at least my top half did.  My legs hit the handlebars.  The gear shift skewered my nuts.  My right shoulder hit the pavement.  I slid on it a ways then rolled over.  The back half of the bike landed on my nuts.

I crawled to the ditch and began breathing again.  I sat in disbelief.  What just happened and how?  How am going to get the bike home?  How am I going to walk the last 50 yards with a grated shoulder and skewered nuts?  Bill, the neighbor kid, came out and helped me.  He was my age.  We had a difficult relationship.  He could be a real prick, start picking at me, and we'd fight.  That day, he was nice, my friend.  It was the bike that beat the shit out of me.




Speeking of flying over the handlebars. That same bike in my op. Once I built a make shift ramp on the sidewalk, just a concrete block, and plywood. I never did figure out how to jump anything and land on my back wheel. So one day, I build that ramp, back myself up to gain momentum, peddled as fast as I could, hit the ramp. I have never had any uper body strength. So of course the front wheel hits the sidewalk first. But it was at such an angle I went forward over the handlebars. Landed hands first, broke my left middle finger. 

After my mom took me to the hospital, they put the old plaster cast on my hand and wrist and arm. I had a huge metal stint sticking out of my cast keeping my middle finger streight. I was not allowed to raise that hand in class, because the middle finger stuck out. Some assholes however, reported my mom to CPS shortly after I came home.

(April 20, 2021 at 1:33 pm)arewethereyet Wrote:
(April 20, 2021 at 12:43 pm)brewer Wrote: Until I bought my own, all my bikes came from garage sales.

AWTY: My first tennis racket was from S&H, a Don Budge.
I learned to ride a bike on a small bike that belonged to the grandchild of a neighbor.  Both tires were flat and not in a way that they could be fixed, so I rode on the metal rims until I got that monstrous bike that would still be too big for me today.

Mom used to give me a box of S&H Green Stamps and the books to stick them in when she needed me to be entertained for a while.

S&H Green Stamps? Correct me if I am wrong, but is that like Benson & Hedges stamps? My mom collected Benson & Hedges cigarrette stamps to get free stuff. She also handed those to me to keep me busy. Is that what you are talking about too?
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#9
RE: I got a Ross with spokes, instead of BMX
(April 21, 2021 at 11:12 am)Brian37 Wrote:
(April 20, 2021 at 9:24 am)Ranjr Wrote: I had a department store ten speed.  Hand breaks on the handlebars and a gear shift between them, a knockoff of the classic Schwinn.  In the summer of 1973, I would leave the house on it around 10 AM and ride the 2 miles to town.  I would roam around, play pinball at Jack's, flirt with mischief, then line up with the other paper boys to roll and throw my route.  84 papers on the good side of town.  I was lucky to have that.

One day, riding home in the evening, I pedaled to top speed just for fun.  Flying down Patmos Road, I came to my turn.  I reached for the break.  As I squeezed, the break came loose from the handlebar.  It fell and lodged in the metal spokes, the cable quickly wrapping around the forks.  The bike instantly stopped, or least the front half did.  I flew over the handlebars, or at least my top half did.  My legs hit the handlebars.  The gear shift skewered my nuts.  My right shoulder hit the pavement.  I slid on it a ways then rolled over.  The back half of the bike landed on my nuts.

I crawled to the ditch and began breathing again.  I sat in disbelief.  What just happened and how?  How am going to get the bike home?  How am I going to walk the last 50 yards with a grated shoulder and skewered nuts?  Bill, the neighbor kid, came out and helped me.  He was my age.  We had a difficult relationship.  He could be a real prick, start picking at me, and we'd fight.  That day, he was nice, my friend.  It was the bike that beat the shit out of me.




Speeking of flying over the handlebars. That same bike in my op. Once I built a make shift ramp on the sidewalk, just a concrete block, and plywood. I never did figure out how to jump anything and land on my back wheel. So one day, I build that ramp, back myself up to gain momentum, peddled as fast as I could, hit the ramp. I have never had any uper body strength. So of course the front wheel hits the sidewalk first. But it was at such an angle I went forward over the handlebars. Landed hands first, broke my left middle finger. 

After my mom took me to the hospital, they put the old plaster cast on my hand and wrist and arm. I had a huge metal stint sticking out of my cast keeping my middle finger streight. I was not allowed to raise that hand in class, because the middle finger stuck out. Some assholes however, reported my mom to CPS shortly after I came home.

(April 20, 2021 at 1:33 pm)arewethereyet Wrote: I learned to ride a bike on a small bike that belonged to the grandchild of a neighbor.  Both tires were flat and not in a way that they could be fixed, so I rode on the metal rims until I got that monstrous bike that would still be too big for me today.

Mom used to give me a box of S&H Green Stamps and the books to stick them in when she needed me to be entertained for a while.

S&H Green Stamps? Correct me if I am wrong, but is that like Benson & Hedges stamps? My mom collected Benson & Hedges cigarrette stamps to get free stuff. She also handed those to me to keep me busy. Is that what you are talking about too?
I'm not familiar with the Benson and Hedges program.  Mom and dad collected the Green Stamps at the gas station and the grocery store.  They had little machines to dispense them.  IIRC, there were two denominations so two sizes of stamps.  One for every $10.00 spent and one smaller stamp for every $1.00 spent that didn't add up to ten.  The little books had pages with squares marked to take one size or the other.  You filled the books and purchased things with them out of a catalog.
       I am the storm.                                                             
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#10
RE: I got a Ross with spokes, instead of BMX
(April 21, 2021 at 11:23 am)arewethereyet Wrote:
(April 21, 2021 at 11:12 am)Brian37 Wrote: Speeking of flying over the handlebars. That same bike in my op. Once I built a make shift ramp on the sidewalk, just a concrete block, and plywood. I never did figure out how to jump anything and land on my back wheel. So one day, I build that ramp, back myself up to gain momentum, peddled as fast as I could, hit the ramp. I have never had any uper body strength. So of course the front wheel hits the sidewalk first. But it was at such an angle I went forward over the handlebars. Landed hands first, broke my left middle finger. 

After my mom took me to the hospital, they put the old plaster cast on my hand and wrist and arm. I had a huge metal stint sticking out of my cast keeping my middle finger streight. I was not allowed to raise that hand in class, because the middle finger stuck out. Some assholes however, reported my mom to CPS shortly after I came home.


S&H Green Stamps? Correct me if I am wrong, but is that like Benson & Hedges stamps? My mom collected Benson & Hedges cigarrette stamps to get free stuff. She also handed those to me to keep me busy. Is that what you are talking about too?
I'm not familiar with the Benson and Hedges program.  Mom and dad collected the Green Stamps at the gas station and the grocery store.  They had little machines to dispense them.  IIRC, there were two denominations so two sizes of stamps.  One for every $10.00 spent and one smaller stamp for every $1.00 spent that didn't add up to ten.  The little books had pages with squares marked to take one size or the other.  You filled the books and purchased things with them out of a catalog.

Benson & Hedges is a ciggarette brand. Back in the 70s and 80s, they put stamps in every pack, and they had a tract sized cateloge in the carton which allowed you to chose a multitude of crap, like camping equipment, kitchen items, just about anything, and if you collected enough stamps, you could order the item from the cateloge.

But, even if what you are talking about isn't a ciggaratte company  marketing ploy, it seems to be the same ploy.

(April 20, 2021 at 12:25 pm)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote: My first bike that was mine (as opposed to a hand-me-down) was a Raleigh three-speed. My fondest memory of it is being chased by an angry ram across a neighbour’s field. I got away with my bones intact, if not my dignity. Loved that machine.

And Ranjr’s nut-skewering story is going to give me nightmares, I just know it.

Boru

Was the ram's name Jack Youngblood, Decon Jones, or Fred Dryer? I'd be scared too if any of them were chasing me.
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