How'd Ya Get Started

Sep 21, 2006
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Just wondering how everyone ended up in this hobby. I see a lot of you also do cars and motorcycles. I do the bikes in place of cars and motorcycles.
The wife and I have enjoyed mtn and trail riding for some time but at home in Kansas our multi spd MTBs seemed like overkill for just cruising around the flat streets of our city. 3 or 4 years ago we decided to look for some old antique bikes to ride around on but weren't finding any and I got impatient. We went to Target, Kmart or somewhere and bought some new cruiser style bikes and kustomized them. Shortly after this we started coming accross old bikes and friends were also finding them for us and... well then things got out of hand.
These are the first bikes we did. I think the boys was a Huffy and the girls a Schwinn. About the only thing used from the original bikes were the frames. They received a powder coating and all new components.

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Sep 7, 2006
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I was a car guy when younger then over time with kids houses ect I got out of the hotrods and just seemed to work all the time. then in 2000 I went into a local Goodwill store and there was a bicycle I had never seen before it was what I later came to find out a 68 Schwinn mini twinn . So not being a bike rider but somebody who just like neat stuff I paid the whopping 12 bucks . It was too nice to let my kids destroy so I thought I would try this new thing i heard of called Ebay well 7 days later and a money order for $1211 dollars on its way and I was looking for any and every bike I could find lol. needless to say I have never found a comparable deal but I aquired so many bikes and so many parts that the hot rod bug bit me and as they say the rest is history
Jeff aka hooch
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I grew up on my Bicycles! I would spend all day as a kid on them.I also grew up around Custom Cars / Trucks as my Dad is an Automotive Painter.So Chopping cars and restoring Vintage cars is normal for me to be around.My Dad built me a few Chopper bikes as a kid.

I raced my Factory Kuahara in the early 80's,I was heavy into Mountain Bike Rididng for a while on The North Shore of Vancouver and a little bit in Whistler.It faded out a bit with age......but my 8 year old Son and my 6 year old well as my Fine Girlfriend and her boy... Ride all the time now as I did as a kid which I am stoked about. Every old ride I do or build up is for Riding!!
No Trophy Queens in this house!! Same goes with my Cars!

I own a 1960 Ford Ranch Wagon and a 1960 International Panel Truck so old stuff is what I love.

I was at a Garage sale a while back and I found that 1969 Northern Cycle for $40.00 and it took of AGAIN from there.Now I have about 8 old bikes on the go and I'm hooked AGAIN........

I found this Forum through my Car Forum.

It's awesome to be here...I'm learnin heaps and it's great to shoot the ..... with all yaa'll

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Rat Rod

Owner & Founder
Head Honcho
Dec 31, 1969
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I see a trend more funny money, ha ha!

Like yall I was (and still am) a lover of anything with wheels on it. Used to be heavily involved in the Lone Star Performance Buick Club and spent a lot of time racing turbo Buicks. I grew up in a car family with my Dad and Uncles building street rods motorcycles and racing. It's all blamed on my Great Grandfather who owned an auto parts business. I also lived on my bike or skateboard as a kid of the 70s/80s. I spent a lot of time riding mini-bikes on my Grandparent's property.

Once the kids and bills came along there was no more money for hot rods. Just this past year I had been looking through the CraigsList and stumbled upon a listing for a Schwinn Fair Lady for $50. I decided to buy it and fix it up for one of my daughters to ride one day. After I completely disassembled the bike I lost interest fast and decided to part it out. I ended up making $200 just off the parts. This is when I caught the bug.

At first I thought about getting into the Sting-Ray scene, but I never felt right as an adult riding a kids bike around...That and I couldn't afford those bikes!!! I decided to stick with adult sized bikes and that's when I picked up the 67 Typhoon which inspired this forum. I'm a graphic designer and I specialize in web design so it all just came together.

Sep 2, 2006
NH Town Dump
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P-rays the Lawd, PastorRat finds himself in tears when reading such ratty testimonials. From hotrods to family ratters! You boys make my heart sing sweet Hally Lou Yahs. And such bee-uti-filled two wheelers! P-Ratty's projects to date have not been as ratified as you, but one day the gathered ratters shall behold the glow-rey of one fine kool lemon Schwinn.

Get behind me Shimano!
Sep 1, 2006
Valdosta, Georgia
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It was Spring Break 2004, I found a 64 coppertone stingray in my neighbor's shed. Then that summer someone said there was a huge piles of bike out on a farm. Then I bought the Blue Trike. From then on I was picking up every free bicycle. There was a point where I had over 100 bikes. Now it is around 40. I mostly pickup MTB, Vintage or beach cruisers.

Oct 18, 2006
Sunny Vale, Canada
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:lol: al started in about 1979 when my '73 Gran Prix sj broke down - curse those 455's , I should have bought the '70 Trans Am with the 400,

Annnyway I pulled the 10 speed out and made to work. That started my road bike craze (campagnola etc.)

Then the Moutain bike craze started in Marin County Cali, and saw this in my subcription to the Fat Tire Flyer , maybe some of you saw this. Well I built the first MB in this area, I think , using an old Raleigh frame . BMX 26 " rims and ten speed driveline . People freaked when they say me ride a "bicycle" on the beach and wanted to know where to buy one.

Fast forward to 2004 and wanted a winter hobby , back to bikes. I like cruiser and choppers and my bike count hovers from 30 to 40 depending on the garage sales. I love this hobby cause you don't have to put gas in them or insure them.
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Oct 3, 2006
delta b.c
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well back in tha day....

up until i got my licence i was riding bikes /bmx/ mtn / sk8 brd , then i got my toyota celica and grew out of bikes and also out of my sz 32 pants and into sz 38 the car had done nothing for my weight . got into the old car craze about 8 yrs ago and in lookin for old cars i always tripped across a bike then it hit me once i attended my first autoswap like a mad man i bought up nearly every vintage bike their, and that was my turning point and was to never look back i do bikes and cars and im 3olbs lighter!
and meetin a heck of alot of cool people along the way :lol:
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Nov 3, 2006
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i was into bmx when i was younger. recently i moved in with my sister and her boyfriend. her boyfriend's grandparents used to live in the house and when they moved out they left their huge shop full of junk. his grandad was into cars and bikes. he left all his bikes. some hangin on the rafters and some outside behind the shop. probably about 15 bikes. some have all the parts. some just frames. i pulled a corvette out from the back that has stingray bars on it. started working on it and now i'm hooked. while my sister's boyfriend and my brother are building their cars in the shop, i'm gonna be building bikes. his grandad has yet to come over and decide what i can have or buy from him. hopefully all of it but i doubt it.
here's what it looked like when i first pulled it out::

here's what it looks like now::
Jun 27, 2017
Willow Spring, NC
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Way back before the turn of the century, in nearly flat west-central Ohio, I got my first bike when I was about 5. A 20" red Huffy convertible. Learned to ride at my grandpa's farm in the gravel drive with Dad pushing the bike. No training wheels, pads or helmet! Eventually, with help from Dad, I customized it with hi-rise handlebars and banana seat. It was the early 70's after all! Then a 24" with hi-rise bars and banana seat and then I began collecting old bikes and parts and building bikes at about 10 or 12. Mid teens I took the old 24 incher and cut out the seat tube and mounted a Briggs and Stratton engine on it. Made a pretty cool little motorbike. But buy the time I got my driver's license and the keys to Dad's old car, I seldom touched a bike. After I was married and had a couple of little ones, we all got bikes and rode around town. Then a move to hilly central NC, and the development of asthma from sitting in hot city traffic in an un-airconditioned car, ended my bike riding as I just couldn't take the hills.
Now in my 50's I have returned to bikes, to ride for exercise and to tinker with. New subdivision with smaller hills has been built around us so have some nice roads to ride on.


Nov 3, 2011
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I had bikes as a kid but completely lost interest once I had a drivers license. I was in the car world (mostly vintage VW) heavily and in my late 20's I went on a date with a hippie chick. She asked if I had a bike, I said no, she said you should get one, I said I think you're right. So the next day I went to my buddies father's bike shop and bought a cheap/used Chinese 5 speed cruiser for $35. Knowing nothing about it, I then found a sweet '66 copper tone Collegiate at the VW swap meet and that was my entrance into the vintage part of the scene.
After that first date, I never saw the girl again.
Jul 31, 2008
Newton, North Carolina
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For those that haven't heard the story, in the summer of '80, I was 9 yrs old. I was always into old stuff. At a garage sale, I was smitten with a very rusty black Schwinn Corvette. It was born in Oct. '56, so a '57 model. Price was $2.50! I still have it! Every year I think "I need to get Old Faithful back on the road, but family and work take up most of my time. --Adam
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Pro Member
Aug 4, 2016
Poznan, Poland
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I have moved to Amsterdam in July 2013, and after some time naturally the decision came to buy a bicycle :) I was shocked when i walked into one of the local bike shops, since just boring regular bikes were priced 700 euro and up! The other thing was that i am quite a tall guy, and none of them did really fit me. Then i came across the famous custom bike shop - Chopperdome, and saw the stretch cruiser were sold with a nice discount there. It only had a couple of scratches, did not make any difference for me. Was still pricey, but man i fell in love with it and it was way more comfy then any other bike. Then i told myself - if i'm ever buying such a piece of art it is now, when it is on discount. So i got that bike, and then little by little started customizing it, dropping by the Chopperdome every now and then, started going on the cruises with the local community, met a lot of nice people and got into the scene like that.
Apr 1, 2014
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Growing up in the '60's, bikes were our life as kids in the country. All this riding around meant repairs. After being shown how by my dad, my brother and I did our own repairs. Quit riding bicycles in the mid 1970's and picked up riding again in the mid 1980's for fun and exercise. Farming kept me quite busy for a few years, But my brother had never stopped riding and got me interested in bikes again a few years ago and gave me an old Columbia to mess with. Riding the ratty Columbia around got the attention of a neighbor who sold me a pile of old bikes out of the rafters of an old Rambler dealership.

This is one of the bikes I got from my neighbor.

Now retired and more time to devote to projects. Don't have my brother to chit chat with anymore about bikes though.
Great group on here. Thanks.
Apr 28, 2019
Warsaw PL
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After my 24" MTB that I got back in 1994 was stolen circa 2002 (i was 15 then) I was in a deperate need of a new bicycle that I could ride on a daily basis. A co-worker of my mother told me that he had an old bicycle in his shed, and he would give it to me for free. The "bicycle" turned out to be a 1977 Romet Wagant in pieces & in terrible condition. I got it running after a few months (and also broke it a few times, since I had no idea how to repair bikes at the time). And that's how i cought the thing for older bikes, started collecting & repairing them. In 2006 or so I first saw this forum with many cool bikes being build at the time.

On March this year I found an ad on Facebook that a small bicycle workshop is looking for a repair man, and after two weeks I was working there. That kinda encouraged me to participate in this years Build-Off and to start sharing m contraptions with other people.
Jun 13, 2015
US occupied MA
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I learned how to ride a little later than most of the kids, but immediately loved it. I had friends in the neighborhood, but rarely connected with people meaningfully beyond a shared interest and I prefer my own company, so I would ride all over the place. Kids would ask me if they could ride with me and I'd tell them where I was going. They wouldn't attempt to keep up a second time, so it was a good way to assure I was alone. I'd ride the Columbia BMX sometimes 40 miles and I just had to be home by nightfall. I spent most of the time looking for weird cars to take pictures of with my 110 camera. Cars were still interesting back then and parasite speculators didn't drive the prices through the roof yet, so they were somewhat plentiful in normal peoples' driveways. I remember a Lancia Scorpion, Volvo 1800ES, Saab Sonnets, Opel Manta (these things seemed exotic especially where my father-in-dispute tried to kill himself in an Opel GT), all kinds of British sports cars, BMW 3.0 CSI "Batmobile", and I met a college professor who saved up for his Pantera and showed how the trunk came out to access the engine and started it up. Another guy in Marblehead had 2 Countaches and a helicopter in a house like a castle on the shore. It was all later seized and auctioned. Stock fraud/pyramid scheme kind of thing, IIRC, but I was about 11 or 12 at the time, so my RC is highly questionable.

Anyway, I wasn't completely antisocial and would race my friends and we'd do skid contests, jumps, and so on after gaining speed from a steep hill. Since my parents wouldn't replace the bike if I broke it and I wouldn't expect them to because of the money, I would build clunkers and obtain spares from scouting the neighborhood on trash days when I was walking to and from school. I also used the junk to teach myself how to do most things beyond patching a tube. When I was 14, I got hit by a car and messed up my knees, so I didn't ride for a while, then I got my license and started dating this incredible girl who wouldn't ride because she claimed it bothered her hips, which were turned out for ballet. I still don't know if it's true, but I didn't care about riding a bicycle at that point. I get a mountain bike to ride with friends, but it didn't have that feeling of freedom that I had as a kid and the technical trails around here are bombed with bugs in the warm weather, so I was never seriously into it.

About 8 years ago, my friend who dealt in antiques starts getting into riding and a little into vintage bikes. Shows me a truss frame Iver Johnson and that gets me going on learning about old bikes. In the meantime, my mountain bike was too truck-like for enjoyable city riding and the road bike too fast when I went riding with other people, so I reinstate my old hybrid Giant. It rode great, but was painted in MC Hammer era purple with silver splatters and I start thinking of things that would make it better to ride and how I could make it look better. That became my USAAF bike and I've made a few customs since. I'm probably done for a while now, as I'm working on a bunch of other things and I certainly have enough bikes.
Oct 28, 2018
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I started getting into bikes when I got my first geared bike at 7 years old. I got into vintage bikes when I fixed up an old Miyata at 12. That frame cracked years ago. It sat in the basement for a long time.
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Nov 17, 2018
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As long as I can remember I always had a bike , to go fishing , surfing or just to ride . After I had my son , I bought a child seat and we went beach cruising in Daytona Beach , stopping at one hotel after another. This was in the 80's when Daytona Beach was the place to go . Thankfully my son was to young to remember the sights and sounds during spring break , But he was a chick magnet so I liked to take him . I started riding again daily after retirement Then like ZZR my bike was stolen right out of my garage . Then one day my father brought over a replacement bike that he picked up somewhere but it needed some work . So I started wrenching on it and found a long lost hobby .
You all know how the story ends , one bike is surely not enough
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