kid bike experiments.

Apr 1, 2014
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I don't know about you, but I was one of those kids who was always taking things apart to see how they worked.
Unfortunately, I don't have photographic evidence. Let's just say that where I grew up - the Eastern U.P. of Michigan - in the '60's - there wasn't a lot of money around. A beautiful place and we lived in a wonderful house my Grandfather built on a river. My dad owned a tiny home appliance sales and repair shop in a small town. We always got by, but little money for extras like bikes. I was given 1 new bike, a red AMF 26" middleweight from the Tru-Value hardware store.

My Dad was pretty busy and his idea was to show you how to do something, then you do it on your own. Soon, I'm my own bike mechanic. We live like 8 mi out of town so infrequent access to spare parts. Scrounging the community dump yielded some valuable parts but the area was pretty poor so most folks kept functional bikes in the family.

Boys that were my age and pretty much in the same fiscal condition were good at keeping simple ole coaster bikes rolling kinda like the 1950's American cars cruising Havana. We did have access to Saturday TV cartoons and comic books so we were aware of "chopper bikes". Problem: how you gonna extend forks without a welder? Answer - cut legs off another fork and hammer 'em on. Popping wheelies led to disaster if the extended leg fell off so a variety of scrounged fasteners were mis - applied including wood screws!

Another favorite mod was to use tiny kids bike chain wheels to make wheelies easier.