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bike memories from our childhood ... 11-5-10 ... Bobby's J.C. Higgins and being hit atop Kirk's Hill, etc.

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  • Bob Friend
    f y i ... I thought some of you fellow ol country bumpkins might enjoy reading this. --BOB FRIEND ... From: Bob Friend To: Jim Friend ; Joe Eldridge Cc:
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 5 1:56 PM
      
      f y i ...
       
      I thought some of you fellow ol' "country bumpkins" might enjoy reading this.
       
                   --BOB  FRIEND
       
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Bob Friend
      To: Jim Friend ; Joe Eldridge
      Cc: Lynn Kirkpatrick ; Lee Friend
      Sent: Friday, November 05, 2010 3:53 PM
      Subject: bike memories from our childhood ... 11-5-10 ... Bobby's J.C. Higgins and being hit atop Kirk's Hill, etc.

      My J.C. Higgins bicycle ("Sears junk" as per Jerry Kirk!) had 26-inch wheels; Jimmy's had 24-inchers.  My bike was red, including the fenders, I believe (as opposed to chromed) -- with some white pinstriping.  (Right, Jimmy?)  I don't think it had a front basket when I first viewed it under the Christmas tree when we lived in "The Crackerbox," but I know one was added later; I am pretty sure the basket was in place when Bob Sliger's car's front end knocked me off that bike after I rode it out of our gravel driveway into Bob's path, because I have a vestigial memory of the basket being bent-up a bit after the accident.
       
      I have written about this accident before, but I can't locate the message.  As I remember things now, the fenders were also messed up; at some point they were removed permanently -- either right away or later on.  I  KNOW they were gone when we lived at Fribley's, on Country Charm Road, because I recall the day Buff Toneman rode out into the country to visit us, and he, after seeing my bike, said, "HEY, IT'S  A  ROD!"  (Short for hot rod.)  Of course, it was not just the lack of fenders that prompted Buff's remark; equally important was the handlebar -- the original chrome-plated curved bar was bent in the crash, so Uncle Stanley replaced it with a straight length of (aluminum?) tubing.  Nowadays, straight handlebars (or nearly straight) are commonplace -- but not back then!
       
      I rode that first bike until, not long after my 16th birthday, I bought an red Italian-made Vespa (sold by Sears under its Allstate brand) from Duane Karnes.  Once I had its 125-cc two-stroke engine to propel me, I seldom if ever pedaled a bicycle.  Sometime between high school graduation in 1965 and starting classes at Ball State University, I sold the Vespa.  It was not until I was 19 and living in East Chicago, Indiana, where I was a fireman on the B.&0.-C&O. Railroad, that I got my second bicycle -- a used Schwinn Corvette -- and that was the only bike I pedaled until 1982, when I bought my 12-speed KHS sport-touring bike, which I still own and have ridden as recently as last year.  I have bought more bikes since then, but I digress.
       
      Anyway, I think Lynn's bike may indeed have been maroon.  I do not recall Jerry's "solid rust" handlebar.  Who had a speedometer?  Not me, for sure.  Maybe Joe had one; if so, it would surely have been a gear-driven Sturmey Archer model.  It seems like I once bought (or was given) an air-driven speedometer, but it was hopelessly inaccurate; for one thing, if you were heading into the wind it could indicate an impossibly high ground speed!
       
                   --LITTLE  BOBBY  OF  FIKE'S  CORNERS  AND  KIRK'S  HILL

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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Jim Friend
      To: jeldridge7700@...
      Cc: bobby friend ; Lynn Kirkpatrick
      Sent: Friday, November 05, 2010 9:54 AM
      Subject: Re: bicycle rehab, Detroit style

      OK...now we await Lynn's reply....Lynn?  What kind of bike did you race with , years later?

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      From: jeldridge7700@... <jeldridge7700@...>
      Subject: Re: bicycle rehab, Detroit style
      To: "Jim Friend" <coold1949@...>
      Cc: "bobby friend" <bobandkerstin@...>, "Lynn Kirkpatrick" <kirkpatrick3@...>
      Date: Friday, November 5, 2010, 7:10 AM
      
      I am going to test my memory my saying that Lynn's bike had chrome fenders and the frame was maybe a maroom or burgundy color.
         
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Jim Friend
      To: jeldridge7700@...
      Cc: bobby friend ; Lynn Kirkpatrick
      Sent: Thursday, November 04, 2010 11:05 PM
      Subject: Re: bicycle rehab, Detroit style

      I got a kick out of it, too...these bikes aren't excessively tricked out, just nice, with good tires and shiny handlebars and whatever else their pocketbooks will provide. 
      I remember Jerry Kirkpatrick's Schwinn...solid rust handle bars.  I remember Bob's and my JC Higgins bicycles, I remember your blue bike, but I can't remember Lynn's bike at all.

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      From: jeldridge7700@... <jeldridge7700@...>
      Subject: Re: bicycle rehab, Detroit style
      To: "Jim Friend" <coold1949@...>
      Cc: "bobby friend" <bobandkerstin@...>
      Date: Thursday, November 4, 2010, 9:57 PM
      
      Thanks for the article.  These guys are having fun doing something helpful for others. Kudos to them.

      Remember bike accessories from our childhood?
      Streamers out the end of handle bar grips
      Torpedo shaped light/horn
      Mechanical speedometer

      My big old second hand bike ws accessorised with
      handle bar grips
      a nice padded seat cover because the original seat was leather that had shrunk exposing the steel structure under the leather
      a big basket in front of the handle bars
      not sure about a horn
       
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