First Bicycle/First Solo Ride


That is a tricycle similar to the one I graduated directly from to a 26″ bicycle — way too big for me — but with assistance from brother — learned the rudiments of balancing on 2 wheels as he followed running alongside.

Problem became, I out distanced him, and confronted with a US highway or an alley, I chose to turn into the alley!  Wobbly turn, and down the alley I went — another alley appeared and another wobbly turn into it.

At this point the level of fright was relatively high which led to a crash.

Meantime, brother had cut thru yards to catch up to me and did — just after the fall.

After picking gravel out of my knee, he assured me I could go the rest of the way around to the front of our house where I started.  Which I did.  🙂

For a while that tricycle seemed a far better option, but the intrigue of riding that 26 incher overcame it.

Not even sure where that bicycle came from, or what happened to it.  Brother got a new Western Flyer with tank, horn, lights, carrier and most of the bells and whistles of the day (no turn signals which he still regrets).

Later I got what would be the Chevy 210 of Western Flyers, while brother had the glammed out BelAire version, but I was happy.

First bicycle was similar to this but didnt have the tank


So, lets hear about your first bicycle and solo/unassisted ride.

Wish there were photos, but back then, photography was expensive and not to mention a 1-2 week wait for the drug store to get the pictures back.

If I had any idea of how to put this in either Articles or the Forums, thats where it would be, but I dont.  🙁


Hmm — it is in Articles now, but still here too.  idk

Very much enjoy all the entries you all have provided -- great to see the everyday cycling venues. Being in eastern Illinois, scenery certainly isn't our forte, but oh well, the roads are normally quiet. Look forward to more and more entries from all of you, I do have a few over on BL -- in Bill's Day Rides, and one journal.

9 response to "First Bicycle/First Solo Ride"

  1. By: Seasidejanet Posted: December 14, 2018

    Beautiful bikes! Love the brothers! I got a Schwinn I think under the Xmas tree when I was about 9yr old. Fast forward to 1984 I started doing TriAthlons and bought my first “race” bike it was a Guerdiotti Ferrari Red!! My Italian Stallion…..loved that bike! I gave it to Jack’s son and unfortunately he was hit by a car (he was ok broken ribs) and cracked the frame😢😢 next we’re a couple of cheap Diamond Backs that we’re stolen from the marina we lived in and then came Bessie my Surly!! 10yrs old this January…love that bike.

    • By: Rich-Illinois Posted: December 15, 2018

      Bicycle under the Christmas tree — it doesnt get better than that at 9 or any other time for that matter. Just looking at the Guerdiotti site — very impressive cycles! Sorry to hear its fate but broken ribs are no fun. In 1994, Sept 11, actually, some __________ stole my Schwinn I had had since 1977 — replaced it with a Crossover Diamond Back. Had an eye on a LHT for some time, but cant justify the need.
      Thanks for the history of your bicycles.

  2. By: The Navigator Posted: December 15, 2018

    That was very nice of your brother to help you learn to ride! I learned to ride on a 16 inch red bike that was a hand-me-down from my brother who got it as as hand-me-down from a series of older cousins. So I was the 4th or 5th kid to learn to ride on it in our family when I was 5. Then I got a hand-me-down green banana seat bike that I hated from a cousin. I finally got MY first bike when I was 7 in 1983. It was a Columbia Blue Angel banana seat bike that was blue with clouds and seagulls on the seat. Google it for a pic. I longed for that bike for over a year before it was a birthday present.

    • By: Rich-Illinois Posted: December 15, 2018

      Thats quite a history of cycling from a very early age!
      The Columbia is one cool bicycle — worth the wait — which about the only way we got stuff back in the day — birthdays or Christmas.
      History repeats — now its a wait for the Salsa, but worth it!
      Thanks for an interesting timeline of Em and 2 wheels!

  3. By: NancyG Posted: December 15, 2018

    Somehow I thought I wrote a reply to your post Rich. But — apparently not!
    This does bring back the memories and I am working on a post to follow yours. I learned to ride a little later in childhood than many, but that story will come in my post.
    This was fun to read and we are so fortunate to have a family member teach us to ride a bike. In my case it was my cousin John. More to come…

    • By: Rich-Illinois Posted: December 15, 2018

      Learning a little later in childhood, reminds me of a friend who had a beautiful new bicycle parked in his folks dining room – ?? – dont know about that. Anyway, I said lets go riding, and he replied he didnt know how and had no interest in learning!!!!!
      Looking forward to your post.

  4. By: Tony Cullimore Posted: December 17, 2018

    My brother had a Mobo trike – not such a good one as your picture though. He crashed it into a tree on his first outing and had the imprint of the fence around the tree on his face for a few days.

    For some reason I didn’t have a trike but remember having a little pressed metal pedal car instead. Quite hard to pedal and often would go backwards rather than forwards. Story of my life!!

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