The 70’s…

22 01 2012

So true...

I had a bike for at least a decade of great times before it became a dangerous activity that I needed to be protected from. I may have been born too late for the free love era, but at least I got to enjoy a childhood of carefree bicycling.


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10 responses

22 01 2012
Doug@MnBicycleCommuter

My best friend in the 70’s and I spent our entire summers building jumps for our Schwinn’s to fly over. They were usually set up at the base of a large hill for maximum speed and flight distance. No helmets or pads. We survived.

We just missed the beginning of the BMX era. Man, what we could have accomplished with that equipment.

22 01 2012
thelazyrando

I hear ya. My dad bought me a bike that had front and rear shocks…looked like a motorcycle with a fake gas tank. That beast was heavy, but it inspired us to build bigger ramps!

We destroyed it in no time!…=-)

22 01 2012
Greg Weber (@onespeedgreg)

No bike helmets , bb gun fights, and endless days on the skateboard with no pads… You learn how to get good or you break limbs..Its a good thing we are not parents its probably how we would raise our kids if we had any..Pain is a terrific teacher..We raise our kids now in a culture of fear..

22 01 2012
disabledcyclist

Man that pic’s just friggin’ awesome! Brings back memories,man,good memories (born in 73′,here :) ). Greg,all taht you said and add bottle rocket wars to the mix :D

The DC

22 01 2012
Enrique

I would venture to say that upon a brief excursion to youtube, you might find much evidence of children doing stupidly dangerous things. They always find a way.

22 01 2012
jwp

while i also feel nostalgic for the 70’s and 80’s, i’m not sure that the lack of helmets, etc made it ‘better’ or more liberating.

my kids don’t think anything of putting on helmets and gear…if anything it makes them feel invincible. today kids are doing tricks that we couldn’t even imagine 30 years ago. as we were recently reminded with sarah burke, there are no guarantees, even with all the gear, all the time.

when our kids grow up, they’ll say the same things about their youth…’remember when we did 25 foot jumps with only a helmet and knee pads?’ they’ll feel exactly the same about this time as we do about our youth.

22 01 2012
thelazyrando

@JWP – I worry you are correct. In 20yrs kid’s probably won’t be allowed to ride bikes outside at all since it will be determined to be far to dangerous and unpredictable!

22 01 2012
thelazyrando

@Greg – “We raise our kids now in a culture of fear.”

You nailed it!

23 01 2012
Rob E. Loomis

The ramp was positioned right by the road because then you could hit it at the highest possible speed when coming down the hill from the neighbor’s house. Dirt/gravel roads. No helmets. Occasionally gravel had to be picked out of your skin, but that’s how you learn what doesn’t work.

In my youth in the 70s, the first book I learned to read (by memorizing what the words were) was Bears On Wheels. I was reminded of that the other day, and was thinking about how appropriate that was given my preferred mode of transportation. Then, as I thought about it, I said, “Wait a minute! I don’t think those bears had any helmets on! Double decker on a unicycle? That’s not safe.” So maybe the Berenstain bears are responsible for my cavalier attitude about helmet use. Maybe future editions will have helmets and knee pads added in.

21 05 2012
eriksandblom

The latest thing for adults to worry about in Sweden is kids riding on the outside of subway trains and trams. I wonder if the kids were allowed to do jumps like in the photo, maybe they would stay away from the trains. Taking small risks is exciting and teaches you a little about judging risk.

I emailed with a member of parliament who wanted to repeal the helmet law (applies to under 15s). She wisely said that by forbidding everything that might be slightly dangerous, society is blunting people’s ability to tell a big risk from a small one. She got voted out after the election. Huh.

Oh and injuries from trampolines are skyrocketing.

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