The Nostalgia Continues
While I was looking at the pictures of my old bikes the other day, it got my mind thinking back to my childhood days. I spent a large part of my childhood on my bike, racing round my village, surrounding ones & out into the large forest that we were lucky enough to live next to. In those days there were no such things as mountain bikes, so what we'd do is build our own track bikes. I'm sure this will spark that memory in lots of you. There were several old dumps or large pits nearby where you could have a fantastic time routing through all the stuff that people had thrown down there. Everything from old 78's to entire cars. What I was always on the look out for were bike parts. Frames wheels tyres & just about anything I could use to build my latest Machine. I should point out that this was also before the age of the X Box and all the other electronic distractions we have today. Once home I would plan & then start to build up my newest creation. Sometimes I would take great care and only use the best bits to make up a very slick looking single speeder, as they always were. Sometimes they would be extremely rough looking. They one thing they all had in common were the cowhorn handlebars. These, if memory serves me right were continuously transferred from bike to bike as they were the only pair I had. I loved them all equally. Some had one brake & some had no brakes at all, but that didn't worry me as i somehow managed to stop by using my feet on the ground or slowly jamming into the top of the tyre behind the front forks, very dodgy. The other thing was to fit several sets of tyres one on top of the other for super puncture protection out on the tracks. The one thing we had that was may be unique to us at the time was an endless supply of parts from a couple of brothers who lived in the next village. Pat & Deny Coe. They were both long retired and lived together in a very tumbledown old house. In their garden they had an enormous tin garage that was stuffed to the roof with bikes and bike parts. Lord only knows how or where all this stuff came from. I don't think anybody ever asked them, but they were kind of legendary to us as if ever you couldn't find a part you could rely on Pat Coe to come up with the goods for a very small sum of money. Once the bikes were finished I'd be off from dawn till dusk going where ever the mood took me. My parents didn't have a clue where I was going and again this is pre mobile phone age but that was fine. I always went home when I was hungry. I learnt a lot of my practical skills in those days and thankfully they have stayed with me. I think that todays kids could do with a trip through time to that era to see how to spend a school holiday that wasn't exclusively spent inside.