I was looking through some old family photographs the other day and couldn’t find any with my childhood bikes. This made me feel a bit sad as I loved all my bikes and they were a key part of my childhood as I used mine almost constantly. Growing up in the 1970s in a family which didn’t have a car, to get anywhere we had to walk, ride or get public transport or we didn’t go there. For us though bikes were all important: my Dad cycled to work every day (and home for lunch) for 35+ years. I had my first bike at 6, it was second-hand and a strange sort of mustardy colour, but it meant a lot. Then came my trusty Raleigh which was my first new bike and a lovely orange colour. Eventually though, after many years hard service at the park, on the way to school and out on country bike rides, it was too small. Finally, I had a new bicycle: the bike of my dreams, a bit of a throw back to the 1950s really. It was an old-fashioned bicycle with a little parcel shelf and it wouldn’t have been out-of-place in a Miss Marple episode – the only thing it lacked in my opinion was a basket . In fact, it was very like this one.
I loved that bike, although I probably got less wear out of it as I was getting older and I was venturing into the city to meet up with friends and my bike was a bit less part of my life than it was. I didn’t use my bike for a while, probably quite a while, maybe a year or two I can’t really remember. But, one day I wanted to use it, I needed it. I was quite excited about it really because it wasn’t that I didn’t want to ride, it was just that I hadn’t found the opportunity lately, it hadn’t really fitted into my life. I liked the idea of changing that. Imagine the disappointment when I went to get my bike from my parents, when I discovered it wasnt’ there. They seemed surprised when I asked about it (understandable really I guess). I wasn’t a happy bunny though when they told me that they’d given it away to one of their friends because I wasn’t using it. In fact, I was pretty angry as it wasn’t theirs to give. They’d bought it for me as a birthday present after all. In fact, whilst I’ve forgiven them, I haven’t forgotten my lovely 1950s style bike and I am actually thinking about getting another one, so I can go out riding with H.
When it came to buying H his first grown up bike without stabilizers, we went along to Halfords and got some good advice on buying a suitable bike. We weren’t really up to date with all the advancements in design, so it was useful to have a knowledgable steer on things.
Halfords have turned back the clock to showcase some of the most iconic bikes of recent memory. Their “Bikes through the Decades” takes a look at the roots of popular classics, highlights almost forgotten favourites, and presents the models that are primed to take today’s industry by storm.
Disclosure: This post is in association with Halfords.