Other than Trikes and kiddie cycles, my first bike was a Redline BMX bike that I built myself. It was 1977, I was 10 years old, and BMX was big. I spent months gathering parts for this machine by any means necessary. Ultimately, I honestly don’t remember what happened to this apparatus. My next bike, if memory serves me, was a 70’s Peugeot road bike in the classic red color that seemed so popular back then. It sported Simplex derailleurs, Maillard hubs, and Mafac brakes. Honestly, I never really liked the bike all that much, but still, it was a bike, and A bike is better than NO bike.
Sometime later, there was a Schwinn Le Tour.. This machine was really something I revered. I loved that bike. It was a heavy tank of a vehicle, as all sub 500 dollar units were, but I had big ideas about riding this thing very far. Eventually it was stolen.
Then there were a couple of Sears and Montomery Wards “bicycles”; These babies were cheap transportation to high school, but that’s about it. Luckily, they too were stolen.
During High School, I had a circuit of lawn mowing customers throughout the neighborhood. One summer, I mowed and mowed and mowed. I had recently ridden a friends Miyata MTB and fell in love with this new kind of bicycle. This was 1982 or 83. I decided that I wanted the game changing 1984 Specialized Stumpjumper. By the time school started again in the fall, I had half of what I needed. My mother, bless her heart, covered the rest.
To me, the Stumpjumper was the ultimate; it had some of shimano’s best ever offerings in the original Deore line up, plus those great looking Specialized cranks and hubs that really were a testament to how great these parts were during that time period. Alas, that bike too was stolen, and though I did not I give up on bicycles, I focused my energy all the way on rock climbing and mountaineering, which, in turn, pretty much consumed me for the next 25 years.
A couple years out of high school, I moved to Washington D.C. to pursue a romantic relationship with Judy Paddon. I became a bicycle courier in the D.C. metro, and my weapon of choice was a GT Karakoram. The GT was a good bike, and it became even better as I wore the thing out pedaling it 300 miles a week, and upgrading parts as they went.
After moving to Moab in February 1990, it was all mountain bikes, everything from The fantastic Bianchi Grizzly (AKA The Green Bastard) to the more advanced, fully suspended, long travel, All Mountain, Freeride, and Downhill bikes of modern times..
..But that is another story all together.