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Dumb Things I’ve Done On A Bike

The idea for this post, “Dumb Things I’ve Done On A Bike,” came to mind when I remembered a stupid thing I’d done as a kid.  At first, I thought it was the only dumb thing I’d ever done on a bike.  But when I let the idea germinate for a couple of days, more and more memories started coming back to mind.

I would like to say that I did most of these as a kid, but that might not be entirely true.  I can say that the ones contained in this post took place when I was a kid.

As for any correlation between dumb things and certain accidents, I may be at fault for some of those accidents, but getting hit by a truck, that one is on the driver of the truck.

One summer, after an Evil Kneivel-esque attempt on my bike, one which ended with me and the bike landing with great force on the ground, the seat to that bike emerged mangled and unusable.  Money happened to be tight that year and we didn’t have the funds to purchase a new seat.  So, I removed the seat post and rode that bike all summer without a seat.  I did a lot of standing while pedaling.

A few years later, I decided that I wanted to switch my bike from fixed gear to freewheel.  Rather than bore you with all the technical reasons for going freewheel, for which I may have bored my Dad with at the time, the determining factor for me was that all my friends had switched to freewheel.

For my birthday, I asked for money so that I could combine it with what little funds I’d stashed away to switch my bike over to freewheel.  But, when Dad took me to the bike shop, I only had enough money for the wheels.  I was short the money for the brakes.  Freewheel means you can pedal backwards with out stopping.  The only way to stop is to install rim brakes which are operated by hand levers on the handlebars.

Out of the corner of my eye, I looked at Dad to see if he was concerned enough to shell out the additional funds to purchase the brakes.  He was staring straight ahead and never said a word.  Maybe this was a test.  Or maybe he wasn’t paying attention.

What the heck, Christmas was only a few months off, I thought to myself.  I could ride a bike without brakes for a few months.

So that’s how I started riding a bike without brakes.  A pretty dumb thing to do.  It kind of makes me wonder why my Dad let me convert my bike to one without brakes.  Did he not understand?  Or was he hoping I’d learn some sort of lesson?

Before Christmas came, we moved to Phoenix and I’d gotten so used to riding without brakes that I didn’t want to waste my Christmas money on that.  I think I asked for the Basketball game for the Atari 2600 or a pair of Converse basketball shoes.

Three months later, I rode my bike home after school to get my basketball.  I was going to ride back to the park to play basketball with some friends.  I leaned the bike against the front window, ran inside to get the basketball, and when I came back out, my bike was missing.  I hadn’t been inside for more than a minute and some fool had stolen my bike.

The only thing that put a smile on my face was the fact that he was probably pedaling as fast as he could to flee the scene of the crime and he had no idea the bike he was riding had no brakes.  He’d find out soon enough.

And then that would become one of the dumb things this thief did, stealing a bike without brakes.


The Accident:  A Bike, A Truck, and A Train is available from the following retailers:

E-book versions are available for $2.99:

Paperback versions are available:

Also, you can order copies directly from me.  And yes, I’ll be happy to sign them for you.  Just drop me an email.

Categories: Biking
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