The Beginnings of the Ten Speed

Pete Voss - Grand Rapids, Michigan

The Beginnings of the Ten Speed

In mid Summer of 1975, with the ubiquitous "ten-speed" bikes,  20-inch Schwinn Stingrays, and the up-and-coming Huffy Thunder Roads all the rage, this was the first time I had seen a bike with 24-inch wheels.  After a last-minute walk with my Dad to our local Salvation Army store in North Dayton, Ohio, getting this bike was a great memory and milestone for me.  I couldn't ride yet and don't recall what he paid for it, under five dollars perhaps, but soon,  with help from my neighborhood buddies and some shoves down the alley with no training wheels, I recall learning to first balance and ride in a semi-standing/squatting position over the center bar.   This lasted for about what seemed like an entire week, all the while puzzling friends and relatives when I claimed I could now ride a bike!   One wiser uncle  reminded me that I wasn't yet sitting on the seat yet, and must have noted this as an eventual hurdle to overcome.  While standing up to pedal harder in the local park's grassy field, I lost my balance and fell back onto the seat.  Thereon, I've been happily riding along. :)

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