My first bike was like this - a chopper. I was about the sage age too. Except mine had tassles hanging from the ends of the handle bars, and the front forks were way longer. It was magic for popping wheelies, and it had a three speed shifter mounted on the top tube (in the stupidest place imaginable, but it was soooo cool.) You just don't see bikes like this in the shops anymore.
Pinched from Copenhagenize
My first bike was a Malvern Star Mustang, 5 speed chain gears with a long seat and a sissy bar, and apehanger handlebars.
I usd to double my friend on it - the metal posts for the sissy bar were lower than the centre of the back wheel and got a bit bent when we went off the edges of gutters.
I got my bike when I was about 11, I was still in primary school.
As I recall, my first bike had NO gears at all (or, to be more accurate, had only 1 gear).
And, looking at the picture of this happy chappy enjoying his bike, I think it's a pity that riding bikes in this over-regulated nanny-state country has been ruined by the requirement to wear a helmet.
The chopper photo brings back the memories. Yeah it looked cool but was a dog at high speeds with severe front wheel wobble. The gears were hopeless and were there for the 'look'. It had a long thin saddle with a small back rest. if you tried to carry two the weight on the back kicked the front wheel in the air - that was no wheelie but sheer uncontrolled single wheel stunt work. But every kid in our local 'hood aged from 6 to 12 wanted one - badly. We all imagined ourselves to be Evil Kineevil (without the motor) and many a proud Chopper ended up at the back of the garage a complete wreck of buckled wheels and bent frames. My Dad (God rest his soul) shortchanged my brother and I with foldable bikes made in Czeckoslovakia. We had wanted the Chopper (he was no chocolate custard soft touch). These bikes were more durable in one sense but totally uncool. And that spelt disaster for me on the street. So the Czech bomb stayed in the garage while I hooned around and wrecked other kids Choppers. Later in my late teens a mate tried to convince me to buy the mechanically simple, run-for-ever East German-made MZ motor bike. Not on yer nellie!
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