Monday, March 23, 2009

First Bicycle

This picture was taken in 1939 and shows a young boy with his first bicycle, which he has just purchased with money he had saved over several years.

Can you remember your first Bicycle? I can. I was six years old and my uncle decided I needed a bicycle. Back then, when you bought groceries or other things like that, they gave you "S & H Green Stamps". You would paste the stamps in a book, and then there was a store you went to where you could trade your stamps in for something good. Now, it took a whole lot of stamps to get anything. My uncle went around to everyone he knew, commandeered their Green Stamps, and got enough to get me a shiny new red Bicycle. It is a day I will never forget.


  1. My twin and I both got a bicycle on our 6th birthday. It was red, or was it …? Well, I think it was red.

  2. Ummmmmm. Those green stamps! My mom would bribe me and my sister to paste them in the books. I can still taste them!

  3. When I was 6, my older sister taught me to ride a bike. Considering older siblings, at least in my experience, aren't usually willing to do such nice things, this is one my very fond memories. Soon after that, we both got brand new bikes. The thrill kind of got lost, though, when after we were given our bikes, our younger sister was given a horse. That's just WRONG!

  4. I remember my first 2-wheel bike, it was a blue Schwinn with training wheels - and NO speeds or gears. I got it for Christmas sometime around 1962 or 1963.

    My dad taught me to ride that spring on the front lawn.

    After that I rode it to school.

    It's still in the basement of my parents' house.

    A few years ago, my husband and I bought 12-speed bikes to ride for fun with our daughter and for exercise, too. I still can't operate it properly. When I try to shift, I fall off.

    And .. . . my mother always collected Green Stamps, she got a lot of things with them.

    The A&P used to give them out!
    Great memories

  5. I always wanted a tandem bicycle, still do!
    My first bike was a beat up thing that I taught myself to ride. But the following birthday I got a brand new PURPLE Schwinn, my favorite color. I was thrilled and rode my bike everywhere. I remember the days when that was actually our activity. We'd call each other up and say "let's go bike riding". We didn't usually have any destination in mind, just wanted to go ride together.

  6. Marie, how did your mom bribe you?

  7. a bicycle is your first taste of freedom.

  8. Heather:

    You're right, we used to go bike riding, just to ride for fun

    Now it's exercise and an obligation, or we can't let our kids out of our sight for fear they'll be abducted.

    How sad.

  9. I got nothing but hand-me-downs from my older brother and sister. But my first bike was an exception. It was from some auction sale my dad went to. I hated it and consequently never learned to ride a bike until I was 13 or 14 when I decided to take my older brothers bike (he had a car and had gone to university by this time) and learned to ride.

    I still can't handle the whole 'riding with one hand' thing.

  10. I feel you pain Jake. I had to use my older sisters' bikes. Imagine the damage to my psyche having to ride with the guys on a girls bike with balloon tires no less.

    Eventually, my parents took pity on me and got me a genuine Raleigh three speed from England. Aha, the bliss of riding the best anywhere after having my future manhood disparaged for so long. The whole incident taught me not to be so mean to people.....except my sisters, of course.

  11. How did my mom bribe me? Well, it must have been a tasty treat. The only one that stuck in my memory was the one that didn't work -- grapefruit with a bit of sugar on it!!!

  12. Schwinn was the champ. I got my first bike, a green Schwinn around 1956 and had it until I was sixteen or seventeen. Not sure what ever happened to it. I've had a few since then, whenever the fitness bug hits me but nothing as fine as that first bike.

  13. My first bike was a red bike as well. I remember taking the training wheels off and I became quite the daredevil. I frequently enjoyed jumping off and walking it down to a stop instead of using the brakes. Nothing like the first bike. Lol.

  14. copper beehive-
    nice words.
    "a bicycle is your first taste of freedom."

  15. Closer examination reveals a whole layer of complexity. I would guess by her firm grip on the tube and their tense smiles, this bike was to be shared with his sister. Not to be outdone in showing possessions, the younger sister is making sure she & her cat get in the shot. Finally, the face at the window is simply sublime.

    There's a book here.

  16. More thoughts : thanks to all-to-easy digital cropping we'll lose most of these wonderful details in the future.