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Your first set of wheels

Then and Now - First set of wheelsIt was more than an instrument to get you from point A to point B. It was your freedom. Your bike was your transportation, your wheels, your friend!

The first bicycle manufactured for kids was introduced after WWI by such familiar names as Sears Roebuck, Montgomery Ward and Mead. These early models contained parts that looked a lot like the automobiles and motorcycles of that era. The thought here being that in order for kids to really want a bike, it needed to a least “look” as if it had a motor.

In the 1950s, a bicycle was a must for any neighborhood kid. These machines were heavy, (weighing around 65 pounds), and able to withstand being thrown down onto the concrete playground, as well as the occasional handlebar passenger. Popping “wheelies” on these bikes was a real accomplishment and the “stunt champion” on the block was envied by all. It was during this decade that bicycles took on a look of jets and rockets. It wasn’t until the 1960s that bikes became lean and a lot lighter.

Today the biking industry is just that, an industry. In fact, we don’t even call it “biking” anymore. We call it “cycling!” There are numerous clothing lines designed specifically for the sport and helmets are considered a must for riders of all ages. Even with all the high-tech accessories designed for today’s bikes however, there is still no comparison to that simple sound of a baseball card clicking in the spokes of a bicycle wheel. That was better than any technology!

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Cynthia Lopinto

Cyn LoPinto, M.A. is a gerontologist focusing on significant issues affecting older adults and their families. Her areas of interest include lifestyle enrichment, family dynamics, and caregiver support. Cyn has worked in both the recreational and healthcare industries.

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