When I was a little kid, we lived in a tiny farming town in North Dakota. I don’t even know if we had a bike shop.
When I was 5, I got a shiny new, yellow Huffy Pro Thunder BMX with blue anodized wheels and the two neighbor kids across the street also got bright yellow Huffy Pro Thunders with blue anodized wheels.
But mine was special. Somehow, my father managed to find the one Huffy Pro Thunder featuring the “split your forehead open” straight cross bar across the top of the handlebars instead of the “V” style crossbar.
My friends across the street and I spent many a summer day slamming down on the coaster brakes to see who could skid the farthest down our dirt road. I started my BMX racing career with that bright yellow boat anchor. I strapped a used Haro number plate to the front and I became number 113 at the local race course. Since the number 13 was already taken by an older kid, one of my 1’s was a strip of black electrical tape.
I raced it that way for a few years. I even won a few first place trophies, but that was mainly because after all the other kids crashed, I was the only one still upright.
My brother eventually installed a freewheel on my beloved Huffy and I promptly forgot that I no longer had a coaster brake and crashed into a mailbox at high speed, rendering me unconscious.
The bike however, was fine.
As an adult, I still crash into mailboxes, rendering myself unconscious regularly in an attempt to relive my youth.