Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

09 July 2015

Wanna Make Some Noise?

When I was a kid, you rode a bicycle because you weren't old enough to drive a car--or a motorcycle.

Back then, it seemed that every bike maker (at least here in the US) was trying to appeal to pre-teen boys' visions of themselves astride a "Hog" or "Busa".  That is why bikes came with "ape hangers", "sissy" bars, "banana" seats and stick-shifters located on the exact spot of the bike where it was most likely to impede said boys' future chances of creating a future market for Schwinn Sting-Rays and Raliegh Choppers.

But, boys being boys (I know; I was one once!), they not only wanted their bikes to look like junior motorcycles; they wanted their low-slung wheels to sound like what the "big boys" were riding.




So they'd clip a playing card onto a seat stay or chain stay so that it would catch in the spokes.  Actually, they wouldn't clip a card:  They'd usually attach two or three, though I saw kids who'd clip as many as they could fit on the bike.  The louder the better, right?

Well, one can only attach so many cards to a bike.  Apparently, some would-be inventor noticed as much and came up with the idea of amplifying the sound with a "Turbospoke":




If I had a child, I'd rather give him or her a Turbospoke rather than an electronic gadget.   For one thing, it might get him or her to ride more. And it's way less expensive!




 

4 comments:

  1. In Seattle, in addition to cards, we'd attach painted models of hydroplanes to the back with string. The local favorite boat was "Miss Bardahl,"

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  2. Steve--That sounds really cool. How aas the sound different from that of cards?

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  3. Well, actually the sound was about what you'd expect from a 2X4 skittering across concrete.

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  4. Steve--Sounds like a real earsore--at least to our middle-aged ears. But, of course, to kids, such a sound is probably music.

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