We had a bit of a reminisce in the office yesterday afternoon about cycling as kids. We all agreed that the carefree nature and lack of hazard awareness made for a blissful time when out cycling with our friends.

Now that the days of 8 week summer holidays have gone, we don’t get much chance to pull big skids (road tyres soon wear through to the canvas, as I’ve expensively found out but still haven’t learnt!) or play ‘foot down’ on the field – essentially who can unknowingly trackstand aged 5!

Soon of course the talk turned to bikes and kit which we had all been given or had passed to us from older cousins. We span a few generations between us in the office and so there was plenty to learn about and plenty of fads which we all took part in!

We’ve brought together a collection of our old bikes, the accessories we used to fit and what we used to get up to on them.

The Bikes:


Dave was the proud rider of a Giant Stonebreaker bike, his pride and joy for many years. Given that Dave now races around the world and will happily disappear into the distance on climbs it must have had some hidden magic to it – just look at that colour scheme, imagine the team kit that would go with that!

Dave’s honest review: “awesome for endo’s” : [rating: 5/5]


My first bike was an Apollo mountain bike from my cousin who’d grown out of it. Sadly I hadn’t yet grown enough to fit it without getting on from the kerbside!

My next bike was a bmx, for racing around the local field which had an almost purpose built bmw track dug into it. My Pro Performer was purple and had a great ability to sit on it’s back wheel for miles and miles with me happily sorting things out with the rear brake.

For it’s wheelie ability: [rating: 5/5]


Alex, one of our Graphic Designers used to cruise around on one of these.

This article wouldn’t be complete without the Raleigh Chopper. Originally from the 70’s it has become an icon of this age, complete with it’s ‘safety issues’ it made for some great fun.

The long seat made ‘backies’ simple, the smaller front wheel made for some massive speed wobbles and the gear shifter could easily put an end to any future development you were hoping for.

“Accidents were not uncommon” therefore: [rating: 5/5] – you’ve got to learn your bike handling skills at some point!


Way back in John’s day, the Raleigh Tomahawk was the bike to be seen on. Slightly smaller than the chopper and without the hazardous gear shifter this bike was a turning point in his life.

The second hand beauty was John’s first bike and was the one he learnt to ride without stabilisers on, mainly due to the fact that none were available!

“a fantastically cool first bike until you realised that it was a poor relation to the Chopper. Great for skids”: [rating: 5/5]

Here’s what the kids are up to in 2010:

It’s only fair you see this footage we found while “researching”………

The add-ons:

As children, bikes weren’t complete without toys or something to make them sound like a motorbike!

Gone are the days of toys in cereal boxes, probably some health and safety rule after a super hero figurine wrapped in plastic was mistaken for a cornflake – very easy to do I’m sure.

These Kellogs Cockerel reflectors will bring back some memories, they even have a facebook ‘like’ button for them!

I wonder how’d they go on bladed spokes? The aero advantage may well be worth trying!

Spokey Dokeys:

After getting some of these on a birthday I vividly remember the painstaking effort it took to fit each and every one. These are coloured plastic balls that you fitted to the spokes of your bike so that when you rode around slowly they would clatter up and down noisily and when you rode fast the centrifugal force would push them all out to the wheel rim and they would just look like a coloured blur.

Everyone must remember the sore fingers after fitting and the knack you needed to take them off again!

It is even possible to fit these to your race bike:

The Card and Peg trick:

We’ve sadly all done it! To re-create that motorbike sound nothing gets further away from it that a card and peg on the seat-stay.

Easy to do and up to a certain speed the card stays nicely intact.

The coolest bike I’ve found today and the one I’d have if I could do it all again (even including the scraped knees, battered elbows and sore chin) would be this:

What did you ride as a child? What cool toys did you manage to fit to your bike? Any great stories? Let us know below:




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