I was at the Riverside Museum in Glasgow today. This was the highlight. My childhood bike. Mine was purple, but for some reason I think it was a deeper shade.
Everything about this bike is iconic. The crossbar gears, now deemed a health and safety hazard; the big rear wheel and small front one; the deep, plunging handlebars; the long seat and back luggage rack and seat bar- handy for "backies," and the chrome mudguards.
This was a kids cool bike, designed to look cool, not win races or for climbing mountains or pulling and twisting and balancing in some stunt. Though I did all of those. This was the envy of every kid in the estate (well, this and my mates "Grifter.")
The racing bike I got next signalled a new phase in my life; exploring the town, and beyond the boundaries of my childhood. But the Chopper reminds me of heady summer evenings playing bike chasing around Edenvale and Ashgrove; days of freedom and unrestricted laughter, drama and friendship.