I loved riding my bike around my town when I was a kid, especially with my friends. But a dark chapter in our bike friendship began one summer in the mid 1980s when one of my fellow bicyclists got a pair of mag wheels for their bike. They were candy apple red and they looked pretty amazing. Sadly those beautiful wheels would trigger a sort of arms races among my friend as they all attempted to out-cool each other on bikes and bike accessories.
I am not sure how they got their parents on board, but soon everyone’s bike but mine was too expensive to just leave laying in a field or in front of someone’s house. So now chains and locks became standard items for carrying around.
The madness finally ended when my friends tricked-out Redline was stolen from his yard and his parents decided to replace it with a 10-speed. Since he refused to take the new bike out into the fields and abandoned lots that we loved to ride through, this basically killed our daily bike patrols.
To this day I still can’t admire a pair of mag wheels without feeling sort of wistful.