Growing up in the 1970s was a fun time. Aside from my daily attempts in creating various flying apparatuses, I had this amazing machine that took me everywhere with the pumping of its pedals. It only had an emergency brake, but it was employed when it was absolutely necessary, which was never. Its colors were a daring yellow, patriotic blue, and powerful red. The machine had an adjustable seat, and for decoration, streamers sprouted from its handles.
This powerful, glorious machine was called a Big Wheel because the front and back wheels were…well…BIG. They ran over anything in their path, flattening these things as thin as tracing paper.
Many mornings if I wasn’t scraping my metal-wheeled roller skates (I got the rubber wheels later) across the asphalt at six a.m. (you know the neighbors loved that), I’d hop on my power vehicle and pedal down the side walk (or pavement, depending on where we were living at the time), ready to ride the day away.
If anyone tried to harass me by chasing after me via foot or bike, I’d take off on my trusty Big Wheel, squealing out of the vicinity, sparks snapping off my back monster wheels, a dusty cloud floating in my wake. Blind from the dust and stunned by the super sonic speed of my Big Wheel, my bullies were left to wallow in defeat.
Years later when I no longer could fully fit in the seat of my beloved machine, I’d clasp its worn handles, place one sneaker on its seat, and push with the other, transforming it into a type of stylish and speedy scooter. Alas, eventually, my trusty transport had to retire and live with its buddies in the hallowed halls of Big Wheel Memories…memories that stay with me forever.