Boys and their bikes: The Sacramento 10-Speed Time Trials

Bikes create memories.

And one of my favorite memories is from when I was 14 and my brother was 11. We were bored: Nothing to do, 110 degrees in Sacramento, CA. We were waiting for my dad to get home from work to take us to the big summer hit movie, “Top Gun”. You might have heard of it.

To cure our boredom, rather than cool off out of the sun we decided to create our own bike race. And instead of racing on our own bikes (that fit us properly), for some reason, we chose to race on our sister’s miniature 10-speed.

I must say, all things considered, as the hour went on our times were really improving. We were impressing ourselves – and also wondering how awesome “Top Gun” was going to be.

Finally, we were down to our last big race around our neighborhood, Dover Court. My brother had just finished with the fastest time of the day, so I really had to step it up.

There, on turn four, just before the final straightaway, the little pedal of the little 10-speed dug into the asphalt. Instantly, the force propelled me into the air like a rag doll and then I slammed into the ground.

The defeat of the race was painful. But the most painful part was trying to hide my blue jeans over my bloody legs before my old man got home so I could still make it to the big summer blockbuster hit, which, did I mention, was “Top Gun”.

The movie was just ok. But I’ll never forget the race.

Epilogue: My brother had a few reflections to add.

“Great story, but I remember it a bit differently: For the final race I convinced you to race on our sister’s miniature bike, while I got to ride my full size 10-speed. Because you were the mature big brother and most likely wanted to pacify your super-competitive/psycho little brother, you agreed to it. So, while I was gracefully pedaling around the block, you were pedaling at a million reps an hour looking like Shaq on a tricycle.”

Memories. We were maverick rebels who could definitely have given Iceman a run for his money.

– Derek DeBoer

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New York City's neighborhood bike store since 1978
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3 Responses to Boys and their bikes: The Sacramento 10-Speed Time Trials

  1. Susan Patt says:

    I can picture it all! Giving your own 14 year old version of “I feel the need, the need for speed.”

  2. Daphne Impey says:

    Enjoyed reading! I have a very clear picture in my mind of the brothers I knew at this time! :). Was the 10-speed pink and gray? Thanks for taking me back in time!

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