There on my sidebar is a link to The Borderline Sociopathic Blog For Boys. It is a paean to the long-lost youth of the host at Sippican Cottage, and the similar BSBFB is a haven of secret delight from a more dangerous time: a really fun time to be a boy. (Or a girl, sez I.)
JWM, over at his World Famous Blog has proven his BSBFB creds, and I think the Jaguar Project series is a wonderful side dish to the concept of kid cool. It was all about the bike before it could be all about the car. The bike was the status symbol of cool.
At a fairly young age I had to know how to fix my bike by myself, as long excursions out of my neighborhood and off to parts unknown could mean being several miles from home without a phone or way back except on foot. But I loved it. Loved the freedom of being away from the small house with the over-large family. Woods, backstreets, dirt roads, culverts, Navy base, wherever I could get those fat Schwinn tires to go without picking up a nail, that's where I was. Anywhere but home. And my bike was cool. . . for a girl. It had a radio on the front handlebars, a novelty my dad brought back from overseas. It even had an electronic, if faint, horn on it. I was happily myself on my bike, and rode the wild terrain of the suburbs with the boys and made ramps and jumped and flew and sped downhill in races. That was when we weren't tearing apart our old skates and nailing the trucks to an old 2x4.
JWM's bike pics brings it all back.
Please guys, don't ever outgrow that little kid that could see this and know why it was cool:
(click to embiggen. totally worth it.)
Be sure to scroll down at that link and catch a pic of the young man on the bike! You need to see the proportions of this thing.