Well… Here is my very first article. Most of my days are spent daydreaming in my office about how life was so much simpler when I was a kid. Today is much like the rest, but only it's actually nice outside so it got me thinking about that one toy of summer that I could not possibly live without…

This turned out to be a pretty decent mental debate. What toy was more important to me in the summer over any other one thing? Was it the hammer and nails I would “borrow” daily from my dads tool shed that would be used to make the coolest tree fort ever? Nope, down side to that was if you didn't get the tools back by the time the old man got home you would feel the wrath of one of the MOST RETRO things of all time….. A good ole fashion butt whooping. Was it the Tonka Trucks we played with in the large dirt pile at the end of the court? NO, this was the one thing that in every neighborhood, and every time we moved was constant.

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The Big Wheel!!!
I think we may have moved 3 times in my youth, but the one thing all my friends in every neighborhood had in common was the big wheel. We had every type you could think of, Knight Riders, GI Joes, Cabbage patch kids and Green Machines.
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For myself I was a Knight Rider fan, thus having several Big Wheels that were Knight Rider models.
article image I would ride them till they fell apart; the front wheel would wear thin and split. The power slide break would snap off. It would break in half at the neck and handle bars. Any way you slice it I must have gone through at least five or six of them as a 5 to 8 year old. Which was funny, because as a kid my parents were not well off by any means but I always had that big wheel. I think it was because it kept me out of the house. Which in my opinion is becoming retro too

We would cruise the neighborhood from 8am till dark, building tracks, ramps and going down hills at full speed. Looking back I doubt you could even pay me to take a Big Wheel down half the hills now that I did as a child.

I remember one hill in particular, this hill must have been about 200yds long, gravel and dirt covered with a sharp left turn at the bottom heading to the railroad tracks. One terrible draw back to this hill was the swampy marsh at the bottom, if you missed the turn you might be lucky to walk away with only muddy cloths or a tetanus shot. The gravel was very fine and the dirt was hard packed. This allowed for what seemed like insane speeds. We would sit at the top of this hill every day, double dog daring each other to go down. No one would ever go. We would hop off our 3 wheeled wonder machines and ghost ride them down, watching them crash into each other and see who's went the farthest.
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Well one day I don't remember how it happened, what was said, who dared who, but I went…. Down this hill I went. Going so fast I had to take my feet off the peddles and hold them out in front of me. Now don't start thinking this was some epic and awesome moment, my friends were not cheering and rallying behind. Nope they were right behind me second guessing their decision as well. I don't know if it was that, “oh crap he did it, I gota do it too” or if we all knew it was 11th hour and it was now or never.

So there we all are screaming down this hill at break neck speeds, now in a tight group of thundering Big Wheels. The hill was given thought on speeds, but I don't recall if any of us taking the time to think about the turn and the marsh at the bottom… Now for those of you who have owned these joys of summer know that they don't turn so well. At about the same time we all put or feet down and put the breaks on. Sliding and crashing into each other we all stopped right before turn. We were a pile of about 5 kids laughing, yelling and carrying on about how awesome that was. Well not our friend Gary, he had a Green Machine, they never did to well at high speeds, and he had spun out half way down the hill and was just getting to the bottom. We must have done that hill twenty times in a row after that, it became part of our daily rides. Never was it scary again after the first trip.

Funny to look back at it now, because I have seen that hill since having become an adult… That hill might at best be 40ft long and at a 15 degree grade. BUT as a kid it was a monster of a hill and that's how I choose to remember it.

Thank you for reading, I hope it was not too bad, keep in mind i am not a writer… If you guys like this I will share some more good childhood memories