At our meet-up last Friday at B3s, we all sat around telling stories. Somehow I was reminded of telling a story about a bike game we used to play when I was a kid …..
In my neighborhood, there were 13 boys and only 1 girl, all around the same age. We did everything and went everywhere by bike. All kinds of bikes — Schwinn Stingrays, Murray single speeds, 3-speeds, 5-speeds, and some lucky few with 10-speeds. Didn’t matter. We took them all on street and off-road wherever we happened to be going that day. And of course invented games to play on our bikes.
One of our favorite games to play was what we called “Frisbee Tag”. “Frizbee Tag” can be played with anywhere from 4 to 10 or more players. The rules were simple: Take any two-lane street with houses in front. 1 person on the lawn on each side of the street, all others on bikes. The players on the lawns (rule was couldn’t leave the lawn) had a Frisbee they would throw at riders. Everyone else on bikes had to ride on the road between the two lawns. Their goal was to ride past the two players on the lawn and not get hit by the frisbee. If you made the pass 10 times, you were the winner.
The frisbee had to hit the person — if it hit the bike only it did not count as a hit. If you did hit a person, they lost all their passes, had to get off their bike and give it to the person that hit them, and become a frisbee-thrower.
There was strategy involved. You had to announce your “score” as you passed by, so that the frisbee throwers always targeted the person with the highest score so they could “knock him out”. You wanted to ride right behind this person since if they hit or missed you could get by untouched yourself …..
As a thrower, you and your opposite would hide the frisbee behind your back so that the bike runners never were sure what side of the road to favor until the last possible second ….
As a rider, you developed all kinds of skills to avoid being hit. Being able to “no hand” a bike meant that arms could be pulled out of the way of a throw. Some learned how to lean down and partially hide behind the bike frame. Others just got up as much speed as possible to blitz past the throwers, hoping speed would make throws more difficult (it did — you had to learn to lead the fast riders more).
We’d play for hours or until someone eventually won or wrecked their bikes, then we would all go to the nearest garage and work on fixing the bike (bent rim, twisted handlebars, flat tire, etc) and then go back out and start a new game ………………………….
Other games ………….. Oh, did I mention wheelie contests? Yes, we used to have wheelie contests. Get the bike up on one wheel and ride it as far as you could. You then stopped when the front wheel touched. Next person wheelied as far as he could, and stopped when his front wheel came down. When it was you turn again, you had to start wheelieing from right where you stopped the first time. First one to make it 1/4 mile wins …………. I got so good I could just about go the entire distance — on my 10-speed Schwinn Varsity!! 🙂
What about you? Did you play, or do you now play any “games” with your bike?