What was your first bike? I grew up in a largish family, last. This means that while I may have been the 'baby' (a moniker and reputation no self-respecting sibling would cotton to), almost everything I ever had was a hand-me-down. I think, actually, I got my first new NEW bike in my 2nd year of university.
But, back to first bikes. Your very very first bike? What was it? Did you dream about it, have a Sears catalog cutout that you kept under your Star Wars pillow case, know every minutae and every word of the sales copy? Was it a Schwinn ten-speed? A Mongoose BMX? A, heaven forbid, Huffy?
I don't recall ever really wanting anything for an inordinate amount of time (the hope I'd get some newest-fangled thingamadoodle was quashed pretty early and often), and a bike was no exception. I saw BMX Bandits, sure, but I don't think I ever thought of having one of those. I wasn't cool enough or adventurous enough, and besides, turning on the TV to watch Electric Company got me winded.
My first bike was some sort of banana seated ... fixie? Is that what they call them? It had coaster breaks, so you could do wicked skids with them. The tires were a type of cheap foam or solid rubber so you NEVER had a flat tire. Of course, it had all the smoothness a sliding town a gravel road infested with speedbumps on corrugated iron sheet during an earthquake, but that was besides the point. The banana seat made me feel like I was riding a chopper.
The next bike that I can remember, I'm sure I had many hand-me-downs in between, was a 5-speed cruiser that me and my friends called "The Red Elephant". I was 12, 13ish, the Elephant was built for an adult man with an overactive pituitary gland. It had these enormous wheels that I swear would not seem out of place on those turn of the century high wheel bikes. These things turned and it didn't so much roll as MOVE THE EARTH UNDER IT. It was quite easily the least cool thing I had ever owned (which is, well, saying a lot). The plus side was that, since this was during the height of the mountain bike craze (and nobbly tires), and owing to the aforementioned enormous (and, actually, road slick, razor thin wheels), it was harrowingly fast. The route from my house to the elementary was down a street/highway workaround. There is no sidewalk, just a paved shoulder. While it was dangerous, it was super fun to go screaming down that road to school, going indecent speeds at a height that would immediately get me three tickets or a fast track career path if I worked for a medieval sultan.
I don't ride bikes anymore. The thought of getting on one makes me sleepy and the thought of trying to learn all the new lingo makes me almost comatose.
But damn, bikes sure were fun, weren't they?