Big Wheel

Photo by John_Morgan

Remember these bad boys?

A friend and I talked about Big Wheels early this morning in a conversation about Christmas presents. He said he could only remember a couple of his Christmas gifts from his childhood:  a shiny, Huffy 10-speed; a battery powered, ride-on car; and his Big Wheel.

I hadn’t thought about Big Wheels in a long time. When I was five or six, one of my friends had a Big Wheel – a nice, blue Big Wheel. I rode it whenever I got the chance.

The pedals on a Big Wheel are directly connected to the big wheel in front. Hills were a thrill. I could pedal my heart out. Once I got going, though, it was a race to keep up because as long as that front wheel was turning so were the pedals. Also, as fast as that front wheel was turning so were the petals. At some point, I’d have to take my feet off to let the pedals spin.

Not to worry, though: the Big Wheel had a hand brake to slow and stop the back two wheels. As a kid, that hand brake seemed cool because of the way it worked, but in action, I rarely used it.

The skidding, spinning stop was more my style. I’d get up to speed (probably 50 or 60 mph) and then turn slightly. As I made that turn, I’d lock up my feet, stopping that big, front wheel. Of course, the back end wanted to keep going. So it would. It would spin the entire thing around, making a lot of noise and bumpiness. And coolness.

Talk about making an entrance… that was the way to do it. A group of lesser individuals would be standing uncoolly in a circle somewhere, and I’d come roaring up, pull my sweet spin move, and step off like the Red Ranger himself.

Then my friend would tell me to give him back his big wheel. That was the low point. Oh well, I’d scored already.

By the time I finally got my own Big Wheel, I think I was ten or eleven. By then I was too big for it. I didn’t care. I still loved it. You’d still see me out there, scrunched in with my feet pedaling at 8000 RPMs, then stopping and spinning. Mine, unlike others, had lightening stripes on the sides, which automatically makes anything faster.

Yeah, I know you’re thinking this: I was way too cool back in the day.

What about you? Do you remember the Big Wheel? What other way cool toys did you have?

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