1 Metman 2 months ago I guess I was around eight years old when I got my first two wheeled bicycle. It was a 20” black and white Royce Union that came from either Sears and Roebuck, or possibly Lit Brothers department store. I can’t quite remember which, but I remember picking it out. My brother who is four years older than me got a Schwinn 26” at the same time. They were both gifts from my parents. For what, I can’t remember. Might have been Christmas, may have been just because we needed bikes. Like most kids in the 60’s, my bicycle was a big part of my life growing up. It was the way to get around our suburban town, going to friend’s houses or ball games, and sometimes just to go out for a joy ride. One of my favorite excursions was to go to the local shopping center that was less than a mile from my house. There, was a whole world of things to do for a kid. A bowling alley, a beer store that sold ten cent ice cold sodas, a bakery and not one but two ‘five and dime’ stores: an F.W. Woolworth that had a soda fountain with the best vanilla or cherry Coke, and another store called Grants. Also in the shopping center was a hobby store which was one of my favorites. That’s where I would end up purchasing many model car kits, Yo-Yos, and Aurora Model Motoring cars and accessories. Then there was Schrager’s Drug store, which also happened to have a soda fountain. That became our main source of reading: comic books. I’d ride up to “the center”, buy the latest issue of Daredevil or Car-toons and tuck it in my belt for the ride home as I had no other place to put it. I didn’t want one of those “sissy” baskets on my bike. I’d later end up installing one of those “sissy” baskets so I could deliver The Philadelphia Bulletin, which would become my first paying job. It wasn’t too long before Sting Ray bicycles became popular. Back then it was fairly easy to buy the things needed to turn your ordinary bike into a custom bike and I went all out. I installed a banana seat, ape hangers and even a set of wheelie bars (quite rare to find now) on the old Royce Union. I had gotten fairly adept at wielding a can of spray paint from building model cars, so the black and white paint job was covered in a metallic green. The old white wall tires were replaced by a set of redlines. Pretty darn sporty and one of the coolest custom bikes in the neighborhood, which is what I was going for.After years of use, and moving on to using my brother’s larger bike as I got bigger, the Royce Union went in storage in the crawlspace of our house. There it sat for many years, but never forgotten. About ten years ago, I retrieved it. It had taken on a bit of rust here and there, but really held up remarkably well. With a bit of cleaning, adjustment and lubrication, as well as a new set of wide whitewall tires, special ordered in from a local bike shop, it was roadworthy again. I would occasionally pump up it’s tires and take it for a couple of trips up and down our driveway, then put it back with the larger bikes that we currently own. This past week my eight year old grandson was over for a visit. He recently learned to ride on two wheels, and I figured it was the perfect time for him to try out my old bike. His eyes lit up as I pulled it out of the garage. He had seen it in there before, but it was always fairly buried. After a rather quick orientation to mostly get used to the ape hanger handlebars, off he went. Up and down the driveway. Many times. It brought a real grin to my face as I could tell he was enjoying it as much as I did over 50 years ago.