About 2 weeks ago, I went into someone's home in Tiong Bahru and I saw this!
Wow, this bike really brought back a lot of memories.
This was THE BIKE that real boys growing up in the 1970s dream of.
It was the era before E.T. came along and made BMX bikes THE BIKE to have from 1982 onwards.
Back then, my brother and me were mostly left to the care of my paternal grandma who lived at Block 53 Tiong Bahru Road (Now the Link Hotel).
And the only bike I had was some sissy bike which my dad probably forgot to update it with a CHOPPER to keep up with the times! (He eventually bought me a MT Sport in 1983)
So every day, either before or after school (depending on which session I was in), I will show up at my classmate, Kee Peng's home at Block 20 Tiong Bahru Road.
Not wanting to be seen as desperate about wanting to check out his ride, a few of my classmates would pop up at his back door and asked him some non important questions like how his balsam plant was doing.
Small talk was always effectively over in under 3 seconds.
And the next 30 minutes to 1 hour were spent riding the chopper up and down the pavement in between Tiong Bahru Road and Lim Liak Street!
I never quite figured out what those GEARS were for but seriously, who cares?!
Life was never meant to be complicated and as long as the bike moves while the wind caresses your face, I'm one happy kid...... until I ride into a group of 3 or 4 kids waiting to push you off the bike so that they can hop onto the CHOPPER to get their fix.
So when I saw that bike that evening, there was this natural desire to ride it.
However, I did not bother to ask the owner of that restored CHOPPER bike if I could have a go at it as there were no balsam plant there to talk about.
Just kidding, the truth is, we have grown older and sometimes we tend to assume too much.
That evening, I just assume that the owner will never agree to it and so I never even bothered to ask.
The raleigh chopper popularised the 'chopper' design used initially in motorcycles. the model shown is from the late 1960's