Growing up in Middle River, my folks surprised my sister & I one Christmas with matching “his & her” bikes. The old HUFFY Sante Fe was a decent kid’s bike with a southwest pattern & banana seat that I rode for many years. I was grateful for the bike and put a ton of miles on it, pedaling throughout Hawthorne, into Aero Acres, out to Glenmar, around Martin Marietta and occasionally over to Middlesex & Essex.
A couple years later, my folks hooked by brother up with a HUFFY Pro Thunder. They might as well bought him a Redline, or Ferrari. This bike was sleek, all silver, padding on handlebars & frame and didn’t have a chain guard. Needless to say, I was a bit envious. It wasn’t but another year or so until I purchased a Magna 10-speed so whatever. But at the time, sure, a little jealous.
Fast forward to me as the dad with 2 boys of my own. My older son took to biking early on and was soon turning heads as the 1st grader on the Mongoose from Target who was jumping ramps with the 5th graders. My younger son was not a excited about biking. We got him a tiny bike when he was 4, but didn’t show much interest. For his 6th birthday, we got him a bigger bike that he would be able to ride thoughout elementary school. Needless to say, our older son was not happy. What’s a dad to do? I’m not dropping serious coin on a bike he’ll outgrow pretty soon anyway.
Hibernating in the recesses of my parents garage lay the ProThunder. It managed to survive several purgings, which is more than I can say for the Sante Fe. Despite some minor rust, the ProThunder was in pretty good shape. I used the last of last Christmas’ gift certificate from a local bike shop on new tires, tubes, pedals and a chain. It’s a common misconception that I’m a bike mechanic. Nothing could be further from the truth. I heavily rely on professional bike mechanics to do it right the first time and save myself a ton of frustration. But some minor repairs? Sure, I can do that.
After a good rubbing with steel wool, a lube and replacing the rusty and rotting parts, the ProThunder was in running order. My older son was pretty happy with his upgrade as my younger son is taking nicely to his bike.
…and all is right with the world….