James Laird - Adventures on a Bike at Lark Ellen Home for Boys- Page 1

After I started Junior High School I got a new bike for my birthday which came in very handy as it was about a three mile walk from the Boys Home to school. It was an Elgin deluxe model sold by Sears. It had a twin tubular frame around the perimeter without a center post under the seat. The frame had a little spring in it to cushion the ride with big balloon whitewall tires. It also had a small rack with built in taillight on the rear and streamline housing over the upper frame from under the seat to the twin headlights and horn in front. A twelve volt battery was stored in a case under the seat. Like most kids I often took all the extra goodies off even the fenders. If the fenders were off and it rained I usually walked to school. We were doing jumps off a ramp one day and I came down a bit sideways and bent the rear wheel.

I took it to a local bike shop to see what a new wheel would cost figuring I would have to save up a lot of money to get a new one. I was pleasantly surprised when he said he could repair it and it would only cost a couple of dollars plus the cost of any new spokes it would need.

With 1500 students at my Junior High my bike was just one of the multitude and the only one there like it. It may have of been a luxury ride but still did not match the way some kids arrived. Being the Westwood area, lots of money was apparent with kids arriving in chauffeured limos and fancy cars like Cords, Roles and even a Duisenberg. During the last year of Junior High and the start of High School I would often ride my bike home to Bell after school on Fridays. It was a twenty mile ride across Los Angeles.