Memory Lane: A Double-Decker Bike

I suppose this idea would naturally occur to a certain kind of mechanically-inclined person: mount one bicycle on top of another, and have a double-decker bike. A wealth of videos shows it has occurred to more than a few.

Back in my neighborhood, circa 1962, one of our weirder characters attained celebrity–a front page spread, with photo, in our local weekly newspaper–by creating one of these tall bikes. It surprised us all. We knew him best for being the kind of person our parents ordered us to stay away from, or else. The police were very well acquainted with him. But once he started riding his double-decker bike around town, no one could keep us kids away from him.

He finally came up short when a few of us dared him to ride his bike across the ice on Tommy’s Pond. As might have been expected, halfway across, the ice gave way and down he went into some exceedingly cold water. He struggled out, somehow–the pond is only two feet deep, at the most–but that was curtains for his bike. He never resurrected it. Then he went back to stealing sheets and other items from his neighbors’ clotheslines, attaining another but less desirable kind of fame; and our parents went back to warning us off his company.

Our town was smaller then, much smaller; and its more eccentric citizens more visible.


12 comments on “Memory Lane: A Double-Decker Bike

  1. Hi, I have been unable to get internet for the past four days, so I am very
    snowed under with every part of my inbox filled. Trying to catch up.

    1. Welcome back, Erlene. Sometimes I wonder if having a little time away from the internet isn’t a blessing. Things in cyberspace can be a bit frenetic.

      Here in Lee’s cyber living room it’s quite a different story, and we thank you for sharing it with us, Lee.

    2. Ah computer woes! Yesterday I typed up Joe Collidge and the post disappeared. Floating around somewhere in cyberspace, on its way to another galaxy. I had to do it all over again.

  2. This looks a bit dangerous to me. I wouldn’t dare attempt anything of the kind – even in my younger years. And Lee, I certainly hope you don’t get any ideas for a new form of bike riding. “No hands” was enough of an experiment 🙂

    1. I still ride no-handed, and I did get a chance to ride the double-decker. I made it around the school without falling down. And boy would my folks have been mad, to see me hanging out with that guy!

    2. While I’m sure it was fun (especially to a young boy), your parents were probably right 🙂

    1. At least there were people supervising the robots. But the whole thing reminded me of recent collisions involving US Navy ships–something that really has no business happening, what with radar, satellite links, etc. Bet you dollars to donuts those collisions happened because the captain and the watch trusted in computers to operate the ship while they… whatever.

    2. It would be much more reassuring if it were a sci-fi movie. There’s something really creepy about this.

    3. Let’s face it, there’s something really creepy about going to the dentist at the best of times. Y’know what else this video reminds me of? UFO movies, in which the abductee gets all these mysterious “tests” done on him by space aliens wielding scary-looking instruments.

    4. The tremors coming from your computer is just me shaking violently at the thought! 🙂

  3. I didn’t know that, never heard a rumor of it, and can’t pass it along as fact when your comment, just now, is the only mention that I’ve ever heard of it. Not knowing whether what you say is true or not rather forces me to delete your comment. After all, I have no idea how you came by that information.

Leave a Reply