Thursday, August 8, 2013

Home Built Death Trap

I saw this little death trap of a bike on the local Craigslist.  The reason I call it that was that my cousins in North Dakota had one very similar to it when we were kids.  This was back in the 1960's and my cousin were farm boys.  In other words you took what was laying around and built it into something that was fast, fun and of course dangerous. 

I was visiting the farm with my family and since we were city kids it was always high adventure time.  We would rip and run with my cousins and get into more trouble than you can imagine.  There were 8 of them and 6 of us so there was a wide age span among us and the adventure depended on your age group.  my older brothers had a bit more liberty so they had access to cars and such like to entertain themselves.  I was in the younger age group as were my two cousins Paul and Gary and we had to make do with horses and anything else we could come up with.  Paul had built a motorized contraption very similar to the one in the picture.  If I remember right, it had a Briggs and Stratton engine bolted into a bicycle frame and everything was kind of put to together to work after a fashion.  It had no brakes and no kill switch.  They said, just get on it and give it some throttle and if you want to stop just reach down and pull the plug wire off the spark plug.  Oh yes, this was a high tech piece of machinery !

I got on it and was zipping around having great fun until I wanted to stop.  I was quite surprised by the shock I got when I grabbed that bare spark plug wire !  It was quite hilarious to my two cousins as was anything that involved pain or shedding of blood.  Kind of like when Gary peed on the electric fence wire or when I was talked into shooting my grandfathers 12 gauge shotgun and bloodied my nose.  They were great times and I would not trade those days for anything.