Rollin,’ rollin,’ rollin.’ Keep those Big Wheels rollin.’
OGGG! (Oh good grief guys!) isn’t it time to grow up? Sam and I were reading the Wall Street Journal with our (my) morning coffee and came across an article by Conor Dougherty about adults who can’t seem to give up the adrenaline rush of childhood freedom they had when they were children riding their Big Wheels.
You remember Big Wheels don’t you? They were those plastic tricycles with a big wheel in front and two smaller wheels in back and they sat low to the ground with handlebars up at shoulder height? Chances are either you rode one or you bought one for your kids. According to the WSJ, the original Big Wheel was first sold in 1969 and was touted as “a safe way for even the littlest kids to have a vehicle.” The WSJ article goes on to say that Big Wheel was sold during a 1985 bankruptcy and the toy now is licensed by Kids Only, a division of Malibu, Calif. based Jakks Pacific Inc., which released an updated version of the toy, which sells for around $50.
But now, Kids Only is planning to release a model of Big Wheel for adults. Apparently, Big Wheels are showing up in pub crawls (can you be arrested for DUI on a trike?) and just-for-fun races (fun, heck, they’re serious!). The phenomenon began with some yahoo adult racing down San Francisco’s steep and twisty Lombard Street. Now a Big Wheel race may draw up to 1,500 participants. Will we never learn in this country that some things DON’T HAVE TO be turned into a sporting event or competition? Good grief! The adult street racers even modify their Big Wheels to with steel pieces added to make them sturdier, and naturally - as always happens - some Big Wheel racers are showing up at events with “plus-size” trikes with super wide axles and other refinements - anything to get an edge.
This adult Big Wheel craze would be funny if it weren’t so ludicrous.
My daughter Heather used to ride her Big Wheel down the sidewalk hell-bent for damnation - always worrying me that she would crash and burn - then she would come screaming back up the sidewalk right at me and just when I was ready to jump out of her way, she’d grab the Big Wheel’s handbrake tug the handle bar real hard and throw her fiery steed into a skidding 360. She loved to do that and always laughed like some demon inside her had just been unleashed. Maybe releasing the inner demons is what this sport is all about. One racer was quoted as saying Big Wheel racing gives him the sense of freedom (he must not have much of a life) he once felt as a child.
A lot of little kids during the original Big Wheel era scraped up their knees and elbows, but that was about the worst thing that happened to them. Sam and I wonder if that’s the worst thing that will happen to adult racers. I only remember having to buy Heather several pairs of new shoes because she kept wearing the toes out of hers. There’s an idea for you wanna’-be entrepreneurs - big wheel racing shoes and accessories.
NOTE: Sam and I do not want a Big Wheel for Christmas - a Ferrari or Porsche will do nicely, thank you.
Three bags of poop on adult Big Wheel racing. Grow up you guys!