Chopper Bikes

Chopper Bike on BBC article about relaunchThe Raleigh chopper bike was all the rage for boys in the late Seventies. At this time bikes were just bikes, not brightly coloured like the BMX in the eighties, not fashionable or trendy. Just a bike with a shopping basket if you were a girl and a crossbar if you were a boy. Before the chopper, you were only interested in any particular brand or style of bike if you were a mega bike enthusiast, or a racer. Like with trainers and sunglasses, back then people just wouldn’t ask, ‘What make have you got?’ Until the chopper came along. Suddenly if you didn’t have a chopper then you were a member of the underclass.

My next door neighbour (boy, of course) had a chopper. I wanted one so badly I could have killed for it. But girls didn’t have them. It was something about the saddle, you had to have a penis: there was a special slot for it or something. If a girl tried to ride a chopper then she would explode into tiny bits which would be eaten by wild dogs, or she’d be laughed at, which amounted to the same thing.

The boys that had choppers didn’t really ride them. They pushed them around and sat on them posing. They were status symbols rather than transport. Did you want a chopper? Were you the only one in your street to possess one? If so, please send me a blog post telling me what it was like to be so smug. Did you know that choppers have been relaunched?

Josie Henley-Einion, author, blogger, Legend in my own Living Room

3 Responses

  1. […] not fashionable or trendy. Just a bike with a shopping basket if you were a girl and a cros 21, 2008 The Barnstable PatriotRaliegh , N.C. ??John J. Barrows, 61, of Raleigh, N.C., […]

  2. I had that bike, was so confortable and relaxing. I learned a few tricks with it. liked it.

  3. Early to mid 70s I would say. I have a pic of a mate on one in 1970. it was gold. There was the Chopper, the Chipper and the much smaller Tomahawk. Very popular in North Devon. Often tried to attach the ‘Ape Hangers’ to ordinary bikes, those or ‘Cow Horns’ (handlebars)

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