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Minnesota Musing: Extreme Biking A. K. A. Ways to Bend Up Your Bicycle

Updated on May 9, 2017

Biking and Extreme Biking

My first introduction to bicycles came in 1966, when I was five and mounted a small bicycle on a sidewalk, only to make it about two feet and tip over. As I recall, I was cut. My knees were skinned. As I laid there, sobbing, crying louder and louder and louder. It took a few minutes for my mother to come outside and drag me into the house.

It wasn't my last experience with a bicycle. The next experience that I had, was a couple years later, when I was riding a bicycle that was poorly constructed and as I rode along a highway, the right pedal fell off and I hit the ground, hitting my head, which, later found me in the hospital, with a mild concussion.

Custom Bike

Later, a few years later, I got a bicycle that I customized with a banana seat, sissy handle bars and learned how to pop wheelies with it. One day, I was riding on a paved street and rode the bicycle up into a grocery store parking lot. Again, popped a wheelie, but this time, the front wheel neatly fell off and rolled away.

No tire, but forks, which came down and stabbed into the pavement. Off the bike I flew, hitting the pavement in a crumpled heap. I had to get up and pick up my wheel and put it over the handlebars and push my bike home eight blocks.

Boys and Bikes

I was a girl that was no stranger to adventure. Many moments of my younger years were spent with people who made jumps and rode their bikes in dangerous positions.

There were a lot of boys that I pedaled with that were very daring in their biking exploits. Some knew how to pop a wheelie and pedal and could ride with the wheel up in the air. This is what probably prompted me to start learning how to pop wheelies myself.

The most dangerous stunt that I heard of was some boy who decided to climb a metal bridge over the Minnesota River in St. Peter, Minnesota, and ride his bicycle across the metal girder that went across the top of the bridge. I wasn't there to witness the feat and I don't know if he made it. I just know that if he did make it across the top, there would be a sharp incline at the end and stopping would be a real problem. If he didn't make it, the waters of the river below probably would not make a very soft landing, either.

It makes for a good story to think about, that's it.


As I muse about this, I seem to recall someone who sat on their bicycle backwards somehow and pedaled their bike. Again, I cannot seem to recall the outcome. Again, stopping the bicycle would be the biggest issue.

I recall spending a lot of time riding with my hands off the handlebars. It was nothing to let go and just let the bike cruise in the wind. I'm probably lucky to be here to tell you about my experience, since I did crash now and again.

Way Back When

When my son was younger, he'll be 30 this year, he had his share of biking mishaps. Several times I got to know the nurses at the clinic quite well because of moments where he had ridden his bicycle while carrying things like tents swinging on the handlebars.

Yes. One time, he was carrying a tent in a bag, the drawstring looped over his handlebars and it was swinging to and fro. One of the fro's got too close to the spokes in his front wheel and made his bike stop, immediately. Unfortunately, my son's body decided to keep moving as the bike stopped in its tracks. On the to clinic we went.

Shudders or Erbie Jerbies

I have started watching some of the videos to follow and I'm sure that if I were riding these bikes, that I would have major attacks of the erbie jerbies.

I know that watching them causes them.

Erby Jerbies are the convulsive shudders that your body produces when it realizes that what you are watching is extremely dangerous.


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