Powered bikes, scooters do most kids no favors

Mom and pop didn't have a lot of biking around money when I was a kid, so I was late to the biking scene. Around the time I was 9 they finally splurged on a used Monarch 26-inch behemoth bike that seemed as heavy as I.

A scrawny string bean, I struggled to get it down the gangway to the basement and up again the next day. Good for the arms and shoulders. Pedaling was another challenge. Big bike with big tires put a strain on my pedal extremities. What sin did I commit to deserve this punishment? I wondered.

I quickly realized "The Tank," as I called it, was my ticket to freedom from the four walls. It took me everywhere in my Chicago Garfield Ridge neighborhood with my cohorts in adventure.

Sometime later I discovered I could run like blazes, the fastest kid among my peers. It helped me excel at sandlot baseball and football.

Here I am today at 78, losing a step every year, but still the fastest in my play group. All thanks to The Tank.

That's why I look in dismay at the little types around my house speeding down the streets and sidewalk with their feet frozen to the pedals. Mr. Lithium Ion is doing all the motivating while their pilots might as well be asleep at the wheel.

I wonder how well they'll be moving on their own in a few decades.

Societal progress is not a straight line upward. It moves in fits and starts. Right know those lithium ion batteries moving little kids around like so much dead weight is more of a fit than a start.

Walt Zlotow

Glen Ellyn

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.