I walked into the Terrace Park Garage Sale with a singular dollar in my pocket. I had a million ideas about how to spend it to its greatest potential. That’s when it caught my eye, a pristine carriage style sled. The potential was there. I knew I had to act quickly as the sale was nearing its end. I approached the worker and made my meager offer of a dollar and after some bartering the deal had been done. I was the proud owner of a new-ish sled.
This is when the creativity came in. I was living in the era before the ownership of a drivers license or a motorcycle license, so long boarding was my primary method of transportation(It is essentially a huge skateboard that is primarily ridden by Californians and Hippies). I stared at the sled for awhile and plotted.
That’s when it hit me. If I combined my recent purchase with a long board I could create a rolling sled. To my young teen mind this seemed to be the greatest thought ever thunk. I quickly called up my “associates” (as the police enjoyed calling them), grabbed a roll of duct tape and went to town. Parker Sullivan was the first generous donor of a long board. When done it rolled looked shadier than Eminem, but the contraption rolled. After some painful trial and error a method for steering the device was created, when pulled behind a Moped or the Honda Z50 it could get up to speeds of 30 MPH.
This was the first addition to the “Sledboard”. The next addition was to fashion metal plates on to a pair of shoes to use as brakes. They created a beautiful light show of sparks which was cool, until my legs became spliced up by little bits of flying metal shrapnel. The next addition was a little more productive. We drilled speakers into the side and were able to play music as we cruised around town.eventually the long board trucks were permanently attached themselves.
The Sledboard continued to ride like a dream and was involved in all sorts of antics. It even made a journey all the way to Skyline in Milford. Sadly it met it’s demise this last spring. Cincinnati’s dampness had gotten the best of the wood the sled was composed of. I will continue to talk of the Sledboard so its legacy lives on.
As I slide around the corner I feel the back tire slip and quiver. I give the throttle a quick rev and I straighten out and continue to bound around the woods. I feel one with the bike, the 100 Cubic Centimeters of power surges through me. For a 10 year old two-stroke it’s nimble and responsive.
As I weave and pick my way through the trails, the noise from the engine is all that is audible. It pounds my ears and echos off of the surroundings as I sit and wait for Parker to catch up. The constant purr is music to my ears as I keep the RPM (revolutions per minute) up so the bike doesn’t stall out. That purr instantly transforms into a roar when I open up the throttle as I sit idling. I finally see Parker’s metallic silver helmet and we continue on.
We come to a slick downhill to a creek. Tires caked with mud shot up mud as I ford the creek. The water gives the engine a quick cooling bath and I’m soon on the other side. I feel it strain as it pushes me up the hill. The power from the engine sends the wheels spinning like a cyclone. It keeps working and pushes itself up the hill to the level ground.
Level ground is where this bike belongs. In a matter of seconds I’m going nearly 60 miles per hour. Going through the corners is like riding a slip and slide. I go into the corner then open the throttle and feel the bike attempt to escape out from under me. The bike hugs the ground as I fly over bumps and hills. My body can barely hold onto the bike as it transforms into a bucking bronco.
Time after time the bike yes yet to fail me. It has never thrown me off or anything even close. Occasionally something gets stuck in the chain and it putters to a halt but nothing a little poking around hasn’t been able to fix. Always starts after a kick or two. The familiar roar will always bring back memory of exhaust fumes and dirt. The confident roar of the engine has been burned into my memory.