The Summer of the Bike Gang

I remember the summer of hanging out with the “Bike Gang”.

The “Bike Gang” was a group of boys on the “Sunnyside” area of Kellogg who would ride their bikes around this part of town, and the Kellogg Swimming Pool.

My friend KC and I started hanging out with them one summer. I think this was the summer of 1975, the summer I turned 12 and the summer before starting 7th grade. It is the summer we got a radio that could pick of KHQ-FM from our house, and I spent many days listening to the radio and learning Captain and Tenille’s “Love Will Keep Us Together,” a popular hit from that summer.

I’m not sure we were really welcomed, but we hung out with them anyway. Sometimes I felt like we were kind of the “Gun molls” for this group like the gangs back in Chicago in the early 1900’s. Accept we weren’t really “bad girls”. They were never mean, but I guess they tolerated our presence.

It seemed like our days followed a pattern. As soon as the pool opened, KC and I would jump on our bikes and go to the pool to swim in the afternoon. Inland Empire Girl was a lifeguard this summer, and I think all the “bike gang” had a big crush on her.

In the evenings they would hang out around the Mormon Church. One of the activities the guys did was play with rubber band guns. These are made of wood and clothes pins designed to shoot rubber bands at each other. The bike gang would have rubber band wars in the Mormon Church parking lot while KC and I watched.

Well, not to be outdone, I believe KC and I decided to go home and design our own rubber band guns. But I don’t ever remember bringing them to the Mormon Church and playing in their wars. I think the bike gang looked at that activity as guys only. And I think KC and I felt too stupid to bring our guns to the Mormon Church to play.

From what I remember, the “Bike Gang” was formed of RP, MM, JM, and Mouse and Larry, but I can’t remember their last name. All these boys lived within a block of the Mormon Church, and we had known R, M and J most of our lives. Mouse and Larry were the new kids on the block.

After the summer of the bike gang, I guess we started a new phase of our life, Junior High. Bike gangs and swimming at the pool weren’t as much a part of my summers after that year. I guess I moved on to other types of summer activities.

This summer was “So Kellogg” because of the bond between the guys in the gang, and we girls on the outskirts. That is often how it was growing up. At least with me. I don’t remember having a lot of guy friends. They were around, and we occasionally played together for a nightly game of hide and seek or kick the can, but usually the boys hung with the boys, and girls with girls. That is just the way it seemed growing up in Kellogg.


InlandEmpireGirl said...

I loved reading this again. The picture is perfect!

Laurie R. said...

Larry and Gene Covey--I think.

Pinehurst in my Dreams said...

Great story.

Silver Valley Girl said...

Laurie R---, that was their last name. Did you figure out who everyone else was?

Laurie R. said...

Oh yeah, I think I deciphered your code and pegged all those hooligans! I was thinking that's the summer we moved back to Kellogg--when PKR was about to become the smallest starting QB in KHS history. And there was his future wif--being gun moll!