Nice Chopper

The greatest bike ever made? I think so. I desperately wanted one when I was a kid, but sadly it was not to be.

This track from David Essex is, believe it or not, 10 minutes long. He wasn’t just a pretty face our Dave and this is his “Jungleland” (though I imagine it being set in Plaistow instead), a ridiculously overblown street epic that’s also utterly brilliant.

Download: Out On The Street – David Essex (mp3)

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  1. drew says:

    That’s why you think it was the greatest bike ever made Lee. My best mate did, it was shit, the gears were difficult to change if you were going any quicker than walking pace. You couldn’t steer when changing the gears leading to many accidents. Also the riding position was increadibly uncomfortable unless you had extendable arms.

    I much prefered my Grifter ever although it went through about ten sets of gears and always got stuck in third gear.

    One thing you could do on a chopper that you couldn’t on the half ton Grifter was brilliant wheelies. We used to have competitions.

  2. londonlee says:

    Oh who cares, it looked great!

  3. John sands ender says:

    Was given one for my eleventh birthday , some time later came off as for some reason you could turn handlebars completely around opposite way , needless to say had a bad accident hospitalised and that was the last time my mum let me ride one , but yeah you’re right they looked fantastic ps they made a comeback recently but never really caught on

  4. Duncan says:

    Yes, I prefer the Grifter too. Choppers were a bit flasher, while Grifters were a bit cooler. Although it was easier to pretend to be Judge Dredd on a Chopper, and Whizzer & Chips comic had a story called Whizz Wheels about a boy who solved crimes on his Chopper. Am I alone in remembering this?

  5. Artog says:

    I went through all those triangular bikes (Budgie, Tomahawk and finally a fantastic purple Chopper). Even for a typically wreckless nine year old the Chopper’s handlebars made reaching down to change gear a nerve-wracking experience. At the time I coveted a Grifter, the forerunner of the BMX.

  6. londonlee says:

    That purple Chopper was the bollocks.

    I think it must be the E-Type of kid’s bikes. Great styling but not very practical.

  7. Darren Stuart says:

    Family was too poor for us to have bikes. Never mind. Probably why I’m not a fan these days. People in the office call me David Essex, because of my greying ‘barnet’. He’s a terrible actor, isn’t he?

  8. Duncan says:

    You can’t diss David Essex!!! A ‘That’ll be the day’ / ‘Stardust’ double-bill is never a wasted 3 hours!

  9. Simon says:

    I had a second hand Tomahawk that I loved. Not sure what happened to it. I don’t have any recollection of it going, maybe I just got too big for it and my mum either threw it or gave it away. I have absolutely no recollection whatsoever. For a while though that bike was my X Wing fighter – I was about 8 or 9. I always wanted a Chopper but never got one.

    Once the 80s arrived I never wanted to pedal a bike again. In fact I think the only time I did was at school, where instead of the usual games double period with football or basketball we went cycling. I ended up in casualty with a suspected broken arm after completely missing the turn at a bottom of a slope on the track at Lea Valley.

  10. Jenny says:

    Aw man, I woulda loved one of those. Just got a new bike recently and it’s nice, but :(

  11. Darren Stuart says:

    Sorry Duncan. Can’t forgive Essex for his OTT voice-over acting in ‘War Of The Worlds’.

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The sentimental musings of an ageing expat in words, music, and pictures. Mp3 files are up for a limited time so drink them while they're hot. Contact me: lee at londonlee dot com





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