I think that @paddypete is trying to look back at his early pre teen days perhaps ! By the mid seventies I had abandoned bicyclesin favour of those two wheeled beasties with engines lol, now when I was ten (mid sixties) if one owned a Raliegh and more so if it was new one then you where something lol I also remember the first thing I rode which was a Tringe red and yellow 3 wheeler util some prat stole it !!!!
Not a luxury. A bike is an essential. I would have to either walk or catch the bus to my (non dog grooming) work otherwise. It might only be 3 miles but there is a world of difference between 15 minute commute on the bike or a walking 45 minute commute.