Friday, September 26, 2008

Rocket Wings Hah! I had a Flexy-Racer people

Yves Rossy, a Swiss daredevil, used a pair of homemade rocket wings to propel himself across the English Channel.

The "Rocket Man" jumped out of a perfectly good plane with rockets strapped to his back.
He then ignited the rockets and blasted his way to England. Once over the white cliffs of Dover he popped his parachute and floated to the ground.  

I do admire the guy for his courage BUT did his mom give him a flexy-racer when he was a kid?  


Yes, I was the proud owner of a flexy-racer, a sled with wheels or "wheeled coaster". In doing some research to see if there was such a thing, I began to wonder if my mom just took our old classic snow sled (not really used since we lived in Alabama), and stuck some wheels on it. I did, however, find it was an actual product.

Here's how the flexy-racer worked. You pretty much found a big hill, laid down, and off you went. To brake you had to turn the 'steering device' downward where a piece of metal rubbed the wheels. Speaking of steering... can you really imagine barrelling down a hill and trying to turn this thing? These were the days when helmets were "only" for motorcycles. I do have the scars that remind me of the flexy-racer days.

So...Rocket Man, nice try. When you really want to impress me, grab a flexy-racer and head to the nearest hill.

For ALL you parents who want to give your kids the gift of a lifetime, which may be cut short, I've included the original invention diagram.



7 comments:

Andy September 26, 2008 at 2:50 PM  

flexy-racer reminds me of the alpine slide at racoon mountain that i used to dominate when I was a lad.

flexyracer October 29, 2008 at 9:21 PM  

I'm collecting stories about the flexy racer and would like to include yours on my website: www.flexy-racer.com

Thanks,

flexyracer

jager October 29, 2008 at 11:22 PM  

Feel free to add the story! The flexy-racer was one of a kind

Brent December 28, 2008 at 2:10 AM  

Thanks Dad.

I rode my Flexy Racer everywhere in Orange, California. To the Orange Circle, a round about in the center of town, and back. It must have been 1961. I was eight. In fact, I arrived at my first job interview on it. I traded sidewalk sweeping in front of the model shop for a model a week.

I carry the scar under my chin to this day. We built a ramp up to the garage roof of the neighbors house across the street. We would haul the Racer to the roof, shoot down the ramp, zoom down a long driveway and across the street. Of course the spotters gave us the all clear when the street was clear. Anyway, on this particular run I shot through the course and mistimed pulling up on the steering handles when it came to the driveway lip across the street. The Racer came to a dead stop, the nose went down, and I caught my chin on the steel rail in front. Small cut but man did it bleed. Scared the hell out of all of us and it was the end of the California Street Flexi Racer downhill run.

I loved my Flexy Racer. When I wasn’t manufacturing items on my Vacu-Form, I was out exploring the world on my Flexi Racer. Thanks Dad.

Brent Scott

Anonymous,  April 9, 2009 at 8:44 PM  

Flying down "The hills of San Francisco" on my blue wheeled model 300,into the Mission District of San Francisco from Bernal Heights and Maraposa Street was a real trill and damn scarry as a kid!
I forgot about them for years then went looking in toy stores 25 years ago (pre Wal-Mart/China)ha.I started collecting them for our heritage and wound up with many ha!My Wife said "there must be a reason?" Field of Dreams?
The kids Love "The sleds on Wheels",I have brought them to schools and the kids of all ages Love them.
If you have any for sale (dead or alive) or need parts or Love Homemade "top shelf" hot sauce,let me know PATRICIOHOTSAUCE.COM or patbrady1957@sbcglobal.net

Anonymous,  September 23, 2009 at 7:22 PM  

I've skateboarded for 30+ years, and when I found a Flexy-racer in a thrift store, I said, "Now that's a horrible accident waiting to happen!" But I bought it anyway. NOT planning on trying it out -- leave that to the nostalgic 50-somethings and their grandkids.

Anonymous,  January 8, 2010 at 12:41 PM  

I lived in Alpine, CA, when I was about 6 years old, around 1970. We lived out in the middle of nowhere, and the street to our house ran down a pretty steep grade. Our cement driveway then dipped into a ravine that was steeper still. I fondly remember laying down on my Flexy, wearing nothing but cutoff shorts and a smile, and shooting down that old rutted pavement kicking up gravel and dust. I'd reach my driveway at full speed and try to finesse the sharp turn onto my drive and down into the ravine. Sometimes I made it, sometimes I ate sage brush and decomposed granite. I can't count how many times I hauled that Flexy up that hill, bleeding and crying from the last monumental wipeout. I finally broke it beyond my dad's ability to repair, which perhaps saved my life. Surprisingly few scars from those times endure today, but the memories are still vivid. I really loved that old Flexy.

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