Here I was going back to the obscure company trend, but his time the bike was used. It was actually quite trick for its time. Flying Mike Brown
(not "Tennessee" Mike Brown) would often beat the dominant XR75s that were omnipresent at the time. It had a high performance two stroke engine
and a six-speed transmission.
It could go over 60 MPH. I know this for a fact, because there was dirt not-really-a-road next to a paved road that we would use to get to the motorcycle
park (yes, Burnsville used to have land set aside for dirt bikes. How cool was that?) One day I was going through the gears down this road and there was
a police car driving next to me on the paved road. He pulled me over at the end where I would slow for a big mound of dirt. I thought he was going to give
me grief about riding there, because technically, I wasnít in the park yet. Instead, he told me I was going over 60MPH and should slow down.
This is also the bike I was riding when we "took it indoors". Ridges Hospital (since renamed) had the exterior shell built, and then construction
stopped for many years. Never sure what the story on that was. We were riding on a trail close to it, so one day we decided to ride inside of it. It had cement
floors, which were slippery but fun. I distinctly remember it having open shafts where the elevators would eventually be. We probably would have only fallen
one or two stories (where the morgue is now?).
With this bike, I started riding more motocross style rather than the trail rider mode I had been in. I liked this bike, but it was a bit unreliable. It didn't help that
the only place to get parts was about a 25 minute drive that I would have to talk my Dad into making. The bike was idled mechanically quite a bit of the time I owned it.
I was getting more into BMX at the time and I had some friends, Dave Frank and Mark Van Duyn, that would let me ride their newer YZ125s (Letting someone ride your dirt
bike? Now, those are some friends!).
I remember this sale well. The bike had a few minor problems that I masked and, since the company went out of business, parts were pretty
much unavailable. This kid showed up with his dad, who I think was some sort of business man. He seemed really proud of himself that he was able
to bargain me down $30 bucks from what I was asking. As he was driving away with his chest all puffed out from getting the best of
a 15 year old kid, I was chuckling to myself. "See how good of a deal it was when you need to get parts, Mr. Executive."
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Iím pretty sure I was the first person in Minnesota to own a Panda brand BMX bike. The one on the magazine is a newer model than what I had.
Revised November 2017