Perhaps for a teenager in the 70s and 80s. One of the brightest and most memorable events was the purchase of a bicycle. Especially if it was "Eaglet". This is the highest caste of a child and youth bicycle in the understanding of a Soviet schoolchild.
Not just a bike
It appeared in the mid-1950s at one of the Minsk factories and made a splash. "Eaglet" became a bicycle transitioning from a two-wheeled child to a real adult. Despite the fact that the analogue of "Eaglet" was "Shkolnik", the latter was not popular. It was the rear wheel idler. On the "Shkolnik" it fell into disrepair too quickly. Another thing is "Eaglet", on which the manufacturer installed a hub identical to a real adult bicycle.
For the Soviet teenager, the bicycle played a completely different role than for the modern schoolchild. He was a real friend, and not every schoolboy was bought a bicycle of the Eaglet brand. This was due to its rather high cost. And the size of many Soviet apartments did not allow accommodating such a two-wheeled friend. By the way, the Shkolnik bicycle was somewhat smaller, but this did not make it more popular. The dream of a Soviet teenager weighed 12.5 kg. "Eaglet" had a chrome-plated steering wheel adjustable to individual height.
Besides Minsk, "Orlyonok" was produced in Lithuania. These bicycles had the inscription Ereliukas ("Eaglet") on the frame. By the way, this was the name of the male version of the bicycle, which has a male frame. The maiden model from the Siauliain bicycle factories bore the name "Swallow" and differed in the frame.
Passed on by inheritance
"Eaglet" was intended for travel on any route. Its complete set included a first-aid kit for tire repair, a pump, an oiler. For an additional fee, it was possible to purchase a bicycle with a headlight, a generator, and a distance meter.
And without all this, the "Eaglet" became a real boy's wealth. Rather, status. The happy owner of the bicycle always allowed his friends to ride a circle or two in the field of visibility, warning about the careful handling of the "Eaglet". No one was offended, because in the eyes of the guys a bicycle, and even such, seemed to be a state. Then they spent a lot of time on bicycles, even playing tag, no matter how incredible it may sound. And there is no need to talk about jumping from a springboard and taking off on a bicycle to the mountains. The matured owner of the "Eaglet" often handed over the legendary car to his younger friend. And even a used bicycle remained a source of pride and envy.
According to the recollections of some owners of the "Eaglet", he broke down quite often, was capricious. For example, the chain came off. However, this applies to the first models. Later, the famous bicycle was improved. In particular, the welded frame of the first models turned into the one that the Ukraina adult bicycle had. "Eaglet" acquired wider chrome fenders.
In general, for Soviet youth, the word "Eaglet" has always evoked only good associations: a pioneer camp, a sonorous song and the best bicycle in the world.