A Flexy Racer was essentially a Flexible Flyer with rubber wheels. No need for snow; all you needed was a nice steep street and a high tolerance for friction skin burns and broken bones. You could steer it like a sled, and it had rudimentary brakes on the front wheels.
However, the only reliable stopping method was to veer off onto somebody’s yard and roll off or hit a curb or bank and fly off as you will see in the video.
In the 50s and 60s, thrill-seekers La Jollan’s would ride the storm drains with their Flexy Fliers.
But the city got anal, did not like the fun these kids were having, so they started the seal the entries with rebar bars and/or locked man covers. But that did not stop those that wanted the dangerous excitement.
Imagine the thrill of being a kid, screaming down the street at 20-30 miles an hour, six inches from the asphalt, no helmet, no gloves, no long pants. No wonder the Mac Meda Boys liked them; no wonder they quit making them over 60 years ago, no doubt on advice from their lawyers.
They were nothing but Lawsuit on Wheels.
The La Jollan kids had always rode Flexi’s down streets and around neighborhoods, but La Jolla had 5 streets that came down from Mount Soladad, three were wide, Soledad Mountain Rd, La Jolla Scenic Dr, and Nautilus, which were fun, but not thrilling. But there were two steep hills that were over a mile long and winded-down from Mt Solodad. One was Via Capri, which was curvy and wide and the other was Hillside Dr, not quite as steep but more narrower streets and curves. Both were dangerous.
Spotters were placed on blind turns to warn the boys if there was any vehicle approaching. The only body protection were jeans, gloves, and cotton shirts … some did wear hardhats and heavy coats, not that it made a difference when crashing. Braking was skidding your shoes on the pavement. And yes, there was a few mishaps of hitting cars, and one even had to go to the hospital.
In around late 70s the city passed a law, no Flexi Flyers, Roller skates and signs were posted. The fine was $100, which was lot of money back then, especially for these Mac Meda beach kids.
Enjoy a Blast from the Past and a time we will never see again …