Doodle Bug Turns 70 at Reunion in Webster City

WEBSTER CITY, Iowa- A celebration of the Doodle Bug is going on this week in Webster City. For 30 years the Hamilton County town has hosted a reunion of Doodle Bug owners and enthusiasts.

The small bike was manufactured in Webster City by Beam Manufacturing from 1946-48. The company made about 40,000 of the bikes, only a thousand or so are left.

"I liked them when I was a kid because it was pretty cheap transportation,” said Don Nokes, of Webster City. "I had one when I was a kid 12 to 14 years old, rode round town, got in trouble with the law for riding them of course.”

The bikes were never street legal, so they were popular with teen drivers. This week the City is welcoming the bikes around town, even though they do not carry license plates. The group is headquartered at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds, where they can ride off street and swap stories.

“We all have the same story about the Doodle Bug, usually the first scooter you rode, or the first motor vehicle they operate, was the Doodle Bug,” said Jimmy Dotson from Illinois. “So here's this bond, common story, common thread if you will,l about the Doodle Bug.”

“Back then you couldn't afford to buy one, at least I couldn’t,” said Jimmy Kinsch from Kansas. “As you get older you change things and you get a few more bucks to spend.” Kinsch owns four Doodle Bugs, he gave one to his grandson, and has two for spares.

The group rode to the Bonebright Museum for coffee, also they made a trek to the Webster City Airport, and Friday they planned a ride in the Webster City Homecoming Parade.