Thursday, July 2, 2020

Schwinn II

I knew there was a picture. I found it. It is the only picture I have of that bike.

Here's your humble scribe astride his trusty Schwinn and his sister by the swings in the background, maybe 1964. It was all corn fields and country roads laid out in grid squares. As soon as I could ride well enough that my mother trusted me, I was free.



"Learn to ride a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live." --Mark Twain

10 comments:

TechieDude said...

My sister had one similar. As I recall it was only slightly lighter than a dump truck.

On the other hand, unlike the super light bikes these days, you could build a substantial amount of momentum.

Witold Pilecki said...

My first bike was a 24" red and white Columbia single speed with a rear coaster brake. My Dad bought it used for my 7th or 8th birthday for $5 at local bike shop. I rode that thing hard into my early teens when I got my first 10-Speed with handbrakes. It went to my cousins and when they all finished with it, it ended up at my grandmother's house. It was commandeered by my Great Aunt Sally who rode it back and forth on nice days to St. Stanislaus church where she worked. The last time I saw it was back in my grandmother's basement in the early 2000's. It was never seen again.

When I say I rode it hard, I mean it. With the rear coaster brake I used to go as fast as I could and slam on the brake while tuning to pull what we kids called a "J-Skid." My Dad would yell at us for destroying tires needlessly, but we paid to replace them and changed them ourselves. There was a certain type of tire that would squeal during a skid, which is what I always bought. The other thing I did to abuse my bike was jumping it.... over everything! It took it with no problem.

G706 said...

I had a brand new red and white 24 inch Schwinn bought new in 1964 with money saved from picking beans. I think it cost around $40. Still have it.

Murphy(AZ) said...

Learned to ride on one of those monsters. Rusted so bad, all memory of paint color was long gone. 20-inch balloon tires, coaster brakes that were "iffy" at best.

First trip was in the yard around the house. Ran into a fence, then the oleanders, then the oleanders again, then another fence, but I never fell over! I learned to actually steer not too long afterward.

HMS Defiant said...

With the bike we were freer. My mother never cared where we went just as long as we come home for meals. Sounds bad but we all (2 boys, 2 girls) enjoyed the freedom of the world before sunset and the street lights coming on. Newport, Fort Riley, Huntsville, Carlisle, Annandale, Fort Leavenworth, West Point, Fort Sill, a long time ago.

Greg said...

Mine was a Schwinn--black, and a three speed hub shifter, and like TD above " only slightly lighter than a dump truck". My grandfather had gifted me a $50 savings bond when I was born, it matured when I turned 11, and with mom's help I bought that bike. I put a lot of miles on that beast.

Brad_in_IL said...

I was on a group bike ride last year ... friend of a friend thing ... anyway ... someone in the crowd was riding a steel framed Schwinn. I asked about it .. the bicycle was FIFTY !!!! years old and going strong. All she did was routine maintenance. As has been said about many things ... they don't build 'em like THAT anymore.

FredLewers said...

First bike was a 10 speed that I saved up for. Got it used for $30 in 1978 or 9. I don't remember what happened to it. Been many moons since. It was freedom for a 12 year old country boy.

HMS Defiant said...

10 speed $100 at Sears in 73. Bought with paper route money.

LSP said...

I had one of those, a few years later. Nice.