Schwinn stories–a lot of people have them, but they are not always written down and shared. One of our goals on the SchwinnRed blog is to share these stories, the ones that bring back great memories from childhood and inspire adults to rediscover the freedom that a bike can evoke. These stories are from real Schwinn owners around the world, and we want to hear yours too. For a chance to be featured on the SchwinnRed blog send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us your Schwinn story!
Louis recently reached out to share his Schwinn story, and his lifetime friendship with his Schwinn Super Sport–a friendship that is worth hearing about!
“This is my bicycle. It is a Schwinn SuperSport made in Chicago, Illinois, and I bought it when I was twelve years old, using money I made on a paper route. That makes it 46 years old. I rode my Schwinn everywhere, and it has followed me from grade school, high school, college, and law school.
My baseball glove snapped into the rear rack on the way to Little League games. My Schwinn has pulled my infant children as they slept in the bike carrier, and I have ridden my Schwinn in a biathlon as well as a 70-mile distance race. (The distance “race” had several stops for snacks. I ate so many brownies on that ride I think I gained weight). But we, my Schwinn and I, finished happily.
One winter day (yes I rode even in the winter in New England) as I rode on Main Street in Warren, Rhode Island, someone opened a car door and I broadsided the door and flew over the window into the road. Luckily I did not get pancaked by a car. The dent in the sprocket from that mishap remains to this day. The only non-original part, other than the new Brooks seat, is the front rim that was bent badly in the collision.
One summer I often rode my Schwinn to and from George’s of Galilee to my fraternity house at the University of Rhode Island, a ten mile distance. I worked at the restaurant as a line cook. The ride had some good hills and I don’t think I was ever in better physical condition than that summer. It was hard riding such a long way after a 12 hour shift in the hot kitchen, but the bike brought me to my life’s peak physical condition.
I once gave my Schwinn away to my cousin having “graduated” to a Trek road bike. After a few years its history kept calling me, and I asked for her to be returned. Thankfully my cousin happily obliged, falling victim to my long history with the bike. I am glad I got her back.
It is still a beautiful bike and it works great. It bears the scars of falls and scrapes against unwanted things. I bought my bike at EP Cycle in East Providence, Rhode Island, in the early 70’s. When I took her there for a tune-up I told my story and the whole staff gathered around her. We admired her, affirming our collective longevity and affinity and appreciation for one’s history with a cherished possession.
Sunday after not having used her for a while, I went for a nice ride with my now adult daughters through Colt Park in my home town of Bristol, Rhode Island. I tugged them along as infants through this same park when I was younger and stronger and they, and I relied upon my Super Sport to carry us through beautiful days and places.
Some years ago I wrote a story about my Schwinn and emailed it to some friends. Jody from Atlanta replied with her own memories of riding her Schwinn Varsity as a child. She related that thinking of her bike gives her the same warm feeling as her mother’s meatloaf does.
Another friend recently asked me why I refer to my Schwinn as a “her”. My reply was that most things in life that give comfort and joy asking nothing in return are “hers”. My Schwinn has given me 46 years of enjoyment asking only to carry me to places and feel the wind. You can’t beat that, no sir.