So, for the past several years I have been on a search . . . to find a fabulous bike. Bike riding is one of the few sports that I really enjoy . . . only I don’t enjoy it on a competitive level, more of a cruising through the neighborhood level.
Anyway, so I’ve been looking for one of those fabulous vintage cruisers–you know, one with a tank and a light on the fender. But they don’t exist in Utah. I know. I’ve looked.
In fact, they’re hard to find via the internet anywhere. In four or five years of looking, I’ve never found one with all of the features I wanted for less than – well, more than I was willing to pay. About a year ago I discovered that Schwinn actually makes cruiser replicas. But, go figure, there isn’t a single Schwinn dealer that carries them in Utah. So to get one I’d have to order it–pay shipping, etc. and then find out if I actually liked it. Hmm . . .
Every time Wyatt and I have traveled for the past several years, I’ve also looked on for bike shops at our destination. In California I found cruisers . . . but not classic Schwinn’s. In Oregon I found a Schwinn bike shop that had the replicas in stock-my first in person look at them. They didn’t quite have the feel of the old cruisers–like a vintage car vs. one of today. The older ones are heavier and just feel old.
When we were in Arizona a couple weeks ago, I decided to look, yet again. I Googled “vintage Schwinn cruisers” and actually found a guy on Craigslist who was selling just such a bike at a price less than a replica!
His name was Larry. He was leathery, had no teeth, chain smoked, and spoke real thick and slow. He was the nicest man. He had just the bike I was looking for. A late 1950’s SpitFire cruiser.
And that is how I found my bike.
When we got it back to Wynn and Heidi’s house, I took it for it’s maiden voyage. Trouble was . . . I actually forgot how to ride a bike. I went to make a turn, and couldn’t make it tight enough. I forgot how to brake (back pedal) and actually ran into the curb, going flying onto the sidewalk and neighbors yard. Road rash on elbows and knees. Fortunately the bike is old–heavy. It didn’t seem to worse the wear, and my elbows will heal. Unfortunately Wyatt caught the whole thing on video. After I crash, all you hear is Wyatt laughing.