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Tuesday, March 19, 2013


When this column hit the street back in 1986, a lone Princetonian wrote me a letter telling me how very wrong I was to belittle the "modern" bicycles. He went on to say they were faster, safer, and other facts that were calculated to show me that those old "coaster brake" bicycles were inferior. Of course, I disagree, even these 30 plus years as remember how comfortable it was seated on my old bicycle. My daughter and son in law purchased a copy of one of those now vintage bicycles for a Fathers' Day gift. It is in safe storage in my garage; "texas steer" handle bars, fenders, coaster brake, and a seat that is crafted for the comfort of the human derriere. Hey, different strokes for different folks! I just happen to naturally stay away from those skinny hose type tires multi sprocket transmissions, and a riding position making me lean forward at a 45 degree angle to grasp those inverted handle bars.


Sally Logan Gilman said...

Hi Tom: How I loved my bike with the big tires. It gave me many, many years of safe and dependable transportation. I had a straw basket on the front for the items I would bring home from Hermitage. Regards

Tom Glover said...

How well I remember those girls' bikes with the woven basket on the front! Indeed, how I remember all those lovelies from my young years pedaling down the street.


rayfromvillapark said...

Hi Tom, The first two wheeled bike my parents purchased for me, was an old used bike, the brand escapes my memory. Then, for my birthday, probably in 1951, I received a new Schwinn Hornet (Green & Cream). I loved that bike, but always dreamed about a Schwinn Black Phantom. They were expensive, but had a springer front suspension, chrome fenders, leather seat, whitewall tires, and a carrier, with tail light.
Fast forward to 1986. Columbia Bicycle Co., Springfield, MA, introduced the first reproduction bike. A 1952 Columbia 5 Star, complete with all of the features of my Hornet. Even has a fake springer front suspension. I bought 3 of them. I totally dressed one bike with lots of accessories, and rode it, sold one, and still have one new in the box. Around 15 years ago, I found a mint restored 1953 Schwinn Black Phantom, dressed it with fox tails, saddle bags, mirrors, etc. I still have both bikes. One thing, about these balloon tire bikes, you can't pedal up a hill. Single speed, and they weigh about 75 pounds. We all have a little bit of the kid in us. Some more than others. rayfromvillapark

Ron Bound said...

I remember I paid more for my English Rudge (sp) 3 speed then I did for my first car 47 Plymouth. I was heart broken when my brother forgot the brakes were on the handle bars, when he ran into the Ashbrand Hardware Store's truck.