Ah, my memories of Schwinn

Ah, my memories of Schwinn


Unfortunately, skateboarding and BMX bike riding began their climb in popularity in this country at the same time that the aging process was busy introducing me to the exciting world of joint pain.

As a result, I never had the opportunity to try – on purpose, anyway – a 1080-vert-can-can-double whiplash-sprocket-eater, or whatever it is they call doing upside-down doughnuts in the air with a degree of control sufficient to avoid having to visit a proctologist after a bad landing.

“Let’s see, Mr. Dobson. Whoa! You’re going to need what we call a Schwinn-ectomy. Don’t bother getting him a wheelchair, nurse, Mr. Dobson already has his own wheels. Hahahaha!”

Nevertheless, I enjoy watching skateboard and BMX competitions, because it reminds me of my youth. Besides, going end-over-end on a bike in the air is nothing as compared to pulling the same maneuver on the ground, which apparently really hurts.

Her name was Martha and she was a sniffy little thing, as in her nose was always in the air because she had our town’s first Schwinn Stingray, the original BMX bike.

It was on a Saturday, as I recall, that she whizzed by me on the street as I lumbered mightily on my 700-pound American Flyer, complete with “gas tank” between the crossbars and playing cards clothespinned to the wheel frame to make the bike sound like a (very small) motorcycle as they fluttered against the spokes.

She looked at me briefly and sniffed as she flashed by, but almost immediately proceeded to get the strap of her little purse caught in the spokes of the front wheel. The slow motion replay would have shown this: sudden stop, bike skids, hits pothole, goes up in the air, turns (almost) 360 degrees and comes down, followed by an expression of her dismay.

In real time, it went like this: wham-wham-wham … “Waaaaaaaahhhhhh!”

I didn’t stop to lend assistance, as I had finally achieved some decent momentum and instead continued to steamroller home savoring the moment.

Consequently, should you see me in the stands this weekend watching and chuckling as the Dew Tour athletes do their stunts, I’m not laughing at them. I admit it’s not right, but I can’t help but think of the sniffy Martha incident. You might say she became a Schwinn spokesperson, but not in a good way.

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