Monday, September 28, 2009

Now those were bikes!

There weren't any of your fancy schmancy mountain bikes when I was little; all we had were these, and we were thankful.

(And the roads were all uphill in those days, young missy. You should be thankful for all these downhills you kids have today.)

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Never had a Stingray, but I will confess to wearing striped pants just like the kid from the ad.

Shootin' Buddy

Crustyrusty said...

I would have given up vital body parts for a Stingray back then. The kids that had the 5 speeds ruled the block, too.

Matt G said...

My Stingray was red, and I got it for my 5th birthday. I repainted it, put on new rubber, and proudly gave it to my brother for his 7th or 8th Christmas, and he laughed his ass off at it.
:(

How could he not see that this was...

...well, clearly I'm still disturbed about this. ;)

Kristopher said...

I remember my first blue stingray.

Still wanted a five speed manta ...

"this glass ain't just half full ... someone drank out of it, and will be made to pay!"

Breda said...

I miss banana seats.

DirtCrashr said...

I was too big already for a Stingray, I had big green balloon tire thing with a double bar and spring-seat. But I learned to ride it no-handed which helped with trombone management.
My best friend Steve who later went and joined the Army driving around Germany in 105mm howitzers just so he could see Germany (and Korea apparently) and hopefully find the buried Nazi-gold treasure that his Uncle a Ranger had left a map-of, had a Huffy Stingray-copy since his family was poor.
It didn't have the big sissy bar so you could fall off the back easily and we played "Get Shot by Germans Escaping like Steve McQueen and Falling Off Realistically on The Front Lawn" a lot one year...
Gary Bradski and his twin brother had identical purple Stingray (Manta?) five-speed bikes, but they were rich kids. They were also stick-arm weaklings who were most likely to have the bike taken forcibly away since they couldn't ride fast enough even with the 5-speed.

MaddMedic said...

Oh yes! Real bikes, single speeds, coaster brakes!! Went wherever we pointed them and then some!! Those fancy smancy shifters? Were only good for ruining many a young lad!!
Sting Rays rocked and were way cool!!
Schwinn was the only bike worth owning! Huffy's? Junk!!

Mikee said...

I got my Stingray on my 9th birthday. Before the afternoon was out, I had a very very serious fight with my 11 year old brother who kept wanting to "show me how to ride it."

That was 4 decades ago, and I still remember how easy it was to go from rolling down a steep downhill gravel road to careening down a steep downhill ditch. Carolina red clay does not wash easily out of clothes, nor does it easily come off bikes.

Good times, good times.

Mossyrock said...

Mine was yellow with black accents....

Anonymous said...

Campus Green 1-speed. No apologies. That bike ruled. My cousin had the blue 5-speed nut-buster. I doubt I rode less than 500 miles a summer back then.

B Smith said...

Ditto on the green single-speed. And that kid in the ad (with the ramp) could've been me, except my hair is brown, and our ramps were made from scrap lumber, discarded doors, and cinder-blocks.
I remember contests to see who could skid the farthest with those rear slicks, too :-D

Anonymous said...

Oh man, the memories! I had an orange Stingray with a stick shift. The other kids made jokes about it that I never got... until much later.

Ken said...

My brother and I had single-speed semi-knock-offs: mine orange, his yellow. I remember clearly our bikes had two-piece handlebars (a left and right bar) that installed vertically into the front fork. Rode that thing for years, until in ninth grade I got my first "English racer" (10-speed) with paper route money.

Mopar said...

Bah. Stingray was the metoo bike of my youth. It was like owning a camaro when I got older. "You got a stingray? Yeah, me too!".

I had the real muscle bike of the 70's: a Ross Apollo 5 speed! Like this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sabotageninja/2204036383/in/set-72157602457669121/
Of course that cool looking T-handle shifter was in a rather unfortunate place if you landed wrong from a jump and were a male. Don't ask how I know this!

Anonymous said...

Oh...Oh my...

It was 1963, I think. Kennedy had been assasinated, I had the chicken pox, and for Christmas I got a green stingray deluxe....

I kept that bike for years, through jr. high school...and I still wish I had it (I traded it in on a 10-speed). I may have been the happiest kid in the world with that.

Nat said...

I had a hand-me-down three speed that was so worn, that if you peddled really hard it would auto-shift to third. I got to the point where I could control when it would shift.

Jeffro said...

Western Auto Western Flyer here - but we all lusted for Schwinns in our hearts.

Gewehr98 said...

Green 3-speed Stingray here, shifter on the top tube, ready to threaten pre-pubescent manhood at the first panic stop.

My dad and I eventually went to work for a sporting goods store that sold Schwinn. I ended up working exclusively in the bike shop there. I still have Dad's 1974 Lemon Yellow Schwinn LeTour, and Wife #2 now has Mom's matching blue '74 LeTour. Granted, those are old gusseted steel frames with early Shimano derailleurs and cranksets, but they can get you going faster on the road then your guardian angel can keep up...

perlhaqr said...

Before my time, I'm afraid. It was all BMX, all the time, by the time I was a mad biking youth in 1981.

I kept breaking the bloody things though. Eventually, my father solved this problem with a brute force application of money, and got me a CrMo framed Peugeot BMX. In later years, I grew to utter amazement at how a bicycle that had lasted me 15 years could have been made by that company, once I started working on cars...

Tam said...

"Before my time, I'm afraid. It was all BMX, all the time, by the time I was a mad biking youth in 1981."

The bicycle days of my childhood straddled those two epochs; a neighbor kid had a Real Webco, which made him very hot stuff.

Stretch said...

Gears?!?!? You had GEARS? We were happy to have TIRES! And we didn't always have air for them!
Damn spoiled kids! And get that dam* bike off my lawn.

Timmeehh said...

That was well after my time.

When I was a kid, my first bike was something my Dad cobbled together from parts he probably found in the garbage.

Gears? It didn't even have fenders.

Gator said...

That kinda makes me want to start looking for an old Schwinn to fix up for the grandson when he's old enough to ride in a few years.

Ed Foster said...

A red 3-speed, which after years of noble service broke at the welds on the front steering tube, and bruised the hell out of my tailbone when I landed brains first on the rocks I had been traversing at speed.