Everyone remembers the very first bike they fell in love with. Mine was my Schwinn Stingray. It was bright purple metal flake with a white banana seat and sissy bar. It was a birthday present (when I turned 9) from my grandmother back in 1966. Everyone back then wanted one. She bought it for me from Skips in Fairfield. Thats where every kid’s dream bike was at. I couldnt believe that now, I had one of my very own. Freedom! Any destination was possible.
Every morning I would get decked out in my Levi 501s or plaid shorts, paisley shirt and black Chuck Taylor low tops and comb the countryside. One day I made the mistake of trying to peddle from Winters to Monticello Dam, I didn’t quite make it and turned around at low water bridge. Oh well. I spent many hours tooling around town to the many shops on Parker St for a big ole bag of popcorn at Ben Franklin or to look at the matchbox cars and hot wheels at Fosters Toys.
Back in the 60s we used to put baseball cards in the spokes of our wheels, because we liked the sound it made when you peddled. Big mistake! Many of those cards are worth a fortune now. On Saturday mornings it was off to Spudnuts, near Food Fair, to meet the boys and play a little pinball. It was cool to own a Schwinn Stingray! I can still see dozens of beautiful bikes lined up outside, like Harleys.
Before we all got our drivers license, it was the Schwinn Stingray! Man, I miss that bike!