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It was a 5-speed, it had front disc brakes, front and rear shocks, it was candy apple green with lots of chrome, it even had ape hangers, and always made me feel like I was riding a motorcyle. There were others like it, in red, orange, white and purple. They had names like Apple Krate, Grape Krate, Cotton Picker, and mine, was a Pea Picker.
They were all made by Scwhinn and it turns out they were part of a group of bikes now called 'muscle bikes'. Other manufacturers made muscle bikes, some had plastic gas tanks and huge sissy bars, but all of them were made to look like motorcycles.
Rummaging around the web I found a few pictures-
Pea Picker [mostlymusclebikes.com]
Schwinn Krates [nemusclebikes.com]
So do you remember your first 'cool' bike? I know that my sister had a bike that was definitely not cool. It was yellow and white, had sunflowers on it and yellow and white tassles streaming from the handlebars...
My favorite bike was/is a Peugeot 3-speed road bike that I've owned for over 20 years.
During good weather I ride it almost every day for errands around town. It's fitted with collapsible wire baskets that are just the right size for a bag of groceries.
My sons thought it was hopelessly uncool to start with, and adding those baskets was the kiss of death. But over the years their opinion has gone up, especially after two of them worked in a bike shop and dealt hands-on with the difference between quality bikes and department-store cheapies.
In retrospect it probably helped me be a much better rider than my friends. I really had to work to ride that thing and when I got my first "real" bike I could ride circles around all of them.
That was my first bike, but my first "cool" bike was a 1977 Free Spirit sold by Sears.
Although, now that I think about it... my dad always bought me bikes that were a son-of-a-"gun" to ride. I wonder if he wasn't secretly trying to kill me.
It was a metalic red Grifter
Grifters were cool. You could "invert" the front plastic mudflap so it hit the front wheel and the tread on the tyre made it sound like a motorbike... :)
Also one of the first bikes with a twist grip gear change I think - funny that's become popular again on mountain bikes.
In fact, you could probably say that the Grifter probably was the first production mountain bike (circa. 1978?).
I can't find any picks of my first bike - it was called a "scrambler" (can't remember the maker) and was a purple rip-off of the Chopper.
My parents made it even better when they added this device that looked and sounded like a motorcycle engine. That kinda ruined me pretending that my bike was a horse, but oh well. :)
[edited by: AWildman at 12:01 pm (utc) on Sep. 11, 2006]
Cards clothes pinned in the spokes for that hotrod sound and a flag!
Wow! A stroll down memory lane. I had a little pouch on my bike where I kept a couple of decks of cards along with extra clothespins.
My first "real bike" was something that a friend of mine and I made. We basically pieced it together and it became the rave of my hometown. Heck, that was back in the 60s/70s? Yikes!
It was a "chopper". We cut the forks off other bikes and then extended the forks on the primary bike. We also extended the frame a bit with the help of my friends brother who was a bit older and had a talent for assembling things.
It lasted for a whole month until we put two riders on and the frame snapped right in half due to the weakness caused when we extended the front forks out way beyond what they should have been. ;)
And yes you could invert the mud flap but they wore out pretty quickly, my dad went mad when he saw mine and what id done to it.
The gear change being in the handle was an awful idea, many a time id be doing stunts, land and my hand would slip and change gear that hurt!
I could jump three people on mine laying down, not bad.
I don't remember when CCM got out of the bike business, but it was before Schwinn started signing up Canadian dealers, which was around the late '70s or early '80s.
[edited by: Car_Guy at 9:38 pm (utc) on Sep. 12, 2006]