On The Road With "Olivia"

Adventures on a Folding Bike

Old School Bike

When I was a young kid, about 12 or so,  in the 1970s, my parents surprised my younger sister and I with new bikes.  You know, the classic “sting-ray” style bikes that all the cool kids at school had.  I can only imagine how long they had to save up in order to be able to buy those bikes for us.  Mine was a Sears “Screamer 2”,  3-speed,  with a 20 inch slick in the back and a 16 inch wheel in the front.  I remember it had the double brakes in the back operated by the two grips on the handlebars.  The 3-speed shifter was a center-console type mounted on the double cross bar.  A Sears catalog from the era advertised a price of about $50.00 for each copy of my bike (there was a version that had really fancy butterfly style handlebars wrapped in a gold colored grip tape for $68.00).  I imagine that Sears may have put the bikes on sale which made it possible for our parents to be able to afford them.

sears-screamer-2-bike-near-perfect-original_1_9655a8bd229a2f0c7e9b256748ee524e

3-speed Sears “Screamer 2” like the one my parents got me in the ’70s

I remember pedaling this bike to visit my friend’s houses almost every day. One friend was within a half-mile of our house that was then out in the “boonies” (the block our house was on in those days had only two houses with a sea of grass all around us).  The other friend lived around 2 miles away but he was in a more developed part of town.  Also, during the summer, there was an activity camp at our elementary school that was about 4 miles away that I needed to ride my bike to get to since my father drove the family station wagon to work.  Afterwards, I rode those 4 miles back home in the afternoon. It seemed pretty far for my young legs and mind.  But now it would be a relatively easy trip with better bikes and the more than 90 miles of bike paths the city has installed.  I will be visiting my old home town soon and will ride and document these paths in a future blog after my return.

As I recall, my sister’s was a light blue girl’s version of a “sting-ray” bike.  I don’t remember if it had multiple gears like mine or if it was a single speed.  However, I’m sure it was also from Sears since my father was a huge supporter of that that store.  He was a mechanic and used to buy his Craftsman tools there and knew that if ever there was a problem, you could always bring them back for replacement. They extended that guarantee for everything they sold at the store. What a deal!

I  really enjoyed this nostalgic trip down memory lane and hope you did too.

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This entry was posted on March 29, 2017 by .
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