Monday, January 4, 2010

Uncle Chipster Saves Another Bicycle

The amazing Chip Haynes of Clearwater, who has designed past Bicycle Bash festival fliers and authored the splended The Practical Cyclist, has done it again. Uncle Chipster has salvaged a classic bike off the scrap heap and breathed new life into it. I'll let Chip tell you the story:

JoAnn and I added the 36th bike to our inventory just a few days after Christmas: A vintage (1974?*) Schiwnn Sting Ray. We were driving home from lunch, and there it was - on a trash pile alongside the road!

Needless to say, I pulled over and threw it in the back of the truck post haste. The bike was all there, and may be all original (I question the front hub, though). It even has the correct matching handgrips and the banana seat is in great shape!

I wasted no time at all stripping it down to the bearings, cleaning everything and slapping it back together. I found the correct NOS handlebars and a fresh (used) handlebar stem. It still needs a new kickstand and a new sissy bar, but it’s back together and it rides great!

The weird thing is, this is exactly the model and color I wanted- but never got- way back when I was a kid. It’s the most basic model- a coaster brake with no fenders- and in the lemon yellow I wanted back then. Just amazing. The toughest part of all of this? Finding a place for it in the garage (but I did). I hope to ride it to work when the weather warms up (It’s kind of embarrassing how cold it is down here this week.), and it may be my around-the-neighborhood bike just to show off a little.

And of course you are all invited and welcome to stop by and pop a wheelie or two! If you didn’t have one when you were kid, you know you wanted one. I sure did.



*Schwinn loops its serial numbers every 24 years, so it might be a 1998 model.

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