Krates and Sissy Bars
It’s been a relaxing day in my little hole in the wall with watching my favorite TV program and having a sweet dip in the pool. Ahhhhh. I was setting here thinking about some random subject I could Google and came up with old bicycles I had when I was around twelve years young. I had several but one always stayed with me.
The Schwinn Krate. The model I had was called the Cotton Picker, not a name I’d put on anything today but back then things were different. I gave my beloved bike a name and was keen to put playing cards on the frame which would make a wonderful snapping sound as I rode along via the spokes. The Stik Shift as Schwinn called it, was totally cool as was the Sissy Bar.
The Sissy Bar with those little neat shock absorbers/springs on the end of the shaft. And that wonderful Banana Seat that always got dirty somehow, making it look like someone pooped on it. One thing I still don’t understand though about this bike is that front brake, it’s ridiculously strong. Waaay too strong.
Our house had a circle drive that led back to the little one lane road. I recall riding around this circle and jamming that front brake on. Ass-over-teakettle I go. Landed on my back on the edge of the driveway. Remember, this was before the advent of all the crazy safety gadgets kids wear these days.
Kind of like cars with no seat belts, no air bags and the high beam switch on the left floor where it belonged. Where it still does belong. And rotary telephones too dammit!! Ahhh the good old days. Hey, we kids survived our crashes, bumps, bruises and a bit of spilled blood. I had a serious crew of die hard bikers who built bikes from scratch which rendered some weird looking bikes, some were built for jumping, some for speed.
Others were junkers, fit for riding off the end of the dock into our lake, or off a cliff in the gravel pit. I have been itching to go to the local bicycle shop to scope out a reasonably priced bike. I’ve done some research lately on which bike would best suit my needs, city riding with a gradient in mind. Those mountains nearby…
Or maybe I’ll hit the pawn store and purchase an old junker. Funny how I follow several bicycle accounts on Instagram too. Oh, on E-Bay, I saw a fully restored or fully original Krate which was on the block for an incredible price of $2600.00. They sold new for around $100.00 dollars in 1970. that’s appreciation. If I had the money… I just might.
Photo is the property of the Schwinn company.