Page 133 - The Hunt - Spring/Summer 2023
P. 133

                 Morrow. “Right now, the BMX bikes from the late ’70s and early ’80s are bringing $3,000 and $4,000, while 10 years ago it was about $1,000.
Balloon-tire bikes are still popular—but not
as much as the muscle bikes from the 1960s
that were popular with kids who wanted to do wheelies and other acrobatic stunts. “Muscle bikes and banana seat bikes are very big,” Morrow says.
Collier vividly recalls her own experience with a banana bike. “When we were being transferred to Holland in 1973, I knew everyone rode a bike there, so I bought a pink one with a banana seat, streamers out the handlebars and a basket on the front,” she says. “It had three speeds, and I thought it was cool and fun. When I arrived, everyone laughed
at it. They had black, very practical bikes with no speeds, and theirs would last for years and years. I did use it all the years I was there and took my kids to school on it, one on the front and one on the back. They were little, and school was only a few blocks away.”
Collier left that bike in Holland and purchased a more serviceable one to ride from her Wilmington home to work. “Then I bought my little red scooter, which makes getting up the Winterthur hill ever so much easier.”
The ultra-rare Bowden Spacelander.
Getting up hills was also a problem for Barr in his admittedly rambunctious early days.
“In 1973, when I was only 16, I borrowed
my friend’s Schwinn Continental 10-speed
One particularly fascinating model
is the Bowden Spacelander, British-made and first introduced in 1946. With the first fiberglass frame,
it’s one of the most sought-after bicycles.
for a long, 60-mile trip to Camp Hill from Hamburg,” he remembers. “I had to see a girlfriend and had no car, so off I went. I took
the back way there and rode home on the interstate the next day.”
Barr admits that he didn’t have a clue what he was getting himself into. “Both thighs cramped severely when I got to the top of the ‘hill’ that is Camp Hill,” he says. “I bought my own 10-speed after that and rode it all through college, when I was without a car.
I rode it to Allentown and back to see an outdoor concert in 1974. I ended up coming home in the dark without a light.”
Bicycles, like all things modern, have gotten more complex. According to the Lemon Bin Vehicle Guides, there are now at least 11 different categories—road bikes, mountain bikes, touring bikes, folding bikes, fixed gear/track bikes,
BMX bikes, recumbent bikes, cruisers, hybrids, cyclocross bikes and electric bikes.
I remember in the 1950s learning to ride on a 26-inch, adult-size balloon-tire bike with no gears. It was made up of various borrowed or stolen parts, and when the sprocket chain slipped or broke, it often delivered a painful personal blow. So for the next few years, I rode a girls’ bike without a cross bar. It elicited some taunts from friends, but it proved great for fast cornering in bike races—and it was a much less painful way to get around. TH 131

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