Thursday, June 2, 2011

Pretty Things Thursday: Schwinn Collegiate Bicycle

Here she is, the inspiration for the Pretty Things Thursday series: my 1970s Schwinn Collegiate Bicycle.

This old girl has a great story.  One night last October, Nick was putting out the trash and saw her in our neighbor's pile of garbage.  Out neighbor had been cleaning out her house to move and had actually asked us if we wanted any of her old stuff, including an old microwave.  Why she didn't bother to ask us about this bike, I will never know.  But we very quickly rescued her from the trash and stashed her in our shed.  She was a little rusty and we weren't sure if there was something majorly wrong with her (she was in the trash), but we decided that it was worth it to check it out come Springtime.

Fast forward a few months to Christmas, when I had promptly forgotten about the bike since it was nowhere near bike-riding weather.  I found this beauty waiting for me under next to the Christmas tree, all cleaned up and holding gifts in her basket.  Please excuse this horrible iPhone pic.  Yes, that's the fireplace channel that you see in the background.  We keep it classy.

Nick had taken her to Guy's Bicycles, our local bike shop, and had them check her out.  Turns out all she needed was new tires, new breakpads, and a tune up!  What a bargain!  The guys at Guy's were very excited to see this bike in such relatively good condition.  Nick cleaned up all of the chrome finishings and then added the basket and bell for me because we're nerds like that.

I wanted to take her out for a spin right away, but we had a terribly snowy winter so she stayed indoors until yesterday when I took her out for a spin on the path behind our house. I know, she could have gone out for a spin much earlier than yesterday, but we've had a busy Spring so far.

She is so much more comfortable than my mountain bike, although she is quite heavy so she'll be limited to rides into the downtown near our house and boardwalk rides down the shore.  (Excuse my wild woman hair, it was windy!)  Fun tidbit: The dress I'm wearing is the same dress that I wore the night Nick and I got engaged!  Full disclosure: I always wear a helmet while riding my bike, no matter where I am riding.  It doesn't matter if you're not on the road with cars, you still need to wear a helmet!  I know we're adults and we don't think we're going to fall, but falling and hitting your head the wrong way can be fatal.  With that said, this photoshoot consisted of me riding back and forth on the path going very slowly.  It's probably the only time you'll ever see me on a bike without a helmet.  Ok, crazy mother speech over.

That seat has a really nice amount of padding and has a really nice shape.  Those springs help too!  I had absolutely no discomfort while riding this bike, and that's saying something since I usually sport padded bike shorts to sit on the gel seat on my mountain bike and my butt still hurts afterward.

I know I've mentioned this before, but when did logos stop being classy?  All of the markings on this bike are awesome.  It reminds me of the kind of bike that Nancy Drew probably rode, complete with front basket to hold her books.

If you look even closer, you'll notice that the designers even classed up the functional parts of the bike, like the chainring (the round part that the chain rotates around) and the shifter.

Doesn't the bell that Nick added look like it was original to the bike?

Even the sticker that was on the bike was in good condition.  When Nick brought it in there they told him that it was their very first sticker from when they opened the shop in 1971!

I have seen a few new bikes in this design and, while I love the look of them, they don't seem to have the same soul as my Collegiate.  Maybe I'm being snobby, but I just don't see Nancy Drew riding those new ones.  After all, isn't that the litmus test to determine whether a bike is classy or not?

Substitute me with Nancy Drew racing away from the bad guys!


  1. Great bike/story! I love the perfect green color!

  2. Thanks! Now I just need to go down the shore so I can get some use out of it!


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