One of the most enduring and recognizable images in cinema is of a boy named Elliot riding a bicycle, pedaling so fast that he soars into the sky—aided by a certain extraterrestrial and some movie magic.
Steven Spielberg is one of the most popular directors of all time because he captures on the screen images, feelings and sentiments that are the commonalities of life.
And we’ve all dreamt at one time or another that if we pedaled fast enough we’d take flight.
When Brent was young, he had the same banana-seat bicycle from the time he was 9 to 15 (the age at which riding bikes became uncool), If you look closely, you can still see a tiny scar on his right knee from a wipeout on the hilly gravel road behind his grandparent’s house.
Josh dreamed of a bike with a banana seat (and handlebar streamers, a basket, a bell, and a little pennant flag off of the back tire). What he got was a hand-me-down bike from his brother who was decidedly less visionary when it came to accessorizing.
We thought long and hard about what we should get one another as wedding gifts. Should it be a vacation around the world? (done that). Should it be something frivolous? (not really in our DNA).
So we ultimately decided on getting bikes.
As we love the idea of all things “heirloom”, we wanted to get quality bikes that would last the rest of our lives, and after some research we found something that was the exact mix of modern and vintage. Functional and well-designed.
In 1895, Ignaz Schwinn, a German immigrant with some bike-building experience from back in Europe, founded the Arnold, Schwinn & Company with his partner, Adolph Arnold, a meat packer and fellow German-American. Headquartered in Chicago, this new company was in the heartland of the American bicycle business where 30 factories turned out thousands of bikes each day. By 1900, American factories made a million bikes a year.
He probably would have never thought that the company he founded would one day build a completely sustainable bicycle with bamboo handles, a frame molded out of flax, and a motion-powered electricity generator that makes the entire bike glow from within at night.
If you see us on the hills of Sharon Springs, please take a wide arc around us. It’s been a while since we’ve done this.
But we feel comfortable that this is the perfect vehicle for us to ride off into the sunset…or just take a little trip over the moon.
What was your childhood bike? Share your story with us in the comments section below.