Geez. Back in '72 I was taken along to Coventry Pram to pick out my new Christmas bike. And there it sat, sparkling in it's orange metalflake, those chrome springers, that met vinyl banana seat, that huge gearshift, my dream bike, the Schwinn Stingray. Couldn't wait for Christmas day to get out on it, but we were off to gran's so I didn't get the chance. But come boxing day I was ready for that fat redline to hit the tarmac. But no. Bloody boxing day, the man from Cov Pram came round and took it away. Apparently something to do with a few accidental castrations with the big gearstick, all the Stingrays had to go back. In its place he left the ugliest, most half-assed cruiser, the badly-made, nasty to ride Chopper, in toilet water blue. It was a mark 1, so did all the mark 1 things like the bars falling off, the bottom bracket falling off, and the gear knob falling off leaving a sharp spike. Chopper or Grifter? Neither thanx - got a garage full of proper Schwinn bikes now to make up for the trauma.....
Had a silver Mk2 Grifter as a kid and thought it was the dogs......but found the bike weighed an absolute ton.
Recently bought another silver Mk2 and can't get over how light it is, compared to my childhood memories .
I had a Tomahawk in a kind of purple then an American bike off of Alconbury Base that was kind of like a Chopper. That nearly killed me several times and had to go after I rode straight into a wall at speed because of the weird brake and finally I got a Grifter in Red.
Man my Grifter was awesome. Apart from the weakness in the front forks leading to several new sets it was indestructable!
Almost as indestructable as the Pegueot Equipe Racing bike it was replaced with.
I met my missus when she stopped me in the local park as I cycled through on my Mk1 with a huge for sale sign on it.. Been together ever since. She still has it. I also have a totally mint un restored Mk1 in blue, a peach of Jubilee Mk2, a daily 'pub' hacker of a black Mk2 and my pride and joy - A fully restored special edition tomahawk complete in gold with magnesium alloys !!
Had a striker, then a mk2 grifter with pretty much no chrome left on the wheels, then my brothers bomber for a while.... by god they all weighed a ton!!! all that 3 speed sturmey archer nonsense that you could never get in adjustment so you only had 2 gears most of the time.... did i mention that i would have been really cool if only i'd been five years older at the time i got each of them??? I was so far behind in the cool stakes that i went straight from the bomber to a mtb (shit, but at least it was new) without evening looking at a racer....
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