Monday, August 4, 2008

My new Schwinn Hornet.

Oh, isn't she pretty. Meet my new cruiser bike. This pretty little piece of bi-pedaling metal and rubber is a 1960's Schwinn Hornet Cruiser. She sports a single speed and pedal breaks, and now, thanks to me, a roomy wicker basket and new tires. All in all, she is ready to ride, ahem, I mean cruise!

Look at the basket! The basket alone is enough to inspire fantasies of vintage bicycling bliss. When I look at the bike I immediately flash to daydreams of myself in action. In my daydream, I am poised like a superheroine, with my circle skirt flapping in the breeze behind me as I pedal down the street on a mission to spread baked goods, vintage dresses and homegrown produce throughout the neighborhood. I will call myself Cruiser Girl, and my reign of power will be one of cookies and lemonade sipped on front porch steps.

My secret weapon will be my wicker basket. I will fill it with fresh baked muffins tied up in a pouch hand-sewn using vintage linen scraps, and I will bike to my neighbors and spread love like only warm chocolate chip banana muffins can. I will ride to the organic florist and fill the basket with a bouquet of fresh flowers, gently gliding to a stop using my Hornet's pedal breaks in order to hand blossoms to young and old women out for a stroll. I will bike to the farmer's market and stuff the basket with heirloom tomatoes, then bike slowly home so as not to upset the basket. I will use the tomatoes to spread the goodness of lycopene to those I love.

Aside from the obvious fantastical quality of these daydreams, you can tell this is a fantasy straight out of comic imagination, because where I live there is not an organic florist. There are also not any legitimate farmers markets. Oh yes, and I don't hand sew, not even muffin pouches made from vintage linens. But I do like the thought of all of the above, and still see myself in the above scenarios when I ride my bike. The bike is inspirational, and I hope it will someday lead me to a place where the above situations are plausable.

Some (Sam, and my sister Anne) have tried to tell me that this old bike is too heavy, that it is too old, and that a single speed bike is outdated. They tried to convince me that it will render me slow, tired, and deject. They tried to convince me to stick to my 21 speed mountain bike. But for me, the adorable style of this little Cruiser outweights any potential drawbacks.

For now, I am willing to trade my gears for style. I hereby gladly commit to huffing and puffing up the hills in my neighborhood in order to look and feel adorable on my new bicycle. I hereby commit to hollering "wait for me" at my hubby as he speeds away on our afternoon ride to the pool. I hereby commit to stronger legs and a toned behind courtesy of my single speed pedaling. I commit to these things in the name of nostalgic fashion, and feeling like a pin-up Superheroine on wheels!


Anonymous said...

swoon...i am in love with your bike. where did you find it? i too have the same daydreams...:)

Kate said...

I found the bike on Craigslist of all places. We don't get many bikes like this in San Antonio, but the seller said she picked up a bunch of them in the Pacific Northwest, where "people have bikes like these rusting outside their garages everywhere, because they are a dime a dozen." Can you believe that? I foolishly paid too much for mine only to take it home and have the tire burst and require $75 in new tires, but it is worth it anyway. Bikes like this make you feel one of a kind.

abrahán said...

very nice bike.

look a lot like my 1954 Schwinn Junior Miss:

do you have anymore pix of it?

Kate said...

Ohhh, your Junior Miss is super cute, and it does look JUST like my bike. I thought mine was a Hornet... but maybe I am wrong. I will see if I can find any more photos. I haven't taken her out for a ride lately. Maybe this weekend. :)

abrahán said...

here's another shot of it with the chain guard showing the model name of it:

vintagehybrid said...

I want a blue one, a red one and a green one.... and a black one..... and maybe another red one.

Coach said...

I just bought a bike just like this for my girlfriend! I found it at a thrift store for 60 dollars and talked them down to 30!