Do You Remember… Your Bicycles

Check this out:

Photo courtesy of Rob@96744

I always wanted on of these – Schwinn Krate series – especially for the stick shift.  Ironically, these bikes were discontinued when they were deemed unsafe because of the stick shift.  But check out all the cool features!

The Schwinn Krate series bikes consisted of the:

  • Orange Krate
  • Apple Krate
  • Pea Picker
  • Cotton Picker
  • Lemon Peeler
  • Gray Ghost

That is some collection, Rob!  Awesome!  Thanks for letting me use your picture.

I remember my first bike was a hand-me-down junkalunka.  Frame, tires, seat, handlebar and that’s it.  No chain guard, no sissy bar, no fenders.  Just a plain old rusty bike.

Then I saw the Krate series.  Oooh, I want, I want!  But alas, cost too much so I had to settle for a brand new Sears stingray.  Not that I’m complaining because when you’re a kid, any NEW bike will do.  So on my birthday, my mom took me shopping and I ordered a stingray from Sears.  I don’t recall the name of it but I do remember that it was purple.  It had the curved up rear fender and fat “slicks” back tire like the Schwinn Krate bikes.  But the cross bar (where the Krate’s shifter is) wasn’t a single bar but instead, two skinnier bars running parallel to each other.  And it was elongated so the bike looked longer.  Single speed.

It came with a banana seat and a tall sissy bar that extended way above the seat – high enough that I could lean my head back and rest it against the sissy bar.  It looked something like this (but without the shifter and handbrakes):

First thing I did was take off the tassels from the hand grips.  Then eventually, the battery powered light mounted on the goose-neck handlebars was removed as well as the round reflector mounted on the sissy bar.

I would “wheelie” that bike all the way down Hooulu street – that’s a full block!

That bike had quite a workout from me.

Then when I got into my “tweens”, it was time for another new bike for my birthday.  This time I wanted an “English Racer”.  The 10-speed kine.  So we headed to Eki Cyclery in Ala Moana Center and I got myself a root-beer colored Schwinn Varsity.  Looked something like this:

I finally had a bike with gears!  I used to wake up in the morning and ride that bike a couple of miles to Aikahi, then back home – just to play with all 10 speeds.  Then my brother would take it for a spin.  When he returned, I was right back on it riding to Aikahi again.  I even used to ride it to work when I worked at Windward Volkswagen – mostly because I didn’t have a car then.

I remember soon after I got it, my friend (losthawaiian) also go one too.  Then he took on a newspaper route.

Ever tried to deliver newspapers from a 10-speed?  Remember how there used to be those canvas newspaper bags that hung neatly on goose-neck handle bars?  And you’d store all your papers in the bag.  Well, those bags didn’t work on English Racers.  I think he used to balance the stack of papers on the bike’s cross bar until he eventually bought one of those canvas bags that you put over across your shoulder to hold the newspapers.

Hey, losthawaiian!  Do you remember?

Do you remember what kind of bikes you had growing up?  Stingrays were the in thing back then.  How about an English Racer?  And what about you girls?  A pink stingray with the white vinyl woven basket with the pretty flowers on them?  Or did you get your bother’s hand-me-downs?

130 Responses to “Do You Remember… Your Bicycles”

  1. LINDA KATO says:

    Good night MLCer’s ❗ Pleasant dreams ❗ 🙂

  2. LINDA KATO says:

    @M, yes, but if anyone was counting with me earlier, I added in a few more days. Gave up some vacaton days to assist with the workload. I am looking forward to Vegas and days of leisure ❗ 🙂

  3. M says:

    @LK, you are luckier, 37 more days!

  4. LINDA KATO says:

    @M, lucky you for having internet service.

    Work is always busy for me too. Not enough hours in the day. On a positive note, 37 more days and I’ll be retired ❗ Whoo hoo ❗ 🙂

  5. David In Oregon says:

    Good evening MLCers.

    Well, back out on the bicycle I go. 😀

  6. M says:

    Guud evening MLCers!

    I had internet at home this morning and internet at work too. No interruption.

    Today was extra busy with the daily stuff so I wasn’t able to do any backlog work until late afternoon.

  7. LINDA KATO says:

    @Rod, Nice pictures from Hawaiian Brian’s ❗ What a nice birthday surprise ❗ 🙂

  8. LINDA KATO says:

    Good evening MLCer’s ❗ Lucky folks had a computer today. My Oceanic roadrunner was down all morning. Was lost without being able to check email or anything this morning ❗

    So many stories 🙂

  9. DionGG says:

    Loved my banana seat bike! I lived in Aikahi Park and would go “downtown” to Kailua or to the beach. Then I had this other bike from Sears when I was in intermediate/high school..Kind of like a beachcomber bike. I rode that with a surfboard down to that point by the base. I don’t know how I ever balanced with a surfboard in one hand….Now I have a road bike and do long rides all over Vegas and Henderson.

  10. Rodney says:

    @Dean – save those stories for when I do a Guardian Angel blog entry. Those are some stories!

  11. Rodney says:

    OT – @DIO – We can get hats (fedoras included) all over the place. There’s a hat store in Ala Moana called Lids where they carry fedoras. And you can buy the same hat (without the Billabong tag) for about $30 less at Jeans Warehouse.

    The fedora with the teal band was a hat that FunkShun threw out to the audience. Paula actually got the hat, but it fit me better. LOL

  12. Seawalker says:

    @M & @Dean – Hey, when I used to have my generations-old mountain bike, I remember that rock-shocks were the craze back then. Is it still popular or is something better now? Ho, Cannondale, eh? Those are the major-league of bikes… There’s one stretch under the H-3 near Bougainville where if you’re biking it to town, you go on these mounds of dirt, up and down. Always get a rush over there!

    @Dean – The peloton, eh? I just wonder if Andy Schleck would have beaten Contador if brother, Frank did not withdraw with his injuries. Yah, the Astana boys should have waited for Schleck after getting the news in their ear buds of Schleck’s bike chain.

  13. Kage says:

    ankles – I used to have a straw hat. It kinda looked like chinaman’s hat. People used to make fun of it, but it was the best to keep the sun off of the bald spot. Oh yeah, not to mention the face and ears. 😆

  14. ankleBYTERS says:


    I’ve never found a hat/cap that I like…that’s whey I never wear one golfing…maybe one of those straw hats would look nice ❓

    Two pieces of clothing that I will NOT wear….cowboy hat & boots… 😆

  15. Kage says:

    @ankles – I have a cowboy hat. It is still in the box on the shelf in the closet. 🙂
    I wore it a few times for theme parties. I just need to get the boots.

  16. Dean says:

    Sally and Kan… I’ve been really lucky on bikes. The one and only time I went mountain biking was on a borrowed bike. I was crossing a stream bed, and there was a 5-foot drop on one side. My front wheel got stopped against a rock, I couldn’t get past it, and I began to fall. Toward the drop.

    I was in a standing position on the bike so it was about an 8-foot drop. Below was nothing but assorted rocks and boulders. I was clipped into the pedals so I couldn’t step off the bike. At that point I was definitely going to fall and I figured I’d break an arm or a leg.

    I ended up landing on the rocks on my side and, after the impact, I just laid there wondering what broke. Maybe ribs? After a minute there wasn’t any pain so I figured it was really bad.

    As I slowly got up I realized that nothing hurt at all. The other guys were looking at me with this horrified expression, thinking I’d really eaten it. But as it turns out there wasn’t even so much as a bruise or a scratch. And the bike wasn’t damaged, either.

    Don’t know how that happened but it sure impressed the heck out of me.

  17. M says:

    In the 80’s to train for my triathlon races, I would bike up Tantalus and bike around the island.

  18. M says:

    Guud morning MLCers!

    #87, Rodney, you are correct about the 3 colors being a female. She’s very mellow but scared because of the new enviroment. But she did sleep on our bed next to my feet all night. I hope that she and our other cat will be able to get along.

  19. ankleBYTERS says:


    Just mentioning hats/fedora reminds me of the national Lampoon’s European Vacation….where Griswald hands each of his kids a cap with their names on it.

  20. KAN says:

    Holy cats, Dean, you must be part cat and used up some of your nine lives!

    Speaking of cats, M & Masako – your calico kitty is good luck. Congrats!

  21. Ynaku says:

    Good Morning MLC

    Ankles, I get 2 cowboy hats 😀

    Loving those bikes stories 😆

  22. sally says:

    @ankles: a couple of people do. It’s called “Hats ‘n Shades” Night. Supes wears a Fedora so that’s what started it. I have a Felt cap my friend gave me and I stuck a bling pin on it to make it girlie. One guy wears a cowboy hat. Others get very creative. Shades are hard cuz cannot see real good in the dark.

    The one thing I NEVER go without is a fan. I never leave home without one. Even those… $1.29 at Marukai, 50 cents at Swap Meet.

  23. sally says:

    Dean: Does your mom know all this?!?!?!?!? ay yai yai Boys… I tell you! LOL!!!

    My niece in California does cross country biking with her husband. No Evil Kinevel stuff though, ha!

    @LINDA KATO: I’ve only known Rod and Aunty Paula for … I dunno … little over a year now? When was that Triad PahTay at FSG? Oh I know! It was 2… 3… NCRs ago? Too early to do math.

  24. ankleBYTERS says:


    No one wears cowboy hats ❓

  25. sally says:

    Good Morning MLCers!

    DiO: Fedoras come from Target or Swap Meet. I have a couple of friends who are true Fedora afficionados… they have “real” ones. lol

  26. ankleBYTERS says:

    …and now…

    Sugarloaf – Green Eyed Lady

  27. ankleBYTERS says:

    YAWNNNN……so early for work ❗

    …Wake up Blast From the Past….then..

    Sugarloaf – Green Eyed Lady

  28. David In Oregon says:

    Ok, back to the topic of bicycles

    I don’t recall when I got my first bike. All I remember is that it had training wheels on it.

    Eventually I got a Schwinn. I have no idea where that one was sourced, if it was a hand-me-down or not. I don’t remember much about that one either, but I do remember riding it for a while, until I outgrew it.

    Then came the Mongoose. 😀 That was purchased from The Bike Shop, over on King St. It was blue and built for BMX. I can’t count the number of hours I spent riding, doing wheelies, jumping off (and on) curbs, jumping dirt jumps, homemade ramps, and anything else that was available.

    Looking back on that time, I can’t believe none of us ever got seriously hurt. None of us wore helmets, knee or elbow pads, gloves, or anything else, we just rode.

    Around 8th grade or 9th grade, I outgrew the Mongoose, and stopped riding it. From that point on, I never owned another bicycle. In fact, it wasn’t until I moved to Oregon, before I purchased another bicycle.

    This time, the bicycle was a Trek 930 mountain bike. I purchased it about 2 months after moving to the state. It was a hardtail mountain bike with GripShift shifters and no suspension.

    I had the Trek for a few years, then I bought a Cannondale mountain bike. The Cannondale is another hardtail, but has a Headshok front suspension, which can be locked out. While I still own, love, and ride the Cannondale, if I had known what was going to happen, I’d have waited a year, and purchased the newer model instead of the model I bought. The newer model had a frame and fork with mounts for disc brakes, which mine lacks. With that (newer) setup, all I would have to do to upgrade the bike, is change out the wheels of the bicycle, and add disc brakes. Everything else could stay the same. With my older setup, there’s no point in trying to upgrade anything, as it is either impossible, or not cost effective.

  29. David In Oregon says:

    Rod: Cool pic (of the hat gang). The question is though, where do you buy a fedora (or any other hat) in Hawaii? Does Macy’s have them? Perhaps Neiman Marcus?

    Around here, you can go to Downtown Portland, to John Helmer.

  30. Dean says:

    Bikes were a big deal when I was a kid. Mine were hand-me-downs from my brother but I didn’t care. I had a bike! It was a heavy Schwinn with 20″ wheels. Later I got his Schwinn with 26″ wheels. My uncle Jimmy, who worked at Eki on King Street, got us accessories such as lights and chrome fenders.

    My dad taught me how to clean and repack the bearings, clean the chain, etc. We used gasoline as a solvent. No one knew any better then.

    My parents also gave me a book for Christmas that provided step-by-step details on how to overhaul coaster brakes. So I did, that, too. At the age of 10.

    Having a bike meant freedom. So we rode everywhere in the Kapahulu area. From Ala Wai Canal to Diamond Head.

    We’d play “chicken out” in the volleyball/basketball court of the Kapahulu fire department. The object of the game was to make the other guy touch the ground with his foot. I learned how to slide a bike 180 degrees with the coaster brake (we called it the “Bat Turn”), and that ability to slide a bike around came in very handy to save my life one day.

    When we moved to Pearl City the surrounding area was still under construction. Empty lots were great to ride in. One of my favorites was going down a dead-end street as fast as I could, flying up the slope of the driveway into the empty lot (big launch ramp), and seeing how far I could jump the bike. I think the max distance was 25 feet. I did a lot of that until one day I noticed a crack developing in the front wheel hub.

    In high school a friend was also interested in bike riding so we’d do longer-distance rides. He lived up in Palisades and it was extremely challenging to get to way up Komo Mai Drive. But it was a blast coming down.

    One day I was tearing downhill with total abandon as usual when a pickup truck suddenly made a left turn ahead. I was going way too fast to stop. So I hit the brake and started drifting the rear wheel to the right. I let go of the brake, the rear wheel regained traction and shot the bike to the left. I hit the brake again, this time sliding the rear wheel to the left. That amounted to a skidding slalom around the truck.

    If I hadn’t known how to do that, I’d be a decal on the side of the pickup.

    Another time, during a distance ride, we were going down the highway toward Kipapa Gulch. Even at about 35 or 40 mph cars were starting to add up behind us. So I was going to be a nice guy and move over to the shoulder to let them pass. Right when I got over to the side there was a large hump of asphalt right in my way….!

    So all the bike jumping kicked in and I instinctively pulled up on the handlebars when I hit the hump — the bike flew just like any other ramp jump I’d done before. I landed on both wheels and kept on going. My friend who was following behind thought I was gonna be dead meat.

    When I got a Fuji “Finest” 10-speed that ended all the Evel Kinevel stuff. My friend also had a Fuji 10-speed, and we started doing longer rides. From Pearl City to Kapahulu or as far as Hawaii Kai and back.

    Fast forward to the early 1990’s. I dusted off the old 10-speed that I had from 1973, and ride 5 miles to a friend’s place. When I got there I almost couldn’t stand up. My legs were all rubbery.

    I started training, gradually upgraded the old bike, and did the 1993 Century Ride. After upgrading wheels, gears, brakes, handlebar and saddle, I finally invested in a new carbon fiber Kestrel frame. More Century Rides, two 135-mile Perimeter rides (9 hours straight) and in 1997 I did the 200-mile Seattle-Portland ride (two days).

    For one year I rode competitively just to see what it was like. Now I know what it’s like to be at the back of the peleton! In a 45-mile race I came in 4th out of 6. One guy was 65-years-old and the other guy had two flat tires.

    Hadn’t gone riding in several years. I really should dust off the Kestrel and get out there again. And I still have the Fuji “Finest” frame. It needs to be refinished.

    I guess bikes were a big deal as an adult, too.

  31. David In Oregon says:

    Oooh, rockin’ the fedora. Cool. 😀

  32. Rodney says:

    Off Topic:
    Paula wooing me with Olivia Newton John’s “I Honestly Love You”. From Hawaiian Brian’s on this past Saturday night.

  33. LINDA KATO says:

    @DIO don’t you ever sleep? Good night ❗ 🙂

  34. LINDA KATO says:

    Sally and Rod, I can tell you two are best friends ❗ 🙂

    Good night MLCer’s ❗ Sweet dreams ❗ 🙂

  35. sally says:

    Hey now THERE’S a thought!

    And with that… I bid you all good night. My brain is tired after today. Rough morning at work. Emergency patient after work. I’m tired.

    Oyasumi na sai.

  36. David In Oregon says:

    Rod: I think sally needs a GPS…one that speaks sally-speak. 😆

  37. Rodney says:

    And you call yourself a Townie…

  38. sally says:

    Rod: There’s no such thing as “woman speak”. We already make perfect sense. It’s “manspeak” that messes everything all up. LOL

    “Go 2blocks, turn left, go down the one-way, head mauka, turn right at the 2nd stop sign….”


    “Go straight up till you can’t go no more. That’s Ward Ave.”

    Who makes more sense?


  39. LINDA KATO says:

    @Rod, #86, very funny, “woman speak” 😆

  40. Rodney says:

    @M – Nice kittycat. How’s her temperament? It’s a girl right? Someone told me that if a cat has 3 or more colors, then it’s a female.

  41. Rodney says:

    @LK – thanks, but no thanks. We have a lot of cookbooks too – but I, um, I don’t know how to read them. Yeah, that’s the ticket! I don’t understand “woman speak”. LOL

    BOT (quickly) – #60 – @Mark’75 – those “clink, clink, clink” things were called hub cleaners. I always wanted one (or two) so badly. In fact, about 10 years ago, I made some out of an old belt and the reflectors I found at a hardware store. Then I found out that Eki Cyclery still sells them.
    Are those MLC or what!

  42. LINDA KATO says:

    @M, what a special day for you, a pretty new cat ❗ 🙂

  43. LINDA KATO says:

    @Rod, I have lots of cookbooks in mint condition (never opened), want one ❓ 😆

  44. M says:

    @Rodney, pictures on masako’s FB!

  45. sally says:

    Yayyy for you M and Masako for adopting a pet!

  46. Rodney says:

    @M – Congrats! Pictures please!

    @Linda K – #76 – I do what I can. (That’s about all I can do). 😆

  47. M says:

    Added a new member to our family tonight. Miki, a female calico. We adopted it from The Animal Care Foundation.

  48. ct says:

    Good Evening MLCers!!!

    Wow … unreal pictures … still jealous of those guys with Schwinn bikes.

    My first bike was actually shared by my older brothers and I. We found it in a ditch, was one of those Radio Flyer type. We replaced a lot of spokes and had to soak the chain in STP because it was all rusted. Eventually we got it to work with wooden pedals (used building blocks) and no fenders. This reminds me of the time chain off when coming down from 16th Ave down Kilauea almost a full load of papers. As you Kaimuki folks know that was an unreal hill with an open drainage ditch, thought I wuz goin’ die. Had to jump off and watch da bike go into the ditch. It’s funny looking back but I just remember my brothers were sooooo mad as we had to fix it again.

    My first brand new bike was $37 ordered from a catalog was a emerald green Charger. Couldn’t afford a Schwinn and even though we had to assemble it, it was one of the happiest days of my life. Was a really heavy bike so couldn’t race but it could coast.

    That was freedom, we could ride to Waikiki and Ala Moana … shhhhhh … no tell my faddah ehhhh … nah but we would always get busted cuz one of da neighbors saw us … bummahs … and it would always get back to my dad …

  49. LINDA KATO says:

    @M, yummy, haven’t had homemade chili in ages ❗

  50. M says:

    My daughter made chilli from scratch for dinner tonight. Was yummy!

  51. LINDA KATO says:

    @Rod, #74, you are so helpful ❗ 🙂

  52. Rodney says:

    @gretch #33 – Too funny about your brother making you touch his severed toe. But poor thing that they weren’t able to reattach his toe.

    Did you used to tease him and say: Ajinomoto? 😆

  53. LINDA KATO says:

    @Sally, hard worker ❗ How nice to have a meal ready when you came home.

    My hubby microwaved my delicious stew I made this weekend. So ono ❗ 🙂

  54. LINDA KATO says:

    @DIO, sounds cooler than Hawaii right now ❗

  55. sally says:

    Good Evening MLCers! Worked extra late tonight, emergency patient after hours. Everybody was tired, he was super appreciative, … it’s all good.

    Came home to find my daughter grilled some… no, a whole lot of … veggies and cooked up some marinated chicken. Oh man was that ever ono!

    Now gonna have Bing Cherries for dessert!

    Since I can’t contribute about bikes, I’ll talk about fuud! Everybody can relate. LOL

  56. David In Oregon says:

    Linda: It’s hard to say how high the temperature will get, as it is never consistent. One day the high temperature for the day can be 70 degrees. 3 days later, the overnight low temperature can be 70 degrees, and the daytime high can be over 100 degrees.

  57. LINDA KATO says:

    @DIO, good evening ❗ How high is the temperature in Oregon? When Hawaii nears 90 I think it’s too hot ❗

  58. David In Oregon says:

    Good evening everyone 😀

  59. losthawaiian says:

    Back to bike stories….
    Here in Cali, going down to the beaches there is a bike path that starts at Santa Monica in LA and goes along the sand to at least Newport Beach in Orange county. It’s like a striped mini-two lane road for joggers,roller-bladers and bicyclists. It’s pretty cool to see all the different types of bikes. Beach cruisers,mountain bikes,BMX,tandem,triple-seats and even a six-seater carriage type of bike. But everyone goes down there for the scenery or to be seen. I always come home with neck strain………!

  60. LINDA KATO says:

    Everyone has a bike story…..We had a used bicycle my brother, sister and I shared when we were little.

    My kids were luckier ❗ I won a $1,000.00 shopping spree at Toys R Us for our 9 year old daughter Lynne. Lynne chose a bike for herself and got her 7 year old brother a bike too. I later won 7 more bikes in various other sweepstakes. We chose to take cash for 2 mountain bikes since we ran out of room to park our bikes in our garage. I gave 3 bikes to one friend and 3 bikes to another friend so their children could enjoy riding bikes. We kept a mountain bike for my husband to ride for exercise. One of the mountain bikes was used for our son’s paper route for a year.

    I don’t see too many sweepstakes for mountain bikes any more. But, if I win too many bikes in the future, I only need to ask, who wants a bike on this blog and I’m sure someone could use it ❗

  61. kathi says:

    Off-topic: Watching Easy Rider and remembering how great this soundtrack is. Here’s one I hadn’t thought of in a while – The Byrds, “Wasn’t Born To Follow”

  62. losthawaiian says:

    @ shoyu burner. Kailua dump used to have some pretty cool “junk” when I was small and went there with my Dad. I couldn’t believe some of the things people used to throw away. Like almost new!!!

  63. KAN says:

    Eh, shoyu burner, no shame be rubbish picker. I have a small set of drawers made from Japanese paper that I got out of the trash (from when I lived in Japan). More recently, I lugged home a wooden CD/DVD shelf that someone was discarding – it had been finished and everything!

  64. KAN says:

    @Rodney, che, Ynaku, losthawaiian & kage: When I lived in Japan, there was a really beat-up bike that would get passed on from resident to resident that had a generator light. The light made it harder to pedal, so going up hill was a [female dog]! The best shape I ever was in my life was when I was riding that danged bike.

  65. shoyu burner says:

    @lost hawaiian, I still have a old “monkey”brand flat tire kit. The cover has a coarse area to use as to scrape the flat tire area which would help the glue and patch stick to the tire.
    Neva could afford Schwinn back den, made my own bikes from spare parts from the Kailua dump and from rubbish day pick ups (yeah, I was one rubbish picker!). About a year ago I finally bought myself a Schwinn 15 speed road bike!

  66. Mark'75 says:

    My first bike was an old 24″ Schwinn frame that was pretty beat up by the time I got it. My uncle rebuilt the bike and I remember him washing the parts in gasoline. I spray painted the frame in a yellow/orange color (don’t know why). My dad bought a new box-spring seat from a bike shop, maybe Eki Cyclery, in Waialae Shopping Center (before it was Kahala Mall). I learned about rolling up my pants leg the hard way. Once I was going downhill and my jeans got caught in the chain. I was thrown forward and ‘ate’ a telephone pole. At first the wheel axles had a leather strap with a reflector attached that would go ‘clink’ ‘clink’ ‘clink’ when the wheels spun. They were soon replaced with baseball cards which sounded much cooler. The bike is long gone but I still have the metal license plates from the ’60’s.

  67. losthawaiian says:

    I was pretty stubborn. It took me at least a couple of times doing stuff before I realized that it wasn’t the smartest way to do it.

  68. losthawaiian says:

    Bike hazards memories! I think we all have at least a few that we remember because they were so traumatic at the time.

  69. Newman says:

    Whew. Memories. First bike was sort of like a Radio Flyer red wagon except it was a bike. It had a top bar that looked like a skinny motorcycle gas tank.

    One Christmas I was given a purple, single speed, rear slick, tall sissy bar bike from Sears. It had beautiful lines but it wasn’t a five speed like my best friend’s orange crate. It was also very heavy.

    One very memorable moment was chasing my friend with the orange crate. He rode off the sidewalk and ducked under a really large metal school sign located between two pipe posts. In a tucked position he could just get beneath the sign. Traveling at full speed, I found out I couldn’t. My sissy bar karanged the sign, the bike came to an instant stop, an I went flying over the handle bars. I looked up and saw white spots fading in and out beneath the clear blue sky while my ears rang with the sound of the barely dented sign and the blood throbbing in my ears.

  70. Kage says:

    As a kid I was fascinated by the generator light. I wondered how it worked. Then I wondered if it would make the tire wear out along the side it rode on… did it?

  71. Ynaku says:

    Good Afternoon. The bad thing about those generator lights is that when you stop, the lights go out 😯 😯 WoooooOOOOOooooo

  72. che says:

    i forgot about those generator lights.

  73. losthawaiian says:

    Another long ago memory was learning how to ride. My brother or Dad would push me on the bike until I got going around our back yard. I didn’t know/understand how to brake so I stopped when I crashed into the mock orange hedges around our yard.

  74. losthawaiian says:

    Rodney, your comment about the generator brought back another memory. My mom bought me a generator light for my bike so I could see when I delivered the newspapers on sundays. I remember how mad I was when I came out of a store one day and someone stole the generator right off my bike. GRrrrrr!
    @ Seawalker. Those inner tube patch kits were “Monkey” brand. I distinctly remember the monkey image on the can and the lid had a rasp scraper built into it to “rough up” the rubber so the patch would stick better. I think I had more patches than original tube rubber after awhile.

  75. snow says:

    it’s a little late, but just have to thank rodney and all of you MLCers for sharing your stories! i just caught up reading the previous “happier then or now” blog and i was moved to tears by many of your stories. *sniff* thank goodness no one came by my cubicle during lunch time! i think rodney has something very special going on here… 😉

  76. snow says:

    i got my first – and only – bike from santa claus when i was six years old! after i asked santa for a bike, i hunted and hunted for it around the house but to no avail! turned out that “santa” was way smarter than i was and didn’t put the bike together until early, early christmas morning! afterall, it’s pretty tough to hide a bike, right? 😉

    christmas morning, the bike was standing right next to the christmas tree with a big bow! it was a purple schwinn… a junior bike with training wheels. i loved it and i didn’t mind the training wheels until the neighbor boys rode their bikes behind me and teased me relentlessly about them! needless to say, i got rid of the training wheels pretty quickly after that. 🙄

    later, i longed for a bigger bike, like my sister’s red schwinn or my best friend’s banana yellow bike with the tassels on the handlebars and the flowered basket in front. lucky for me, my best friend liked my bike better than her own, so we traded bikes when we rode around the neighborhood. those were fun times! 🙂

    they say you never forget how to ride a bike… i’m wondering if i still can after… 30 years?!? 😕

  77. Rodney says:

    I remember the speedometer! I added one on my Sears stingray. It had a little finger that protruded into the front tire spokes and that’s how you could tell how fast you were going and how far you traveled.

    On my 10-speed, I had one of those “generator” lights that leaned against the sidewall of the tire and as the tire spun, it would spin the tip and generate power for the light. The faster you went, the brighter the light got.
    IIRC, there was even a red tail light that lit up too.

  78. Rodney says:

    @losthawaiian – about using the front handbrakes: I remember that time. We were riding over to Cory’s house and right on their front lawn I saw you suddenly go “endo” (end over end).

    I was thinking – what the h3ll is he doing now. And How’d he do that. LOL.

    I remember you sitting on the grass with this look on your face like: What just happened?! But you just brushed yourself off and we continued on.

    Amazing the stuff that happened to us without injuries, yeah?

  79. Rodney says:

    @Rob@96744 – You have 9 of them?! Did you complete the collection? If you have more pictures, send them to me and I’ll include them in the post!

  80. Rodney says:

    @losthawaiian – thanks for the memories. Yeah, rolling up the right side pants leg so it wouldn’t get caught in the chain. Remember about 15 years ago when that was part of the “gansta” look? At first, I thought the guy was riding bike. 😆

  81. che says:

    @Seawalker, that seems like a lot of work. Maybe I should just not ride bicycles. 😀

  82. Seawalker says:

    @che #26 – Squeeze, release…squeeze, release…squeeze, release…again and again and again. Do it for 100 times a day, 6 days a week. In no time, you’re gonna be in the iron-okole club. LOL

    @sally #13 – True story. Hey, I went out with a girl who lived on 7th avenue. She was as sweet as pie and could write really well. She once drove an older car, but was kept in cherry condition. She even liked talking about Hawaiian Brian’s. And she preferred Macs over PC’s. Ooohh, but I stand corrected, she went to McKinley. No mess with sally!!!! LOL

  83. ankleBYTERS says:

    If you stop by a place called All Bikes in Rye, AZ..about an hour north of PHX on the way to Payson…woooo hooooo….you thought you died and went to heaven if you’re looking for used bicycles…

  84. kathi says:

    @Ynaku: I wonder if I would have been more enthusiastic about bicycling if I’d discovered chrome, apehangers, fringe, and other accessories earlier rather than later in life 🙂

  85. M says:

    I don’t remember the brand name of my first bike, I know it wasn’t a Schwinn.

    The last bike I got was back in 1984 when I was doing triathlons. I built a 12 speed racing road bike myself, Canondale aluminum frame and Dura Ace components. Top of the line at the time. I had the prototype gear selector and no one esle on the islands had it. Today all bikes gear selector is based on that design. I still have the bike.

  86. 4G says:

    Yikes, gretch!

    I remember getting my first bike when I was like in kindergarten or first grade. It was a “direct drive”—it had pedals connected to the rear wheel by a chain like a regular bike, but no brakes, and no free wheeling back wheel (why would you even make a bike like that?). I had an uncle who would gather junk parts and build bicycles from them. That first bike was one that he put together. This is the bike I learned to ride on. No training wheels—just dad balancing me from the back. I remember the first time I sorta balanced by myself. My dad exclaimed, “You’re doing it!” Then I immediately fell down. LOL—cause he wasn’t there balancing me!

    My second bike also came from my uncle. This must have been when I was in the fifth grade. The bike was like a 24 incher—standard looking bike, single speed, rear brakes. This was at a time when the stingrays were the in thing—I really wanted one of those and was never successful at getting one. 🙁 Still, a bike is a bike and this one was mine. It was really nothing to look at (I don’t think it even had fenders and definitely had no chain guard) and certainly not a bike that someone would actually want. What still amazes me is someone actually stole that bike!

    Of course, growing up in the shadow of KPT, my friend and I go looking at KPT for my stolen bike. Yup, sure enough, we see a younger girl riding the bike around. Someone had tried to camouflage it with some specks of glitter, but there was no mistaking that ugly bike—it was mine! LOL. So I keep an eye on the bike while my friend goes to call the cops. The police car drives up and all the kids on bikes (including the girl on my bike) gather around to see what’s up. I point the bike out and get to ride it home!

    The other thing I remember about that bike is that it was a bit big for me. I couldn’t be stopped and stay on it with feet on the ground. I would have to jump off of it whenever I stopped, then jump back on it to get going again. I don’t know why my dad taught me to get on it by putting my foot on the hub of the pedal crank (instead of just using the pedal), but that is what I was told . . . . Bear in mind that this is a boy’s bike—with the bar. Well, early on, I DISTINCTLY remember getting the bike rolling, putting my left foot on the pedal crank hub, trying to mount the bike, then immediately slipping and landing on that bar—legs on either side of it! OUCH! Never did that again! That sucker REALLY hurt!

    In intermediate school, my parents bought me a new bike! It was not a stingray. 🙁 It came from Sears and was called something like a Mainliner. It was another standard bike—single speed, rear brakes, only it had fenders and a chain guard! Woo hoo—movin’ on up! It looked a lot like the pic that 91boz (#25) posted, only it wasn’t a Schwinn and it didn’t have that rack thingy over the rear wheel.

    In high school, my parents bought me an english racer—ten speeds! It too, came from Sears (was not a Schwinn–*sigh*). I think I had Schwinn envy—LOL. I added center pull brakes (the originals were side pull) and coaster brakes. I changed handle bar tapes more often than I can remember. I even added a “chain guard” to the main hub—a round protector that goes on the outside of the main gear so your pants don’t get caught/get dirty. Ironically, that “chain guard” came from Eki Cyclery—there was one in Kalihi—around the corner of Dillingham Boulevard and Kalihi Street. I contemplated upgrading the derailleurs before deciding ‘nuff already. This was at the point when I was getting my driver’s license-on to the ’68 Corona! LOL. That last bike is still at my parent’s house!

  87. Seawalker says:

    The first thing that popped into my mind was how we used our rubbah kamaboko slippers, like Fred Flintstone, to stop our bikes. Those were the paperboy days and we opted for foot breaks instead of hand breaks. Drove my parents nuts when we constantly asked for new slippers.

    But I can remember back to the days when we were riding tricycles. We sorta had a big garage, and we made good use of it with our bikes. Those were what I call the “knuckhead days”, and brings back fond and warm memories.

    As we got older, Pops bought for us 3 bikes, a red one, a yellow one, and I forget what the third color was. It came with training wheels and tassels at both ends of the handle bars. Like Kan, we thought the tassels were the coolest things until our Filipino neighbors (yes, we lived in Manila-lulu) started whistling at us, “whert-whirl”.

    Just before my stint as a paperboy for 5-1/2 years, we took off the training wheels. We put on a rack in the front of our bikes for the newspaper bags. Many a times, we would pack one another on the rack. Even on the streets–can’t even imagine what kind of danger we put ourselves through.

    As I got to become a seasoned paperboy, we would double-bag and stack 2 paper bags on our bike racks for delivering. Is that why my grip strength, till today, is like an iron-grip? The techniques we used to employ folding the newspapers (sally, it was the tomahawk tuck and fold when you didn’t use a rubber band), consisted of a two-fold, three-fold or four-fold depending on the thickness of that day’s paper.

    We did just about every kind of repairs to our bikes. Whenever you had a chance to modify your bike with used parts, that was primo because it was our chance to fix and replace things. But the thing with being a paperboy and being on the road everyday was the wear and tear of the tires and the flats. I remember the inner tube. We would buy a repair kit. You would make the rubber around the hole rough first. Then apply glue and a patch to the tube. Wait for it to dry, and like how Ynaku puts it, she go!

    Then, I went for about 20 years without owning a bike. One day, my brother gave me his used mountain bike that he originally purchased used. I got a bike license at the City and County. While everyone else used fancy-schmancy road bikes, I used that generations-old mountain bike for the century ride and the tin man triathlon. I liked to rub against the grain just to be different and to challenge myself in my younger days!

  88. Kage says:

    I used my bike to deliver newspapers. I really enjoyed the rainy days. And, Wahiawa had many of those kind of days. Had to load the papers into a garbage bag. That way I could splash through all the puddles… :mrgreen:

  89. Kage says:

    Good Morning All.

    Like M, I did not get my first bike until I was about 10. I remember we went to Jewelco above Daie in Pearlridge to buy it one Xmas. Parents wanted to make sure we liked it, so we got to choose our bikes.

    My funnest memory about bike riding is my cousin. She was adopted from Vietnam. Soon after arriving in HI, we had a party to welcome her into the family. We are the same age and were about 8yo then.

    We were outside playing and she sees the neighbor’s bike and wants to ride it. We tell her no can because it is not ours. She did not understand and started riding it all over the yard and sidewalks. Until Uncle, her dad, came out and scolded her after the neighbor kid started crying.

  90. visitor says:

    My first bike was a small green one with training wheels. I learned how to ride on that, but never went anywhere with it.

    It wasn’t till later, still in elementary school, that I got a Schwinn ‘Speedster.’ It was metallic blue. I later got chrome fenders for it.

    UH days I had a Schwinn Varsity…it was green.

  91. M says:

    Time for a break from my pile of papers at work.
    I didn’t get my first bike until I was about 10.

  92. gretch says:

    I’m the youngest of 3 kids. Girl-boy-girl, in that order. Of course, my brother, being an only son, got the first brand-new bike in the family. And, like 91boz (#17), it came from Waipahu Bicycle – aka “Buster’s.” I think it was a red Schwinn Stingray, with a white banana seat. It was a pretty cool bike. And, at least, I was the one who got to “baptize” it!! And gotta admit, he let me ride it often. I didn’t care that it was a “boy’s” bike. And then, years later, my folks bought him a ten-speed, and one day he was riding somewhere near Times Supermarket Waipahu (near home) and took a mean spill. Of course, he was wearing slippahs, and, of course, his foot got caught in the spokes, and, yes, he lost his second toe (I forget which foot). The guy musta been in shock ‘cuz he came walking home carrying his severed toe and told my folks he had to go doctor. (And no, they could NOT re-attach it.) Anyways, not really MY bike memories, but he and I still laugh about these things (especially since he made me touch his severed toe, loving big brother that he was!)

  93. volleymom2 says:

    I had a blue and white Schwinn bike- it was very sleek with the tail end being very slim to pack someone on the back. Used to pin playing cards to the spokes to make the cool noise. When the girlie banana bikes with white basket came out I was too old by then to ride one of those. That was the end of my bicycling dayz.

  94. says:

    @jtb: #19 I saw a similar story on tv where this guy gave away the bikes to children in a poor Asian country. The bikes meant so much to these children.

  95. KAN says:

    I don’t remember the make of my first bike, but it looks a lot like Rod’s purple one without the sissy bar. Mine had the handle tassles (loved those!) and the banana seat. I loved that bike. I couldn’t ride it in the neighborhood where we lived in at the time, so I just rode it around our (very big) yard.

  96. PA says:

    cool stuff i got my first schwinn sting ray
    when i was still livin on the mainland
    i remember having to order and wait for the purple metalflake paint job it never made it to the islands prolly lost in shipment
    i got a used blue 5 spd sting ray rare that i upgraded with 4 ft high sissy bar we would do a few wheelie laps around our street then
    i got a lemon yellow continental did the flip
    the handlebars back thing so you could ride straight up then back to the wheelie laps problem was the back rim wasnt as strong as the string ray and ended up gettin all whobblie bent by that time i had a permit and didnt ride bikes until about 8 years ago

  97. sally says:

    M: ugh! One thing at a time is all you can do.

    Here I go, weekend is officially over and it’s time to head for work too. Have a great Monday everyone!

  98. M says:

    Guud morning MLCers!

    I’m back at work and this is the part I hate about coming back from vacation. My work is piled up, I can’t even see the bottom of my desk. Everything is moved around, my pens are missing, I have hundreds of emails, tons of phone messages and I don’t know where to start. It will take me days if not weeks to get caught up. 🙁

  99. che says:

    My first bike was a red training wheel bicycle and when I could ride without the training wheel my dad just took them off. Looking back this one speed not too cool looking bike was a good one. I don’t remember the name but it was from Shirokiya and was reltively light weight.

    Eventually the bike got too small and I had that orange Krate. It looked good with it’s front and rear hand brakes, the front and rear wheel shock absorbers and it was a 5 speed but the bike was very heavy and hard to peddle over grass or uphill. I used to ride the bike to friend houses, to baseball and basketball practice and even to school sometimes. Then on day I rode it to my cousin’s house left it in the drive way and my uncle ran over it reversing out of the gaurage.

    My next bike was that green 10 speed. That was a good bike, very eary to peddle and ride. I wish I still had so I could ride for exercise.

    I don’t own a bike now but I did take spinning classes. The funny thing about riding a bike now that I’m old and fat is that my a$$ hurts more than my legs. It never did when I was a lot younger.

  100. 91boz says:

    My friend used to have a bike similar to this:

    If I remember correctly it had an battery operated horn button in that white portion between the seat and handle bar.

    Things every kid should know about a bike:

    1. Fix a flat tire
    2. How to remove and put back the chain
    3. How to not get your long pants stuck in the sprocket.
    4. How not to get your feet jammed in the spokes if someone is packing you.

  101. Ynaku says:

    kathi, I like those bikes better 😀

  102. Ynaku says:

    JTB, right on 😀

    My first bike was a hand me down from the cousins. 🙂 😛

    Most of the bikes I have came from Western Auto aka Western Flyers. (Man I miss that store) 🙁

    I too, as any boy would, modify the bike. If the bike was all buss-up, I would take parts and build another bike.

    I built one of those upside down bikes with a 24″er. It was hard to get on but so cool to be riding higher than most cars. Kinda had to ride leaning back too cause we used to extend the front. Cut off the front bars and stick it on the bike so it looks like an “S” then put on the tires with Ape hangers and sissy bar. and go. Used to make chopper bikes the same way too. 8) 8)

    Also did the cards and balloon in the spokes for that cool sounds. And enough road rash from getting the pants caught in the chain 😥

    Now I have my Harley Sportser (which I gotta get back on the road) 😀

  103. NaPueo says:

    My first bike was bought at Sears. All chrome. Years later I got a Schwinn 10 speed from Eki Cyclery, when they were on Waialae Ave. in Kaimuki.

  104. kathi says:

    Shared a bike with my younger brother, so of course it had to be a boys’ bike, plain black, 3 speed. It was a Schwinn — I don’t remember which model, though. Schwinn still had a factory in Chicago when I moved here, but it closed in the early ’80s.

    Rob@96744 – my husband to this day would totally envy that collection. I think he might still have Orange Krate denial bitterness. I do not think I am going to let him see that picture 🙂

    I wasn’t that interested in bicycling as a kid or after. Being on two wheels didn’t really intrigue me until I discovered motorcycles!

  105. sally says:

    JTB: very very cool!

  106. JTB says:

    There is a guy down here in Houston that knows what a NEW BIKE means to a kid. For the past nine years he’s been giving them away at Christmas time to kids in the poorest neighborhoods around town. His project has balloned and now he’s giving away 25,000 bikes PER YEAR, all built by volunteers and delivered within a week before Christmas. He custom designs the bikes so they are much cooler than what you can buy in the stores and contracts directly with the factory in China. The neighborhoods he targets remain a secret until delivery day. On that day, police lead the 18-wheelers into several of the poorest (and dangerous) neighborhoods. Volunteers knock on a few doors and before long the word is out. Every kid in the neighborhood get a new bike for free. The guy who started this project (David Moore, Elves & More) believes the bike frees the child from the neighborhood allowing them to expand their world, travel to a job or job training, attend scout or other youth group meetings or after-school programs, not to mention let them have some fun. Every kid gets a bike so there is no envy among the kids in the neighborhood. My Boy Scout troop has been participating by building bikes, then delivering them for several years. David Moore wants to expand the program to other cities. Check out the website at

  107. LINDA KATO says:

    Good morning, MLCer’s ❗ Have a great Monday ❗ 🙂

  108. 91boz says:

    I remember my 1st bike. It was a Dunelt, I think that was the brand name, purchased from Waipahu Bicycle. I was about 10 at the time and boy at that age having your own bike gave you a sense of freedom and independence. It was equivalent to getting your first car, same thing you had the wheels to go places.

    I used to ride to my friends house up the street or to Leeward Estates further down. During the summer months we used to ride about 3 miles to Ewa Plantation rec center to play in the gym and swim in the pool.

    @Losthawaiian I also came home with my long pants full of black dotted stains when it got caught in between the sprocket and chain.

    Blast from the past –

  109. sally says:

    I’d never even heard of any of these bicycle names.

    My oldest brother delivered newspaper, he may have had a bike or borrowed a friend. Can’t remember, I was way too young. When my 2nd oldest brother started delivering paper I wanted to learn that cool way to fold it and tuck in the ends.

    It was like a secret boy thing, they never taught me how and I never figured it out so I just went looking for something else to do.

    Yes, Rob@96744, very cool collection!

  110. ankleBYTERS says:


    😆 …blow them away… spoken by a true racer ❗


    ..and I don’t even own a bike currently ❗ That’s a nice collection that you have there…

  111. Masako says:

    My grandparents bought me my first bike. One of those with training wheels, white basket and tassles. When I outgrew that my cousin had outgrown his Peapicker so it got passed on to me. The other girls on my street made fun at first cause it was a boys bike but they quieted down once they saw how I could blow them away with the gears.

  112. sally says:

    I never had a bicycle, we couldn’t afford one. When my new neighbors moved in next door the two sisters EACH had a bike. I wasn’t jealous, I was amazed! When we made friends we went bicycling all up and down our street on 7th Ave.

    I don’t know what kind of bikes they were, only remember the banana seats.

  113. losthawaiian says:

    There was nothing worse than hauling A** down the street on your bike and you foot slips off the pedal. Getting your foot caught between the pedal and the road was not fun, especially with barefeet.

  114. Rob@96744 says:

    @Rodney: Forgot to mention that you can thank our “Corvair” friend Ralph Nader for discontinuing the “Stick Shift” bicycles in 1973, because boys sometimes fell forward off of the seat and hurt their you know what!

  115. Rob@96744 says:

    Hey losthawaiian-You have memories like that of many a kid growing up in the 60’s and 70’s. I was always attracted to Schwinn’s because of the quality. But…it came at a cost. Krates such as those in the picture cost a whopping $107 back in the day. A whole months rent or mortgage! Before the krate thing, I had a purple schwinn stingray 2 speed that I put on the tall sissy bar with purple vinyl metalflake headrest and backrest from Eki cyclery. I remember Eki’s on King street, a wooden building across from the Bowling City and HRT bus parking lot. I too, put cards in the spokes to make cool “sounds”, complete with the wooden clothespin which I took from my mom’s hanging basket. Man if you had a Schwinn you was the envy of the neighborhood. Most kids had Huffy, Sears, or Royce union bikes. When the stick shift Schwinns came out, I HAD to have one. Guess that’s why I have been collecting them for 30+ years and I have 9 of them now. Hey Ankles, you also know your bikes. I also thought the speedometers for the schwinns were the coolest thing around, and also the battery operated turn signal Wish I had bought some and stashed it, as it’s worth a couple of hundred bucks today in mint condition and cost only about $9…

  116. ankleBYTERS says:

    Blast from the past – baseball/playing cards clothe pinned to the front fork so it would hit the spokes as you biked…

  117. ankleBYTERS says:

    Did you know that by 1999 Huffy, Roadmaster (AMF) and Murray ceased manufacture of bicycles in the United States ❓

    Schwinn went bankrupt in 2001 and bought out by a company that mass produced it in Taiwan and China for K-Mart, Target and Costco among others.

    I remember the Schwinn 5 speed sting ray as my friend had one. The bikes with the speedometer always interested me.

  118. losthawaiian says:

    Oh, one last thing before I go…. Remember rolling up your pants leg on the chain side of the bike so it wouldn’t get caught. A lot of our bikes didn’t have the chain guard. Nothing worst than making “A” sitting on the side of the road trying to pull your pants leg out of the chain and sprocket. Laters!

  119. ankleBYTERS says:

    Monday morning Blast From the Past…..then…

    Heart – Alone

  120. losthawaiian says:

    Nowadays I have a one speed beach cruiser with big balloon tires. I had a pretty cool mountain bike but I found out that I didn’t need 21 speeds to ride around my house.
    OK, that’s enough hogging the blog for me. I think I used up my weeks allotment of blog time.
    I think I’ll go and ride my bike.

  121. losthawaiian says:

    Another flashback…. I remember the kids that used to modify their bikes by flipping the frames upside down and adding a longer seat, chain and handlebars. They used to ride really high in the air. I recall seeing a kid getting on his bike by leaning it against a wall and climbing up on it.
    Remember Bendix brakes and Tiger paw tires?

  122. losthawaiian says:

    By the way, Happy belated B-day!
    I remember your bike with the sissy bars. It was pretty cool. I remember putting baseball cards and/or balloons in the spokes for the cool sound. It seems like we used to ride everywhere on our bikes. Remember riding to Kalama beach with our surfboards under one arm and a towel around our neck. After surfing all day, trying to ride home carefully with the board rash on your thighs, ouch!

  123. losthawaiian says:

    Rodney, You have a good memory! I forgot all about delivering papers with that ten speed bike. I think it was because it was such a hassle that I wanted to forget that part of my life. Especially trying to deliver the Sunday combined paper and trying to balance the added weight. The schwinn bike in the picture was the same color. I remember distinctly the first time I found out how to use the hand brakes. You certainly don’t hit the front brakes only when stopping at a high rate of speed. I don’t know which broke more parts, me or the bike!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *