There’s something to be said about the bikes we had as kids in the 1970s. I still remember my 1970s Schwinn Stingray. It had a black banana seat and a silver metallic paint job. I did lots of things on that bike when I was a kid. I even tried BMX racing at Stow Park in Goleta on it. I didn’t do very well. But I remember that my number plate was 999 which I thought was pretty cool. Sometimes it’s not enough for us to own these bikes. It can be just as satisfying to get them for our kids so they can see what it was like to ride a bike back in the day.
Nolan’s father acquired this beautifully preserved Schwinn Fastback 5-speed bike. Like the Stingray, the Fastbacks had the banana seat and the ape-hanger bars. But they were slightly different: they came with the smooth racing slick tire on the back and had a slightly different frame. Sunset orange, pictured above, was also a desirable color. Some of hem even came with 5-speed “stick shift” levers that were mounted to the top tube.
In any case, Nolan’s a pretty lucky kid. When he and his father brought it into the shop, almost immediately, he was getting offers to buy it. He would not sell. This bike was way too awesome. It had a little bit of rust around the rear seat posts, but all in all, it was really nice. The gearing and derailleur was in great condition and the only wear on the frame was in the decals. I was jealous. I miss my old bike, now.