Thursday, October 15, 2009
Blue Schwinn Sting Ray 1967
Hello and welcome. I will get back to the Sportex-12 build on my next post. But for now I want to talk about my 1967 Schwinn StingRay. It was identical to the one in the photograph. As far as I know there are no photographs of me with my beloved StingRay. So I have to give credit to bygonebikes.com for the photograph.
I tuurned 11 years old that May of 67 and I received the StingRay for my birthday. A few years latter my friend Mike and myself chopped it. I found a set of very rare short rams horn handle-bars. They were actually slightly bent. I traded for them anyway as they were near impossible to find. Mike helped me straighten them and they looked really cool. I taped the bars with blue (Schwinn) plastic semi transparent handle-bar tape. For a while I had a high "chopper style" sissy-bar on it. But it made it difficult to dismount the bike so I removed it. I loved to ride wheelies on my StingRay and I was forever replacing front axles/bearings/cups. When I saw "Captain America" (Pete Fonda`s bike in Easy Rider) I had to get a long fork. One day while "garbage picking" I found a Huffy fork. It was hollow. Mike cut the steerer tube off for me leaving just the top brace and fork legs. Then with Mike`s help, We drove the Schwinn fork legs into the hollow Huffy fork. And We drove the solid Schwinn fork blades in there real tight. I switched the front wheel to a 16 inch to get the front end back down. That put an end to my wheelie riding days for a while. Latter I found an iron decorative point on the end of a curtain rod (also in the garbage). We cut it off and mounted it to the hole on the brace of the Huffy fork.It looked Bitch`n! Along with Mike on his bike we rode the aprox 5 miles to the DETROIT RENEGADES M/C on 8 Mile. I found a space among the row of Choppers, Dressers and Bobbers parked in front. We sat there for a while, At some point a woman walked out of the clubhouse buttoning up her blouse. We thought that was really cool!(Hey I was 13) We sat there dreaming of the day we would ride our choppers to California. Eventually this huge biker walked out of the clubhouse and as he passed he said something like "Nice bike kid." Well I got what I came for, so we rode home. My folks never found out about our little trip, Thank God!
When I was a kid Bikers were the coolest people on the planet. Nobody messed with them unless they were incredibly stupid. They did what they wanted to do and went where they wanted to go. I could hardly wait to get my first motorcycle. But that`s another story. I did eventually make the trip to California in 1976. I did not make the trip on a motorcycle. I was Bringing my friend Don his 1973 Mach 1 Mustang. That was almost as cool as riding a chopper! Until next time, Please Ride Safe and Remember to Always... RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE