May Bike to Work Week: Bicycles, Donuts, & BluTunes

This week Schwinn set up a tent outside of Pacific Cycle in Madison, WI, in order to celebrate all the commuters that rode by our building during May Bike to Work Week. We were ready to caffeinate, energize, and provide air as needed.

bannerEquipped with smiles, coffee, donuts, a bike pump, and one sweet 90’s Pandora playlist sounding on the Schwinn BluTunes speakers. Little did one unsuspecting commuter know, we were going to be giving away a BluTunes to the 100th commuter that stopped at our tent!

Commuter Booth 1BluTunes is one of a trio of technology products released by Schwinn earlier this year at Walmart. By utilizing the blutooth function on your phone, BluTunes provides a hands-free/headphone free way to listen to music synced from your phone as you bike. It also makes a nifty speaker when you reach your destination, with the ability to quickly remove the speaker and set it on any surface. Employees at Pacific Cycle even have BluTunes playing at their desks, and it definitely made for a handy way to add a bit of background noise at our commuter booth (shh… we won’t tell on the people who were caught dancing and singing this morning)!

Previously I, like many other bicyclists, could be seen commuting on my way to work each day, using head phones to listen to my favorite Pandora station (The Civil Wars to work, and Drake on the way home). I knew it was dangerous to be biking with headphones, but after a few days of routine bicycling I needed some music to occupy the time. BluTunes simply took away the need for headphones and allowed me to be more alert to the sounds around me while still jamming out to music on my way to and from work.

Mike!

Mike!

Around 8:00a.m. on Bike to Work Day, Mike, the 100th commuter to stop approached the tent for his donut. I honestly think he didn’t believe us when we told him he won. He asked us if we counted right! Mike featured to the right, gave us a quick pose and then was off again, refueled and a bit more musical.

This month Pacific Cycle Employees were also asked to submit songs for the Schwinn May Bike Month Playlist. Below are the winning songs for the 8 categories we provided. You can find the complete Schwinn May Bike Month Playlist on Spotify.

 

Check out the complete playlist here!

Get out and Ride!

-Samantha

 

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Happy National May Bike Month!

Group ShotNational Bike Month was established in 1956 by the League of American Bicyclists. Each year the month of May has been dedicated to celebrating bicyclists and bike friendly communities. It is a chance for those who have already embraced cycling to revel in their love of the bike and a chance for others to give various aspects of cycling a try!

Biking to Mickies

Cities throughout the Nation have been gearing up with bicycle events to be held throughout the month such as races, fun rides, and bike rodeos for kids, but the big national date that stands out in many people’s minds is Bike to Work Day.

This Year Bike to Work Day takes place on Friday, May 16th. On this day many employers encourage their staff to try out commuting by biking to work. According to the American Bike League “more than half of the U.S. population lives within five miles of their workplace making bicycling a feasible and fun way to get to work”. Living within five miles of Pacific Cycle, and having just started to commute I’d have to agree. Cycling has been a great way to mentally prepare and debrief from home to work and back.

Here at Pacific Cycle our month began with a bike tune-up followed by a breakfast ride to Mickies Dairy Bar this morning. Throughout the month multiple activities encourage employees of Pacific Cycle to not only try commuting to work on Bike to Work Day, but also to add cycling into their lives all seven days of the week with a weekly raffle where each day you ride is another entry to win.

Yet May Bike Month is not just for the working adults. This year, Wednesday, May 7th is the official Bike to School Day. National Bike to School Day was first started in 2012, and has since taken off exponentially! The purpose of Bike to School Day is to help support and encourage kids to try walking and biking to school. Parents, schools and the National Center for Safe Routes work together to make this day both a safe and fun experience with school day events and parent led bike trains. This year Schwinn’s initiative, Helmets on Heads is lending a hand by offering some of these schools who have taken time to plan events another incentive with the Helmet on Heads Bike Share Giveaway. In this giveaway 10 schools will be receiving a bundle of 10 bikes and 20 helmets which will be used to encourage children’s cycling and safety education at their school and in their communities. You can enter your school to win at Ride Schwinn on Facebook by simply sharing an idea for a Bike to School event.

National May Bike Month is really about the collective support and celebration of all cyclists in the United States throughout the entire year. In order to support this mind set and encourage everyone to bike the National Bike League is once again encouraging a little friendly online competition. Last year over 30,000 bicyclist contributed almost 19 million miles, this year the goal is 50,000 bicyclist to submit more than 30 million miles between May 1 and September 30. Visit their page National Bike Challenge to contribute!

The Crew at Mickies

The Crew at Breakfast

Whether you bike to commute, for fun, speed, or competition every cyclist has a reason to get out and celebrate this May!

Get Out and Ride!

Samantha

A Colorful Summer: Target Popcycles

This week I got together with two of my friends at the University of Wisconsin -Madison Terrace to catch up and also show off some of our latest Schwinn bicycles available exclusively at Target, the “Popcycles“.S14PH_12507Right away we all gravitated toward a color that seemed to fit our personality. Sammi, girly, kind, and a true sweetheart, picked the pink popcycle. Jozi who is a firecracker and is the warmest most optimistic person you’ll ever meet picked the vibrant orange popcycle. As for me, the powder blue popcycle just seemed to fit my personality, calm, creative and sensitive.

Mendota_Blue_chairs12_8802For us the bikes seemed like a perfect fit to the already colorful Terrace. For those of you who have never been to the UW-Madison Terrace, you should know that the colorful seats that occupy the waterfront space are something of an iconic image for the area. The opening of the Terrace, when they put out the chairs, is an official mark for students and alumni alike that Spring classes are ending and Summer is beginning. Sammi, Jozi, and I have all spent many summers at the Terrace hanging out with friends, grabbing a Babcock ice cream cone, or a frozen drink from Peet’s Coffee and Tea, or if we had to, study for an exam. If you ever come to Madison WI, in the summer it is undoubtedly a “must-see” spot!

The bicycles in the popcycle line are Hybrid bikes, which make them excellent bikes for getting around the campus area. Hybrids combine features of both road and mountain bike styles to optimize on comfort which make them a great go-to bike for both fitness and commuting needs. Or in our case an excellent choice for a casual ride that was in need of a stylish upgrade.

By the way, did you check out are headgear? While these fashion forward helmets aren’t available in store yet (wink), check out these similar urban style helmets that will keep your head safe without cramping your style!

Get out and Ride! (with a Friend…at the Terrace… on a Popcycle!)

Samantha

To see the full Popcycle line, head over to: Target Popcycles

A Look Back: Who was Ignaz Schwinn?

I originally wrote this post with information sourced from books, but after a few second thoughts I decided to send that first draft to Richard Schwinn, the great-grandson of Ignaz Schwinn; after all, who would know more about the history of the Schwinn family then Richard? His response was both illuminating and showed the innate knowledge that comes from being born into such a rich legacy. The end result is this post which is partially written in Richard Schwinn’s own voice.

1981_02Ignaz M. Schwinn was born in Hardheim, Germany on April 1st, 1860. He was the second born of seven children. His father, Frank Schwinn, was a master carpenter; to earn your master’s rating you have to produce a “masterpiece”. Frank Schwinn masterpiece was a pump organ which is still playable today. (Both Richard Schwinn as well as his son have played that organ.) Frank died when Ignaz was only 11 years old. Like his father, Ignaz was also a craftsman and as a youth he spent time as an apprentice’s machinist, before traveling around Germany with a focused attention working on the latest technology craze that was then sweeping the world, the bicycle.

By the time Ignaz was beginning his apprenticeship the High-Wheeler, also known as the Ordinary, was the latest and greatest trend in bike design. Bikes at this time were still lacking in chain technology which meant that each pedal moved you exactly one rotation in distance forward, it seemed logical then that High Wheel Bicycle Club Group Photo - circa 1895a large wheel meant a larger rotation and a faster, more efficient, all be it dangerous ride. It is presumed that Ignaz himself spent a lot of time during his early twenties working with the Ordinary bike design, but he found himself draw to the new innovative designs of the Safety bicycle conceptualized by James Starley of England to be worth more of his attention. The Safety bicycle reduced the size of the front wheel and added the modern concept of a chain connected to gears. In his free time Ignaz tinkered with the Safety bicycle adding and improving upon the concept until one day he decided to show his own designs to a man named Henrick Kleyer. Kleyer hired Ignaz and together they produced some of the very first Safetys in Germany.

A year after he helped Kleyer build a new factory Ignaz and Kleyer had a falling out, reputedly over a coaster brake design. This was a key factor in why Ignaz and his wife, Helen, left for America. The population in Chicago in 1891, like the popularity of the bicycle, was booming; Ignaz had found his niche. He started off working at several bicycle companies, but quickly became restless and needed more space for his creativity; a meeting in 1894 would change the course of Ignaz Schwinn’s future.

1895_01The man Ignaz met was named Adolf Fredrick William Arnold. He was 11 years older than Ignaz and after cofounding the Arnold Brothers’ meat market, in 1864; he had become a very successful Chicago investor and a president of Haymarket Produce Bank. He knew opportunity when he saw it and with the sales and popularity                                                                                                                             continuing to rise in the bicycle                                                                                                                       industry he grabbed on.

In the late 1800’s the world had gone crazy for bicycles. With bicycles finally designed in a model that could be used by the general public, millions of Americans were buying and riding bicycles for the convenience, leisure, and also for the trend that had awakened in the heart of the people and publications of the day.  Bicycle races saw a growing increase in attendance and at one point the crowds following these races were larger than the audiences of baseball. Women found an increased freedom of expression that came with independent transportation and led to a fashion overhaul in women’s clothing. Roads began to be paved and whole clubs became devoted to cycling. People were enamored with the thrill and freedom that could be obtained with two wheels.

1899_01In 1895, Ignaz formed Arnold Schwinn & Company with Adoph Arnold as his financial backer – not an operating partner.  Ignaz ran the business right from the start, but had the good sense to give the money guy top billing.  With over 300 other manufactures vying for consumer attention and the overwhelming supply keeping prices on bicycles low Ignaz also had to stay business savvy. In 1899, he acquired March Davis Bicycle Company, built a new factory, and avoided joining the American Bicycle Company, a collaboration which although it controlled 75% of the bicycle trade, was bankrupt by 1903. All of these decisions ultimately helped Ignaz and Arnold survive the then impending ‘bicycle bust’.

1917_18Henry Ford released the Ford Model A in 1903; 2 years later it was apparent that adults had stopped cycling. Sales plummeted and only a dozen companies survived. With demand for bicycles stagnating, Ignaz remained aggressive about building market share, buying out small companies and, by 1908, buying Arnold out.

In 1911, Ignaz bought Excelsior Motor Manufacturing & Supply Company, a timely purchase since the motorcycle business exploded over the next 20 years. Excelsior quickly gained renown after the Excelsior model X clocked in with a record 100 mph speed, in 1912.  Ignaz seemed to find new joy in this venture. In 1914 he built what was then the largest motorcycle factory in the world and also bought a then popular, but unprofitable Henderson Brothers Motorcycle Company.  Ignaz merged these two brands and created Excelsior-Henderson. This new combined motorcycle brand soon became known for its excellent engineering as well as its luxury looks that helped launch Excelsior-Henderson to a poll position as one of the top 3 motorcycle companies behind Harley-Davidson and Indian.

7152758407_6f48fab200_zFrank W, Ignaz’s son, started to work for the family business, primarily on the motorcycle side after serving during WWI and finishing his engineering degree from Illinois Institute of Technology.

Like the bicycle trend before it, the motorcycle boom soon began to decline in the 20s. Then with the stock market crash of 1929 Ignaz, made the decision to close down the motorcycle business. He and Frank refocused their efforts on the bicycle business.  Ignaz was 71 years old and although he maintained his title of president of Arnold, Schwinn & Company and was an important part in many decisions, he began to give Frank the reigns to the family business.

Ignaz Schwinn died in 1948 at the age of 88 years old, leaving behind a legacy and ‘a name that has become synonymous with bicycle’.

Get out and ride,

Samantha

& A special thanks to Richard Schwinn for all his contributions.

 

What’s Your Favorite Song?

06-springcleaning-FBcoverimageYou may have recently seen the Dorel, Your Favorite Spring Cleaning Song Sweepstakes, on our Facebook page and with spring upon us many people do start to find ways to add a little spring to their step by cleaning out the clutter that builds up in the winter season.

Here are my 5 tips on how to remove clutter from your home, and add a bit of organization to your life this spring. Then afterwards make sure you go to our Facebook site and tell us your favorite song for a chance to win an excellent prize package at: https://www.facebook.com/rideschwinnbikes/app_548627135235912

1.  If you don’t wear it/use it, get rid of it: This one is hard for me, I love my closet of clothes, but a lot of them I have had for years and never wear; at this point it’s time to sift through what I have and decide; donate, throw it away, or keep it.

2. .Do not skimp on things that separate you from the ground – i.e. shoes, mattresses, bike/car tires: This one I recently learned from my friend who decided it was time to buy new running shoes and we both have decided it’s a rule to live by. Make sure to maintain and replace your tires, buy new shoes, and get rid of that mattress that has permanently molded to the shape of your body.

3. Make your bed in the morning: This small act may seem unimportant, but it really is a great way to start your day. Not only will your bedroom look clean, but you will also be able to check the first accomplishment off for your day. What a great start!

S13PH_266994. Find time to relax: The world is a stressful place and things move fast. Stress is a literal killer and the only way to combat it is to find a time where you can do something for yourself. Exercise, meditate, bake, go on a bike ride ;). Do something that you enjoy and that will reduce tension.

5. Allow yourself a junk drawer: I just read this idea lately, and I love it! Sometimes you need a place to just stow all the random parts of your life that don’t really have a proper place; the junk drawer can be that place of purposeful chaos.

Get Out and Ride,

Samantha

 

Schwinn International Distributor of the Year 2013: Winner Announced

Schwinn has been recognizing the hard work and dedication of our international distributors since 2001. This year the Russia Schwinn team took home the award. Jeff Weiss, the VP of International Sales & Business Development presented this award to them and was able to answer a few questions about the team and what led to their award worthy year.

The Russia International Distributor Team

The Russia International Distributor Team

Schwinn: What characteristics are considered when selecting the winner of the Schwinn International Distributor of the Year award?

Jeff: The choice is made by the international sales team; it is based upon overall commitment to the Schwinn brand, year-to-year growth, in-country marketing initiatives, and commitment to a wide breadth of bike models.

Schwinn: Why was Russia chosen as the top International Schwinn distributor this year?

A Schwinn Cruiser from the Girvas M Sport Website.

Schwinn Cruiser Image from the Girvas M Sport Website.

Jeff: Girvas M Sport, the Russian Schwinn distributor, had a spectacular year.  They grew by 360% in unit sales in 2013 over 2012.  They are the largest supporter of cruiser bikes, outside of the United States, where the model is gaining popularity with young people in Russia.  They have promoted the brand throughout the country and have been concentrating their promotional efforts of demo rides in large urban parks.  They support the full Schwinn IBD product line and are looking to expand their footprint throughout the country.

Schwinn: Where was the Russia team presented with the award?

Jeff: They were presented the award at the Taipei Cycle Show, where both brands Schwinn and Mongoose previewed their MY15 products to the international distributors.  Both brands were very well received this year and had over 30 distributors preview the lineup.

Schwinn: What was the Russian team’s response upon receiving it?

Jeff: They were very excited and extremely motivated to try and win it again next year!

Get Out and Ride!

Samantha

Green Smoothies and Biking Leprechauns

St Patrick'sThis March our office, Pacific Cycle Inc., has been focusing on nutrition and what it means to eat and drink for a healthy body and mind. So what better way to combine healthy objectives and a day devoted to green, then to make a healthy green St. Patrick’s day smoothie and then take a ride on a green Schwinn!

green dirnkkGreen smoothies are a great way to get your required amount of vegetables each day and provide great lasting energy to keep you going on a long bike ride. They can also be very simple and cheap to make. All you need is a blender, some fruits and veggies and an open mind. You can include a wide variety of ingredient into your green smoothie, but my favorites always include spinach for the benefit of the added iron. Check out one of my favorite recipes below:

Ingredients:

1 Small Frozen Banana (you can also add 1 cup of ice if you want to use a fresh banana)

1-2 Cups of Baby Spinach

1 Tbsp Creamy Peanut Butter

1/2 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk (you can use regular milk as well)

1/4 Cup plain or vanilla Greek Yogurt

Directions:

Combine all ingredients into the blender and continue to blend until smooth!

Get out and Ride!

Samantha

A Kozy Tradition: Ron Kozy

Ron Kozy has been the owner of Kozy’s Cyclery for the past 54 years and was basically born into the shop. His father first bought Kozy’s when Ron was two in 1944, and it has been in the family ever since.

The Original Kozy's: 35th Street Location

The Original Kozy’s: 35th Street Location

Schwinn: How did you get started with Kozy’s?

Ron: I started in the bike shop because of my father who owned it and I worked with him when I was ten cleaning shelves and sweeping the floor. I got paid a dime an hour, which in 1952 made me the richest kid on the block. You didn’t have electric registers then, so I would go over and punch the buttons to take my dime out every hour and put it in a special secret place.

My father died when I was 17 and I had to drop out of high school and take over the business. So I am a high school drop out. I’m pretty proud of that. A lot of bike dealers and friends helped me out when I was just getting started. I was only 17, but they were there to look up to.

Working with bikes is a big part of my family. My father was president of the National Bike Dealers Association, and so was my uncle, and then I also was president. Three presidents in my family. My son also works in the business, and the fourth is coming. We have a 12 year old, my grandson, who is starting to help around the store. That is four generations who have been working at Kozy’s!

I have been working in the bike business for 61 years, and I have been running the business for, let see, 54 years. It doesn’t look like I am getting out.

Schwinn: How has the Kozy’s of 1944 evolved to the Kozy’s we see today?

Ron: Well, at that time the War was on, and Kozy’s was just a fix it shop. We would fix pretty much everything: toasters, washing machines, and motorcycles, but we quickly progressed to become a bike dealership.

In 1948 a lot of bikes kept coming in for repair and by 1950 we had become a Schwinn dealer. Selling Schwinn bikes really got us into the bike dealership even though at that time we were still fixing the other things, but it switched pretty quickly to just a bicycle shop in the late 1960’s.

An inside view of Kozy's

An inside view of Kozy’s

Then in 1970 there was a bike boom that created a demand for adult bikes. Bicycles no longer were seen as a kid exclusive market; it became an adult market especially with the introduction of 10 speed bikes. By 1975 we had bought the North side store, then we bought another store, and then another. We just kept progressing and became better known with each store.

Schwinn: How do you direct a cyclist to the right bike for them?

Ron: We first ask what their riding type is; what they are going to use the bike for such as to commute, for pleasure, or for aided riding. If they want drop or straight handlebars is also an important factor. Then we start showing them the bikes and they’ll begin to decide what they like. Some people are also concerned with the price range and sometimes the color is important, but we make sure to match the bike up to the customer.

Schwinn: What is one tip you can give to cyclist to make sure that their bicycle lasts?

Ron: Keep air in tires. This is important so as not to dent the rim, always check your brakes for safety before you ride, and make sure to get tune ups once a year. Kozy offers two free tunes ups after you buy a bike.

Also, buy a U-Lock. The bike won’t last if you don’t have one; it will be gone. We sell a lot of locks.

Schwinn: What is one question you get asked by cyclist all the time, and how do you answer it?

Ron: What’s on sale! But we also get a lot of people who want to make sure that they can get parts for the bike, which you can for all the bikes we sell here. They also want to know what size to buy, which is why we do fittings. Making sure you buy the right fit, especially at the higher end is very important, because if it doesn’t fit, it is a waste of money.

Schwinn: What is your favorite Schwinn product that is currently available at your store?

Men's Schwinn Sporterra 1 Hybrid

Men’s Schwinn Sporterra 1 Hybrid

Ron: The kid bikes are great and really popular right now in general, but for the adults the fixie bikes (fixed-gear bicycles) and the hybrids are really nice and very competitively priced and work well for us.

Schwinn: What was your first bike?

Ron: Well, it would have had to have been a Schwinn, but I don’t remember what type exactly.

Schwinn: Do  you have any good stories about a Schwinn?

Ron: A lot of people recall that their first bike was a Schwinn, because it has always been the name, or ‘I bought my first bike at Kozy and it was a Schwinn’, or ‘my dad bought my first bike, a Schwinn at Kozy’s’

Schwinn: What keeps you excited about cycling and Kozy’s Cyclery today?

Ron: Good weather, some days in the spring are so busy it can be hard to handle! With 4 stores it gets to be a pretty big operation, but it’s exciting to see us develop staff and to see them grow, become more knowledgeable, and improve their mechanics.

As far as product, electric bikes, Schwinn actually started it, and it is expanding.

It is also exciting to watch Chicago become more bike-friendly; with all the bike trails being made there are a lot more areas to ride.

Schwinn: Do you still ride, Ron?

Ron: When I was younger I was a big bicycle rider, but I had less time as I got older and I took over the business. I would go out with a few clubs early-on to bike to restaurants, but there just is not enough time.  Now I ride an electric bike, and the reason is because I ride it more…it motivates me to get out more.

Get out and Ride!

Samantha

Announcing: Schwinn’s Love in Tandem Winner

Jennifer Beth has won the Schwinn Love in Tandem contest this year with the help of her friend Ryan, by showing us that a shark costume can be even more fierce if worn by two people.  As one of our Facebook Followers says, “Anyone willing to be trapped in a costume like that for any period of time deserves a tandem.”

Jennifer and Ryan

Jennifer and Ryan

We were not quite sure what to expect when we asked our followers to submit pictures of themselves and a loved one doing something in tandem to prove to us that they deserved a Schwinn Tango Tandem bike. Other than asking people to keep it clean the possibilities were endless. We received all sorts of pictures; some entrants showed pictures of their families, some of their pets, others of their significant other, but what they all showed us was that there are many definitions to love.

This video is meant to honor all the love that was shared with us this February and remind us all what love is.

Schwinn Love: Jimmy & Cathy

 

I first saw Cathy and Jimmy while browsing Pinterest for pictures of Schwinn bikes. While scrolling down an endless feed of pictures I couldn’t help, but pause when I saw a beaming bride and groom standing in front of a blue Schwinn. I had to know more! I quickly contacted the photographer, Jill Corona, from her blog, The Little Crown, and asked if she could get me in touch with Cathy and Jimmy.

A few weeks later I was on the phone with the energetic young couple.

Schwinn: I have to ask you guys my favorite question to ask all married couples! How did the two of you first meet?

Cathy: Do you want the long version or the short version?

Schwinn: Oh, definitely the long version!

Cathy: Jimmy and I had this mutual friend, Kim who had always wanted to set us up, but it never really worked out until a Halloween party in 2010. Jimmy had gotten really into it that year and had spent all day trying to create the most realistic zombie costume possible. He went all out, white contacts, gloves, everything.

Jimmy: Cathy was at the party with some of her friends and when our friend went to introduce us…

Cathy: I said, “I’m sure you’re a nice guy, but I can’t even look at you!”

It wasn’t until 6 months later when they would see each other again at another party hosted by a mutual friend.

Cathy: He came up to me and told me a joke and we both ended up knowing a bunch of them in the same genre. We spent the rest of the night laughing and sharing the ones we knew. At the end of the night Jimmy asked if he could call me and I told him he could get my number from his friend Kim, but really I thought that would be the end of it.

Cathy: But the next day I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I knew he was hanging out with our friend Kim, so I found a way to set up a time for us to walk our dogs together the next day. We haven’t been apart since.

JC2

Within a few months Jimmy’s dog moved in with Cathy, then Jimmy moved in, within a year they were engaged, and then married less than 10 months later on January 5th, 2013.

Schwinn: Did you ever have any worries about it moving so quickly?

Cathy: No, things moved quickly, because we both knew what we were looking for and we found that in each other. Even after being married for a year we still feel like we are in the honeymoon phase.

Schwinn: How important was biking to both of you before you met?

Jimmy: Less than a year before I met Cathy my good friend got me into bikes, I had Schwinn bikes growing up, but I treated them hard like any boy does. My friend had a garage full of vintage Schwinn bicycles. I bought one from him, and then I bought more on my own. I currently have about 7 vintage Schwinn bikes in my garage. The first bike I got Cathy was a 66′ Schwinn Starlet with a tank; she fell in love with it!

Cathy: When we first got together he had maybe three, and I liked them too, but I didn’t know what it was all about.

Jimmy: At one point when we had moved in together I had eleven!

Cathy: I have started to get into it too, when we went on our vacation in Tucson we found a copper tandem Schwinn, and this time I decided we needed to have it.

Cathy: The thing with Jimmy is that he has this strict philosophy that you should respect the original bike. He never replaces the paint of a bike instead he buffs it until it shines, because he loves the character of it. Sometimes I try to describe the pros and cons of each Schwinn bike, but I almost always refer to Jimmy.

Jimmy: Most of the bikes I’ve refurbished. I’ll buy them in really terrible condition, rusted, oxidized, and I’ll just slowly start cleaning it. Part by part, often times while on the floor watching TV. I would just use some coke a cola and aluminum foil and just start buffing it to fix the chrome and make it shine like new again.

Cathy: His favorite bike right now is his 57’ Schwinn Spitfire. When he first got it, it was brown; it was supposed to be red.

Jimmy: I just kept buffing it,  removing the rust with a deoxidizing compound, and re-waxed it until it finally came back to this really radiant red.

Cathy: Oh, before we got married Jimmy’s favorite was this Black American Tank Schwinn.

Jimmy:  (laughs) They’re both my favorites. I found the Black American Tank with a working light, I didn’t even chance the bulb! It is the original, and it actually still works. That doesn’t usually happen!

Schwinn: Why did you decide to incorporate biking and Schwinn in to your wedding?

Cathy:  We were really trying to find a way to put our personality into our wedding and biking is such a big part of our lives. We asked our wedding coordinator if bikes would even be allowed to be incorporated. Her first comment was that no one had ever asked her that before, but then she just said ‘what do you want to do?’

JC3

Schwinn: I saw picture of the wedding party with Schwinn bicycles as well. Was everyone on board?

Cathy: Kim was a bit nervous. She was Jimmy’s ‘best woman’ and was worried, because she was supposed to ride the bike in public while wearing her dress. Dresses and bikes don’t seem like the best combination. But we got her a long dress and it all worked out.

JC4Schwinn: There is a picture of Jimmy riding a Schwinn down the aisle. How did the crowd respond to that?

Jimmy: It actually wasn’t just me, but all the best people did.

Cathy: The crowd was really surprised. Before they came out the song, ‘Bike’ by Pink Floyd started playing. We chose it because there is this one line that goes…

Jimmy: (starts singing the song) ‘You’re the kind of girl that fits in with my world. I’ll give you anything, everything if you want things.’

Cathy: The rest of the words are a bit odd, but that line is perfect and it’s a great song to ride a bike down the aisle to.

Jimmy: It just fit the theme. The crowd didn’t know what was happening right away when they heard the song, but when the bikes came out it made sense and they loved it.

The bikes stayed parked outside the reception area which was held in a barn to complement the couples New England roots.

Schwinn: What role has biking played in your life post wedding?

Jimmy: We frequently ride especially if we want to get out of the house, check out the neighborhood and houses for sale, or go to the local farmers market. We were going to yard sales on bikes for a while.

Cathy: That ended up getting hysterical! We started with just buying small things that we could put in our baskets, but then Jimmy bought a Rototiller! He had to balance it on the bike all the way home, because he refused to go get the car. We have found ways to carry a lot of things on our bikes.

Cathy: A lot of our friends are getting bikes now too. Recently we went and checked out Christmas lights together. Jimmy also got one of our friends set up with a double basket in the back and she had to go to the grocery store right away to try it out!

Jimmy: There is also a bar just 3 miles away that we will often meet friends at.

Cathy: We go out bar hopping on the bikes, or we’ve gotten involved in events like the Tour de Fat.

Jimmy: It’s always something more fun than serious and often there is some kind of drinking component.

Cathy: This year at the Tour de Fat we wore Handlebar mustaches!

Schwinn: So you just celebrated your first anniversary; congratulations! What kind of advice would you offer other newlyweds?

Cathy: We weren’t expecting a question like that. Let me think…

Jimmy: Live together first!

Cathy: Jimmy!

Jimmy: You get to really know the person you will be with that way…

Cathy: Marry someone who makes you happy, while you’re dating. My mom always used to say that when you are dating is when you’ll be happiest, but we actually keep getting happier. The person you are with should make you happy, make you laugh, and always support you no matter what, they should be your best friends and your right hand.

JC5

Jimmy: Marry someone who is also not completely like you, but has different interest and likes different things then you. Like shouldn’t marry like, you need to find the balance of difference and similarities to keep things light, fun, and interesting.

To see more photos by Jill Corona head over to her blog at:

http://www.jillandthelittlecrown.blogspot.com/

Get out and ride!

Samantha