Biking to School: Why, When, and How

Many adults can recall a time when they took their bicycles anywhere and everywhere, sometimes miles from home without a backward glance from their parents. However, the times have changed and safety has increasingly become a well-founded concern for parents of young children.S13PH_21147

The dual questions of: when is my child ready to bike to school alone and will they be able to get from home to school and back safely continue to rise parental concern and leave parents asking is it worth the risk to even let them bike?

So let’s break it down!

AGE:

lilly1The age a child starts biking to school is a big concern for many parents, but there is really no right answer to this because every child is different and develops at different times. For some children this can be as early as third grade or perhaps younger, for others it may mean middle school is the best time for them to begin biking. Therefore, it is important to go by what feels right to you as a parent, for your child, and your family. A great way to learn if your child is ready is to start by biking with them to school. This way you can see where their skill level is at and if there are things they still need to learn you can teach them as they go. After you believe they might be ready you can always do what my father did and follow them, secretly, in the car to reassure yourself that they are in fact ready to bike on their own.

Another great way to let your child ease into biking to school is by starting out young and giving them levels of freedom. Perhaps first they are just allowed to bike around the block alone. Then to a nearby park; each time increasing the distance and practicing this new form of communication.

If you are not comfortable with your student biking alone it is possible that a bike train in your community already exists or you could create one. A bike train is a group of children who bike to school together every day and are led by an adult supervisor. For more information click here.

Fact: According to the Safe Routes to School website: “In 1969, 48 percent of children 5 to 14 years of age usually walked or bicycled to school. Compare that to 2009, where 13 percent of children 5 to 14 years of age usually walked or bicycled to school.

SAFETY:

lilly2Many parents’ biggest fears are about traffic and safety and living in an area with high levels of traffic make this quite understandable. To address this concern it is good practice to ask yourself if biking to school is a possible option for your child, for some parents who live far away or in a very busy town the answer may be no, but perhaps there is another route to school that is safe for your child. If a safe route exists you can ride with your child and teach them how to ride the route safely; where the stop signs are; where they should be riding their bike; and areas where they may have to be more cautious.

Secondly, more general safety concerns can be prevented by teaching your child both the rules of the road and safe practices such as wearing a helmet every time they are on their bicycle. These lessons can be instilled early and be non-negotiable rules when your child is on their bike. For more educational information about safe riding and how to correctly wear a helmet check out the Bicycle Safer Journey which provides videos and quizzes to educate your child and have them sign the pledge to wear there helmet every time they ride their bike on Helmets on Heads

HEALTH:

Lilly3Finally, it is easy to say that there are just too many concerns and questions to deal with or that the risk is not worth it, but conceder this. According to Momentum Magazine “studies demonstrate that a 30-minute walk or bike ride to school greatly increase a child’s ability to focus in the class room”. To top that, the USDA recommends 60 minutes of physical activity for children each day. With the staggering numbers reported pertaining to childhood obesity and inactiveness biking proves to be a potentially successful way for children to not only hit their levels of active minutes each day and maintain a healthy weight, but also be more focused in school.

RESOURCES:

For more information check out these great resources!

Safe Routes to School: http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/

Bicycle Safer Journey: http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/bicyclesaferjourney/

Helmets on Heads: http://www.helmetsonheads.org/

Get Out and Ride!

-Samantha C.

 

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National Center for Safe Routes to School and Schwinn’s Helmets on Heads Mini-Grants Program

safe_routes_to_schools_logoThe National Center for Safe Routes to School and Schwinn’s Helmets on Heads program are teaming up to provide 25 $1,000 mini-grants to 25 schools across the country.  These mini-grants support a common goal of both organizations: to support educators, communities and families in encouraging children to safely bike to school.

“Communities across the country continue to be creative and successful in finding ways to make it safer for children to bicycle to school,” says Lauren Marchetti, Director of the National Center.  “We want to use these mini-grants to help support schools in their efforts to cultivate a culture of safe bicycling and helmet use for students.”

Applications are now being accepted for mini-grant activities planned for the second half of the 2014-2015 school year. These funds can be used to fund activities ranging from the nuts and bolts to help start or sustain bicycling programs, to new, inspiring ideas that explore the range of benefits of safe bicycling.  Selected mini-grant proposals will fit a school’s needs and interests around safe bicycling and helmet safety education, and will require that correct helmet use be a mandatory component of any program. Recipients are also asked to share the Helmets on Heads pledge with students or youth involved in their program.

Helmets-on-heads-blog“Schwinn, through the Helmets on Heads initiative, is excited to team up with the National Center to offer support to schools throughout the U.S.,” says Milissa Rick, Global Director of Consumer Activation, Pacific Cycle. “These grants will aid local communities in educating children and parents about the importance of wearing a helmet each and every time they ride a bicycle. And we think that this kind of local level education is one of the best ways to help instill good cycling habits.”

Mini-grant applications are due Wednesday, October 22, 2014, and award winners will be announced in December. The mini-grant activities should occur between January 1, 2015, and the end of the Spring 2015 semester.

Download the application or apply online.

For More Information Contact:

Colleen Vasu

Communications Manager, Safe Routes to School Programs

vasu@hsrc.unc.edu

(919) 962-7769

A Petite Retreat: Bike Getaway

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As we head into fall, the leaves begin to change and the air starts to acquire a coolness to it, and there seems to me no better way to spend the day than in the saddle. But why not take that up a notch and spend a whole weekend on the bike relaxing with friends, family, or a loved one in a mini-vacation before school starts, the work days get long, and the weather turns south?

Why not?

That is exactly what I thought when I started planning my own petite bicycle retreat with my mom this past month.

Now you may be thinking that a mini vacation would be more of a hassle than it is worth, but a petite retreat doesn’t have to be too expensive or too time consuming to plan. In fact, it can be rather simple, easy, and fun!

Here are a few tips that I learned from planning my own petite retreat:

1. You don’t have to travel too far.

With many cities beginning to adapt their town to include more bike paths and bike friendly layouts a weekend bike getaway can be a fun way to explore nearby areas, a change of scenery, new food, and local shops, without spending too much money on traveling expenses.

The city I planned on going to, Dubuque, Iowa, intrigued me because of its historical background, closeness to the Mississippi River, and its interesting bike paths of course!

A simple Google search of either the best cities for a vacation or bike routes in your state or surrounding region can help you narrow down your options too.

2. Stay the night or plan for a day.

Staying a night or two and making it a whole weekend trip would make your mini-vacation actually feel like a true getaway, and with new online apps for cheaper hotel pricing you can keep it rather affordable (after all you just need a place to clean up and lay your head at night since there is so much to do!).

If you can’t stay the night you can still make it a full day by simply packing a change of clothes and something to freshen up with, so that after your ride you can explore the town.

3. Do a bit of research.

The Fenelon Elevator

The Fenelon Elevator

Since you only have the weekend, make sure to check out the town you are going to before you go. This way you will already know what trails are offered, the distance of each of them, and you can plan which you want to ride.

You can also check out what else the town has to offer before you go;  you can then make sure to see and do the highlights off your list. (Especially research the food, you can never go wrong with a highly-rated, local restaurant and after your bike ride you are going to be hungry!)

4. Pack what you already have.

Now in my case I felt it was necessary to get my mom some bike shorts, anyone who has experienced long distance biking with and without these wonderful padded shorts would know why, but really you don’t need to buy too much when heading out on your petite retreat (unless of course you don’t already have a bike… that could be an issue).

The trick is to use what you have and make it work.

If like us your bike rack isn’t on the vehicle you are taking or you don’t have one, you can simply remove the front tire and lay blankets between the bikes to prevent scratching. (This may require more maneuvering, but where there is a will…)

As far as clothing goes, wear what you normally wear when you bike, unless of course you see this as a good excuse to get that new kit you have been looking at all Summer (Not that I did that or anything… but there were owls on it and it supported breast cancer. How could I say no?).

5. Buy what you will need.

IMG_0555There are somethings that you may just need to buy if you don’t have them already.

I suggest first and foremost having some form of a water bottle to rehydrate you. If you haven’t experienced it, I cannot even begin to explain how awful dehydration can be and how quickly that can set in without you realizing it when you are biking.

I also would highly suggest bringing tools for your tires in case you should need to fix a flat. We are bringing a patch kit, a spare tire, and a frame pump, because I am not taking any chances!

You may also need snacks, sunscreen, or other items depending on where you are riding, how far you are going, and what your individual needs are. Check out our article Top Ten: Energizing Snacks for Those “Longer” Rides for a few snack tips.

So like a Boy Scout; be prepared!

6. Ready the bike!

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Our attempt at a Sefie!

Finally, make sure that your bike is in good condition before you take it out on any ride. The tires should be inflated at the appropriate psi for the type of bike it is and be sure your brakes are in good working order.  Having a bike that is tuned up for your ride makes all the difference between a nice relaxing and enjoyable experience and one that is not so great, so don’t neglect to check!

With that, get out, explore your surrounding areas, relax a little, enjoy the September weather, HAVE FUN, and ride!

-Samantha C

Restoring a Classic: Petr and the Jaguar

Recently Petr, of the Czech Republic, sent us some stunning pictures of his 1962 Schwinn Jaguar that took him almost five months to restore. Intrigued, we asked him to tell us a bit more about how he transformed an old frame he bought on ebay to a bicycle that is now truly a work of art!Jaguar9

In February of this year Petr unfortunately found himself without a driver’s license for three months… he may have been going a tad too fast. So faced with no means of auto transportation he thought about what alternatives he had to stay independently mobile. He quickly remembered his time spent in Maui, Hawaii, a few years back and about the abundance and convenience of the beach cruiser.

His solution, why not build one of his own?

He took to the Internet and quickly stumbled upon pictures of old classic Schwinn cruisers and fell in love with the style. After a few more clicks and Petr had purchased an old Jaguar frame on ebay!Jag

Once the frame finally arrived in the Czech Republic, the biggest difficulty in refurbishing the frame was painting the bicycle. Fortunately Petr currently works as a master at a powder coating company; in other words he has the skills necessary to give the Jaguar a paint job that would last and truly set this refurbishment apart.  He utilized three colors, a light blue, a dark blue, and a white for the stripes, painting it layer after layer and finally finishing with a pearlescent final paint to give the bike that glittery shine.

Another difficulty was in finding the right parts to fit the threads. The threads utilized currently in the Czech Republic are not the same threads that were used in 1962. This is a problem many classical Schwinn refurbishment enthusiasts run into and which Petr solved by patience. The waiting game and expense was just another part of the process and with most of the parts coming from the U.S. he slowly collected everything necessary to complete the Jaguar. Sometimes this patience was harder to come by as Petr explained to us; originally he had purchased white pedals for the bike, but because of problems with shipping they were delayed. Unable to wait to take his first ride he bought some black pedals and made new threads for them so that he could get on the bike and ride right away!

Jaguar2Finally, his last trial was putting the decals on the Jaguar. He had hoped to buy the original water decals online, but found that an original was too expensive. His solution was to simply make his own. Petr used his background in computer design to remake the stickers that he has seen posted on ebay to draw a copy of them. They are almost identical to the original, except for the one on the seat tube, which he said was because he just couldn’t print such tiny letters.

Ironically the total work on the 1962 Jaguar took Petr almost five months to complete, meaning he had his car back before the bicycle was even ready to go. Yet, with all that time and dedication poured into one bicycle it is easy to imagine Petr’s feelings when he finally got on the bike.

As soon as he took the first ride, he fell in love!Jaguar11

Check out the complete process in pictures of Petr’s Jaguar restoration below!

Get Out and Ride!

– Samantha C.

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Peddler’s Creamery: We All Bike for Ice Cream

peddlers6Schwinn: When did you first know that you wanted to open an ice cream shop?

Edward: My first job was at an ice cream shop in high school and I realized I may never have a job again where I was able to make all the customers happy! That and it had some delicious perks. So I knew I would someday like to run my own shop.

peddlers3Schwinn: Did biking play a part in your life before Peddler’s Creamery? How so?

Edward: Of course, since childhood bicycling has provided that exercise outlet, you get to travel and observe the world, but at the same time clear your mind, relax and just have smile on your face. I love commuting via bicycle or taking a ride in the local mountains or trails for amazing scenic vistas!

Schwinn: What was the inspiration for including bicycles as a means to producing the ice cream of Peddler’s Creamery?

Edward: I like to think of new creative ways to do things that will be sustainable, this idea came about by combining two things I loved, bicycling and ice cream.

Schwinn: How did you make your dream a reality? Were there any setbacks in the beginning?

Edward: I decided to go for it and haven’t looked back. It’s like riding a century, there are always bumps along on the road or flat tires to be overcome, but the views at the waypoints and the people you meet along the path make it worth it!

Schwinn: What sort of reaction did you receive from people when you told them you wanted to make ice cream with a bicycle as your means of energy?

Edward: They were pretty excited actually and I still love new customers coming in and enjoying the concept for the first time!

Schwinn: Not a lot of businesses have found success on Kickstarter. Why do you think people were inspired to help you?

Edward: I think for two reasons, one I was lucky to have many amazing friends, family and customers that supported us ; and two , I think the concept resonated with folks looking to support and business that was focused on making sure that people, and the planet were taken care  of and it was just a fun idea.

Schwinn: Why did you choose to use Schwinn bicycles for this project?

Edward: Because Schwinn is an American Icon, just like Ice Cream.

Schwinn: How has the bicycle been modified to turn ice cream?

Edward: We set up the bicycle on a stand and connected it to a kinetic sculpture and an old fashioned churner via chains.

Schwinn: How long does it take to turn a batch of ice cream?

Edward: 15-20 minutes

Schwinn: How do you think that Peddler’s has created such a loyal customer base and how have you been able to continue to grow within your community?

Edward: Peddlers has a great positive energy and we strive to make our customers happy. We are a fun place to stop in and a place where your tastebuds and your soul can both feel great!

Schwinn: Is all the ice cream sold at Peddler’s Creamery turned by bicycle?

Edward: You bet! That’s the fun part!

peddlers7Schwinn: What is the most unique flavor the Creamery currently offers? What is the most popular flavor?

Edward: Perhaps our raspberry poptart, a crowd favorite. Most popular would be salted caramel , Mexican chocolate , and mint chocolate cookie.

Schwinn: What is the biggest challenge to making ice cream by bike?

Edward: Telling folks that they are finished after churning out a batch, sometimes they want to keep on going.

Schwinn: Your ice cream and other deserts include fair trade, organic and locally sourced products. Why were you confident in picking the more expensive resources?

Edward: These premium ingredients  ensure we have amazing ice cream, but just as important our customers can enjoy the ice cream knowing that they are contributing to a better world one delicious scoop at a time!

Schwinn: Biking is pretty prevalent in your work life, but do you still bike on your own time?

Edward: Of course! I love to ride when I have free time. I just rode the LA River Ride Century in June!

peddlers4Schwinn: The creamery is also a Benefits Corporation; giving back 5% of their profits to environmental and social issues, how do you think this has affected your business? How do you envision Peddler’s Creamery inspiring other businesses to take these progressive steps?

Edward: We love supporting the greater community and the work that the groups around us do: from the National Forest Foundation, Los Angeles county Bicycling Coalition, Habitat for humanity, to the Downtown Women’s Center. By making this business a success I believe we can help pave the class one bike path for others.

Schwinn: Everyone loves ice cream, so we have to ask when is Peddler’s coming to Madison? What is in store for Peddler’s in the next few years; can we get a sneak peek at the future plans?

Edward: You never know, we might be out there sometime soon!

Thank you Edward for the scoop 😉

Get Out and Ride (anyone up for some ice cream?)

-Samantha

Biking for Fitness: A 40-something Woman’s Journey

As a relatively new employee at Schwinn – I just celebrated my one year anniversary, I have decided to embark on a new journey with biking.  Since a child, my bicycling has consisted of casual riding with friends, my family, and the occasional ride at work with colleagues for a company outing.  I must say I love my Schwinn Cream (see pic below).  It is a fabulously, smooth-riding, classically-pretty bicycle with a basket, bell, and rack.

Me posing next to my Schwinn Cream

However, I have been inspired to try cycling this Summer for fitness. I have read that bicycling can be a great workout for my entire body and  I have been looking to develop better muscle tone in my legs, trim my waistline and increase my cardio heath.  Biking just made sense to me at this time in my life and career.

I am so committed to this journey that I have also agreed to blog about my experience as a novice over the course of the next few months.  I hope you enjoy the ride; perhaps you will also feel inspired and decide to join me!  We would love to hear about your journey too.

In preparation for this new adventure, I thought I would make use of the vast knowledge of my colleagues and interview one of my team members that I know bikes for fitness—Dave Duecker, Schwinn Brand Director.  Dave has been cycling his entire life; and has used bicycling as a way to maintain his health.  He has participated in many cycling events over the years, including the impressive Iron Man competition.  The following interview with Dave took place as I prepared to start my journey.

Milissa: How did you begin your journey with bicycling for fitness and why?

Dave: I was always fairly active with cycling growing up and all throughout school.  I have a history of heart disease in my family and cycling is a great way for me to stay fit.

10329199_642165735872697_7427979180040045537_nMilissa: What are the major health benefits of biking besides getting toned and reducing stress (two of the reasons why I am starting)?

Dave: Cycling will help improve your overall cardiovascular fitness, and there are studies out there that cite that cycling can help decrease the risk of coronary heart disease.  I think more importantly it is a great low-impact mode of exercise.   For anyone who has joint conditions or injuries in their legs or hips, which might keep them from being active; cycling is one of the best options to stay fit and active.

Milissa: What do you recommend as a cycling regimen for someone who is easing into biking like me?

Dave: I think the most important thing is to enjoy and embrace the total experience.  Just get out and ride and take in everything that nature has to offer.  Don’t be intimidated by spandex and shaved legs!  Don’t put pressure on yourself to finish in a time or maintain a certain speed.  Start slow, cycling uses different muscles than a lot of other type of exercises and it may take time for your body to get used to this type of activity.  That being said, make sure you have the proper equipment.

Milissa: What type of bike and equipment would you recommend; what items can you not live without on your bike?

Dave: Obviously you need a bike and the Schwinn Fastback if a great option!  However, any bike will do, just make sure it has been properly maintained, that the tires are inflated, the saddle is adjusted to the proper height, etc.  The most important thing is to have a helmet and it must pass CPSC and fit properly.   There are no exceptions on this one – you must wear a helmet!  You should also carry basic equipment like a bike repair kit and learn basic bike maintenance, such as how to change a tire, how to put your chain back on, and how to adjust your saddle.

Milissa: How can I expect to feel after riding?  In two weeks, two months, etc.

Dave: You should feel tired after a good ride, but not completely exhausted.  The first few weeks will be tough as your legs and lungs are getting used to the new activity.  After the initial few weeks, hopefully you will feel great and look forward to getting out on the next ride.

Milissa: What is the best time of the day to ride?

Dave: I love getting out early mornings.  I ride with a group every Tuesday and Thursday morning.  We meet at 5:30 am and ride for about 1-1/2 hours.    The sun is just coming up, there is very little traffic and all you hear is the wheels on the pavement.  After that ride, my head is clear and I have a ton of energy to get me through the day.  There is a group here at work that gets out for a lunch ride on a regular basis as well.  These rides are great as it breaks up the day.  We are fortunate to live in Madison as the cycling is great here.

Milissa: How should I track my progress?

Dave1Dave: There are a number of ways to track you progress.  I use Strava, but to be honest there are a many times I just go out and ride to see where the roads take me.  Last week my 14 year old daughter and I went out for a Sunday afternoon ride – we just went out on the road for about an hour and a half.  The cool thing is we saw a deer and its fawn run across a road.  How cool is that!  I was not worried about my rank on a segment, etc.  The one thing I do recommend is to set a personal goal.

Milissa: What is a good goal for me to set?

Dave: That depends on what you want to accomplish:  a 50 mile ride, a Century, ride three times a week, etc.  Charity rides are excellent.  They support wonderful causes, offer a ton of support on the ride, and the roads are managed by the event so traffic is typically reduced. A few events I have attended include the Birkebeinerrittet (The Birkebeiner Cycling Race in Norway), Kickapoo Kicker (local Wisconsin race), Ironman WI and a couple of the WORS MTB races (Wisconsin Off Road Series).

Milissa: Do you have any words of advice to a beginner?

Dave: Just go out and enjoy everything cycling has to offer!

Thanks Dave for all the advice.  I’m so excited to get out there and do it. 

Game on y’all.  This is going to be fun.

Get out and ride!

Milissa

From Mountain to Hybrid: “Whose Bike is that?”

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So you’re ready to switch to a new bike, huh? Well I’m in the same boat.  I’ve been riding around on the same mountain bike for far too many years now. It still rides great, don’t get me wrong, but I think it’s time to upgrade this bad boy for a bike in a popular new segment that has been catching my eye.

In recent years, bicycle designers noticed a growing trend in the number of casual, recreational and commuter bicyclists. This is the category I would drop myself into and most of the riders these days. They also realized that these bicyclists have different desires for how they want their bicycles to look and perform. So what did the bicycle designers do? They created a cross functional bike called the “hybrid” bike. This bike is the best of all worlds. It is perfect for riding to work, leisurely roaming around scenic unpaved trails, or just causally rolling down the street.

After dragging alongside with all my friends and co-workers on my old mountain bike, trying to keep up to them and then seeing how much my bike weighed compared to their light commuter bikes, I realized I needed something new. My mountain bike had the tire size, tire threads, and frame weight that was perfect for when I was riding on mountain bike trails, but it lacked the comfort, ease of use, and style I was looking for when I found myself wanting to bike to work every day.

Along came the hybrid. As soon as I saw it I was attracted to it.Screen-Shot-2012-12-06-at-12.06.41-PM  A lot of people I work with have these superfast, lightweight, carbon-framed road bikes with the skinny ole’ tires, but I quickly realized that that was not my style. What the hybrid offered me that road bikes didn’t was what appeared to be, a hell of a lot more comfort. The saddles on those bikes were so small and with no cushion! Not only that but I would constantly have to scope out each trail trying to dodge every bump because of the lack of suspension in the front forks. Call me lazy for not wanting to avoid every pot hole and bump on my bike ride, but I enjoy the ease of bicycling.

After I found what style of bicycle I was looking for, the finer search began as I looked for what specific model would appeal to my desires the most. I quickly turned to the Schwinn Bikes website. There I found a wide range of bikes, each with their own unique features.  With prices varying from $210 – $980, I felt like I didn’t have to break open my piggy bank to find the perfect bike.

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So I stuck to the features I wanted to find in my bike. I wanted a comfy stature while riding, not leaning too forward and not so far back where I’d be sitting straight up. Then the suspension fork; got to have it. I’m not trying to get rattled to smithereens if I decide to take off road it and take the gravel trail home.  Of course I need 24-speeds for maximum comfort when riding any terrain, and up or down hill. Last on my need list was disc brakes. I didn’t want to be riding to work and NOT have the option to stop on a dime if a squirrel was to dart right in front of me. (You see, you always have to be thinking about others when you make your choices too; it’s not always about you.)

So with my wishes and the animal’s consideration in place, I narrowed it down to the perfect bike for a commuter/recreational style rider like me. The Schwinn Searcher 2.The features on this bicycle matched my description perfectly.S14_700M_Searcher2_SLV

  • Suspension fork: SR Suntour® NEX suspension fork with hydraulic lock-out create a smooth responsive ride. Check.
  • Stylish: this model comes in a sleek gray with black and red accents. Not too much flash but not dull either. Check.
  • 24 Speeds: Shimano Alivio®/Acera® components with 24-speeds and Shimano Acera Rapid Fire+® shifters for quick shifting. Check.
  • Disc brakes: Tektro Novella disc brakes for extra stopping power, CHECK!

My next step was to find the right size.  I’m an average height kind of guy coming in around 5’10, 5’11 on a good day, so I asked some of my friends who are avid bike riders and they suggested that a “medium” bike would fit me just fine. For all you taller folks out there, 6’0” is on average the cutoff where you would find yourself looking at a Large or X-Large bike size.

 

Finally, the purchase! That moment when all of your hard work searching for the right bike pays off! Now in my opinion, this is the most exciting phase of finding a bike, so hang on to your seats because your about to be riding around in a brand new bike that all your friends are going to be eyeing up.

Get out and ride!

– Aric

Schwinn’s Love in Tandem Valentine’s Day Competition

Who wouldn’t want to win a Schwinn Tandem bike?S14_26U_TangoTandem_SLV

That is exactly what we thought!

The Schwinn Team insisted on doing something to celebrate that special day of the year that spreads joy, friendship, and love…just like our bikes do 😉

Thus is born the Schwinn “Love in Tandem” contest.

It is so easy to enter and super fun.  You simply need a Facebook account or Vine account.  Followers on Facebook need to post a picture of themselves and a loved one doing something in sync and use the #schwinnlove to tag the photo.  The content may or may not include a bike; just keep it clean!  The more unique and clever the better.

For Vine users, they are asked to create a unique Vine video of themselves and a loved one doing something together in sync and hashtag the video #schinnlove.

The idea is that if you can prove that you and a friend or sweetheart are able to do one thing in sync then you will also be  able to ride the prize, a new Schwinn Tandem bike.

Check out fan photos on our Ride Schwinn Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/rideschwinnbikes?ref=br_tf .

You can see Vine videos at Ride Schwinn on Vine at https://vine.co/u/1034952722497351680 .

Oh, and If you haven’t had a chance to check out Schwinn on Pinterest, Schwinn Bikes http://www.pinterest.com/schwinnbikes/ released its Schwinn Love Valentine’s day board today, which is filled with Valentine’s Day inspired bikes, and lots of love!

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Let’s go for a ride!

Samantha and Milissa

It’s As Easy As Riding a Bike: New Year! New Blog!

It’s as easy as riding a bike.

Man with a Penny Farthing

Man with a Penny Farthing

Well, in the eighteen hundreds that wasn’t so true. A cyclist in the nineteenth century had to climb atop a lofty, unstable, mobile structure, while carefully maintaining balance atop a giant thin wheel. It was no wonder that when these bicycles, now known as Penny-Farthings, originated in 1871 that very few people dared to master that feat. Plus it was impractical and expensive if your goal was quick mobility or just a bit of exercise.

Yet sheer innovation, skill, and motivation drove inventors to reimagine the Penny-Farthing in order to make what we now know to be the modern bicycle. Ignaz Schwinn and Adolph Frederick William Arnold first set up their company in Chicago in 1895 and quickly created bicycles that were accessible for everyone. Since then individuals and families alike have grown up knowing the bicycle to be a common part of life. Learning to ride a bike has become a staple in many childrens’ memories of growing up. It evokes that first sense of freedom and independence that comes with finally being able to leave the childhood yard and cruise the neighborhood with your own two wheels.

For me finally learning to ride my first bike meant that I could spend hours riding up and down the drive way singing Disney songs, and trying out new tricks with my friends. For others it meant even more. Still the time spent on a bike is more than memories of the past; it is a crisp sense of the now and a time to envision the goals of the future.

In the year of 2014, Schwinn is celebrating the passion and lifestyle that has always surrounded the bicycle. Along with our new Instagram and Pinterest accounts, this blog, SchwinnRed will actively explore the joy of the bicycle by celebrating the recreational rider, offering tips and tricks for the everyday cyclist and families, as well as promoting fitness and a casual outdoor lifestyle. It will also reveal real stories from both the past as well as today, while sharing new things that are to come both for Schwinn and cyclists in 2014 and beyond.Schwinn red bikes

The bicycle will continue to remain ever important in our lives. It is an intrinsic part of each stage of our life; from the moment a parent lets go of the handle bars and we take our first strides of independence, to the time that we laugh and say, “It’s as easy as riding a bike.”

Get out and ride!

Samantha