Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Chicago: Land of Schwinn

So, I've been out of town for a few days, back to Chicago, where we used to live. Although it was not the primary purpose for my trip, I couldn't help but take a whole lot of photos of all the old bikes hanging around my old neighborhood of Hyde Park (and President Obama's neighborhood, woot!), and the campus of the University of Chicago. There are waaay more old bikes around than when I used to live there, go figure.

In the heyday of the mid-twentieth century bicycle boom, Chicago was to Schwinn as Nottingham was to Raleigh. Nowadays, Schwinns are no longer built in Chicago, nor are they likely to last as long as these bikes have.

I have another post or two in the queue about all the neglected old bikes I saw, but all of these seemed to have been used fairly recently, if not necessarily kept in the best shape.

Many of the bikes I encountered, including several of the above, had stickers from the Working Bikes Cooperative, which I've posted about before.


  1. Beautiful Schwinns! I hope you're enjoying Chicago.

  2. My sister would give her left pinkie toe for that yellow Schwinn. So cute!

  3. We should give some of the stimulus money to a company like Schwinn to resurrect a US based bike manufacturing plant that makes these old style every day bikes.

  4. You might find my post for today interesting:

  5. @ Dottie: I always do enjoy Chicago, although I can't say that was always the case when I lived there.

    @ ianchowmiller: I'm glad I don't live there anymore because I think I would have to "steal" some bikes--but only the obviously abandoned ones, mind you. I've got some more photos from the trip coming up that are really drool-worthy. So many bikes to save, so little time!

    @ Charlotte: That was the only one with a head lamp, which is why it caught my eye. The rear baskets are great, too.

    @ Adrienne Johnson: I was thinking the same thing!

    @ Jon: Thanks, that's a sweet cruiser and a great find. Surprisingly, I didn't see many of the "cruiser" variety while I was there--mostly 3 and 10 speeds in the "townie" or "English racer" category, which probably had something to do with the proximity to the university.

  6. love these. great set.
    many of the good companies should return to the US. bicycle ones included <3