I don’t remember exactly the circumstances, but I was probably over driving my skill level on my brand new bike. It was a little big for me when my grandparents first bestowed it upon me. So maintaining control was sometimes difficult. I was going too fast for the situation, needed to stop, and spun the pedals backwards.
The pain was immediate, and intense. There was no audience, so I could cup my groin, and roll around in my misery. I cursed that bike, and my grandparents for giving it to me. But slowly the pain migrated north, and faded to a dull ache. The threat of puking faded with the pain, and I picked up my uninjured bike, and rode it home.
All the while, practicing how to stop my Green Schwinn Stingray.
As the weeks went by, I became fairly proficient in maneuvering my oversized Stingray. I still wiped out on occasion, but it wasn’t because I couldn’t stop. In fact, like any one that owns a speed bike, I learned to love the high speed ratcheting the pedals made when you pedaled backward.
Until I really needed to stop.
I was riding on a path that ran through our town homes. The tennis courts were a little ahead of me, and I was watching some hot girls play. All girls were hot in the mid 70’s. All of them. So enthralled was I with their long flowing hair, and short shorts, I lost track of where I was. The path made a sharp left hand turn, and I was going too fast to make the turn.
I was so distracted, I completely forgot how to stop, and panicked when I realized I was going to hit the fence that surrounded the tennis court. Once again, intense pain exploded from my groin. But this time, there was an audience, and I didn’t want anyone to know what was causing me so much pain.
I struggled to my feet, grabbing my wrist, which didn’t hurt. But it allowed me to hold both hands close to what was killing me. It took a few minutes for me to be able to give my surrounding any attention. In the back of my mind, I kept waiting, hoping, one of those teenage girls would place a gentle hand on my back and ask if my wrist was okay.
However, as the pain ebbed, I looked first at my bike, twisted at an odd angle on the path. Then the tennis courts. The girls playing tennis didn’t even notice that I crashed into the fence, or spent the last several minutes holding a wrist that did not hurt.
Never after that day, did I take that nice chrome stick shift to the groin. I mastered the art of hand brakes. I also quickly grew into my Green Schwinn Stingray, and the hate part of the relationship faded. In time, the brakes needed adjusting, and I figured out how to do it. While in the process of working on them, my mother called me in for dinner. I forgot all about project, and the bike.
When I went out in the morning to put the bike in the garage, it was gone. Some dick head walked into my fenced in yard and stole my bike. I spent many years hoping that the lack of brakes didn’t go well for the prick that stole my bike.
I loved that bike, but at the time didn’t realize what I had. The Schwinn Stingray was a classic. Whoever owns the Schwinn name brought the Stingray name back during the chopper craze, but it wasn’t the same.
As I prepared to write this piece, I did a little search for both pictures, and more information on my Stingray. It appears I had a chance to replace that old bike, for the low price of $2400.00.
Yes, I was tempted.