Remembering my Schwinn Stingray - RIP Al Fritz

May 09, 2013


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It's the spring of 1976 and it's time to take off the training wheels. I'm ready. Decked out in my full Redskins Kit to ward off the still crisp air, I take to the front lawn of our ranch house in Richmond, VA.

That's about as much of the story as anyone of us can remember. We have to imagine the rest from the pics. It seems my brother helped while my dad filmed us with his Konica camera. There are no pictures of me actually riding solo but I'm pretty sure I got the hang of it that day.

I dug these out of the archives last night after hearing about the passing of Al Fritz. Even if you don't know the name, you know the bike - the Schwinn Stingray. Fritz borrowed classic elements from California motorcycle culture to create this iconic bike during his long and storied career at the company.

For many of us born in the 1970s, the chopper style handlebars and the banana seat ARE cycling to us. I had this blue gem shown here in the pics. I inherited a larger yellow one from my brother after he moved on to a bigger bike himself.

For more information about Al Fritz, visit the story in Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.

I don't know about you, but I'd gladly trade out my lighter than air saddle and handlebars for some Stingray components on my ride this weekend.

- Jonathan


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