Apart from the missing streamers and new tires, Anne Lynam’s purple Schwinn Hollywood bicycle is pretty much as it was when she bought it new more than 45 years ago.
“This was my first bike,” says Lynam. “The hardware store in Red Oak also sold Schwinns, and my parents bought this for me when I was in elementary school. I rode it all over town.”
A Schwinn brochure from the late 1960s lists the 26-inch wheel coaster brake Hollywood for a retail price of $49.95, which includes the two-tone saddle and sleek styling. For $10 more, a two- or three-speed version was available.
The fenders and wide, balloon tires made it possible to ride on the rural gravel roads near the family farm and around town after moving to town.
“It had a basket on the front so I used it to deliver papers for a while,” says Lynam. “It didn’t take me long to save up for a new bike for paper delivery when I was in high school. I bought a Schwinn Varsity which I rode all through college at UNI.”
The Hollywood is considered a Schwinn classic and found its way back to Lynam’s garage as an adult.
“I’ve always liked riding bikes, but had forgotten about that old Hollywood,” says Lynam. “It had just been sitting in my dad’s garage for all those years. Before a bike coasting race in the East Village a few years ago, I remembered that old bike and rescued it from my dad’s garage. It was the perfect bike for coasting downhill.”
The old Schwinn spends most of its time hanging in Lynam’s Pleasant Hill garage, next to her Schwinn Varsity, which has stayed with her since college.
“We go on RAGBRAI every year,” says Lynam. “My brother borrowed the Varsity for a couple of years on RAGBRAI. It isn’t a light bike, but it got him through RAGBRAI. I’m trying to talk him into coming back, but if he does, he might want a lighter bike.”
Lynam now has a lightweight road bike for the trails around Pleasant Hill, as well as longer rides throughout the state, but enjoys having her first couple of bikes hanging in the garage, ready for the next coaster race, parade or to loan to a friend.
Contact Darren at 953-4822 ext. 304 or Darren@dmcityview.com to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of “What’s In Your Garage?”