The Best Present Ever: A Celebration of Schwinn Bicycles
by Don Rauf
--Created in partnership with Schwinn, now a Dorel Sports company
--Contains over 100 photos, drawings, and other graphics from the Schwinn archives
--A wonderful, nostalgic gift book for anyone who grew up with a Schwinn
Scott Wilke, curator of the Milwaukee Bicycle Museum, received his first bicycle—a 1964 Schwinn Traveler—from his mom and dad when he was ten years old. Like many of the other children of the sixties, the gift of the Schwinn was a ticket for freedom, a chance to feel the wind on his face and the steady rotation of rubber at his feet. The Schwinn took Scott through his childhood adventures, and his memories filled of after school free-range bike rides around his neighborhood with friends, the late afternoon sun shining off of the gleaming painted frame and stainless steel fenders.
Scott is hardly alone with his fond memories of his first Schwinn. The 1960s and 70s saw a boom of Schwinn Sting-Rays, which appealed to young riders who had to have the hottest “muscle” bike in town, and sold like hotcakes to parents everywhere scrambling to get the best Christmas present ever for their kids.
From its early years dominating the youth market with Sting-Rays to the teen-friendly Varsity and Continental models to its most recent parent-friendly iterations of the Easy-Steer and Roadster Trikes, the Schwinn weaves itself through 120 years of American history. For many, the Schwinn will be forever tied to the memories of their childhood, to a simpler time of freedom, laughter, and endless wonder.
The Best Christmas Present Ever is a visual celebration of this American icon, with a complementary narrative throughout that tells the Schwinn story.