Wednesday, March 25, 2009

More Spitfire Stuff



I'm falling back on an old way of patterning the day. As long as I have the time on my hands I may as well use it. So I made the six mile walk up in the hills this afternoon. Exercise just plain feels good. It clears up the mind as well.


I got rambling on about the Schwinn Spitfire yesterday- specifically the one they sold around 1977. You know- the classic cruiser style balloon tire one speed bicycle. Julie sent a link to her most excellent bike story, and caused me a head slap moment. I was going on about taking long lazy rides on the slow bike, and totally forgot to mention why I bought one in the first place. I got it to ride down the fire roads in the Brea hills.


Like a lot of major trends in my life, my love affair with balloon tire bikes started with a seemingly small gesture. I was out at an auction in Chino. They sold everything from entire estates worth of fine furniture and antiques, to backyard junk. There was an early 1960's Schwinn Co-ed in one of the lots. It needed tires, of course, but otherwise it was in good shape. I bid four dollars, and got it. At the time I had a friend who lived at the very east end of LaHabra Heights. Past his lot there was nothing but a few oil wells, and a Nike Missile site. And the fire roads. I got the notion that it'd be fun to take the old Co-ed, and go coast down some of the trails. It was way more fun than I had anticipated. About that time Schwinn came out with the Spitfire. The boy's bike frame is stronger, and much more stable at speed, and the late seventies version had extra heavy duty spokes and hubs, to boot. I've mentioned this before- that bike was steady, and comfortable at well over thirty miles an hour. There was one spot just past the old missile site where the road ran straight for the better part of a mile. It dropped down the hillside in three long smooth steps. It was a scary fast hill, but that bike rode it like a two wheeled surfboard. This was before mountain bikes, of course. It was like stumbling on to a hidden treasure. Nobody was doing this. And the few people I tried to tell about it sort of rolled their eyes. Nobody was interested in doing it. It was still fun, though.
Anyway.
Oh, yeah- totally unrelated to bicycles- I ran across this video on You Tube. It was the ending theme for the anime Outlaw Star, complete with the odd sci-fi artwork. Hiro no Tsuki.


JWM

5 comments:

julie said...

Speaking of anime music, have you seen Cowboy Bepop?

My iPhone's name is Ein ;)

jwm said...

Julie:
Yes. We have the set on DVD. I liked it well enough, but the nihilistic ending was a turn off. Outlaw Star was a similar story line, but funnier. It leaned more to sentimentality. BeBop was kind of cold and cynical. My wife and I used to follow Outlaw Star on Cartoon Network when we were first married. It was a fun enough story at first, but like so much anime, it just blind sided you with a deeper theme,(I'm being vague because I have a 'no spoiler' mania) an edge of your seat ohmygod climax, and an ending that had us both all choked up.
My favorite though, is Miyazaki. Spirited Away is a good candidate for #1 movie on my list.

JWM

julie said...

Yeah, the ending of Bepop was somewhat depressing. But I liked the rest, in spite of the sadness. I never heard of Outlaw Star - maybe we'll have to check it out.

I loved Spirited Away - really a beautiful movie. As was My Neighbor Totoro.

jwm said...

Julie:
I just checked Amazon. You can get an Outlaw Star box set for about thirty to forty bucks. I highly recommend it. A lot of people regard OS as like the best anime everr. Very loyal fan base.

JWM

mushroom said...

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