This discussion brought back a flood of memories from my childhood and early youth.
Each of my three older sisters got her first bike on her seventh birthday. No training wheels or kiddie bikes in the early/mid fifties. My oldest sister had a 1953 Schwinn and the twins each got a new 1956 Schwinn; all three had the huge dip in the frame down to the pedals because girls rode to school in dresses every day.
We were on vacation when I turned 7 in August of 1959, but as soon as we got home I got a new bright red Schwinn Tornado. We rode everywhere back then and by the time I was turning 13 I was outgrowing my red Tornado. I begged for a three speed, Mom insisted that 1 speed was plenty; then I received a new green 5 speed Schwinn Collegiate on my birthday.
Having "outgrown" the old Tornado and thrilled to no end with the new Collegiate, I was happy to sell the Tornado to a neighbor boy for all of $11.00. It seemed like a good deal at the time, but boy would I like to have it back now. I wonder what a '59 Tornado goes for these days?
If you have a classic, or a classic in the making, hang on to it!
Thanks for the memories.