Monday, January 18, 2010

Cruisers and choppers

You often see a small group of cyclists riding their distinctive bikes at Glenelg. On Saturday after Lance's Ride the members of the Francaise Des Jeaux team were fascinated by them and gave them a try; quite different to the sleek racing bicycles they usually ride!

Originating in the US, cruisers enjoyed popularity there during the 1930's to 1950's. They feature a sturdy steel frame, balloon tyres, single gears and an upright seating position. Lowriders and choppers, with their characteristic elongated frame, banana seat and tall upward-swept handle bars, appeared during the 1960's.

Chopper bicycles originated in California, where youths started customising their bicycles with elongated seats and 'ape-hanger' handle bars. The term chopper originated in the 1950's when post war veterans started 'chopping' their motor bikes to make them more distinctive.

Joe, pictured with his red cruiser, explained that replicas of the original cruisers, lowriders and choppers are available from stores here and overseas, but many of the bikes are further customised by their owners.


Donna said...

Knew a guy in Colorado that built choppers...Wonderful experience!hughugs

Leif Hagen said...

Funny bikes! I guess Lance Armstrong didn't want to try one out?

Ann said...

Are you letting Prince William try this?

Wish I was in Auckland to stalk on him. I was telling everyone when his parents came to Auckland, I was working at 246 building, at Queen's street, all of us cheeky girls told the boss we were going down the building to see them. The boss said, "OK, just ten minutes."

The cheeky girls went down early and disppeared for more than 1/2 hour. The next 1/2 hour, we gossiped how pretty Di was,

I can imagine, this time round the girls would have dreamy eyes for an hour.