What does the Schwinn “Klunker” Have to do with the Origins of Mountain Biking?

July 10, 2012 · Posted in Sports · Comment 

To several, the term, “Klunker” connotes a big, heavy, massive, and considerably clumsy item. The “Klunker” was really a bicycle model produced by the Schwinn company during the late 1970′s to reply to the drive for off-road biking or “Mountain Biking”.

Schwinn developed a reputation of manufacturing rugged, heavy, long-lasting bicycles. The origins of the Schwinn company dates back to just prior to the turn of the 20th century, in Chicago. The center of activity of the bicycle universe was located there, and there were more than two-dozen bicycle manufacturers making over one-million bikes per year for the first five years of the Twentieth century.

Unfortunately for them, the automobile and the motorcycle were becoming more popular. There was a sharp decline in bicycle sales leading up to 1910. Although many bicycle manufacturers went out of business, a few survived, including Schwinn.

In the 1930′s, Schwinn designed a bike that purposely resembled the popular motorcycle. It had a steel frame, steel wheels, and huge, ballooned tires. It was rugged and built to last, and those characteristics were more important than being lightweight, at that time.

Also at this time, Europe and Japan began to try out lightweight metals within their designs. Schwinn, however, continued to make bicycles using steel as the primary metal.

A new fad started in the early 1970′s in California. Young people there made some changes to the Schwinn Sting Ray bike and began holding off-road races. This type of off-road bicycling became referred to as “Mountain Biking” and the equipment used became known as “Mountain Bikes”. Schwinn modified one of their Sting Ray bikes, to be used specifically for this type of activity. They added a 5-speed shifter, and dubbed it, the “Klunker”.

With the notoriously heavy steel frame and ballooned wheels, the Klunker became synonymous with massive, clumsy objects. Meanwhile, European and Japanese bicycle makers also modified their alloy bikes to meet the popularity of off-road bicycling.

Schwinn thought that mountain-biking was going to be a short-lived fad, and ignored the market, at first. When freestyle bike tricks, known as BMX, also became popular, Schwinn called it “unsafe” and “dangerous” behavior. Both mountain bikes and BMX were here to stay, and Schwinn finally began to adapt to the market. However, it proved to be too late to catch most of the increase in bicycle sales throughout the 1970′s.

The Sting Ray is remembered by the older generation, as the bikes of their youths. To them, the name Schwinn connotes the well-built, sturdy bikes in the 1950′s and 1960′s. The younger generation hardly recognizes the name, Schwinn, at all. When people say, “Klunker”, it no longer has any association with the Schwinn company.

It is still a term that some older people can quickly identify, and often still use. The younger generation neither uses the word, nor knows what it means. Schwinn declared bankruptcy in 2001, and their name and assets were bought by other bicycle manufacturers. Unfortunately, the name is no longer associated with the quality and long-lasting attributes of the original Schwinn company.

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What BMX Games Online Are Out There

March 4, 2012 · Posted in Hobbies · Comment 

If you are like me and you enjoy extreme sports. BMX games are definitely in your library. However not all of us can afford to purchase games so you ask yourself what do I do now? Well a great alternative is to play online flash games. BMX style adventures range from pulling stunts on a vertical ramp, to riding down the street and landing tricks off of jumps, to riding your bike in a stunt park.

When looking for the right fit for you there are a multitude of entertaining adventures available. One only has to plug in the topic of choice into a internet search tool to be directed to a list of choices containing BMX style entertainment. Since there is such a selection finding the right one is very easy.

The graphics for flash entertainment ranges from the older graphical styles like the original Nintendo to more modern graphics that are being used in consoles such as the Playstation two. The controls for these adventures are pretty much standard across the board and only differ in combination.

Along with other fields, the gaming industry is advancing at a very fast pace. Because of this the online gaming world has also benefited from the advancements. As an avid gamer I decided to take a look at BMX flash based games to see what was out there. There are quite a few different versions available so I tested out a few and decided to share my picks.

The title that I enjoyed the most is called Street Ride. This adventure is both graphically superior when compared to other flash titles and is quite entertaining to play. From the camera view to the background detail to the ease of learning the controls makes this game a must when trying out BMX titles.

In Sik Trix the player gets to skate down the street and pull off tricks from ramps placed along the course. The visual aspect of this particular adventure uses the camera angle of watching the character from a side view so the graphics are somewhat limited. The controls are easy to learn and the game is entertaining overall.

If you enjoy performing tricks in a half pipe environment then X Rider might be the one for you. The controls are easy to learn and there are a range of stunts available. For the setting and style this is one that should be considered.

If riding your bike in a park environment is what you enjoy, then Stunt Park is a good choice to try out. Set in a skate park style obstacle course, this environment will challenge even the most seasoned veteran of park riding. The controls were a bit hard to get used to but the overall play was something to look at.

BMX trax is a nice little adventure to check out since it has multiple levels and is fairly easy to get the hang of. The character graphics blend well with the background settings to make an overall pleasant and enjoyable experience.

As graphics technologies advance, Flash technologies will get better and better. With that said BMX games online are going to start contending with other formats of video games that are available.

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How To Create The Right Cycling Training Programs

October 29, 2011 · Posted in Sports · Comment 

Many people these days have devoted their interest in finding ways that they can employ so they get to keep a healthier, slimmer, and fitter body build. People who love working out without having to confine themselves in the gyms would love to get involved in cycling training programs.

Many people have found that their workout sessions do not necessarily have to be solely limited with the activities that they can perform in the gym. They can actually utilize other means of working out wherein they will get to lose calories effectively by spending time in the outdoors.

It is highly encouraged that people who would wish to indulge in this type of activity must create a definite plan that they can follow so they get to successful determine their specific aim and find the necessary means on how to possibly achieve them more effectively.

When creating cycling training programs, one needs to make sure that he sets a specific goal. This is important so there is something that he would strive to achieve. People get more motivated to perform tasks if they know they will be getting or achieving something in exchange of their efforts.

It is also advised that one creates a calendar that will successfully outline the schedule of the workout sessions that he will have to carry out. One will find that doing this will allow them to have better control on what to do and the task they should complete to achieve whatever goals they have set.

It is important that once you have established the plan, you have to follow it. True, it may become a bit of a struggle after a few days into the session, but as long as you focus on your goal, carrying out the workout plan that you have created for yourself will be easier.

People are also encouraged to keep track of how they are progressing when undergoing cycling training programs. They can keep a personal note where they get to list down their overall progress. At the same time, they can use this to determine how much effort they still need to exert to achieve their goal.

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