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.

Want to know more about the evolution of BMX and how the freestyle motorcycle movement (FMX) had an influence on bicycling? GoPro 1080p mini-digital cameras are the most popular, recording the flare of freestyle sports. Stop by and join the fun.

Protecting Your Health While Aboard a Cruise Ship

February 15, 2012 · Posted in Travel · Comment 

When it comes to cruise ship safety, there are many individuals who are concerned with their physical safety. Physically staying safe aboard a cruise ship is important, but so is staying healthy. Due to a large number of individuals in a fairly small space, cruise ships have a number of health concerns.

The health conditions and concerns seen on cruise ships are often highly publicized. In spite of this publicity, many cruise ships are fun, risk-free, and clean. Being concerned with your state of health aboard a cruise ship is one thing, but you should not let it prevent you from having fun in your vacation. Rather than letting the fear of getting sick ruin your trip, you have to take a few basic steps to make particular that your state of health will be the just like, if not better, when you boarded.

Before your cruise ship is scheduled to set sail, you are urged to schedule a visit with your family physician. Be sure to inform him or her that you are planning a vacation aboard a cruise ship. Your physician will likely check your health to make sure you are fit for travel. In addition to examining your general health, it is possible that your physician may require a number of immunizations. These immunizations may offer you extra protection; therefore, you are urged to obtain them.

If you are taking multiple medications at the time of your cruise, you will want to make sure that you have an adequate supply. If you are running low on your medication, you may want to obtain a refill before you leave for your cruise. It is also likely that your doctor may request that you bring along extra medication. This request is often made to individuals who must take their medications to survive. In the event that you misplace your medication, you will have an extra supply to fall back on.

Taking health precautions before you board the cruise ship is important. However, it is also important to take precautionary measures after you board. These measures are simple; however, they may be vital to your health. One of the first things that you should do is familiarize yourself with the layout of your ship. Determining whether or not there is a doctor onboard and where they are located is important.

Since germs and illnesses multiply quickly aboard cruise ships, you will have to protect yourself. This protection involves washing your hands on regularly. When most people are at home, they wash their hands after completing particular activities. In addition to eating and making use of the restrooms, you have to wash both hands after using all public facilities. If you find it difficult to wash both your hands on a regular basis, you might want to get a package of disinfecting wipes. If used effectively, disinfecting wipes could be equally as effective as soap and water.

Cruise ships are popular for their relaxing atmosphere. This relaxation may include lounging. When lounging or taking a stroll, it is advised that you keep your shoes on at all times. As previously mentioned germs can easily spread aboard a cruise ship. Keeping your feet covered at all times will not only protect you from contagious illnesses, but it will prevent you from stepping on harmful objects.

Aside from cruising along water, most cruise ships dock in a port. It’s likely that you’ll be going to a foreign country. In case that you end up on foreign land, it is very important that you thoroughly monitor what you eat and drink. If you’ll see drinking advisories, you’re encouraged to follow them. Rather than drinking tap water, you might want to opt for bottled water or some other bottled beverage. A lot of people are concerned only with the drinking water, but you have to also be worried about ice cubes and water in uncooked foods.

As you can see, the above mentioned precautionary measures are simple and easy to follow. Why put yourself at risk for illness; especially when it requires little or no effort to keep your health in good standing.

Find our more about healthy cruising tips by visiting our website about Travel. We have provided a large resource of information to help you.