The decline of Schwinn bicycles, The closing of Higgins Cycle Shop in Greensboro NC, Schwinn tricycle used for photo shoot really sharp (but where was it made?)


My last 3 bicycles were Schwinns. Made prior to the mid 1990’s.

The first 2 were stolen.

The last was purchased used at Recycles Bike Shop.

The older Schwinn bikes were made better, before they started selling to the big box stores at reduced prices.

I was at a photo shoot yesterday and saw the featured tricycle. I was blown away to discover it was a Schwinn. It looked like something they would have made in the 50’s or 60’s. Impressive!

I lived next door to Glen Higgins many years ago. He was the owner of Higgins Cycle Shop which sold Schwinn bikes for many years in Greensboro, NC.

From O’Henry Magazine, March 2018.

By Billy Eye

“We are buried beneath the weight of information, which is being confused with knowledge; quantity is being confused with abundance and wealth with happiness.” — Tom Waits

“I was lunching with brother Hank and sister Rives at Oakcrest Family Restaurant, where the food is excellent by the way; their prime rib sandwich and spaghetti come highly recommended. And so very inexpensive, especially when you consider my brother picked up the tab. (Someone had to!) Taking photos outside the entrance, everything has to be documented these days dontcha know, I glanced across the street where, to my surprise, I noticed Greensboro mainstay Higgins Cycle Shop had packed up and gone.

Glendi Higgins opened our city’s first bike store on Spring Garden in 1961, peddling the latest Schwinn models like Radiant Red Mark IV Jaguars equipped with chrome headlights and trim, two-tone saddles, and white wall tires. (See the 2014 O.Henry story: In the ’60s, kids grooved down boulevards on Sting-Rays (Slik Chiks for the girls) sporting tufted Super Glow banana seats and elongated, upward pointing handlebars making them, “the bike with the sports car look.” Those boss Orange Krates, Lemon Peelers, Cotton Pickers and Grey Ghosts that came a few years later, with raised seats, smaller front tires and frame mounted Stik-Shift levers, are rare collectors items today.

In 1972, Glendi moved into his brand-new flagship Schwinn superstore on Battleground, back when 10-speed Paramount racing bikes were hot, featuring now-familiar lowered-below-the-frame, backward bending handlebars. In my adolescent imaginings, Higgins was one of two businesses, Carolina Camera being the other, where the cool kids worked.”

Read more:

The tricycle was made in China.

I wonder what it cost to manufacture it?


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