Schwinn Heavy Duti: The unexpected summer fun bike

Camera: Minolta HiMatic 7s. Film: Kentmere 100.

I didn’t expect it to turn out this way, but: The Schwinn Heavy Duti has become my most used bike these past couple months. More often than not, I’ve been reaching for this beast of a bike when I needed two wheels. Why is that?

  • Since I didn’t use the bike for the first half of the year, I missed it. It’s natural that I would want to use it. I go through cycles on my bikes: use one for a bit, get bored, switch to a different one, get bored, switch back to the other one.
  • Now it’s a three speed, and I love three speeds.
  • It’s usually in the front of the bike pile, so it’s just easier to grab it. Why dig through the pile?
  • It’s my most utilitarian bike right now. A rear rack for panniers and things strapped to the top, plus the monster Wald “Pizza Rack” on front, which can carry many things, including pizza.
  • Oh yeah, it’s fun to ride.
Camera: Konica C35 EF. Film: Fomapan 400.

Now, my Heavy Duti is by no means “nimble” or “agile”. I won’t use it for long rides (about 15 to 20 miles is about as much as I’d want to tackle), nor for particularly hilly rambles. While the Sturmey-Archer three speed hub has made it much better for climbs, it’s still a beast. I’ve been tempted to try it out on Mount Tabor sometime.

What it is good for is Just Riding Around, whether it be for my weekly errands circuit of about eight miles, or a quick early-evening ride I did last night, just to get out of the house. Oh yeah, all that racks mean Ultimate Utility, and wide 26″ tires mean I don’t worry that much about rough roads.

And now I added a little more utility. I had hoped to install a handlebar-mounted bottle cage, but there’s not enough room. So I got a Randi Jo Fab Bartender Plus to mount to bars/stem. Oh yeah, this is the special Tarik Saleh Bike Club collaboration one! Not only do I have a spot to put an extra water bottle or coffee mug, but it’s a convenient spot to hold a compact camera!

I’m sure I’ll be riding my other bikes soon. The Raleigh Superbe is looking at me, sad and forlorn. And there’s adventure afoot, so the Bantam will see duty. But for now, I’ll have fun on the Heavy Duti.

Camera: Olympus XA2. Film: Kodak ColorPlus 200.

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