SPONSORED POST: In It to Schwinn It — How the Biking Behemoth Got Me Back on Two Wheels!

In It to Schwinn It — How the Biking Behemoth Got Me Back on Two Wheels! (Featured Image)

It was the summer of 2000, and I’d enrolled in a Grade 12 Physics class at a nearby summer school to make up for the poor grade I’d gotten in the school year that’d just come crashing down around me. I was turning over a new leaf, but swapping my convenient downtown lifestyle for a more suburban routine — and without a set of wheels to call my own, I took to biking the 20 minutes to school to keep things simple.

I figured I could get used to this — I’d finish my last year of school in The Credit Woodlands, a school where many of my Grade 6 classmates wound up and had the program I was looking for. As I spent my summer days there under the tutelage of Mr. Burnham, I made my peace with its windowless interior and started filling my transfer form to make it all final.

That is, until I walked out from class one day and saw nary but a cut lock where my bike should’ve been.

I was livid, berating myself for being so stupid, and resigned myself to seeing out the rest of the class by taking public transit and carpooling with some of my new friends.

I ended that summer with a transfer to Streetsville Secondary School — at least partially out of spite — and I haven’t owned a bike since.

In It to Schwinn It — How the Biking Behemoth Got Me Back on Two Wheels! — Taking my Schwinn Onus Home in my 2011 Ford EdgeI always meant to get a bike after that, but it just never worked out. Living so close to the big city, school was usually a bus ride away, and I’d end up working along major public transit routes as I started my career. Heck — I didn’t even start driving until the day after I turned 30. But I thought back to my early days in Mississauga, learning to ride on a royal blue Sears bike, realizing that decades later it’s up to me to model the right behaviour so I could get my son on a set of wheels himself.

This adulting business is hard.

Fortunately, as fate would have it, I wouldn’t need to look very far — my return to the world of biking was only a few tweets away!

Sometimes Twitter’s full of surprises.

I’d tweeted with Schwinn Canada for a while (thanks to Melissa Finn’s insistence that I get my butt on one after my all-too-lengthy hiatus), but never considered that anything would come from it! I tweet with brands all the time, but I treat them like I’d treat anyone else — like people with ideas and personalities. I crack jokes, share opinions, and hope to leave everyone involved even a little different from who they were before. But sometimes it turns into something… more.

With September being National Self Improvement Month, Schwinn Canada wanted to help me improve my life by doing something I hadn’t gotten up to for almost half the time I’ve been alive — making sure I had a bike of my very own to ride around my city, getting fit while having fun zipping along Toronto’s streets!

In It to Schwinn It — How the Biking Behemoth Got Me Back on Two Wheels! — Canadian Tire — Schwinn Onus Men's 27.5 Hardtail Mountain BikeHeading to my local Canadian Tire — the only Canadian retail chain carrying the Schwinn brand — I grabbed my Schwinn Onus mountain bike, a slick-looking aluminum beast designed to take on any kind of terrain. I know I live in Canada’s biggest city, but with a toddler to drop off every morning, I just don’t see myself commuting to the 9-5. So instead of adding to the trendy road bikes that plaster the city, I chose one that could stand up to the trails on the numerous camping trips my family’s planned ahead.

But Toronto is not the Mississauga where I grew up. Back when I was biking, it was a city of 600,000, a suburb equal parts busy neighbourhood hubs and quiet trails where I could cut my teeth on shredding some rubber!  But Toronto is a busy little town of 2.8 million people, and riding on those streets is nothing short of intimidating. In fact, I would’ve ridden my new bike home, but I’d bought it after dark, and without lights and a bell attached to the frame, I was just asking for a ticket!

In It to Schwinn It — How the Biking Behemoth Got Me Back on Two Wheels! — Bicycle Safety EquipmentSo with safety and my future as a law-abiding citizen in mind, I made sure to grab a bevy of accessories that’d help make sure I’d arrive alive:

  • a helmet in the darkest of greys to look cool while keeping cool
  • front and rear lights with laser guides and all sorts of blinking patterns
  • a bell with that classic bike bell sound to let everyone know when I’m coming
  • both a U-lock and a cable lock because in this city, bikes can vanish from anywhere, and of course,
  • a portable bike pump in case my tires don’t want to stay… tires.

Since bringing the Onus home, my son and I have worked at getting it road-ready to handle anything I might come across and that’s probably the greatest part of all — setting a good example for my son in an age where fitness seems to be an afterthoughts for so many people! One of parenting’s biggest challenges is modelling good behaviour — that my life and the way I do things are far bigger than just myself. And in this case, I have Schwinn Canada to thank for the assist on teaching my son the right things.

In It to Schwinn It — How the Biking Behemoth Got Me Back on Two Wheels! — The Schwinn Onus in my Backyard with my SonSo it might’ve taken half my life to get here, but I’m a bike owner once more, ready to explore my city in new ways! You never know when good fortune will come your way, and Schwinn Canada really hooked things up with this bike!

Life’s too short for regrets, and I’m glad this is one I can leave squarely in the past — where it belongs — and hope to keep riding this set of wheels for a long time to come!

May your paths always be good ones,

–case p.

Disclaimer: Though I was compensated for this post, Schwinn Canada gave me something I hadn’t managed to give myself for far too long now — the joy of having a bike to call my own, taking me back to my youth in the ‘burbs where I just remembered being… happy.

You can find more out about Schwinn Canada and all they’ve got going on through their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, as well as their website!

As for me, I’ll be riding off into the sunset as often as possible, but in case you haven’t yet got enough of your Casey Palmer fix, you can still find me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube!

Until the next, my peoples!

Author: Casey E. Palmer

Calling the Great White North his home, Casey‘s spent the last few decades in pursuit of creating killer content. From novels as a kid, comics as a teen, to blogs and photos once he could grow a beard, he’ll use whatever’s around him to create amazing stuff. When he’s not creating, he’s parenting, exploring and trying to make life as awesome as possible for everyone around him. Because a boring life’s not a life worth living!

6 thoughts on “SPONSORED POST: In It to Schwinn It — How the Biking Behemoth Got Me Back on Two Wheels!”

  1. Hey Case,

    You forgot one important accessory for your new bike. If you truly want that happy feeling of biking in the ‘burbs, make sure to put a hockey card in the spokes. Happy biking!


    1. Bhupinder,

      This may be the best comment in the history of comments — I’m definitely going to have to put together some retro scenes for you on my new sets of wheels!

      Thanks, as always, for visiting and commenting! ?

  2. Great post! I recently got back into biking, and I have one tip for you: get a bike rack for the car if you plan on transporting it. I was putting my bike into the car like that for the first month and I damaged it a few times and had to bring it in to get fixed. (Not to mention it was annoying to do) Have fun biking! It’s the best!

    1. Thanks a ton, Jay, and you’re right — my wife and I have been talking about getting a bike rack to better transport the bike in the future, especially for some of the longer drives to camp sites and such! Don’t worry — with as much as we carry in the car when we take our family trips, we’ll definitely need to strap it to the top of our Edge for “extra storage”.

      Thanks for the tip!

  3. My husband and I have talked about getting bikes as we like to go for walks and want to add another type of exercise for us to do. As it has been a while since we have been bike riding. We mmight have to get around to doing it as it fun and you go further. Anyways enjoy your bike rides.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Londia ? Indeed, as you read, it’s been a long time for me to get biking as well, but I’m really happy that I can now! On the odd times I’ve been on bikes since my original one was stolen as a teen, I’ve been able to explore places like NYC’s Central Park, the Toronto Islands and other places far more quickly than I would’ve by foot!

      I hope you find your way on a bike again sometime soon and really enjoy yourself!

      Thanks for commenting ?

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