Downtown Los Angeles, circa 1983

Downtown Los Angeles, circa 1983
STMcC in downtown Los Angeles, circa 1983

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


GOOD VIBRATIONS Bicycle (Cruiser Model)
by Huffy
purchased: circa 1984
Where would Roy Rogers have been without Trigger? Where would The Lone Ranger have been without Silver? And Pecos Bill without Widowmaker, or Doc Holliday without Big Nose Kate? The indisputable fact is that every cowboy needs a horse to ride. And what with the price of gasoline and oats these days, is it any surprise that many of us urban cowboys have shifted to the two-wheeled variety of equine transportation?
The other day –- just on a whim -- I did an search to see if anything would come up when I entered in the name and style of my deeply beloved bicycle, THE HUFFY “GOOD VIBRATIONS” model cruiser. How exuberantly surprised I was to find myself staring at a photograph of my lovely, faithful “steed.” It’s still being made. Hooray! “Classic” cruisers are still in and I’m still astride mine (even if the “fenders” are long gone).
Let me tell you about my bike: I bought my Huffy “GOOD VIBRATIONS” cruiser at Pep Boys in downtown Santa Monica, California, circa 1984. (It looks identical to the one pictured above.) I’ve probably logged over 144,000 miles on mine. I used to pedal it every day before work on the beach bike path for exercise and for just the pure joy of it. My favorite ride took me from underneath the Santa Monica Pier, through the human carnival of Venice Beach, around the boat slips of Marina Del Rey, and along the sand through El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, to the outskirts of Torrance, and then back again. Or to put it more succinctly: My favorite ride was Heaven on Earth!
And note: With the barest minimum of maintenance, I’m still riding on “GOOD VIBRATIONS”. Yeah, uh-huh, that’s right. About 33 years after buying my bike (for approx. the same price it’s being offered for today) it and I are still the best of friends. I’m still planting my “cushions” on its seat and still pedaling along the canals, to the horse track, or to the grocery store, or to work. Now, how many years have you been driving your car? Think you’ll get 33 years out of it? Will you get 33 years out of your job? How ‘bout your marriage? Yeah, what I’m saying is that “GOOD VIBRATIONS” last and last...
But I had a real scare recently: The bearings in the doohickey that connects to the thingamajig had gotten wrecked and the handlebars were loose in the whatchamacallit. (I rode it that way for over a year anyway.) Finally I took it in to a bike shop and “Homeboy” tells me to throw my best friend into a dumpster. “Homeboy” says it can’t be repaired. According to “Homeboy” the bike was basically junk when brand new and that the fork could break on me at any moment and put me in the hospital. Feeling certain that GOOD VIBRATIONS” could never hurt me, I put my buddy in the bed of my truck and drove it from Phoenix, Airheadzona, to Santa Monica, California, for one last beach bike path ride. I figured that if it broke on me along the way, I’d just leave it on the beach to R.I.P. (Rust In Pieces).
Well, we made it from the Santa Monica Pier to Torrance and back, just like the good ol’ days! The other riders could hear us comin’ up on ‘em because “GOOD VIBRATIONS” was loudly going “SQUEEEK – KREEEK – RATTLE – GROAN! SQUEEEK – KREEEK – RATTLE – GROAN!” Other bikers probably thought he was crying in pain, but I recognized those sounds for what they really were: SINGING!  JOYFUL SINGING!
Back home, Good Friend Melanie suggested that I take “GOOD VIBRATIONS” to see the nice, old gentleman who owns ROADRUNNER BIKE CENTER in Glendale, AZ. Two weeks later and only $34.59 lighter, “GOOD VIBRATIONS” is as good as new and ready to hit the canals again as soon as the weather cools down! (Why that dirty dog at the first bike shop! I think “Homeboy” just wanted to sell me some newfangled, multi-geared “horse.”)
Only one thing concerns me: My bike is clearly labeled “HUFFY -- MADE IN U.S.A.” But nowhere on the Product Page do I see the country of origin mentioned. Are “GOOD VIBRATIONS” still made here, or are they now produced in China? I urge you to investigate before buying because “GOOD AMERICANS” don’t financially support Coummunist countries that utilize slave labor, threaten their neighbors, imprison the religious, and force abortions on their women, right? Right?
Sometimes only poetry can express a cowboy’s love for his “horse.”
O my Bike, O my Horse

We’ve ridden thirty-three years
You have carried me through
Times of joy and times of tears
We’ve traveled city streets

And journeyed along the strand
I rarely gave you oil
You never bitched ‘bout the sand
Leaving California
You never said, “This is bad!”
You never once complained
(Though I kinda wish you had)
You never bucked me off

Never trampled on my hide
Never had a headache
When I said I’d like to ride
You are my “Black Beauty”
You are truly my best friend
I’ll shout it from rooftops
Though others I might offend
Because of you alone

I have known excitations
And more than The Beach Boys
You give me Good Vibrations
I feel so close to you

You are almost like my kin
Throw you in a dumpster?
No, I’ll throw that “Homeboy” in!
(Link:] A Cowboy Needs A Horse
~ Stephen T. McCarthy


  1. I love that 'A Cowboy Needs A Horse' video. Never seen that before.

    (But, uh, the correct term is Native American, okay?)

    144,000 miles and 33 years out of a car? Well, I've got 198,000 miles on my Demetri-mobile and I've survived 33 years in this world... that count for anything?

    Your bike looks a lot slicker than I thought it would. I love that design. My old Huffy doesn't look anything like that. Whereas yours has the more classic design, mine screams 'bad 1980s taste'. Including the neon green color.

    ...It still works, though.

    Also, for a moment, I thought bike shops were different from car dealerships. I guess not.

    "Oh, uh, you got a bad alternator? Car's practically junk, then. I shouldn't even let you leave the lot, since it's so dangerous to drive. You should just buy a new one..."

    Speaking of, how often do you have to replace tires on that bad boy? My new road bike, the tires only lasted about 2 years, and I'm feeling like I got ripped off.


    PS My mom has possibly the coolest bike I've ever seen. Looks like this one.

    Red Rocket

    Her dad got it for her when she was just a kid, and she's taken great care of it. Still looks like brand new. I even remember one time I was out riding with her and some random guy stopped us and offered her $500 on the spot.

    She politely declined, even after he upped it to $700.

    I don't know how much that bike is worth. I don't really care. Nor does she. I just hope she lets me have it when she's too old to ride anymore (which is not in the foreseeable future, anyhow).

    1. "Native American"?
      Heck, I still call 'em Redskins on Sundays.

      I don't even know what a Demetri-mobile is. Is that anything like a Demetri-stationary only you can take it to the beach with you, on campouts, to the ballgame, or wherever Demetris are welcome?

      Funny you should axe about the tires because about 5 months ago I replaced both of them... for the FIRST TIME since buying the bike.

      Yeah, sounds like you didn't get tires but lemons.

      That Red Rocket is pretty cool. I actually remember seeing bikes like that back when the world was young and so was I.

      My next door neighbor, Chilebeso Bob, offered to give me his bicycle. He said he bought it about 2 years ago, rode it around the neighborhood one time, and has never gotten on it since then. In other words, it's still brand new.

      I don't think he could understand it when I thankfully declined the offer. I certainly don't need more than one bicycle, and GOOD VIBRATIONS is my good buddy for life. I can't even imagine upgrading. One doesn't suddenly turn their back on a 33-year friendship.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      (link:] Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends

    2. Demetris are welcome anywhere in my house, but he's most welcome on my book shelf, alongside his Banana Flavored Rocketship. Maybe that will help cycle your memory.

      If your bike is a 33 year friendship, then my current bike is a 2 year prostitution. I'm using it, it's costing me more money than it should, it's not what it's cracked up to be, and there isn't much tread left on the ol' tires (literally), but hey it's still a bike. With that said, I'd trade it for the Red Rocket in a heartbeat.

      Of all the bikes I've ever had, I've never once had to change the tires. I don't ride as often as you, though. I'm still bummed out about that.

      Your bike - is it heavy? Is it hard work to pedal it around, or is it pretty leisurely? My wife has a single speed Huffy cruiser, but that thing is a TANK. Very heavy. Hard to get going. Very slow. Probably its only saving grace is that it comes with a bottle opener mounted on the side and a cup holder for your beer. Truly the Cadillac of bikes.

      Huffy - they know their market. I guess.
      (Ignore the kool-aid being cracked open in the pic. It was the only pic I could find)

    3. Oh, you meant THAT Demetri. Heck, that was a godzillion and two gallons of beer ago. Those brain cells that were storing the Demetri info drowned long ago. There's not even a divot left where they used to reside.

      Hmmm.... GOOD VIBRATIONS -- is it a "tank"? I guess I'd say so, compared to the average multi-geared Schwinn horse. But since it's the only bike I've ridden for the last 33 years, I myself don't really think of it as heavy and slow.

      Then again, most gals probably couldn't lift it into the bed of my truck, like I sometimes must do.

      And, yes, I don't exactly shoot out of the gate and go from zero to thirty in seven seconds when the light turns to green (on those occasions when I actually pay attention to the traffic light). But then again, after some pedaling, when I've gotten up to full steam, the scenery is changing pretty quickly. Still, I get passed by ten-speed horses with their riders only casually pedaling.

      So, relatively speaking, yeah... slow tank. But it's what I'm used to and have learned to love. Plus, it's better exercise for strengthening my legs. (I never know when I'll need to take down an anti-Deplorable, right? Gotta stay strong!)

      ~ D-FensDogG
      (link:] Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends

  2. And Stephen,

    Quite a poem you go there and quite a bike
    Should it ever fail ya, you can just take a hike!

    Now take a hike you old SOB!


    1. WHOooooooo you callin' an SOB, Punk?!
      Why I oughta-- a-WOO-WOO-WOO!!

      ~ D-FensDogG
      [Link:) Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends


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