The 3-speed Dutch Racer bicycle

by James K. Sayre

By fifth grade, I was ready for a new full-size kids bicycle, so I ordered a 3-speed Dutch Racer bicycle by mail order from the Sears and Roebuck catalog. It sounded like the top of the line, from its catalog discription. It came in a few days. After learning to ride it, I quickly grew to loathe its Sturmy-Archer 3-speed hub gear shift. Its mechanism was quite delicate and basically a pain to use, for it seemed to need almost constant readjustment. But the Dutch Racer was my new bicycle, so I happily rode it around the neighborhood.

Riding it to school was an iffy event, for sometimes one of the elementary school bullies would anonymously let the air out of the tires, and I would then have to walk the bike home with flat tires. (This was in the age before the portable hand pumps). It was only about a ten minute walk. so I probably went back to walking to school and left bicycling for non-school activities.





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