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High-rise bicycles get kids riding in 1969

The Story


Adults hate them. But with their high coiled handlebars, 10-speed stick shift, hand brakes and banana saddle with sissy bar, kids love the newest bicycles from Canadian manufacturer CCM. Riding a high-rise - which can cost up to $90 - makes you look sharp, one young enthusiast tells a CBC reporter in 1969. According to a CCM sales manager, the company plans to keep making high-rise bikes no matter what parents think. 

Medium: Television
Broadcast Date: May 23, 1969
Program: CBLT News
Reporter: Bill Harrington
Guest: Doug Birch
Duration: 2:53

Did You know?


• In making high-rise bicycles, CCM was embracing a style of bicycle that became popular in the United States around 1967. By July 1969 a single model, the Mustang, accounted for 60 per cent of the company's sales.  

• Canadian Tire and Eaton's got into the high-rise game in 1969, selling their versions for $47 and $59 respectively.

• On July 31, 1969, The Toronto Star reported that the bicycle fatality rate in Ontario had doubled in 1968, with 47 deaths compared with 22 the year before. The Ministry of Transport and the Ottawa Safety Council suspected that bikes with banana seats and high handlebars might be to blame and commissioned a study on the subject. Police in Toronto were also planning to modify their reporting on bicycle accidents to note what type of bike was involved.

• A Toronto bicycle dealer said the high-rise bikes were safe, adding: "I personally don't like them but they're very nice to ride and easy to handle... They're very popular with the kids."


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