My 14 year old daughter likes to ride with me, but lately her bike is kept at her mom's house and it's rather a hassle schlepping it back and forth. Been thinking about picking up something used to keep here (where, Oh God, where?) and today we stopped at a bike rental place down at the harbor. They sell off their Schwinn cruisers and MTB's early every summer.
Still had a bit of last summer's cruiser stock, for $130. Some with three speeds, some without. Some with fenders, some without. Just for grins I hopped on a cruiser and OMG! it was a blast! No, not for long rides, but it was just pure grin from ear to ear. Might have to get her one, so I can use it when she's not here.
The playfulness of a simple cruiser with fat white wall tires, coaster brakes, and those amazing handlebars was something I'd completely forgotten. They have one that's not for sale, completely restored, with the fake gas tank (with a built in bell), light, chrome fenders, and it was sooooo retro-sexy it was a screamer! But the owner won't part with it.
I may have stumbled on a whole new thing here!
And btw, my rides with my daughter rarely even go ten miles, and she doesn't ride enough to get her butt in shape so she always complains about her saddle. We tend to do bike trails or flat streets with little or no traffic, as well. I think she could enjoy a cruiser in these conditions, and I'd enjoy being out there with her.
I'm still astonished at how different, and full-barrel fun, this kind of bike can be!