Two things that make the Madison a very cool
the name and 2)
the color -- even if these
have little to do with the bike itself and a lot to
do with the American and bicycling heritage it
carries... by way of Taiwan.
(both these are reposts, but I love this stuff, so indulge me )
Schwinn orginally introduced the Madison
in 1985, naming
the track bike after 'Madison' racing, a form of
team-track-cycle-racing born at Madison Square Gardens
at the turn of the last century.
The current Madison Square Gardens is the fourth building
to carry that name and it sits actually about a mile from its
original site, where the first "Gardens" not only had gardens...
but had been designed specifically for... cycling
Madison (team) racing bypassed regulations outlawing single-man
racing... which had become gladiatoral: spectators paid to
watch lone cyclists compete past exhaustion until they
literally fell over on the side of the track. In place of
watching individual cyclists self-destruct, the new team event
at the Gardens could go on 24 hours a day, evolving into a
6-day race format.
Madison Square Gardens became synonymous with
cycling... and particularly with these new team races.
In the post-depression mailaise, The Madisons, as they
were called, attracted celebrities, wagering and buzz
To this day, Madison racing is an Olympic sport.
The Men's Madison at the 2008 Summer Olympics was held
at the Laoshan Velodrome in Beijing. A Madison race now last
between a half an hour and an hour.
Because America popularized Madison style racing, some countries called it
racing. This may explain the near red, white and blue
schemes both Schwinn Madisons wore at their respective 1985
and 2007 introductions.
The Schwinn Madison
took it's name from the Madison Races
took their name from Madison Square Gardens
Madison Square Gardens
took it's name from it's original
adjacent to Madison Square
at the intersection of 5th, Broadway and 23rd:
took its name from a small cottage that
had been built on the site in 1839. The cottage was a lodge
and way-station at the northern-most point for departing
or entering New York City -- the road leading northward
out of the city became Madison Avenue
was named after the recently deceased
fourth president, James Madison
, "Father of the Constitution."
Flickr has a GROUP for Old Black and White Cycling Photos
. Read the caption below:
The caption: Top German six day riders Gustav Kilian and Heinz Vopel circa
1938 rode for Durkopp. This is a postcard image. My father Charles Siple was
employed track-side by Kilian and Vopel in 1938. Jerseys were robins-egg blue
made of silk...
Just like Schwinn's early Opaque Blue
, aka Sky Blue
which was used on a LOT of Schwinn's
from Super Sports to Varsity to Paramounts. The color has a historic racing legacy, and
would easily describe the blue of the 2008 Schwinn Madison, and explains why in 2008 Schwinn
called the color "Old School Blue:"