Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Fifty Plus (50+)
Reload this Page >

Was Anyone Else a Paperboy?

Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

Was Anyone Else a Paperboy?

Old 02-22-16, 05:57 AM
  #76  
bobthib
Legs; OK! Lungs; not!
 
bobthib's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Coral Springs, FL
Posts: 2,096

Bikes: ''09 Motobecane Immortal Pro (Yellow), '02 Diamondback Hybrid, '09 Lamborghini Viaggio, ''11 Cervelo P2

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 1 Post
I delivered the Times-Union in Albany, NY for a few years. I'll guess I was 12 - 14 and I had what was then a suburban route. I covered about 3 miles, and a few small hills. I had some sort of 26" bike, typical of the day, but by saving up I was able to buy a new bike. I'm guessing it was about $50, a ton of $ back then, but this bike was special! It had an "automatic transmission!" It was a "Monkey Ward" (Montgomery Ward, a Sears Roebuck like catalog company) bike. It had a coaster brake, but you could also shift gears from low to high by back pedaling slighly. It was really nice having the gear on the few hills, but there was a design flaw. The axle had a thinner area that allowed the shifting to occur. That was a weak point, and the axle failed at that point twice. It was then I returned the bike and went back to a standard bike.

Delivering the papers was not bad except for Sunday when the papers were 2 or 3 times as big, requiring several trips back to home base. Collecting was another PIA, trying to catch people at home and dealing with 'slow payers.' But Christmas was great when people would give you a buck or two Christmas gift!
bobthib is offline  
Old 02-22-16, 07:59 AM
  #77  
qcpmsame 
Semper Fi
 
qcpmsame's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Barrineau Park, Florida
Posts: 12,437

Bikes: '80 Medici Pro Strada, '86 Tommasini Prestige, '12 CAAD 10 Ultegra

Mentioned: 81 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 982 Post(s)
Liked 16 Times in 14 Posts
Started throwing the Pensacola News-Journal in May '72, and I kept on, other than a short excursion to work at a motorcycle shop.The first route was taken to pay my dad back for helping me buy my first true "10-speed Italian" racing bicycle, a Bottecchia. I threw the papers from a Sears/Puch/A-D, I swapped the drop bars out for up-right traditional American bars, that could hold the canvas bag others have posted about in this thread. Also, I managed to pay for several motocross motorcycles as well as my bicycles. With tips included, I usually made around $80 to $100 weekly from that large route, that was really good money back in the early 70s.

Bill
__________________
I Didn't Choose To Have Parkinson's Disease, I Have Chosen Not To Allow It To Define How I Live
Life Member "Hairy Eared Engineer's Society"
"I Can Do All Things Through Christ, Whom Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

Last edited by qcpmsame; 02-22-16 at 08:04 AM.
qcpmsame is offline  
Old 02-24-16, 07:40 AM
  #78  
locolobo13 
Senior Member
 
locolobo13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Phx, AZ
Posts: 1,658

Bikes: Trek Mtn Bike

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 132 Post(s)
Liked 36 Times in 21 Posts
Delivered the Phoenix Gazette from 68-70. The first Sunday the bike was too heavy for me to ride. Walked half the route before I could get on.
locolobo13 is offline  
Old 02-24-16, 02:25 PM
  #79  
dbf73
TFO
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Plymouth, MN
Posts: 254
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by locolobo13 View Post
Delivered the Phoenix Gazette from 68-70.
close to my area and era. Delivered the Arizona Republic in the mid 60's for 3-ish years. Used a big tank of an old Schwinn with a springer front fork. Didn't have to worry about any climbing with it as the total vertical for the route was probably about 2 ft. Highlight of the day was often finding a milkman doing deliveries and buying a qt of chocolate milk off the truck.
dbf73 is offline  
Old 02-26-16, 05:10 PM
  #80  
locolobo13 
Senior Member
 
locolobo13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Phx, AZ
Posts: 1,658

Bikes: Trek Mtn Bike

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 132 Post(s)
Liked 36 Times in 21 Posts
Originally Posted by dbf73 View Post
close to my area and era. Delivered the Arizona Republic in the mid 60's for 3-ish years. Used a big tank of an old Schwinn with a springer front fork. Didn't have to worry about any climbing with it as the total vertical for the route was probably about 2 ft. Highlight of the day was often finding a milkman doing deliveries and buying a qt of chocolate milk off the truck.
One of the other guys had one of those Schwinn bikes. They seemed like a tank.
locolobo13 is offline  
Old 02-26-16, 05:30 PM
  #81  
stardognine
Turquoise gatherer.
 
stardognine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Arid Arizona, for now.
Posts: 1,567

Bikes: 1985 Cannondale ST400

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 329 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 16 Times in 16 Posts
Wasn't there a law, that said you had to deliver newspapers, before you could get into junior high? I inherited a route from my older brother, delivering the New Castle News, but didn't do it very long, because we moved. I didn't suffer too much though, grass cutting jobs seemed to find me, wether I wanted them or not.
stardognine is offline  
Old 02-26-16, 05:30 PM
  #82  
Old coach
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: DuPage County, Illinois
Posts: 21

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Chicago Tribune in the early 70's-I was in my early teens. it was a great 5am work-out. Rode my bike in the summer (the sun was up) with my bag across the handlebars. Ran carrying the bag in the spring and fall. Trudged through the snow in the winter all bundled up. It was a great work-out!
Old coach is offline  
Old 02-26-16, 06:49 PM
  #83  
Phloom
Senior Member
 
Phloom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Edmonton Canada
Posts: 320

Bikes: Too many to list here

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Back in 1972-3, I delivered the paper. 65 cents a week and I kept 15 cents. I had 62 houses on my route. Did not use my bicycle. It was an evening paper so I would start after school by walking over to the paper shack and hoofing 62 papers a half mile to my route. The Saturday paper was really heavy. I did make some money at Christmas. I bought a pile of Christmas cards and wrote a Merry Christmas Customer name from your paper boy. I got almost $50 in tips.
Phloom is offline  
Old 02-26-16, 07:01 PM
  #84  
ltxi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,719
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 258 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Phloom View Post
Back in 1972-3, I delivered the paper. 65 cents a week and I kept 15 cents. I had 62 houses on my route. Did not use my bicycle. It was an evening paper so I would start after school by walking over to the paper shack and hoofing 62 papers a half mile to my route. The Saturday paper was really heavy. I did make some money at Christmas. I bought a pile of Christmas cards and wrote a Merry Christmas Customer name from your paper boy. I got almost $50 in tips.
My paper person does this. Nice reminder that nets her a well deserved $40/$50 from me.
ltxi is offline  
Old 02-26-16, 08:45 PM
  #85  
OldTryGuy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: SW Fl.
Posts: 4,391

Bikes: 1981 Custom Touring Paramount, 1983 Road Paramount, 2013 Giant Propel Advanced SL3, 2018 Specialized Red Roubaix Expert mech., 2002 Magna 7sp hybrid, 1976 Bassett Racing 45sp Cruiser

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 654 Post(s)
Liked 33 Times in 26 Posts
Not knowing much about paper delivery, I signed up to deliver the Bergen Evening Record. Unknowingly, I got a dual route that wasn't too difficult but did include a section of road with a 45mph speed. Kind of scary. Customers were not particularly generous with tip money. Wound up being forced to give the routes up since I was too young to be a delivery boy. No love lost for sure. Route required a return to paper drop using my sister's fat tired bike with front plus dual rear baskets and shoulder bag.
OldTryGuy is offline  
Old 02-27-16, 08:05 AM
  #86  
Wildwood 
Veteran/Pacifist/Resister
 
Wildwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 8,535

Bikes: Bikes??? Thought this was social media?!?

Mentioned: 189 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1749 Post(s)
Liked 96 Times in 70 Posts
Why does this thread keep causing me to reminisce?
More than any other.
__________________
70sFollis 072/71 Bottecchia Giro d Italia/72 Zeus Competition/78 Batavus Competition/80 Mondia Super/81 AustroDaimler Olympian/82 Harding(Holdsworth) Special/84 Pinarello Record/85 EM Corsa Extra/86 DeRosa Pro/88 Falcon Race/99 Pinarello Cadore/99 Calfee TetraPro/03 Macalu Cirrus/04 Tallerico: The less ridden = '97 CoMotion tandem + city bike, mtn bike, beach cruiser
Wildwood is online now  
Old 02-27-16, 05:35 PM
  #87  
hillcountry
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Texas
Posts: 29

Bikes: 1974 Motobecane Grand Record

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm glad to see this tread also. I delivered the Chicago Daily News in the afternoons after school in the early 60's on my Schwinn. We could borrow a steel rack that went onto the handlebars that would hold your paper bag and papers. It made for a heavy load some days and precarious steering at times. When the snow and ice got too bad I would put a cardboard box onto a sled and drug it for several miles in the dark. The steel rack would slightly crush the handlebar tubing, so you could always tell when a bike had been used to deliver papers. We didn't have to collect, so we got fewer tips but had less hassle. My best customers got their papers placed in between the storm door and front door all year round.
hillcountry is offline  
Old 02-27-16, 07:34 PM
  #88  
motogeek
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 299

Bikes: '86 Veloce, 72 Moto Le Champ , 72 Moto G.R., 75 Moto G.J. , 74 Moto G.R. frame, (2) 75 Moto G.J. mixte, numerous ballooners

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 71 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Boy, this brings back memories.

I, too, delivered the Chicago Daily News in my hometown of Normal, IL Since it wasn't a local paper my route covered a fairly large geographic area, about the size of 3 local Bloomington Pantagraph routes. I used my old red single speed Schwinn, which I still have and will someday be a make-believe parody gray and white Gray Phantom, with most of the correct phantom parts. They would drop the papers off on the street corner across from my house and I would fold them up and place them in the twin baskets on the back of my Schwinn. I wonder how many people can correctly fold a newspaper into the square pattern for tossing 50 feet to a customer's front porch. We had to collect each week from each of our customers and had to make sure we had enough money collected to meet our quota ... all else was our profit. Some weeks were pretty scarce. Christmas bonuses were nice, tho.!

Hillcountry, where in hill country are you? I lived in New Braunfels for around 7 years. Back in Illinois now.
motogeek is offline  
Old 02-27-16, 08:10 PM
  #89  
BigAura
 
BigAura's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Chapin, SC
Posts: 3,408

Bikes: all steel stable: surly world troller, paris sport fixed, fuji ss

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 600 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 15 Posts
I was a paperboy 1965-1967 and delivered the Bergen Evening Record in NJ. My main delivery bicycle was an old three speed outfitted with large steel baskets (Wald I think). With the money I made I bought my first 10-speed: a Schwinn Varsity. I used the 10-speed on "light-days" carrying the papers in shoulder bag.
BigAura is offline  
Old 02-27-16, 08:24 PM
  #90  
ltxi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,719
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 258 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I had the omg I just woke up, it's daylight out, and I'm so screwed nightmares well into my 40's.
ltxi is offline  
Old 02-27-16, 09:15 PM
  #91  
OldTryGuy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: SW Fl.
Posts: 4,391

Bikes: 1981 Custom Touring Paramount, 1983 Road Paramount, 2013 Giant Propel Advanced SL3, 2018 Specialized Red Roubaix Expert mech., 2002 Magna 7sp hybrid, 1976 Bassett Racing 45sp Cruiser

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 654 Post(s)
Liked 33 Times in 26 Posts
Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
I was a paperboy 1965-1967 and delivered the Bergen Evening Record in NJ. My main delivery bicycle was an old three speed outfitted with large steel baskets (Wald I think). With the money I made I bought my first 10-speed: a Schwinn Varsity. I used the 10-speed on "light-days" carrying the papers in shoulder bag.
I delivered in Paramus in '62.
OldTryGuy is offline  
Old 02-27-16, 10:38 PM
  #92  
Doug64
Senior Member
 
Doug64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 5,491
Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 767 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 23 Times in 15 Posts
Yup, the Detroit News.

I started petty young in the mid 50's, and when I was old enough to get a work permit, I became the "Station Captain". I made $35 from my route, and $35 a week for babysitting 16 other carriers, handing out their papers, figuring out their bills for the week's papers, and doing the other paperwork. Due to my age I was legally limited to 20 hours a week. When I did exceed 20 hours I could not claim the time. However, my District Manager always kept me supplied with tickets to the Detroit Red Wings' and the Tigers' games.
Doug64 is offline  
Old 02-28-16, 08:50 PM
  #93  
mightymax
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 154
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I was never a paperboy as my mom would not let me. The big Family next door had several routes and I would help out once in a while. That was in the 70's.
Then from 1990-93 I was a Circulation District Manager with the Joliet Herald News. Back then it was an afternoon daily and Morning on Sat and Sunday. I liked the job except for 'crewing' to get new subscribers. I actually rode my bike a few times with a couple of carriers who were having issues with certain customers. I remember one Sun I had a route that the kid who had it was going away for vacation and could not find a sub for that one day. I delivered to a house where there was a broken flower pot on the porch. Sure enough I got a complaint on Monday morning from the Lady at that house complaining the paperboy broke her flower pot. She was speechless when I told her I actually delivered her paper myself and it was already broken when I arrived.

The things I learned while a DM.

1. A route was a whole family commitment not just for the kid.
2. Some kids were awful or lazy carriers and would lie to my face when confronted about problems on their routes.
3. There was no time off for a carrier.
4. People would screw over a kid on collections. I guess they figured they were cheating the paper not knowing the kid had to pay for their paper up front....
5. The Circulation Director I worked for was a dirtbag and would do things to make his circulation numbers look good but ultimately balance the books on the backs of teenage kids. I quit because of this!!!

Max Bryant
mightymax is offline  
Old 02-29-16, 07:03 AM
  #94  
qcpmsame 
Semper Fi
 
qcpmsame's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Barrineau Park, Florida
Posts: 12,437

Bikes: '80 Medici Pro Strada, '86 Tommasini Prestige, '12 CAAD 10 Ultegra

Mentioned: 81 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 982 Post(s)
Liked 16 Times in 14 Posts
Originally Posted by mightymax View Post
snip...The things I learned while a DM.

1. A route was a whole family commitment not just for the kid.
2. Some kids were awful or lazy carriers and would lie to my face when confronted about problems on their routes.
3. There was no time off for a carrier.
4. People would screw over a kid on collections. I guess they figured they were cheating the paper not knowing the kid had to pay for their paper up front....
5. The Circulation Director I worked for was a dirtbag and would do things to make his circulation numbers look good but ultimately balance the books on the backs of teenage kids. I quit because of this!!!

Max Bryant
Truer words were never spoken, If my dad hadn't helped me get started on my routes each time, I doubt that I would have lasted the many years I did throw for the Pensacola News-Journal. When I started we still threw papers 6 afternoon of the week along with every morning. Its rain or shine, cold or hot and muggy, even during hurricanes, you showed up and you made your deliveries. I was lucky that most of my customers were good about paying me each week, several were good tippers, also. I worked at giving good service, timely delivery and dry/clean news papers. It paid off in customer loyalty.

I too truly despised soliciting, and I refused to do it on another paper boys' route, period. My last, large route had nearly 98% subscription, and the few that didn't subscribe were hard core non PNJ folks. It was useless to even knock on their doors, so I never bothered them.

I had an arrangement with the complaints department for them to call me at home if I got a complaint. I tool the subscriber a paper on the way to school, and it avoided the cost of the complaint being added to the weeks bill for my papers.

I threw right up until leaving for the Marines, my route had some great folks living there, I have kept track of many of them, sadly, the older people are dying off and that hits home for me. When my dad passed away while helping me deliver a huge Sunday edition, they took up a collection and presented it to me during a collection evening, that was amazing to experience.

Best tip I ever received from the years of delivering was a certain beautiful,black haired, brown eyed, olive complected girl becoming my wife. I learned organization, responsibility, and to get to bed early, 0400 comes really early and if you were out with the partyers(sp?), you paid for it. Funny thing was, when I got to PI, revile didn't seem early to me, that was close to my normal wake up.

Bill
__________________
I Didn't Choose To Have Parkinson's Disease, I Have Chosen Not To Allow It To Define How I Live
Life Member "Hairy Eared Engineer's Society"
"I Can Do All Things Through Christ, Whom Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13
qcpmsame is offline  
Old 02-29-16, 07:21 AM
  #95  
ctpres
Senior Member
 
ctpres's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Creede CO in summer & Okeechobee, FL or TX Gulf Coast in winter
Posts: 742

Bikes: Zenetto Stealth road bike & Sundeal M7 MTN bike

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 89 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Late 50's I delivered a TN. morning paper in Huntsville AL. Since it was an out of town paper - customers were few and far apart. Don't remember exactly but think my route was about 15 miles. Summer wasn't bad but getting papers delivered before school in the winter was not fun.
ctpres is offline  
Old 02-29-16, 01:54 PM
  #96  
velonomad
Older I get, Better I was
 
velonomad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Greenfield Lake, Wilmington NC
Posts: 1,764

Bikes: '14 BD Lurch Fatbike, '10 homemade road,'03 homemade tourer, '94 Yokota Tandem, '88 homemade MTB

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I didn't deliver newspapers, I delivered Western Union Telegrams. Better money since the tips were more frequent. But there was this one lady who lived at the top of tallest hill who received one to two telegrams every week, she never tipped. I used to climb that hill on an"english racer" knowing all I was getting was the 50 cents from Western union. So I would pretend the pedals were her forehead.
velonomad is offline  
Old 03-01-16, 09:07 AM
  #97  
Striper4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by HopedaleHills View Post
I don't know why but on my morning hill climb this morning I was thinking about when I was a kid delivering papers on my bike. I remembered the old 24" bike I built from parts found at the town dump and how we used to hang the paperbag over the rear rack and then catch the strap on the axle end on the opposite side (neither me or my friends could afford baskets). It stayed there just due to the weight, but your ride was lopsided. I did this everyday after school for about two years. I think I had about 60 customers and a route that probably covered about 4 miles. I remember it had one killer hill and I used to use the old weave back and forth method to get up it.

Geez, the things you think about when grinding the hills.

So, anyone else?

Oh how I do remember my fellow cyclist,,,, I was 9 years old when I had my first paper route, about 55 customers to be exact and covered about 4 miles also. I had a Schwinn Apple Crate 5 speed stick before I moved to a 10 speed road Schwwinn. Fast forward many years,,, now at 55 soon to be 56 I am on a Trek 8.4 Dual Sport targeting 100 miles plus per week. I see a Cannondale Carbon Quick 1 over the horizon as I am always on the road versus trail however, still like the flat bar with horn extensions. And I like to average 15-17 mph per trip. Happy Cycyling !!
Striper4 is offline  
Old 03-08-16, 07:32 PM
  #98  
HBCruiser1
Senior Member
 
HBCruiser1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: SoCal
Posts: 263

Bikes: 3G Isla Vista Beach Cruiser

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Great stories, has me reminiscing. I forget how I stumbled on my route in a Michigan farm town, but it was around 30 customers only afternoons after school and mornings on the weekends. After a bit I asked for another of about the same size and had to hustle a bit to make the cut-off time. My dad never helped during the bad weather, he said "it's not my paper route, it's yours". Felt kinda harsh but taught me to suck it up and take my job, all of it, the good AND the bad.

I delivered on a 20" bmx bike with a shoulder bag, I'd deliver one route and it conveniently ended where the papers were for the second. This was in the late 70's and I think I only made about $15-ish per week per route. I thankfully did not have to collect and probably missed a few tips. Don't recall getting any even thought I was very reliable with maybe one or 2 complaints total.

The Sunday's were brutal and with the shoulder bag, talk about leaning! All were around town deliveries but I had to walk each one to the door and place it between the screen door and the main door, every one. I helped my cousin with his route one time where he walked and threw them, so jealous!

I had it for maybe 6 months or so then found a job with the local department store. Great time though out there riding solo glancing at the front page, I still vividly remember 3 Mile Island on the front page.
HBCruiser1 is offline  
Old 03-08-16, 07:58 PM
  #99  
Gallo
Senior Member
 
Gallo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego CA
Posts: 766

Bikes: 2008 Wilier Motorolio Specialized Stumpjumper Hardtail 1986 Paramount 2014 Pivot Mach 429c

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by lhbernhardt View Post
Wow, very nostalgic. I delivered the Berkeley (CA) Daily Gazette for a couple years, can't believe I did that. I rode a balloon-tire Huffy with a heavy duty steel rack in back on which I hung the canvas bag. The bag had a big pocket on each side and a hole in the middle, so if you walked the route you could put your head thru the hole and carry the bags that way.

The bundle of sixty papers would be dumped on the street corner, and they gave us a round piece of steel, looked like those four-way spoke wrenches, but you used the small notches to cut the wire holding the bundle. The Gazette was usually thin enough that you could fold the papers in a "tomahawk fold," (nothing to do with the Atlanta Braves, hey they were still in Milwaukee in those days). Sixty folded papers went into the canvas bags, then the fun began. I'd ride down to the first street on the route, reach back and pull a paper out of the quiver, zip onto the sidewalk, then hurl that sucker across the lawn and onto the porch. Wham! Right against the screen door, boy would that piss them off if they were home. A low shot, skidding over the concrete walkway, maybe some damage to the newsprint. A high shot,ending up on the roof. Oh well, maybe they'll climb up and get it. Or I'd hear about it at monthly collection time. End of route, and I've got an extra paper I can bring home. Did I miss a house? Or maybe I'd be short and I'd have to call the DA (district advisor) when I got home to have him deliver that last house.

Yeah, pretty sad that today the paper is delivered by car by some older person. But I think the paper route really honed my bike skills. Throwing a paper off the bike is not unlike doing a handsling in a madison. I never thought about that...

- Luis
I was a substitute and my brother had a route for a couple of years. I used to help him fold sometimes in the morning

My brothers bike was inoperable one sunday morning and just like you describe we had the canvas bag with pockets and hole in the middle. I had broken my coaster hub on my huffy bmx bike. it pedaled fine and the screw was in place for the drum but it was smoked and did not stop. He did not know this when he took my bike. He strapped on as many papers as he could pick up

He discovered this fault right around 4 % and had no choice but to ride it through from the graph in the picture. He held it made to the flat and crashed at the end of the cul de sac at the bottom.

I substituted for about a year and finally earned a route but after breaking a rack on a sunday being yelled at for being late and remembering my my brothers trial I decided my yard route was enough
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
johns-wild-ride.jpg (95.8 KB, 449 views)
Gallo is offline  
Old 03-09-16, 04:27 PM
  #100  
NoPhart
Senior Member
 
NoPhart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: SoCal
Posts: 735

Bikes: As my watts decline, Iím amping up!

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 153 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Too funny to see this post. YES, I was a paper boy for the Herald Examiner (they are no more). It was my first real job. Grew up with used Schwinn Stringrays with various motorcycle handlebars and piece meal parts to keep them going or make them better. The paper route allowed me to buy my very first brand new bike, a yellow Schwinn Springray that was my pride and joy. IIRC it was about $75. That was serious kid money! Pedaled smooth. Didn't make clunks, scretches or funky scrapping noises and rolled and stopped effortlessly. I was in hevean for 2 weeks, until it got stollen right off my neighbors front porch...

Never bought another brand new bike until about 10 years later. Just couldn't aford the finance hit when people take them, locked or not.

We used a milk crate cut to slide onto the stringray handlebars so the papers were right in front of you. Got pretty good at throwing papers on the fly, while trying to better the total route speed to keep it interesting. My favorite homemade Schwinn Stingray was built from the ground up, painted Schwinn Metallic Blue with new stickers (looked just like new, but at a third the price). Had a Banana Seat and Free-Wheel rear hub with one rear hand brake (although a sneaker on the front tire or lightly wedged between the front tire and the fork crown worked when one handing it with the non-brake side on the bars. Great way to do an "over-the-bars" stunt as well.

Now you got me thinking about songs I used to sing while riding (or racing motocross a few years later). Can't get Three Dog Night's "Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog" out of my mind.


NoPhart is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.