Netflix has stranger thingsand now Amazon Prime has responded with paper girlsa series based on the graphic novels of the same name which were first published in 2015. The story has stranger things mood at first sight: four young girls are riding their bikes on their respective paper roads when strange things (ahem) start to happen in 1988. But after that, the stories diverge and the plot takes the girls to the future, 2019 to be precise. And their bikes are part of it.
stranger things sparked a revival of nostalgic kids’ bikes: the types many of us remember growing up. They weren’t BMX bikes or dirt riders or mountain bikes or road bikes, they were simply bikes designed for everything from pedaling to a friend’s house down the road or the bush through the woods in search of adventure. And while as adults we’ve come to embrace more specific bikes, there’s something just plain fun about a good old-fashioned bike. So what’s the deal with bikes in paper girls?
Take a look at the trailer above to check out the bikes.
Why do bikes keep appearing on shows like this? NPR assumes that the bikes are important in establishing the character’s identity: they represent the first taste of freedom – and the danger that comes with it. And of course, these are plotting devices. “Bikes are the main tools of the characters’ trade,” writes Glen Weldon. “They are the means by which they go about their business – the distribution of the morning papers – and the reason why they rise before dawn to meet three hooded figures who, it seems, do no earthly good .”
But what about the bikes themselves? First off, it has to be said that the four girls would make excellent hipster bike commuters in 2022, thanks to their messenger bags packed with newspapers. Two of them are on more commuter-style hybrid bikes with front lights, while the other two girls (arguably more punk rock) are on BMX-style rigs with no lights, but with seatposts higher for easier pedalling. It would be a long paper ride on a BMX bike with a lowered saddle! Although the photo above is not entirely clear, we also dig out the orange cuffs that match Tiffany’s bike, and we assume these are tube socks pulled high over the pant legs to prevent the pants does not get stuck in the chain, while also matching the bike’s paint scheme.
We hope to see a bike collaboration similar to what Schwinn and Mongoose did with bikes from stranger things. Unfortunately, none of these collaborative bikes are available yet, but you can get a similar Mongoose bike here:
Or, if you prefer a more old-school vibe with a bit more practical gearing, consider something like this from Schwinn:
Sling a messenger bag over your shoulder, turn on an old-fashioned bike light like this, and you’re good to go:
Based on the best-selling graphic novels written by Brian K. Vaughan, Paper Girls stars Camryn Jones as Tiffany Quilkin, Riley Lai Nelet (and Ali Wong) as Erin Tieng, Sofia Rosinsky as by Mac Coyle and Fina Strazza as KJ Brandman. You can stream Season 1 on Amazon Prime now… then go for a bike ride (or use it as a tool to convince your kids that paper routes can be fun).
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