Is it the fat tires? The burly, heavy, steel frame, welded together in swoopy shapes and forms that call to mind 1940's paperboys and 4th of July Parades? Is it the wide springy seat or the all-powerful coaster brake that can lay down a skid on any terrain?
It's all of these and more that make a Cruiser bike a time machine.
They are cheep too. A few hundred bucks gets you a one speeder in basic Beach Cruiser form. Add a few more and you can ride around on a bike like your grandfather used to ride on in 1920. Big color-matched fenders, antique paint, details that show they were made with a legacy and history of the love of bicycles and old timey America.
When you ride a cruiser things are great. No where important to go. Don't have to get there at any particular speed. Don't have to look fast. Don't have to be complicated. One speed. One Brake. Two Wheels and a seat. Let's go.
Getting on a cruiser can make a 70 year old feel 20 again. It can make a 40 year old feel 14 again. Try riding one in your home town some day. Follow all the paths you used to take as a kid. Head down to the park and try swinging both legs over the seat and jumping off the bike, ghost ride the bike to a crash and get off running. Why not?
Wind in your face, your hair. The feel of blood pumping through your body as you glide on soft balloon tires that cushion every bump so perfectly.
Head down to the store. Get an ice cream. You're not riding the latest and greatest carbon fiber ultra bike. Leave it on the parking meter in full faith that it will be there again when you come back to it.
A cruiser, sitting there, waiting for its owner to return, signifies a relaxed state of mind, a relaxed state of body, of peace, just standing there, in the same way that a Porsche 911 signifies speed, handling, agility, parked.
It also signifies simple fun. No GPS to track you. Pedals that can take bare feet. No gears to change or adjust. No brake lines to oil or tension.
The hassles of life strip away and float off you like dead leaves.
Cruiser bikes are freedom. They are time machines.