It’s a different experience writing the Pushies Galore wrap two weeks on. I’ve been more delayed than usual in giving an overview of what happened because I was spending my time playing video games with services from Elitist gaming; in some ways the post-event buzz has worn off, but I think in its place is some greater understanding.
Sunday 12 July, our fifth Pushies Galore. People often ask me what Pushies is like, and why it’s held annually. “It’s kind of like the Ekka,” I reply. It’s just on the calendar now, people kind of expect it and little rituals around the day are slowly forming. And just like the Ekka it can be windy. Not gentle breeze windy, but pick-up-marquees-from-park-next-door-at-3am windy.
It’s tricky to remember real specifics from the day, but my strongest impressions were about the kids’ parade – that was a blast – and what we call, in Dennis Denuto style “the vibe.” There is just this little sweet spot in the day, generally around 1pm or so where it just reaches a crescendo. All the components (the show, the swap, the stalls, the trade) all come together in perfect harmony. The sausages taste the best, the second hand cranks become cheaper, the stands become more enticing, the show bikes start to glitter and the band picks up.
In terms of quantifiable aspects of the day, the Lions Club, Yeronga Flood Centre and Kurilpa Community Childcare made a combined $3600 out of the day and a record $14,500 was withdrawn from the ATM and 190 bikes were entered in the show ‘n’ shine.
We stress that Pushies is all about celebrating bikes in all guises, but we do give out some certificates to those bikes our judges think are particularly nice. The following people achieved some kudos:
You can check out plenty more bike portraits here.
And finally, this day wouldn’t be possible without everyone involved in organising and running Pushies Galore: Richard and Erin, Baxter, Archie, Leroy, the Butler and Sullivan families, every volunteer that sweated it out and everyone that came to enjoy the fun. Thank you, it was great. Five down.
We always like to do a little something special on the Friday night before Pushies. In years gone by, we’ve had bike bling with Greg Softley, Oppy’s race bike, and Brisbane-made bikes returning for a visit.
This year we were lucky to have New South Welshmen Adam Leddin from Cycle EXIF, Ben Kamenjas from Cicli Spirito and Geoff Scott from Clamont talking about bikes. It was great to hear Geoff’s stories first hand, his thoughts on disc brakes and just how much insurance affects independent framebuilders. It was eye-opening, for example, to hear that it can cost upwards of around $400 per frame, just in insurance costs, for a framebuilder.
Highlights included seeing Geoff checking his phone pinging with alerts towards the end of the night, seeing Ben’s familiar bike re-interpreted and finally getting to chew the fat with Adam, having poured over his site for many years. There were quite a few cameras on the night – stay tuned for more visuals and records of proceedings.
It was a tops night of wood-pizza, a few Green Beacon cans and friendly faces. A huge thanks to Adam, Ben and Geoff for coming up from Sydney to share their thoughts and experiences. Thanks to Steve from Crankstar for having us and thanks to everyone for coming out and sharing in the good times.
More pics here.
See you Sunday.
I’ve been having to explain Pushies Galore to my almost-three-year-old son. The best explanation I can give is “it’s a bike party.” He know what parties are and he knows what bikes are. Good idea combining them Dad.
At midday, there will be big bike parade for the kids. We’re encouraging all the (small) kids to dress up their bikes and be part of the show. There will be a few bits and pieces to personalise your bikes on the day too.
If doing adult stuff all day is boring, there is also a really good bike track at the back of the bowls club.
With all of that, it’s shaping up as a pretty good bike party.
This may be a tricky time to run this event: three New South Welshman talking two days after a State of Origin decider about bikes in a format not dissimilar to ABC’s Q&A. But Pushies Galore is a platform for free speech and is more than willing to accommodate our southern brethren.
Come along to Crankstar on Friday 10 July from 7pm to join in a discussion with three great cycling identities, who just happen to be from Sydney, and kick off the Pushies weekend in style.
Ben Kamenjas is the owner and operator of Cicli Spirito on Sydney’s North Shore. Ben is a storyteller of the highest order, spinning yarns from his years in the bike industry (as well as just about every other industry you could imagine.) I’d call him a polymath, his interests traversing valleys seldom travelled by mere mortals. To get a feel for his space, have a look at these pics I took around Christmas last year of his studio.
Adam Leddin runs Cycle EXIF, an online collection of the world’s most beautiful bicycles. Fresh from Eroica Britannia, Adam’s worked as a bike courier and manages to combine his love of graphic design and bikes through his site.
Geoff Scott is an Australian framebuilder with the runs on board. He’s built under his own brand Gefsco as well as for Clarence Street Cyclery under the Clamont name. Geoff’s a regular contributor to online forums, generously sharing his decades of experience making frames. Geoff will be bringing up a carload of his special bikes, including a 1982 Clamont Professional Tandem (ridden by Russell and Byron Tucker) and bikes ridden in the Commonwealth Games.
A night of bike chat, beer and good food awaits.
Date: Friday 10 July
Time: 7pm – 10pm
Location: Crankstar Bespoke Cyclery, 50 Annerley Rd, Woolloongabba
Cost: $5 entry
Wouldn’t it be nice … to win a Cobra. This is the 2015 prize bike, an early 80s Cobra BMX made in Toowoomba. Everyone that comes along to Pushies Galore is in the running to win this glorious bike. Just make sure to put your entry in at the Info Tent.
This bike has been a collective effort. The paint was provided by Roberto’s Custom Powder at Morningside, powder coating the frame and fork. In Roberto’s words, he took the following approach:
The Cobra frame and fork had already been powder coated by the previous owner and showed all the signs of a basic industrial job, heavy orange peel and rust pitting in a boring off the shelf blue. The guys wanted a Madison style candy green for the giveaway Cobra with the highest quality finish. We stripped the frame, repaired the cosmetic imperfections and returned a stunning candy green frame and fork to the Pushies Galore guys ready to assemble.
Give Roberto a call to talk about your next bicycle project on (07) 3899 9832.
Don from Oxley Cycles contributed the seat, seat post, rims, cranks, crankset, tyres and tubes.
Steve from Craftworx Custom Wheels supplied the spokes and laced up the wheels.
And Glynn from Pro Sixty Five contributed the pad set, remaining parts and did the build.
All of these great businesses have donated their time, effort and gear to make one lovely bicycle. If you have a restoration project, be sure to give them a bell.
Make sure you’re in the running to win it on 12 July – the winner will be announced around 2pm. You need to be there to claim the prize.
The Melburn Roobaix and Melburn Custom Bicycle Show happened last weekend. This was the 10th year that Fyxo has run the Roobaix and the first edition of the MCBS. I was lucky enough to be in Melbourne and soak up everything on offer.
Over the two days, as I was looking at bikes, or riding a bike, or looking at people riding bikes, one thing was brought home to me: bike events just don’t happen, somebody has to cause them. Without Andy and Melodie’s initiative (along with everyone else helping out) events like this just wouldn’t happen. It needs somebody to go from having a great idea to making it happen in the flesh.
The MCBS, held at DISC, continued the fine tradition of combining lawn bowls and bike shows. In the middle of the velodrome, there is an indoor bowling green, reminding me a little of home.
Being a Fyxo show, there were always going to be schmick bikes, but there was a smattering of eras and stories. I’ve always been impressed when people showing their bike include printed back stories. Talk about back stories, some of these machines had tales to tell. Obvious storytellers were the Brian Hayes-built Euro track and pursuit bikes, particularly one of the bikes used to set a world record in the team pursuit.
There was a good showing of trade, including firmly established Melbourne framebuilders like Baum and Ken Evans through to others building up their portfolio of bikes, some of which you’ll be able to see meet Pushies Galore 2015.
There weren’t any show bike categories, supporting a “one love” policy for anything on two wheels. There was, however, a prize given to the most photographed and tagged bike on Instagram. I had the job of quantifying the love and determining the winner. Short of collecting the volume of drool in front of each bike, it seemed a good way to establish the bike that got everyone talking.
The most popular bike was very place appropriate. Ben’s wild Perkins track frame, resplendent with Columbus Max, C-Record and more was built by Daryl Perkins, a Melbourne framebuilder (who I managed to do an interview with a few years ago.) Other highlights for me included a Cinelli road bike and an 1890s bamboo bike.
As I was walking around the track, I overheard a girl, probably no more than four, ask her father, “Dad, why isn’t anybody riding a bike.” It’s true, if all you did was just look at bikes, the world would be a sad, frustrated place. Luckily, the Melburn Roobaix would fulfil anyone’s desire to hop on a bike and cut sick laps. Riders on the Sunday for the Roobaix ranged from ex-pros (Stuart O’Grady, Phil Anderson to name but a few) to kids, and some adults, doing the longest ride of their lives.
It really is something you have to see in person to really appreciate, but the streets of Melbourne come alive with the Roobaix. Seeing hundreds and hundreds of people stream through cobbled back streets is a sight to behold. Also worth a mention were some of the outstanding outfits. Just the time and effort that people go to in getting kitted up astounds me: there were teams of astronauts in reflective suits, a zoo-full of animal suits and every superhero you could think of. A personal favourite was a group of people that all dressed as Forest Gump at different stages of life.
It was a huge weekend, with lots of fun, food and probably too much caffeine. I must admit it was a novelty to attend a bike event like this and not have to think about logistics. A big congrats to all involved.