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18

May
2015

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In Lovely Bikes
The Big Day

By Gavin Bannerman

Poster Bike 2015

On 18, May 2015 | No Comments | In Lovely Bikes, The Big Day | By Gavin Bannerman

Each year we put a lot of thought into our poster bike. We try and make sure each year is a little bit different, but still true to the local-made ethos Pushies Galore is about. Previous poster bikes have included a Bon-Ton gents bike made in Ipswich, a Llewellyn track bike made in Everton Hills and a Super L.A. BMX made in Woodridge. The very first bike featured didn’t have the local flavour, though it was a particularly nice Colnago. As you can tell, the graphic design standards improved once the professionals took the reigns after the first year.

 

This year’s bike was an easy choice. When people talk about Brisbane-made bikes, there are a few names that have high awareness across Australia. Hoffy Cycles from Sandgate is one of those iconic Brisbane builders.

I’ve done a bit over the years on Hoffy, including interviewing Eric Hendren and putting up copies of Eric’s order books. It’s been interesting to note over the last few years, just how many times these books and the video get included in online sales listings. I think it’s for good reason: people want to connect with a little bit of Brisbane and Australia’s cycling history, and you can’t get much more genuine than Hoffy Cycles.

The hardest part was choosing which Hoffy to profile. I’d taken photos of an amazing Hoffy/Hendren “street tracker” a couple of years ago.

 

But a visit to the still-running Hoffy Cycles shop late last year put forward another candidate. John Harman has been working as a mechanic at Hoffy for donkey’s years. His beautiful road bike, built by Eric Hendren, was sitting out on display. The thing I love about this bike is that it looks so ride-able, but it looks so good: “everyday special” you could call it.

 

 

John told us the story about asking Eric for the bike to be painted in the famous Bianchi celeste. Eric mixed some paint to produce this colour: it’s definitely not celeste, but it sure looks good on a poster. Coming to good cafes, bike shops and drink establishments near you.

Pushies Galore 2015

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05

May
2015

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In Lovely Bikes

By Gavin Bannerman

Pushies Road Trip

On 05, May 2015 | No Comments | In Lovely Bikes | By Gavin Bannerman

The idea had been brewing for a while. We just had to make it happen. A fairly simple premise: a mini-van, a notable bike collection and some refreshment stops. Put that together and you’ve got a nice little road trip. On Sunday a group of VBEs (vintage bike enthusiasts) went out to see a great collection. I’ve written about Terry’s collection here before, so I won’t repeat myself too much. Suffice to say, Terry has a wide array of Australian, and Queensland-made bikes. Fairly well-known builders like Hoffy, Rocket and Tom Wallace are widely represented, along with more obscure makers like Bon-Ton in Ipswich, Renoun from Toowoomba and Dart Manufacturing Co. in Brisbane.

Terry road this Dart, around a hundred years old, on a ride from Broken Hill to Bourke – fitted with a non-period, comfy seat, bike computer and bottle cage.

 

 

A good day all round. How often do you get to ride a bike from 1887?

 

A massive thanks to Terry for being so generous in opening up his collection and letting us ride a range of his bikes.

 

 

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08

Jan
2014

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In Lovely Bikes

By Gavin Bannerman

Happy New Year

On 08, Jan 2014 | No Comments | In Lovely Bikes | By Gavin Bannerman

I learnt one of my biggest lessons of 2013 while playing cricket. It was the final of the Chronicle Cup, vying for this fine silverware.

I was facing the opening bowlers: a new ball with a bit of swing and seam. I saw off a difficult few overs, then I tried to up the scoring rate. I played a rash shot to a ball on leg, that wasn’t nearly as short as I thought. Bowled. I got out playing the wrong shot to the wrong ball. I’ve thought about it for a while now (and watched a lot of cricket since.) There is something magical about an appropriate response to a situation: just the right beer for a thirst, just the right tyre width on a gravel ride.

This bike build is a true example of propriety – it is done right. It’s not a slog to cow corner (or a horribly mismatched fixxay unsuited to its purpose.)

This Eric Hendren-built Hoffy track frame was bought direct from the first owner, Alan. Hoffy order books show that he had the frame made from 708 Reynolds tubing in Sandgate. The year was 1991.

I’ve done a bit of research on Hoffy Cycles, one of Queensland’s most significant bike manufacturers. You can see the interview I did with Eric Hendren here. Or flick through the order books here.

These hands made this bike.

Just recently, this frame has been built up by one one of Brisbane’s savviest bicycle mechanics. With a real feel for this piece of Brisbane cycling history, this bike has been put together with a mix of French, English, Japanese, Czech and Italian parts. While not an exercise in period correctness, it is an example of each piece exactly complimenting each other. Parts as follows:

Frame/fork: Eric Hendren built, Reynolds 708 tubing
Headset: Stronglight
Stem: Nitto Pearl
Bars: VO Porteur / VO Cork Grips
Seat Post: Campagnolo
Saddle: Brooks B17
Bottom Bracket: Campagnolo
Crank: Campagnolo Pista
Chainring: Sugino<
Chain: Izumi
Pedals: Campagnolo Pista / VO Leather Singles
Wheelset: Velosteel Coaster/TB14 & Campagnolo Pista/TB14
Tyres: Michelin Dynamic Gumwall

The paintwork, all original, is in remarkable condition. The pearl of the top-tube glimmers, the red and black positively radiates in the sun. This is a prime example of a locally made frame kept in good hands.

We photographed this bike in a West End factory. They factory had just been emptied. We were lucky to get in and utilise the brilliant light case through the windows. Two pieces of Brisbane history in one. You can read more about this bike on Cycle Exif and view more pictures on Flickr.

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07

Jul
2013

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In The Big Day

By Gavin Bannerman

Shhhhhh…

On 07, Jul 2013 | No Comments | In The Big Day | By Gavin Bannerman

Ok, so by day I am an archivist. The cat’s out of the bag. Rather than explain the subtle difference between an archivist and a librarian, I would like to spread word about the Pushies Galore reading lounge we’re having this year.

I’ve got my hands on two Hoffy Cycles serial registers, documenting bikes built from 1939. I’ve copied the registers and we’ll be making the information available in the reading lounge. We’ll also have a selection of fine cycling reading material – magazines and books to enrich the mind. The set-up will be in the bowls club, just beyond the bar. So grab a tea provided by the fine ladies at the club and cosy up with some top-shelf bike literature.

Enjoy the serenity.

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