Life Bike Count
It’s how many bikes I’ve owned through out my life.
- Red bitsa. It was made of scavenged parts by my Dad. Bits taken from the Repco factory he worked at. A 20″ step-through frame with dragster seat and little drop bars. It was a single speed coaster brake that lasted for a decade or so before the forks snapped on a punishing downhill. Lucky I wasn’t hurt. It was never the same after the grey replacement forks were put in and I grew too tall for it not long after.
- Hardtail BMX. Yes, that’s what it was called. I wanted a Redline and was in denial that I didn’t get one so I bloviated that the hardtail was almost as good. It had a certain vinyl smell that always takes me back to it. I still loved it and rode it all over the neighbourhood.
- Grey Cecil Walker five speed. This is why I didn’t get the Redline (I console myself). It was a 24″ racer with friction shifter on the quill stem. Had a packrack and rode it to school for about 4 years before I outgrew it.
- Blue BSA. It wasn’t a BSA but that’s how I remember it. Check my previous post.
- Black un-branded road bike. My memories of this one’s origins are limited. Tange tubing, South Australian frame builder, bought from Cycle Science Mitcham. It lasted me riding 150kms a week at my first nightshift job. Lots of flats but that’s hardly attributable to the bike, yet is part of the memory riding it. Also went through a Great Victorian Bike Ride on it with only one flat. Riding to work three years later I was hit by a car and the bike forks and frame were bent. Moved on to…
- Gemini Randonneur. It was neglected in the showroom of a bike dealer and I offered $800 on the $1300 marked price. They were happy to sell it and I probably ripped myself off. Gum wall tyres with my favourite snake belly pattern lasted only a few months before the crumbled. Single section Araya rims were then fitted with AirFree Tires – those solid nylon compound jobbies. They were okay except at high speed. Fitted front pannier racks and bags (Blackburn and Dueter bags) and used them for work. Was a good bike and I sold it for $230 with bags.
- Cannondale Bad Boy 8 disc. Alfine gear hub and hydraulic disc brakes. Was the vehicle for my 200kms plus per week commuting that I did for 18 months. Also did my rides up Mt. Dandenong on it. Still owned but thinking of selling.
- Surly Big Dummy. This was a long researched purchase. I bought it second hand for a lot of money. It is the swept top tube model, not the bracketed top tube ugliness that makes Big Dummies affordable now (jealous snark), and is that nondescript olive green evocative of the military and English race cars. A great bike that is going to have its Rohloff installed (one of these days). Ideally I’ll put a hydraulic rear disc brake on it to eliminate the cable stretch that is so obvious when using the brakes. The front is nice and touchy but the rear is mushy. With 185mm Avid rotors it’s not so bad.
- Dahon Dash P18. Great folder compromise between rigidity and compactness. Rides like a twitchy road bike. Still owned and would only trade up to a Bike Friday Tikit or the like.
- (Dream bike) My last bike. At the moment, and it’s likely to change, I’m thinking a custom frame. Reynolds 931 stainless rigged up like a Rivendell Hunqapillar yet structured for my love of hydraulic discs and with a Rohloff specific rear dropout. When are those Rohloff rapid-fire type shifters going to be available?