I'm a huge fan of Biltwell, their parts, their style, their customer relations, for example, a recent failure of a very small percentage of bars brought a full refund scheme and a product redesign. For some reason this new helmet packaging really stood out to optimise my view of the guys there, it's no BS, brilliantly simple and effective, just like the rest of their line. Pity I'm a full-face helmet guy!
A brilliantly simple idea, after that my second thought is about safety concerns with kids around, the long slots would seem to invite foreign objects. I don't have kids though so I'd love to have one if I were in a country with parallel prongs.
I stumbled into Courtesy of the Artist while in Sydney and found the work of Cinnamon Lee. She creates stunningly intricate geometric works in silver by utilising rapid prototyping methods along with traditional metal smithing techniques. I'd love to buy a ring for myself but the structure looks a little on the fragile side, I've busted my share of jewellery in the past due to my burly, manly ways (more likely my cack-handed fumbling).
It was a great trip, the only casualties were 2 spokes, 1 tyre, 1 trashed T-shirt, bottom bracket bearings, and my week old, second hand laptop. It's had to describe the sense of freedom and independence afforded by riding into and out of the airports, no shuttle buses or taxis, just a bag, a bike, some directions and a destination. I highly recommend it as a way to travel, and without doubt the best way to see a city.
-wedding gift for the couple with everything
Cheers to the hoards of brilliant people I met who helped me out and showed me a good time, and of course a special thanks has to go to all those who put me up on their couch or floor: Gav, Adam, Meryam, Thom, Rob, Ray and Elli, I really appreciate it and hope you'll let me return the favour!
It was a characteristically wet welcome to Melbourne but thankfully it was the only drenching I suffered this trip. Anyone who has ridden in wet jeans can attest to the joy of chaffed knees experienced on that 20km leg. My improvised cardboard mudguards were worth every cent, never leave home without a leatherman and cable ties!
One of my first stops was to visit Sasha at Pony Bikes, she's got some really nice bikes and gear in there. Thanks for the whisky girls, it really helped on the cold night! On the recommendation of Bridie a few days later I wandered along to the Industria showroom. Walking around that room is like exploring a curated version of my grandmothers old house and garage: full of curiosities and inspiration.
Sunday brought around the events that prompted the visit to the city, the Fyxomatosis swap meet, and the Melbourne Design Market. There were a range of interesting and tempting parts and objects at both events, luckily the thought of having to carry any purchases on my back to the airport tempered any inclination to splurge on frames or furniture.
This is the heavily delayed story of a recent jaunt to the east coast, part of the delay was down to my week old, 2nd hand Mac having a meltdown immediately upon my return, what a bargain!
It had been far too long between road trips, so when I noticed a couple of interesting events on consecutive weekends in Sydney and Melbourne it was time to book in for some airline food. Taking the bike seemed like a good idea, so I packed as light as I could for a cold week, and cranked to the airport at the crack of dawn.
Once landed in Sydney I reassembled the bike in the middle of the terminal, repacked, decided on a destination and sought some directions. After the soon-to-be-familiar looks of bewilderment, the helpful staff member gave me some advice about riding in Sydney. The first was to be expected; that the local drivers are shocking, the second was a little less helpful; her directions landed me down the M5 tunnel!
That was the most terrifying 4km sprint through a polluted and noisy cavern, with a concrete wall inches from my left hand and 80kmhr traffic inches from the right. The recovery truck driver who picked me up after I'd emerged completely exhausted from the other end, was quite insistent that I shouldn't attempt that again!
First stop had to be Dues, partly because a trip to Sydney wouldn't be complete without a visit to the temple of enthusiasm, and partly to justify the trip expenses as a tax write-off. A brief sales pitch for my day job, a quick drink and an extensive trail of drool later and I was out the door.
Sunday morning saw the first event for trip, the Sydney Tweed Ride (there are many better photos than I have in the Flickr pool). A 50 strong group of dapper riders headed out for a leisurely roll around the sights of Sydney, it was a great laugh and a reminder of the fun to be had in social side of riding.
The rest of the weekend was spent riding, drinking and eating with my ever helpful Sydney tour guide Ohoh2. I've been to Sydney a few times before but this was the first time I've ever left and immediately started concocting ways to get back soon. That's the power of local knowledge, knowing the little friendly back street pubs, sketchy shortcuts and interesting sights.
Much time was spent just wandering around and getting semi lost, I rolled out to Bondi and had a drink with some backpackers, battled the traffic in peak hour through the city centre and explored the quiet lanes and back streets. A bike is the perfect travel companion.
*(trying something different with image uploading, you may have to click the image to see the full size, possibly with captions)
This would basically be my ultimate bike at the moment: burly frame and forks, dual discs, 700c's, risers, along with all the jewel like details such as the dial tensioners incorporated into the drop-outs.
I saw one of these meandering along the beach yesterday, very attractive looking bike and a great colour combination. I'm going to have to track on down to have a closer examination of that belt specific drop-out design.