Obscure musings

April 30th, 2011 Posted in Bobo Bikes

from Dave at the bobo bicycles website (best framebuilder in Newtown)

I had a reckoning of sorts the other week when I realised, not without a little help from my friends, that the bicycle framebuilding bonanza that appeared to be gripping the States (even if that grip was waning) that I thought was destined to come to Australia was unlikely to occur here and rather than sit back and wait for the cyclists clamoring for a tasteful steel frame fork built by me I might need to get serious about promoting my bikes.

So, here I am, finally paying some attention to my website. The bikes that inspired me to start building are the bikes that Inner City Cycles used to sell, that big Noel used to sell at what is now King Street Cycles, I think it was Calypso cycles back then. These bikes were built by Jim Lemon or Wayne Kotzur as far as I could ascertain and they were beautiful in their single colour paint job, durability, quality parts and the fact that every customer had a close relationship with their bike, frequently an anecdote about acquiring the bike or a story about their journeys together would give the bicycle some history. I couldn’t help but feel honoured to be entrusted to work on their bike as a mechanic.

Of course, the incredible workmanship of some of the American builders was transforming the landscape of what qualifiedas good work but today, I find a lot of the American bicycles you see at the shows and in magazines, over the top. Good on em on one level but on another just build a bike that is built to ride not just look pretty, you can have both of course but not looks or trinkets at the expense of the practical use of the bicycle. These bikes built in Australia were solid, quality bikes that were difficult to fault, the certainly had the famed longevity of the steel bicycle.

When I start writing stuff about bicycles I get strangely paralysed because there are so many cool and interesting things about bikes that I don’t know where to start talking about and I end up thinking people can find anything on the internet these days and they probably find plenty of interesting stuff.

I have had a long peripheral interest in cyclocross racing (thanks to Adam Hogan) and there is one character that especially fascinated me. This vegan dude who identifies as a girl who lives in Portland,Oregon-Molly Cameron. He used to run this cool bike shop called Veloshop and was trying to crack the cross racing scene in the States, got booted out of the women’s racing and had to fight hard to get anywhere in the men’s division but stuck at it.

Adam had visited the shop and mentioned it was pretty cool, I went to Veloshop when I was in Portland and it was a wicked little shop, like a two storey version of the old Cheeky on Pitt Street. I think  Veloshop is now part of some bike complex where you get fitted and and adjusted and measured and poked and prodded. Molly is racing cyclocross all around the world it seems and still running a bikeshop. Check out www.mollycameron.com and www.veloshop.org

For something different check out www.overopinionatedframebuilder.blogspot.com