October Long Weekend Spiel

Posted in in General Stuff, People, Rants on September 26th, 2011 by davos | 3 Comments

The last few months have been pretty busy and exciting at Cheeky Transport. A while back Nick and I had our own little separate existential moments, totally fine now though. Adam and Jennifer welcomed Billie into the world and are now frolicking in the joy of finally having her home. And what might have been a quieter time of year saw the popularity of Bromptons and Breezer bikes swell whilst repairs remained steady.

In the last few months I was frequently working to the wee hours trying to get frames done for bobo and in the process realised whilst the ecstatic joy of being in a workshop building a frame or doing a repair for someone was immense I probably should be spending time helping to raise my family. Finding a balance between the missus, the kids, a full time job and part time frame-building I think will be my lifelong challenge.

I have always felt a tension when I”m building frames between needing my head to be buried in framebuilding, creating solutions to welding or machining issues and servicing bobo’s customers and trying to give a much as I can to Cheeky which has allowed me the opportunity to build frames in the first place.

I love greeting customers, giving no nonsense advice to beginners as well as experienced cyclists and not necessarily forcing a sale, I think people appreciate it. We do have an incredible range of cool stuff though, Stein hypercrackers, skirt garters, Hebie chaingliders, Klean Kanteen, King Cage.

What has been particularly interesting as I spend more time back out the front of the shop is meeting cyclists we haven’t see before who I can only guess are returning or coming anew to cycling in Sydney. Whilst we love our solid core of customers the increase in people deciding they are prepared to give cycling a go and come looking for a bike or accessories to equip their new bike is substantial and a fairly recent phenomenon for us. Quite a few of our new customers experience the City of Sydney Cycling Confidence courses either by our recommendation or after they do the course and need to find a bicycle shop to help them. These cyclists speak glowingly of the course.

Repairing bicycles is a whole lot of fun (although I did get screwed by three consecutive mystery punctures by an unnamed brand of tube today, changed the brand of tube I was using, fixed the problem) and the beginning of Spring has seen many neglected bicycles dusted off and wheeled in to be freshened up and made a pleasure to ride again.

Social media in business looks like its set to be a constant wave of ways to remind customers about cool things to purchase or events coming up. I’m unsure about this whole virtual community thing, what do you actually belong to? A collection of people in front of their screens appreciating similar stuff…..Ecstasy of information overload I think. Speaking of which a customer once gave us a fantastic print of an iZombie, worth looking up to your left as you are walking into the shop to catch it.

Nick has grown into his role as head communicator, facilitating Brompton enquiries with true passion for and expertise of the product is a sight to behold and holding the business together the way he does I think he performs very well. He’ll probably edit my post because he’ll feel a little embarrassed about how I write, it certainly could do with a picture or two.

You might hear Classic FM in the shop a bit more. FBI and 2SER do a sterling job most of the time but we find Classic FM very relaxing and calming to our mood and keeps us in good spirits for our customers.

Well, this has taken me about two hours to write, I tried unsuccesfully to have a picture of a Breezer Villager and a raw lacquer Brompton in it but maybe Nick can work his magic.

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The Bike Life..

Posted in in Advocacy, People, Rants on July 26th, 2010 by nicholasb | 1 Comment

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Since my little girl was born, I’ve not had as much opportunity to get on my bikes in a way that used to be pretty ordinary for me, but I had a chance on Friday night. The family were settled in and I had a date with some top notch ramen and the flicks.

The inclement weather almost kept me at home, but I was admonished to “Man-up, ladybird, and put your poncho on”, which I duly did and cruised into town.

I’ve got to look into finding more stock of quality rain capes, cos teamed with my guards, Schmidt, Skully’s and PDW taillight, I was warm, dry and well illuminated all the way. (I didn’t learn my lesson though, and got caught cape-less on guard-less bike in a bucketing on Sunday evening – luckily I was able to seek shelter in The Concordia Club and get lubricated enough that I didn’t mind the rain on the way home).

Regardless of the weather, the incident that prompted this post was still to come. After a stellar bowl of noodles, I was caught short looking for a place to secure my bike outside the Hoyts on George St, and chose a dubious looking set of bannisters to lock up to. Just as I walked away, a security guard came barrelling up with the standard “Hey mate, you can’t lock your bike there!”, to which I replied, with just a touch of implied snarkiness, “Well where’s a good spot around here for me to leave it?”.

I was ready for a casual dismissal of my problem, so when the reply was “Well, if you’re here to see a movie, I guess I could chuck it in the loading dock for you”, I was totally floored. I followed the guard down some flights of stairs and through a fire exit, and locked my bike to a exposed water pipe, with the reassurance that “It’ll be fine here, no-one ever comes down, give me a call when your movie finishes and I’ll make sure you can get out okay”.

Suffice it to say that Gumshara Ramen is the best in Sydney, you gotta go see Inception, and I had a great midnight ride home to Marrickville through rain-slick back streets and alleyways.

I wanted to write this for the blog, cos the debate about bike lanes and cycling in the city is never gonna make everyone happy. But when instead of telling you to “Fuck off buddy, I don’t care where you put your bike”, you get an almost valet-like service from a Hoyts security guard, it certainly makes me feel that Sydney is ever so slowly becoming a city that makes it easier to live the bike life.

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I’ve heard some stuff this week that brought a tear to my eye

Posted in in Rants on July 21st, 2007 by schmadzie | No Comments

“It’s a real honour to have you in our club”

“I’ve got a crush on your shop”

and even cooler stuff than that!

Damn , it’s good to be home.

Love you

Adam

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inspiration

Posted in in Rants, Women on March 28th, 2007 by schmadzie | No Comments

Courtesy of Cranked mag (paper version)

“If you want to build a ship, don’t herd people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea”  Antoine de Saint-Exupery

and check out this fantastic article on bikes and womens lib at

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you are forcing change just by your presence

Posted in in Advocacy, Rants on February 27th, 2007 by schmadzie | No Comments

If at times you feel powerless as an individual to do anything about some the enormous problems that plague us today – global climate change, energy resource wars, an environment that is degraded and made dangerous by too many motor vehicles – well, you don’t have to feel powerless. All you have to do is get on your bike and run an errand, visit a friend, or go to work. By riding your bike in New York City, you’re actively doing something to solve these seemingly intractable problems. Best of all — on your bike, you’re not complaining or protesting or theorizing — you’re being the solution.

View the rest of aaron naparsteks post here

via the very excellent Martino’s bike lane diary

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progress is good

Posted in in Events, People, Rants on October 10th, 2006 by schmadzie | No Comments

 Things are good in Newtown. We got a couple of fancy additions like a display cabinet and a lounge and a coffee table, and have been accused of looking too fancy. Don’t worry, we are working on bringing the tone down

 Mum and Sheryn and Dad and jan test out the new lounge. They were all having a lot more fun than the photo shows. The photos on the wall behind the lounga are one of my favourite things about the new shop. Lots of people with their bikes.

 This is Chris, musician and our first bike buyer in our new location. Chris is looking off into the bright new bicycling future.

 Anne and her beautiful new Electra Townie

 We had a bit of a scare when Dave was found unconscious on the road around the corner. A good samaritan dropped him off to the hospital, and fortunately he survived with a bit of lost skin and a knock to the head. Thanks to the Rabbi and the good people at RPA.

 Congratulations to CMWC organiser Kate and Stevo for being preggers

Steamroller with Nitto North road bars. MMMMM

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no pictures

Posted in in Events, General Stuff, Rants on October 4th, 2006 by davos | No Comments

we have been so busy moving the shop and the workshop in newtown is already busy so i haven’t had an opportunity to blog for some time.

ride to work day was pretty cool, we set a christiania(www.christianiabikes.com) trike up down on wilson street at the bottom of hollis park and gave away drink bottles and muffins, apples, oranges and some mad vegan cookies paula and i made on tuesday night. apparently there were 500 people in martin place which is pretty cool.

phil gomes of spinopsys(a very popular blog) fame gave us a heads up that the daily telegraph had done a piece on cyclists, i read it a few minutes ago. I have never really trusted the telegraph, they just seem to love the beat up. “cyclist hating motorists” was one description that stood out, what the?

it is so cool to see so many cyclists using wilson street. there seems to be more people commuting by bike now, i don’t know if i am just imagining it or the numbers are increasing either way i like feeling as though there are more people cruising round on bikes.

another cool event was the city of sydney bike expo. we got to show off our cool bikes, internal hub orbea’s, dahon’s and surly’s, nice upright flat bar roadie with a basket. there were tonnes of people in martin place on their lunch hour or just passing through. adam and i didn’t stop talking for about three hours about suitable bikes for commuting and cool touring options. tiring but pretty cool to see so many people interested.

moving to newtown has been pretty fraught, it was sad to leave pitt street, also sad to leave the couriers who have been so loyal. there is something about bicycle couriers that demands, requires, inspires respect, they don’t just ride to work, they ride around all day for their work and then ride home. if that is not a sweet example of bicycle transportation/use i am not sure what is. check out www.sydbma.org for details about the messenger world champs in a couple of weeks or we have flyers at the shop.

the local folks who have checked out the new shop have been extraordinary. we have been welcomed to the area, wished well in our location, it really has been very cool that people are so happy cheeky is in newtown.

the shop is slowly coming together, i think we may have underestimated the luxury of high ceilings because we now have to store all the bikes and keep it tidy, that is a work in progress. it is so cool to have an open, spacious workshop. john’s wooden, solid works designed workbenches are pretty cool and the couch for people to chill on and read or just hang out, makes me smile simply thinking about it.

good luck to all those riding the 24 hour on the weekend!

night all. thanks for reading

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speed bump

Posted in in General Stuff, Rants on August 31st, 2006 by davos | No Comments

i had a funny encounter this morning, the road is being resurfaced out the front of our place. sol and i were having breakfast at the window looking out at the preparations for hte work.

one guy was spraying some marks on the ground. i yelled out whether they were putting some speed bumps in and he said that is the first question everyone asks him wherever he goes.

makes sense to me, slow dem tanks down

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good times, good times

Posted in in New products, People, Rants on August 29th, 2006 by schmadzie | 3 Comments

cimg0551.JPGWarning. This will be a bit of a blab on.

I have been a busy boy lately. It’s only with taking my first full weekend off (including computer research at home) in a while, that I have had time to think about it.

We won’t be moving on the 1st as expected (by State Rail). We are waiting for our security Rollerdoor to be installed before we move our extremely valuable stock. It’s been kind of nice just getting on top of the workshop stuff though.

We haven’t taken on any new bookings for the last 2 weeks and it has been really hard telling people no, but we are ploughing through it all, with a fair few really nice Surly builds including a nexus 8 speed Pugsley, a couple o Long Haul Truckers, a few high end Birdys, assorted Dahons and a lovely Crosscheck (Richard, the now proud owner took off on a testride, which is normally just a round the block thing, and went up to Centennial park flying around on the grass and trails). The main purpose for Richards Crosscheck, though, is to take his daughters touring. How cool is that? It is really satisfying for us to set up people with good quality bikes that will be used with such passion. We love it. Love it.

And, although I am well and truly sick of explaining when and where we are moving, it nearly brings a tear to my eye when people like Mark, and Shifty, and Stevo and Matt and Kristy and Emma and Moz and heaps of other people have asked to actually help us move.

Joe from SydBMA organised a sendoff Alleycat for Cheeky last Friday night, the highlights for participants included eating a banana, acting like a monkey in Pitt St mall, and visiting the new site of CheekyTransport in Newtown. Stevo was meant to bemanning the checkpoint there, but ran into Critical Mass, and they all decided to go to Georgina St and see our new location. I felt a bit guilty not being there, but I was manning the checkpoint in the city

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Had a few beers at the Clare, slept in and missed the Loadcarrying massbug ride. Sorry Gilbert. I rested up because then it was off to Paddy and Jo’s party. Pommy theme. I’ll put some photos up soon. Pretty funny. A lot of “is that that guy/girl’s normal hair/outfit?” cimg0548.JPG

And then I slept in again and had vegan Yum Cha at sydney Pitt St vegetarian. I actually really love it now. And I dig Paula and Dave’s kid Sol. Took him to the Domain moving walkway. Very funny watching him running back against the flow.

Peter from psbikes/Christiania dropped us off a Beautiful Christiania trike with a wagoncover. I can’t wait to set that up. Should be available from $2700 in the lite model with disc brakes and 8 speed hub. 

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 And on Sunday I took my cross bike out for a burl over the bridge, round the water past Luna Park, to Balls Head, Berry island trying to find those engravings again. Still no luck, but I keep going, eventually past this gawdawful development of the old north Sydney gasworks into units. But then there was a little walking trail heading west, and I followed it carrying my bike. Bloody lovely secret little gully with sandstone cliffs and rainforest and a babbling brook. Amazing wilderness so close to the city.

Today, I had a look at our new Cheeky Transport logo, made up by Michelle french, formally of Australian Cyclist design fame. It’s a bit of old and a bit of new, and I think you’ll like it. Then I had a bit of a spin around the inner west. I am really looking forward to Newtown.

Dave and John have been really good lately, just getting shit done, and with such enthusiasm! It is pretty cool having a couple of extra bodies around, even if they just take the piss out of each other all day. Poor Nick is going to fit in OK though. I wish they would pull their pants up, or tuck their shirts in. Have they no shame?

John is starting a youth oriented bicycle drinking ride friday 15th Sept – Velo Social. The aim is to getbunch of young hot bike riders out for a fun night together. I think at 35, I can still go on Contiki tours, so I should be able to go to VeloSocial. Don’t know about next year.

I’ll put a post up when we are actually moving, but it should be within the next 2 weeks.

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We’re moving to Newtown !

Posted in in Events, General Stuff, New products, People, Rants on August 27th, 2006 by schmadzie | 37 Comments

OK the cat’s out of the bag! Cheeky Transport is moving to Newtown and pretty bloody soon. Our new address is 3a Georgina Street Newtown and we are excited!

At the start of September we will be operating from a new salubrious location between the Solarium and the Synagogue in Georgina Street (just off king St near Goulds book store)(100m city side of the Marlbrough (Missendon Rd))

Click here for directions from our city store to our new location 

We are getting kicked out of the dungeon and we have a much bigger location. Somewhere to put a Christiania trike!

BUt anyway, Dave and John and Nick and I have been doing some thinking  and we are really keen to have some input from all youse out there in bike land .

So, the questions we are thinking about are

What customers or groups of customers do we want to serve? What products or services do we want to provide?What needs do we want to satisfy?How will our products differ from competitive items?What extra value or benefits will customers get from us over the competition?How fast do you think these things will change?I wish there was another better word than “customers”. Cheezy as it sounds, we think more along the lines of friends, colleagues, um…people ….i dunno ?Please let us know what kind of Cheeky Transport you would like to see.

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