You might have noticed a lack of Bloglin posting from me over the past month. I’ve been traveling a lot this year, from SF, to Boston, to NYC and even Melbourne, Australia. When my lady’s company offered to put her on a project in Australia, I got to tag along and do my thing. To me, cycling is as much about the experience as it is the community.
There’s a world-wide network of like-minded individuals who will gladly take you out, into the woods, or drainage ditches and show you a good time. Err, something to that effect. When we showed up in Melbourne, I wasn’t that jet-lagged, so I headed over to Saint Cloud, a local fixed gear shop, for their weekly trick meet up.
We rode through the city and to a big-ass ditch with hips and walls surrounding it. There, the local rippers showed off in front of the lens.
Here’s Nick (on the right), reppin’ Мишка and D.A.R.T. Saint Cloud is one of Мишка’s stockists in Melbourne and the guys who work and hang out at the shop are some of the nicest people I met while in Melbourne.
It’s a rad shop with all you need for your track bike or fixed gear!
While I was on the fixed freestyle bike a lot, I really wanted to get out the city. Remember what I was saying about that cycling network? Well, it also enables you to make and keep friends, even across the globe.
Take Andrew White for example. He and I run like-minded cycling blogs, across the world from each other. Fyxomatosis has been a major influence on my life and when I first met Andy in Japan back in 2009, it was rad to hang out and kindle a bit of a bromance.
Andy knew I loved to ride road bikes, so he lent me his Eddy Merckx MX-Leader and took me on a ride up the King Lake mountain range. At the base of the mountains, it was warm and sunny but at the top, we were greeted with fog, rain and freezing temperatures. I.e. not the best of riding conditions, especially on these curving descents where we topped 48mph at one point.
Life’s too short to ride shit bikes and to ride shit routes. We had a blast. Frozen snot and all.
At the bottom of the range, we came across a mob of kangaroos basking in the sunlight. Andy approached this large male roo as I sat back and watched. This was on a Friday, come Sunday, we’d take off on cross bikes through the Dandedong ranges.
Talk about an “epic” ride. Most of it was off-road, on gravel trails and paths. Some of it was single-track, ideal for a mountain bike but fun on a cross bike. We got muddy, slid around a lot and climbed 1200 feet of elevation at one point on off-road dirt trails.
While most of us were on off-road ready bikes, one dude tried to ride his 7-speed Concorde road bike, loaded with Campagnolo. He didn’t last long on the single track.
At the top of the range, we sat and enjoyed the sun and the view.
That’s Melbourne, about 35 miles in the distance.
With our girlfriends and wives waiting for us, we hauled ass back to the city.
Melbourne has one of the richest cycling cultures I’ve ever experienced. So many people have jaw-droppingly gorgeous bike. Here’s a Columbus MAX Somec road bike.
Andy White’s got himself a nice Llewellyn MAX road bike.
But the highlight of the trip was Shifter Bikes. Imagine a rockabilly, hotrod, tattoo shop-influenced bike shop with more bike porn, art and insignia than you’ve ever seen in one place. As Slayer and Tiger Army blast from the stereo, Dan builds up fucking beautiful bicycles all day.
… while others hang in suspended animation. Check out more of my photos from Shifter Bikes here!
Dan’s handy work and love for Columbus MAX tubing echoes through the streets. Here’s Ben’s Mazza track bike.
Ok, so bikes, bikes, bikes. Melbourne is also home to a wide-range of coffee shops but the only one you need to check out is Liaison Cafe!
There is a ton of content and coverage from Melbourne over at my blog. This is only a taste of what I experienced. Check the rest out here!- Prolly