Old Steel - Pushies Galore 2012

“My bike is 21 years older than me but I prefer to ride it more than a new school bike.” Signed Jamison Griinke (Nine Years Old)

Dark clouds, heavy rain interspersed with light rain, bringing with it unseasonal humidity set the scene for Pushies Galore 2012. Bad weather the week before had everyone in Brisbane complaining about not riding, then on Sunday when the event unfolded, out came the sun. Walking down the stairs onto the old bowling green at the Greenslopes Bowls Club, a sea of old steel laid out on the lawn. Bikes going way back to the last quarter of the nineteenth century.

The night before the main event, the opening night for Pushies Galore took place in the old clubhouse of the Greenslopes Bowls Club. The clubhouse is a suburban Brisbane gem, un-restored it retains the nostalgic atmosphere so often replaced by tedious, bland, uninspired and expansive modern mega bars. Greenslopes Bowls club's charm is perfectly matched to Pushies Galore and it's swap meet come carnival atmosphere.

At the opening night we were treated to a photographic exhibition, talks from some of the exhibitors and special geusts, plus a showing of some interesting earlier examples of Darrell McCulloch's Llewellyn brand bikes. Darrell was on hand to talk steel, it's attributes, how times have changed and frame building methodologies. A couple of noteworthy Llewellyn's on display were a 1990's frame built for the AIS to their specification at the time for track racing. Brisbane racing cyclist's will remember Chris Mann, his recently restored Llewellyn road bike was on display now in the hands of a collector.

Yesterday at the main event the myriad of bright paint colours shone in the perfect Brisbane winter sun. Rows of vintage bikes, some sporting their first faded paint and decals others stripped and re-painted. Alongside the show and shine were the many stands showing the wares of frame builders and painters, bike clubs, t-shirt sales, bike parts everything bike related. A bike swap had an energy of it's own around the perimeter where just about anything could be found, one of my favourites was an original wood encased Campagnolo tool set.

Plenty of time to catch up with old friends who were "coming out of the woodwork". With the clubhouse nearby a beer was close at hand from the carefully selected brews, specially tailored for the event plus catering right there on the green. Gavin Bannerman's hard working team made sure every small detail was taken care of, producing a professionally organised event. The over riding sentiment was that it should happen more than once a year. Roll on Pushies Galore 2013.

The images below represent a miniscule slice of what was on show. Some of the images I've included because they were more personal to me, the Jim Bundy for example, I'd raced with Peter Bundy back in the 80's and enjoyed the company of his dad Jim, who was always there at the races. Jack Pesch used to have his store at Petrie Terrace and he'd lived not far from my home, all the older cyclist's used to talk about Jack so it was great to see a couple of Jack's bikes on display. Earlier in the year we ran a story on Whip and his Healing, there's a 1940's Healing here. The Cramerotti was brought to my attention by it's owner who wants to know more, he'd bought it this week, reckons it's Canadian built, ridden it once and put it in the show. Check out the bottom bracket, although it looks brutal it's stamped Columbus - look closely and you see an early version of the concept that now manifests itself in the form of oversized BB 90 Carbon brackets, the Cramerotti being one conceptual Frankenstein predecessor on the evolutionary path forward. If you know more about the Cramerotti, drop a note in the comments section. A post which has been a long time in the making and will eventually appear here is one on my 1987 Bianchi team bike, seeing Waco's Bianchi Reparto Corse funny bike reminded my of that era when 100 k team time trials had that added benefit of MORE PAIN and yes didn't we like it .... thanks to those bars and position they provided - for two hours on the rivet. Finally my favourite "My bike is 21 years older than me but I prefer to ride it more than a new school bike." Signed Jamison Griinke (Nine Years Old)

All Images by Robert Cobcroft

MORE OLD STEEL AT PUSHIES GALORE BRISBANE