Brisbane Australia, weather 2013, we used to say about Queensland, beautiful one day perfect the next now it's turned to raining one day shitty like Melbourne the next! Sunday and Pushies Galore looked like being cancelled, it was caning down when I left home, and I got drenched riding over to the Holland Park bowling club. Some of the exhibitors had a hard time reckoning with the weather, deliberating whether or not to put their bikes out on the green, but slowly they appeared while intermittent showers passed over-head. In the end it turned out to be another perfect Queensland day, the sun came out and there was plenty of bike porn to keep bike aficionado's entertained.
At the swap meet in the car park Michael from Brisbane Vintage bicycles had the most unlikely show stopper. Everyone wanted to ride it but no one could, a rusted old dragster that had once been the object of someones demented desire to trick their mates into falling off a bicycle, an extra head tube welded to the original and a couple of toothed cogs joined the two, making it impossible to steer.
Over on the green I naturally gravitated towards the 1980's Italian steel race bikes. There's some enthusiast's who are deadly serious about getting period perfect results, with their re-sprayed restorations. In some cases the paint probably presents better than the original factory coatings. With so many bikes parked up on the bowling green, if you had the time you could shoot away for a month and keep coming away with some absolute crackers. Below you'll find a very brief summary of a small number of my favourites. By no means comprehensive because by the time I'd caught up with friends, about every ten metres you'd walk, I never got round one full lap to see all the bikes.
The Bianchi Mega Pro caught my attention of course, so I had a chat to the owner, who'd just recently had it re-sprayed at Paint My Bike and he reckoned there was still a bit of work to do to get the bike completed. It's a pro-team bike raced by Fungo Artunghi, who'd bought it from Bianchi on a deal at the end of that racing season, and the current owner bought it from Fungo some time after. The resto has seen it re-finished exactly as it was.
A show favourite was Oppy's 1927 motor pace bike, who'd set a pacing record with a 100 mile average of 60.2 miles per hour, put that in perspective in today's measurements, that's a 161 km average @ 96.88 kilometres an hour, with a gear of 176 inches. See the post on Thaddäus Robl to get an idea of how Oppy would have sat behind the pace bike.
Local identity Jack Pesch's race bikes were on show, one built after world war two and the other about 1960, classic examples of the era and still in perfect original condition.
A standout was a completely decked out shearers bike from the first quarter of the twentieth century. Anyone who's read Jim Fitzpatrick's book, "The Bicycle and The Bush", will immediately recognise the significance of this example. I for one appreciated the immense effort the owner went to in order to achieve a period perfect look, in every detail. This was exemplified in the use of an authentic antique bike stand which it stood on.
It was great to see an Australian Army, Malvern Star military bike from 1941. Again complete with all the paraphernalia.
I got to meet one of our Velo Aficionado blog readers in person, Adam. His Graecross rando is represented in the images below.
Another impressive randonneur and one that was ready for delivery to a customer, who waited patiently while I finished photographing his new pride and joy, was built with many hours of considered work by Keith Marshall of Kumo Cycles Canberra. We'll be doing a feature on the Kumo Rando very soon.
It's here that I've got to thank the hard working team at Pushies Galore led by Richard Butler and Gavin Bannerman. They deliver what has to be the ultimate gift to the Brisbane cycling community. The vibe at Pushies Galore is so relaxed and so much fun, with the emphasis on just that, fun. The Pushies Galore team do their job so well that you can't help but have one hell of a good time.
The image gallery represents just a small sample of the bike porn on tap. Best way to see it next time is in Brisbane July 2014. Enjoy all the images, I had a ball making them, all photos by Robert Cobcroft.