Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Melbourne, cycle city (part 2)

More ramblings around the centre of Australia's second largest city...

Here's a Kronen that was used to advertise a boutique - tethered firmly outside, it was supposed to make you want to come inside. I was more interested at looking at the bike though! I'm guessing the boutique owner used it as transport to and from work. At least I hope so; what a waste otherwise!
Below is an interesting one that you don't see every day in Australia - a Golden Pigeon. Manufactured by the Flying Pigeon company these are the premium end city bikes that they make. 3 speed Sturmey Archer, Shimano Nexus front hub. I didn't even realise these were sold in Australia, but they are and one can be yours for a princely $395 apparently. A company called Cargo Cycles has been importing them, but has chosen not to import any more. Why? Here's what they say about the bike:
"The problem? They are a design dating from the Chinese Revolution, with build quality to match. They need a "Revolutionary" approach to assembly, which may involve liberal use of a hammer, and possibly even a grinder. The bike will almost certainly require replacement parts (pedals, saddle) before it is fit to ride.
You purchase one of these Pigeons on the understanding that you are buying a project, not a working bike. You will need bike mechanic skills, tools and the aforementioned Revolutionary attitude; or an understanding and patient bike shop mechanic (and deep pockets to pay for workshop time)."
So someone with a hammer, grinder, and other tools has clearly taken the time to get his Golden Pigeon up to spec. More information is available on the Cargo Cycles website.
This pretty little bike you see below will never be ridden again unless someone puts some serious work into her. She's used to advertise a florist, and has been cruelly treated - she's been painted from top to toe, including her chain, and is destined to spend her life right here as a static display.
I can't believe they even painted the saddle!!

Aha... a Peugeot mixte, in the wild. I didn't see many mixtes around - was good to spot a Peugeot!
I do like the headlight on the Peugeot! Aside from the modern basket at the back it looks a reasonably original bike to me. I'm no expert though.
What's nice about this little pink bike? I love the rear basket, with a top that's hinged in the middle. No chance of groceries jumping out of this one when you ride over rough bits. Note in the backtround more bikes are parked across the road. And on the extreme right of the pic that's another bike tyre. How had I missed seeing bicycles on previous trips!?
The bike below appears to be a single speed with a coaster brake (quite a few of them around actually). A pretty colour, but the nicest thing about it was the fluted mudguards - see next photo for a close up.

This ladies' bike is apparently white - but the owner has decided to decorate her with all manner of stickers. She's a very utilitarian ride with that milk crate on the back!
Here are a couple of lowrider bikes I spied in a bike shop. Now these aren't my thing, but they were striking enough to take a photo of. Especially the arrangement on the front wheel which appears to be some kind of suspension.
Take a look, it's very attractive with that spiral bar. I've never seen this kind of thing before on a bike - maybe I haven't been around enough! LOL! The metal looks cheap though... you can imagine this bike will rust pretty easily.
So that's Melbourne in a nutshell. There were many more interesting bikes but for various reasons I didn't get the opportunity to use them as photographic models.


  1. Oh, very nice indeed! The types of bikes you are showing actually look surprisingly similar to what I see in Vienna.

    I am always conflicted re what I think of bicycles used as displays, where the bicycle is painted over or otherwise rendered unridable - like the white florist bike in your photos. On the one hand, these can be quite interesting as works of art; but on the other hand the bikes do get "mummified"...

    And I like the use of the word "tethered" when describing a bicycle being locked up : )

  2. Melbourne as a city feels more like a European city than Sydney; maybe this is a subconscious reason for more Euro-style bikes in Melbourne than Sydney. (That or the flat terrain there... you don't need 27 speeds.)

    It saddens me to see a bike rendered unrideable and used as display. If they had taken the chain off, it wouldn't be so bad. But actually painting over the chain made me shudder; there's something tortuous in that!