Saturday, April 19, 2014

Age shall not weary thee?

I'm beginning to suspect,that in my case, this ode to the world war one soldier might not actually be true. Sooner or later,all of my bikes end up looking like this.Upright,stately,comfortable, and most of all,pain free. Drop bars have sadly become a thing of the past.This is how I ride.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

art tram series~6 down 2 to go

I spotted this art tram in Swanston street last week.It's by Freya Pitt and is one of my favourites.I'll let her describe her work.

"A loose, personal mapping of Melbourne, Going Somewhere combines sketches drawn while on trams with streetscapes from around the city. The time in between things - on the way to somewhere and from something - has become an important space in my life where I can just think and sketch.

Sitting on a tram, with streetscapes rumbling past and a constant flux as people get on and off, one glimpses a multitude of narratives being lived around you. In Going Somewhere I set out to explore the sense of possibilities and unknown eventualities held within this communal space" - Freya Pitt

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

No 16 cycle caps!

No 16 Cycle caps
hand made in StKilda


I spotted this amazing juggler on the way home from work last week.He was in the middle of Brighton road performing 3 minutes of magic during the red phase.4 balls~front side~back side~ with one on the nose as a grand finale.I hope he earned a heap of money.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

hey ho,let's sew

Confession: I'm the son of a home eco teacher. We always had a sewing machine lying around the house and my mum taught me the basics at a pretty early age. Spooling and threading the bobbin, the meaning of 'bias binding', feeding the fabric etc
When it came to machines, there was only one to be had in our household. A Bernina 707. This lasted about 40 years before finally giving up the ghost. Long before that happened, mum had graduated to a Bernina 1000 which is the machine I am  currently using. It's still a fairly basic machine by today's standards but an adjustable straight stitch and zig zag is all I will ever need.
I find sewing extremely relaxing, and also a little challenging. Similar to engineering perhaps? Creating a pattern, calculating material requirements, construction technique, not to mention sequencing and waste reduction. So this is my current obsession . Designing and sewing the perfect cycle cap for the rider who doesn't want to look like Cadel Evans. 'No 16' cycle caps, perfect for the mid life crisis.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Big v Little(and the power of the web)

The bandwagon came, some of us got on,egos were stroked, and then we all got off. (and I bought this lovely T shirt from Cafe Roubaix).

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

the new Coke~uh oh

Whenever I approach a cafe with Coke branding, the warning lights start to flash and I keep on walking, eyes fixed firmly ahead.Something is happening here,and I don't know what it is.(do I,Mr Jones?, to quote Bob Dylan) My local bike shop has become a Giant franchise and I can't help feel that something has been lost. I used to enjoy looking at the Bromptons,Electras and Scwinns. Now,I feel like I'm being cornered. On a more sinister note, Spoke(n) has become a dreaded Specialized franchise, and we all know about that particular brand and it's stand-over tactics.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Nerd corner-DIY hats!

There's only so many used French bikes a bloke can recycle. With my limit reached,I've become obsessed by creating the perfect hat for the 2/3 life crisis urban hipster.
 pink dots~one side
 pink dots~the other side
'that gown is simply stunning!'

Coming soon to the pages of Slow Schlepper.Handy hints to sew your own cycle cap. (if I can do it,you can too!)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

art tram update~3/8 (I know what I like)

For most high school students in Melbourne in the 70s,'The Shock of the New' by art historian Robert Hughes was compulsory reading.As soon as my eyes fell upon this painting by Francis Bacon,I knew that I had found an artist that spoke to me. Bacon and his art,became a thirty year obsession. Before long, I also became obsessed by his band of cronies~Frank Auerbach, Lucian Freud, and,at a pinch,David Hockney.It was art of it's time,shocking and exciting in equal doses,painted by artists, who seemingly,didn't care less about the morals of the time.(1950s London)

Art tram no 3. I wonder what Francis Bacon would have made of this?

"The inspiration for this artwork is driven by a contemporary rendering of a Wiradjuri design found traditionally on tree dendroglyphs and shield design - though similar designs are used across Australia from the western Desert to Victoria. These designs are an important marker for public and private ceremony, and to mark place. To place a pattern on a tram for Melbourne is an exciting proposal that continues to recognise not only an engagement with tradition but as a camouflage and trompe l'oeil effect of the tram disappearing in and out of the city scape; creating an optical illusion." - Brook Andrew

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

from the dep't of bicycle parking

A fellow blogger recently commented on the number of bike shops in her neighbourhood with less than perfect bicycle parking . I know what she means.My LBS has a pathetic little rack by the entrance, which won't accept anything but the skinniest  racer. Three cheers,then,for Saint Cloud,in Gertrude street, Fitzroy . Elegant combined bench/ bike rack,right by the front door. Park your bike,grab a coffee and ponder your purchase. Thanks,Nick!