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
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
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
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!
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Friday, February 7, 2014
Three cheers for the return of art trams.This one,seen down in Docklands is by the art collective,'Joining Forces'. Tram nerd that I am, I would have preferred to see this on an old 'W' class.Regardless,when it comes to art,I'm not qualified to hand out ratings,although I must say I love it.
"You are now sitting inside a giant orange transportation device, covered in floating moon babies, space weasels and crusty old slug men. How did it come to this? Joining Forces is a collective of six Melbourne-based artists who combine wildly diverse styles to make imaginative art.
The members of the collective are Zahra Zainal, Jeffrey Phillips, Gemma Flack, Rhiannon Thomas, Brendan Ninness and Sebastian Berto. The tram artwork is based on a 5 metre long hand-painted canvas, which was created through a process of drawing over and around each other's work. The collective's work focuses on collaboration, experimentation and community" - Joining Forces
(anything would be better than this)
Monday, February 3, 2014
This bag comes from Gilles Berthoud and is very definitely my fave.It can hold a spare tube,some basic tools and a saddle cover rolled up under the flap.It came with a German 'Click fix' which allows it to be easily attached(and detached) from the saddle.It's made in France and with classy leather trimmings I'm going to give it 5 stars.
2 litre Zimbale. This one comes from South Korea,one of my favourite sailing destinations. It started out black but quickly faded to smudgy grey. It can hold a heap of tools/stuff and I love the super rugged '3 point' leather attaching straps.The 2 top ones afix to a timber rod inside the bag,allowing it to maintain it's shape. Super practical and I'm going to give this one 4 1/2 stars.(Texas street,anyone?)
This Chinese made bag comes from the Australian design house,Knog. It's hopeless.The zipper has only one fastener, meaning you have to unzip the entire thing to get anything out,resulting in everything ending up on the deck.It has a nylon web strap for attaching to the saddle rails,which is awkwardly located inside the bag and a ridiculous little nylon chord which wraps around the seat post, allowing the whole thing to flop around in the breeze. The fact that it didn't come with instructions means that I can't give it any stars at all.(they do make pretty good lights,though)
Monday, January 27, 2014
St Kilda beach,7am January 27th
January 26th is the day we celebrate the founding of modern Australia,by white fellas,nearly 230 years ago.As we know, Australia was 'discovered' by Captain James Cook.He came ashore in Botany Bay and found a land of pristine beauty, cared for,for the previous 20,000 years by the Aborigines (also known as black fellas).I must admit to feeling a little uncomfortable by all of this flag waving.I've always liked the fact that most Australians don't quite know the exact words to our national anthem and that we don't get to our feet when it is played before a football game.I'm seeing more and more cars waving little Aussie flags these days and I do wonder whether these are the same people who trashed our local beach. I also wonder who will still be surviving in 20,000 years time?
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Feeling pretty pleased with myself as I spotted art tram no 4 while riding into town on the weekend.What appears to be a reflection of the clouds above is actually a print on the side of the tram.The artist is Bindi Cole.(see below).I really love this tram.It was hard to do justice with my little Canon Ixus but it's quite trippy and ethereal.
"Lakorra is the Wathaurung word for sky. Once upon a time, Melbourne city would have been an open expanse with a generous view of the sky, offering a reminder that it's not all about self. Today' the city is densely populated with skyscrapers and billboards dominating the landscape, full of consumerism with a constant focus on the self.
Lakorra brings a bit of that sky and open expanse back into the streetscape. It reminds everyone of a time before the city stood in its place and of a people who walked those streets long before they were streets." - Bindi Cole" ~ courtesy Yarra Trams.
4 down,4 to go.
Friday, January 17, 2014
Lately,I've been agonizing about the number of treadlies hanging around the slow schlep household. The reality is,I could replace three of them with the Bullitt. The Brompton isn't one of them.
There's already enough blogs out there about all things Brompton,so I won't add another.I can't imagine travelling anywhere these days,without the little bike in a case.Brompton plus case plus work clobber and some tools just come in at under 20kg.Everything else I carry on.
Hey ho,let's go.There really is no better feeling.Check in at the hotel,unpack, go for a ride.