Skip to content

Shameless cross promotion

When I’m not out snapping little bikes (which I haven’t been for ages) I’m being my literary other. Here’s the latest project that has kept me out of the bikey blogosphere.

If a collection of short works by new writers is your thing, you might like this…

 Visible Ink has been going in one form or another since 1989 and it safe to say, from a quick read through this collection, that there are no brittle bones to be found here. The editors have gathered the best of new writing from across Australia. Given that some of our best-loved writers have already passed through these pages, one of the pleasures of reading this collection will be identifying those fresh voices you’ll still be hearing from in years to come.

Michelle Aung Thin (author of Monsoon Bride)

Nominal irony

Here’s a little something sent to me by the man behind the very fine Slow RPM site.
Not retro, but small with an ironic name, so I couldn’t resist. Thanks Ian.

And here it is again with a lovely pink friend, what a nice pair they make.


Spring sprang up and so did and some little bikes! Sadly my phone then sprang out of my pocket somewhere between Footscray and Fitzroy, taking my photos of the sprung bikes with it…bother.

One was a beauty that I’d never seen before – baby pink, Japanese, sports something commuter, that’s all I’ve got on that one.

The other I found in a tangle of bikes outside the Fitzroy library. It was a folder, a repco I think, with a dodgy home spray-paint job, sort of camouflage effect. I found the boy who owned it in the library. He let me photograph it and in return I showed him how to fold it up…I think he was impressed. But I never followed through with the photo on line…I hope he forgot to look.



As usual, all the little bikes are hibernating over winter – I think it’s the slippery steel rims that keeps them cosied up in the hallway or the shed (depending on how loved they are/how wide the hallway is).

Just to keep the home fires burning, here’s a couple that I’ve been saving up for a rainy day.

First:  a Roadmaster. Not only a first on this page, but a first on this site – until now I’d only clocked the seats (saddles for the technically minded) with their very fine logo. But here, for your delight and edification, safely (if some what surreally) behind glass, is  a ridgy didge complete Roadmaster.

If you live in Melbourne you might be wondering what’s causing that reflective effect, it’s called the sun. Here’s an even better example of what the sun can do (apart from warm your bones and cheer your heart.) Working title: “Bike with Building”.

Arty eh?

Here’s a few less arty but more detailed views of this delightful little bike (which was on display in the window of what was once that strange but wonderful place called ‘Meet me at Mikes’ in Brunswick Street)…

Here’s that seat/saddle with the excellent logo I was talking about…

And second: speaking of seats, saddles and firsts, here’s another newy: 5 Rams, spied on Elizabeth Street in the city back in Autumn. The bike was pretty much totally trashed apart from the seat. Sad.

Stay snug.


Who’s pushing those pedals?

This is Vu. She loves her little Bianca (a Malvern Star shopper bike for those of you who came in late).

She says it’s the perfect size for her, and easy to ride. (Being of a similar height I agree).

In see quite a few Vietnamese women on these little bikes. In fact, I can distill the little bike riders I see in to two main groups: Vietnamese women in Richmond  (usually over about 35)  and hipsters in Fitzroy (definitely under 35).

Mostly it’s about the bikes here at little bike blog, not because I’m not interested in the riders, but because either I find  the bikes when they are unaccompanied, or the riders politely (or shyly) decline my offer to be in the photo. But not always. Here’s a little retrospective of some who’ve accepted…

Russ and his shiny shiny Malvern Star

Thanks chaps.

Three red bikes in two

What is it about Saturdays and red bikes? If you happened to have read   One day, three red bikes you will see a theme emerging.

On my way to the Vic Market last Saturday I came across this Family Star, Very shiny, a new lick of paint perhaps? It has some lovely details, and definitely looks like it’s had some loving recently…

Then at my destination, it looked like a bit of Bikezilla had escaped and gone it alone…

I know it’s not a little bike, but how could I resist that red, those lugs

and drop-outs

(oh no! Did I just say lugs and drop outs? I didn’t even know that I knew what those bits were called…) and not to mention this lovely toadstool this bell (phew, back on non technical-talk form).


To the untrained eye, the two shopper bikes I’m about to feature could just look like a couple of rusty relics. But to this little bike spotter, there is so much to to love about both of them.

Exhibit A: Apollo spotted outside Fitzroy Pool

I love its worn emerald green patina, (which the rider  has complemented with an emerald green stack hat)

and the cool and chunky font on the decal

and if you look closer, you can see my favourite detail, the embossed mudguard, (if you’ve been paying attention you might remember that little Graecross bikes have similar detailing)

But the best thing is that this guy is riding it, after finding it abandoned in his new house. Hooray for him.

Exhibit B: Family Star, spotted outside Footscray Station

The first thing that caught my eye was the  tyre. Initially I thought it was a lovely pattern, which it is, but technically it’s the standard Family Star pin striping worn through. Nice effect!

The second thing was the pegs.
A few years ago I knew a woman who used pegs to keep her trousers out of the chain. I thought this was a brilliant idea (especially for one who is fond of wide legged pants) and dutifully copied. I get many comments about them from fellow riders, and am secretly hoping that it will start a trend…maybe my dream is about to be realised, this could be the start of something big.

The third thing I loved about this bike, was its patience. There it was, right in front of me as I came down the stairs, just sitting there waiting for its rider to return. Faithful steed. Lovely.

Search me

I love this blogging business.
Sometimes I sneak a peak at my stats to see how I’m doing in the blogoshpere.
My favourite thing is to look at the search terms
to see what people are looking for when they find me.
It’s mostly bike business (and occasionally the name of the blog, which is always gratifying) but sometimes there are a few curly ones.
I just had to share these two that I found today:
“Australian easy knitted coathanger covers”,
“step by step draw a fluffy dog”.
I suspect the back button was  deployed the post haste.


Speaking of bikes that are neither restored nor trashed, this is Katie’s Peugeot. It was once her mother’s and it’s her first bike. I chased Katie down on St Kilda Road in a shameless fit of orange Peugeot lust. You can see from the top photo that I was a bit excited (but I’ve decided this accidental shot is a bit arty – I like it.) I gave Katie my card, she gave me hers. Turns out she’s a lighting designer (here’s her web site) and we were heading to the same show at the Malthouse. Synchronicity!
Oh yes, and here’s the bike…

Thanks Katie.

And another one

Speaking of red bikes and alien faces, how’s this for a forlorn little space critter?

This belongs to one of our old favourites, a Graecross (not Grace Cross – click here for the true tale of Miss Cross), spotted today in my very own street outside my local cafe. Sweet!

This model has an in-built locking mechanism, which I’ve endeavoured to feature in previous posts, but I today I think I’ve managed to get a better shot:

And here she is, front and back. Neither restored nor trashed, which is just the way I like my little bikes. Clearly a loved bike I’d say judging from the shiny matching helmet.

Now I don’t want to get too bike-spotterish (who am I kidding) but I have to admit, I think I’ve seen that rack before, on a Malvern Star…

I rest my case. But what does it mean? What does anything mean? Oh dear! Cross-pollinated bikes seem to be sparking off some kind of existential angst…oh the perils of being a blogger. It makes you QUESTION LIFE!