Pre-Chrissie wrap-up – wot’s goin’ on . . .

We at the BAC base of operations are all day-to-day bike riders, commuters in fluoro-yellow attire (sometimes even rain pants, but only when visiting the Pacific NorthWest) some days, tootlers down the beach others, muddy MTBrs and bepanniered touring cyclists as well. However, of late at BAC HQ there has been a bit of subcultural spread. (However, we still don’t and never will build fixies, even to order over Mark’s mouldy and deceased remains, so please don’t ask, as contemptuous expectorated phlegm in one’s eye often offends. Just kidding, really, but only about the spittle). BAC, it seems,  is on the cusp of turning into a pernicious nest of bike fetishists – 3 or 4 of us are wearing lycra on a regular basis and attempting not to get car-doored on our road bikes as we revolve ever more rapidly (! some days – some days we’re just men with physical inadequacy problems playing dress-ups) round Port Phillip Bay in both directions. We also pay exorbitant amounts of money to the Footscray (and other) Cycling Club(s) who allow us to go round and round in circles for an hour, who then give it to Johnno so he can buy us all coffee. Mine’s a latte, Johnno – see you at the cafe.

We are currently blessed with regular visits from an American compadre from ElvisLand – Anthony Siracusa, late of Revolutions Community Bicycles in Memphis, Tennessee (uncannily similar to BAC Bikes in what it does) on a worldwide bike-culture junket (a form of dessert indigenous to Eastern Transylvania) Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. He plays bike polo, which is yet another subset of fetishism. I think that their mallet construction workshops are merely a thinly disguised form of frottage – admittedly I am on the outside looking in, and who am I to talk, practicing voluntary legular depilatory activities on thin pretexts? It’s good to have him along to help and exchange bike culture, in a completely sanitary and low-risk fashion.

Bike paradise, but it’s not in Copenhagen . . .

You might have heard of a little group ride, happens every so often out in the wilds of country Victoria: the Great Victorian Bike Ride. Well, I put my hand up (yet again – I’ve lost count how many times I’ve done it, a-fixin’ and a-mendin’) and signed up to Bicycle Superstore‘s take on the retail and maintenance operation. All in all, first(ish) time up, they did a creditable job of “a week in another world”. Maybe after the shock’s worn off they’ll be back to do it again next year. After 16-hour days a-fixin’ and a-mendin’, and a-packin’ and unpackin’ (repeat 9 times) I was a wee bit fatigued, as were we all. So much so that I didn’t ride my bike for a week. Shame.

Well, it’s a sort of a smile – maybe more of a smirk.

As you can see, we had our fair share of inclement weather, not only wind (although this was a recurring feature – one morning we fled from it to the safety of the local footy clubrooms – a big ta to the Apollo Bay Footy Club for their magnificently sweaty country hospitality) but also a month’s worth of rain in two days in Portland. Soggy at the time – 6″ of water on a workshop floor usually means a burst water main somewhere, but romantic and heroic in retrospect. When I opened my toolbox a couple of days after getting home, some of my tools were still rusted in the last position I used them, like victims of Mt Vesuvius from Pompeii – WD 40 is a charm against rust, but probably doesn’t work against hot ash and lava. Thanks a heap to Nigel, Kris C., JP (“you ain’t no dirty ol’ man”) and the rest of the Sunshine Gang (KC and the ~, get it? Huh? Huh? AW, C’MON!) for the opportunity to paddle in the sea. Once. 🙂 I did get to ride up Lavers Hill and along the Great Ocean Road tho’, so that was all good. (Best memory – starting my ride at 10am after helping with the camp packup at Port Campbell, rolling into town for a leisurely coffee and a read of the paper, then rolling out towards Apollo Bay and the hills, and having the road all to myself for the first hour, and then mostly to myself for the next one after that). Hurt a bit at the time (esp. later in the day when Cam Letty was doing his Andy Schleck impressions – you little upstart! 🙂 ) but it’s stopped now.

Christmas logistics at BAC (ho ho ho) : we’re closing on 22nd of December (with a lunchtime barbeque – come along if you’re interested and hungry {vegetarians included}) and will re-open on the 4th of January (in a limited capacity for the first week or so, due to the volunteer diaspora that occurs round about then). More bikes please! We’re running low on wheels (700c and 27″ in particular) so good round examples of these, and bikes with them in, would be gratefully received. Volunteers also – this coming year will be The Year of the Bike, no matter what those supposedly ‘best and brightest minds of a generation’-elected-official-doofus-nincompoop-corrupt-nuffies are doing in Copenhagen. So come on! We can fix anything with two wheels! and frequently do – you can learn to as well. Huffys (Huffies?) included, but only when we’re in an exceptionally good mood.

Cheers, and have a good celebratory interlude connected to a religious faith of your choice – from all at BAC Bikes: Mark, Mike, Johnno, Dylan, Drew, Vadim, Anthony, Spike, Jeremy, Lex and everyone else.

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