24 February 2009

Letter From Australia

Another article from a reader, this time a lovely story from John, in Australia.



Australia, like the rest of the world, is in a midst of a ‘bicycle renaissance’. Both urban and rural dwellers are forsaking the generic mountain bike sold in bulk at cut price department stores and are opting for bicycles with character.

Walk any inner city street of Melbourne and the numbers of ‘vintage’ bikes are increasing by the day.

With the popularity of these cycles rising and the cost of European styles quite expensive, astute collectors are selling their ‘old’ cycles on eBay etc and are raking in the cash. They are expensive to buy and even harder to find.

But sometimes life coughs up a wonderful surprise.

I spotted this old Australia Post Bicycle leaning against the back fence of a house from the window of a train near where I now live in country Victoria. I made a mental note of the location and when I returned home I told my wife I have found her new bike.

Two weeks later we drove to the town and meandered our way back along the train line until I found the house. Drunk with anticipation, I bravely called over the back fence and met the owner of the house who was more than happy for me to have the bike, but being gentlemen, we agreed on a nominal fee of $10AUD. (Approx DK40.00) and yes, it was an official ‘Postie’ bike used before they were replaced by a Honda motorbike.

We loaded the bike into the car and drove home where I pumped the tyres, adjusted the front hub brake, and lowered the seat and now this once majestic beauty of the suburban mail run was back on the road and as you can see my beautiful flame-haired wife complements the fire engine red frame and basket.

In the late 1980’s, as an 18 year old, I was fortunate enough to live in Denmark for 12 months (Esbjerg to be precise – please no jokes about the smell) and rode a 'typisk Dansk cykel hver dag til Esbjerg Gymnasium'. On returning to visit Denmark on a number of occasions I continued to marvel at the beauty of the Danish Cycling Culture, its purity and lack of pretension.

Thanks so much for sending this along to us, John!