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Archive for the ‘Cool Pushies’ Category

Lake Hume rail trail

Easter Rides – Part 2 of 3

For part 2 of the rides I got up to over Easter, I’ll share some pics from the rail trail which goes along next to Lake Hume. Officially known as the High Country Rail Trail, the route takes you along next to the picturesque Lake Hume.

The construction of this section of railway line was started back in 1887, and was extended in various dribs and drabs until the 1920s. In the 1930s some sections of the line had to be moved when the Hume Dam was built, and then again in the 50s when the height of the dam was increased. The line saw duty during the construction of the Snowies Hydro Scheme, however its used declined after this, until it was officially closed in ’81.

As with a number of similar disused railway lines, it has now become a mixed used pathway for bikes and walkers. The great thing is being a railway line is that there’s no killer hills to deal with! The west end of the trail which we did passes plenty of picnic areas which are great to stop at and have a break, or take a picnic lunch. It’s also good for when your fiance gets tired, she can stay there while you ride back and get the car to pick her up! Overall the trail is pretty good with great views, though the gravel is fairly chunky in places which provides a rough and unpleasant ride – definitely not one for a road bike or hybrid bike with skinny tyres.

Enough of the blah blah blah, here’s some pics.

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Easter Rides – Part 1 of 3
This Easter weekend I managed to get in a bit of cruising on the pushies (in between visiting relos and eating chocolate). I’ll cover the rides over 3 blog posts, rather than just do one massive post. First ride of the weekend was in Wagga, where there were serious floods only a few weeks ago.

The levee bank which protects the town has a track along much of it, which makes for great cruising given the bush surrounds and it’s also nice and flat! I woke up just after dawn, so decided to drag the bike out of the hotel room and take her for an early morning cruise. Given I’m seldom up at this hour, I had to take advantage of the gorgeous sunrise and get some pics.

These next shots are to try to give you some idea of the level of flooding. This first pic shows the water level during the floods.

And this next one gives you a sense of scale. The blue flood marker sign is high above my bike, which is probably already 5m above the water level.

The track along the river is nice and wide which makes for good passing, and there’s some interesting stuff like industrial ruins from the old Waterworks as well.

And a few pics of the damage caused by the floodwaters. This concrete section of path has been decimated.

And here you can clearly see how the eddy created by the seat and tree has ripped up the asphault.

Another stop for some pics.

And some more pics showing the extent of the flooding. This is the entry to the Wagga Beach Caravan Park.

And at rides end. Time to head back to the hotel for a shower and a clean up, followed by some bacon and eggs for brekky!

Ridden not hidden!

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Last weekend I finally made it up to the Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival. It’s been one of those events I’ve been meaning to get to for years, but there’s always been other things on and stuff getting in the way. So when a mate offered a spare seat in his ’61 Lincoln to head up there on the Sunday, I jumped at the chance.

The best way to explain the show is to imagine Wintersun, held in a country town. We got there about mid morning and by the look of all the neat cars on the side streets, the show and shine was well and truely packed. We later found out it was full by 9am! The main street was chockas – full of cars, people, stalls and a couple of bands. The range of cars was great too, with everything from rods and customs, to restos, street machines and few muscle cars as well. The great thing was getting away from Sydney and checking out some fresh cars.

Overall a pretty cool event with a great vibe, and plenty of cool cars and people. Here’s a few pics of stuff that got my interest.

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Every Australia Day long weekend for the last five years I’ve made the trip down to CRAKK. Officially known as the Canberra Rod and Kustom Kruise, it’s one of the best runs I’ve been to and I’m counting down the sleeps like a little school kid. This year word went out that they were looking for trophies for the pushies, so I decided to put my hand up. One I love bikes, but more importantly it was a great opportunity to support an event I love. Plus it was an excuse for another art project! Here’s a quick blow by blow from concept to finished trophy.

First step was some simple sketches to feel out some ideas. I figured a hacksaw was cool because it was the kind of tool you’d use to chop up a bike frame.

Make a template.

Cut up some steel.

Find an old ’90s mag to chop up. A razor sharp x-acto knife is perfect for this.

I purposely went for an old mag to get black and white pics. This will make them more monochromatic and make the lettering stand out more. I layed the pics out so I get a rough feel for how many I needed.

All decoupaged up, and drying in the sun.

For the text I wanted painted numbers. Lettering is a skill in itself, and I think much more difficult than pinstriping. I love street art so I took some inspiration from that and decided to go with a two layer stencil. First some red primer for the background and then a cream for the letters themselves. I used a clear overhead sheet, as this doesn’t curl at the edges like paper tends to. The end result is a cleaner edge with less underspray.

And I missed taking pics of the cream stencil (I was finishing it off and cooking a lamb roast at the same time!), so here’s some pics of the finished article.

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Olympic Park cruisin

Today I mowed lawn in glorious sunshine, then watched with dismay as the clouds in the west began to roll in and turn an ominous shade of black. Bugger I thought, there goes this arvo’s ride. Well after it’d cleared I thought what the heck, may as well go out for a spin!

Todays weapon of choice was my Dyno Roadster. Hard to beleive a mainstream bike manufacturer made a bike so freaking cool! It’s great fun to ride and gets plenty of looks, though hills are a bit of a struggle. I headed over to Sydney Olympic Park, which for our international readers is where the 2000 Olympics were held. It’s perfect for a cruiser as it’s almost dead flat, and there’s tonnes of bikepaths to keep you occupied for hours. Just pick and choose your visits to avoid the picnic crowd – it gets busy. A wet Sunday arvo meant the place was pretty quiet. Here’s some pics.

Looking over to Rhodes. While it looks pretty, the signs up around the place tell you not to fish because of the industrial pollution in the water. Awesome.

Nice and wide pathways are great. Just watch for the walkers in their own world listening to their ipods who suddenly step across in front of you, and the occasional roady rider who zooms past.

Lots of wildlife around, with wetlands and mangroves providing plenty of habitat.

You’re not allowed to take your bikes on these timber pathways through the mangroves, but the photo op was too good to pass up.

This is the big stadium where the Olympic ceremonies and all the track and field type events were held.

There’s still sections of the track from the V8 Supercars race last weekend, this was where the dogleg was. For the rest of you the V8 Supercars are kinda like the Aussie equivalent of Nascar and last weekend was the final race of the season.

Bike needed a hose when I got home. Car could do with a vacuum too…

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Island Life

I take a lot of stuff for granted. Google is only a click away (it got me through uni!), I’ve got a corner shop about 30m from the front door when I run out of milk, and I can duck into Sydney for a gig and not be too late home on a school night. So I can’t imagine living out on a tiny speck of an island in the middle of the ocean!

One bloke who does is ‘Pushie Pirate’, off the Aussie Retro Rollers forum. He lives on Lord Howe Island, which is basically 700km north east of Sydney. The island is about 11km long and is absolutely bloody gorgeous. Living in paradise does have its drawbacks though, and one of them is getting stuff – the boat (below) comes once a fortnight to stock the locals up with mail, fuel, and other supplies.

The good news is he loves custom pushies, and they also happen to the be most common form of transport on the island (remember its only 11km long). He gets most of his bike parts from bikes scrounged from the tip, plus the odd part shipped over when there’s some spare room on the boat.

His latest build is this stretched cruiser he’s dubbed ‘long, low and slow’. Built from a couple of cruiser frames the lines are pretty good and the paint looks a million bucks. Word is she rides as nice as she looks. Nice work, and a great example of how ingenuity makes better rides than a credit card and mail order.

 

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Man I can’t wait for Spring and some warmer weather! Here’s some pics from cruising the beachfront a couple months back, after we checked out the Towradgi show and shine. As you can the track has some awesome views!

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