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Archive for the ‘Cool Pushies’ Category

Each year over on Rat Rod Bikes there is a custom bike build off. The emphasis is on having fun and taking the opportunity to take your pushie building that step or two further than what you normally would. To keep things achievable for the average bloke, you need to run a basically stock frame and paint it yourself.

To check out all of the finished bikes check out this thread. Here’s a sample of some of the bikes that took my fancy.

‘Bareknuckle Brawler’ by Bean

‘Curved Odyessey’ by 28 incher

‘Deluxe-6-Rat-Racer’ by Petrohead

‘Frightliner’ by Tvc15

‘Go Away’ by Garagegoon

‘Hard-Luck’ by Karfer67

‘Ruf n Rusty’ by Jerry KR

‘Strick 9’ by Jalopy Jim

‘The Speed Demon’ by Double Nickle

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The other week after checking out the Bobbin Head run, we decided to make the most of the awesome weather and continue heading north. We had the pushies in tow, and figured we’d find a sweet bikepath with a bit of nosing around.

Just before we hit The Entrance we spied a bikepath along the lake – sweet! So we ditched the car and rolled into the shops, and grabbed a nice fresh pizza for lunch. We managed to find a nice grassy spot away from the crowds (and screaming kids), but still close enough to listen to the live muso.

After lunch we followed the edge of the lake inland along a shared use path – dead flat and nice and wide – perfect beach cruiser territory. Of course at Long Jetty we just had to ride out and get some pics on it. We continued on, but as you can see the water was pretty high in places, presumably thanks to all the recent rain. My girlfriend was fine with her guards still in place, but I had to crawl through to prevent getting a nice trail of filthy water flicked up my back! We got around to Berkely Vale or so, before heading back to The Entrance for a well-earned ice cream. From there it was back home, to wash the salt water of death off the bikes in the dark. A good day.

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Ever miss those days when you were a kid and you’d jump on your pushie and just explore to see what the hell was out there? I sure do! So today I did just that, and I had a blast.

My partner was working a 5 hour shift in Mosman so it worked out perfectly – drop her off at work and then go play. It was one of those perfect sunny winter days, ideal riding conditions. And nothing beats the simplicity of riding a single speed beach cruiser, no handbrakes, no gears – just pedal!

All up I calculated I did about 22kms, which is a reasonable effort. No hills as such, but some bridges which were bad enough!

So I started by ditching the car in Kirribilli, and trundling down to the harbour for some pics. My good camera is getting some work done, so my Gopro with the fisheye lens was called in for duty. As cities go Sydney’s pretty special.

From there it was around the foreshore to Luna Park.

Then up through North Sydney, and across the Harbour Bridge. The west side of the bridge is dedicated to bikes.

After the bridge I trundled south a little longer, before making a right and going over Pyrmont Bridge and over Darling Harbour. Had camera issues so no pics of this bit! From there headed over to the Anzac Bridge, which is impressive in its own right, but not as cool as the Harbour Bridge.

After crossing the Anzac Bridge, I hooked left and rode around Rozelle Bay. Gives you a good idea of how far I rode.

Followed the path around to Blackwattle Bay and past the Fishmarkets, and back to Darling Harbour. A quick stop netted a coke and a kebab – lunch of champions! Though I did get some funny looks riding along with a kebab in one hand looking for a nice spot to eat it. I think I did okay though. Note the black hole appearing in the sun! No it’s not the start of the apocalypse, just the Gopro doesn’t like direct sunlight.

After sitting around enjoying the weather (and letting lunch settle!), it was back through the CBD and back over the bridge again.

Long way down! And this is just the ramp before you get to the high bit over the water.

Well I got back to the car and saw I still had a fair bit of time to kill. So I chucked the bike in the car and headed down to Manly beach to cruise the beachfront.

Up the north end of the beach there is an ocean pool and a rocky headland, which combined with the setting sun made an awesome setting for some photos. Wish I had my decent camera to capture the colours better.

Yes, this is as close to the edge as it looks! If it fell backwards it was going into the waves…

After getting some pics I cruised down the whole beach length to the south end, where the bike section finishes. At the surf club there’s a ramp down to the beach so I coasted down that onto some firm wet sand which was surprisingly good to ride along. Being a winter’s day there was almost no one along the water’s edge, so I took the opportunity to put the hammer down and do some old-fashioned beach racing – great fun! I took this pic as I was riding, however it looks like I was stationary at the time… I was moving – honest!

And with the beach land speed record far beyond my reach, it was time to chuck the sandy bike back in the car, crank up The Atlantics CD, and head back to Mosman to pick up my girlfriend from work.

Did it take me back to being a kid and exploring? You betchya!

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It’s no secret I love a cool pushie. Of course here in Australia whilst we had the ol Malvern Star dragsters ‘in the day’, we never really had the 26″ beach cruisers like they did stateside. So I was doing my semi-regular ebay trawling for bikes and lo and behold some bloke in the Hunter is selling a bunch of classic US bikes, some with some awesome styling. He’s asking some serious coin (out of my budget for sure), but when was the last time you saw a bike like any of these in Australia which was genuine?

1950 Monarch

1939 Schwinn

1936 Schwinn

1960 Murray Roadmaster

1950 JC Higgins

1960 JC Higgins

1941 Columbia

Sears Spaceliner

1952 Columbia 5 star

Western Flyer

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Well it’s a crappy wet, overcast, and plain ol miserable day here in Sydney. Rather than doing something constructive (like cleaning the house), I’m drooling over sunny beachside pics from the Summer been…

These pics are from a cruise with the girlfriend on our cruisers along the Brighton Le Sands cycleway. This is natural habitat for the beach cruiser, and the bikes lap up the kms and the looks. The great thing about daylight savings is you can head out for a cruise in the arvo and miss the weekend crowds (little kids running out in front of you and back pedal brakes do not make good friends).

Bring back summer and daylight savings…. sigh.

My girls’ bike is a Felt Claire, which has been treated to some thornproof tubes, slicks with whitewalls, and a wicker basket (perfect for carrying the car keys, wallet and camera). A 3 spd hub and drum brakes up front make it more friendly for her to ride. Felts have to be my fave brand of cruiser, this bike is the smoothest bike I’ve ever ridden! And I haven’t even mentioned the 50mm ride rims yet – fat!

Chillin at the beach. Shortly after this pic I attempted some ’20s/30s beach racer-esque pics along the wet sand on my bike, and failed miserably, getting bogged in the wet sand… haha.

Brighton Le Sands cycleway – great scenery and plenty of room. A word of warning – avoid windy days! It’s very exposed to offshore winds and riding into a headwind is a killer! My bike is a customised Giant Simple cruiser, might have to post some of the build pics one day.

The cycleway gets its fair share of serious riders too, so you have to keep half an eye behind you so you don’t block them. Take pity on them, their silly skinny wheels don’t like grass!

Time for a rest break – ice cream time! We’ve earnt it. Not a bad view eh?

Cruisers and Cons, like peas and carrots.

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Rob Walker is a Queensland based kustom kulture artist whose work continues to awe and inspire both myself and many others. Not content to stick with one medium, he creates art in a bunch of different forms, and what’s more he absolutely nails each of them. Not only does his work capture the essence of both kustom kulture and ‘50s nostalgia, he still manages to introduce a unique style in his work in a genre where there is so much overlap between other artists’ styles. We managed to tie him down for 5 minutes between bouts of creativity to have a chat with him.

So your brother Pete is a well known photographer in the kustom kulture world, and you’re obviously a massive kustom kulture nut, how did you guys get into it?
I’ll have to point the finger at my dad on this one. Cutting my teeth on his hot rod & restyling mags when we were in single figures set the scene for us. Being taken to school in his souped FJ while standing on the back seat, leaning over the front and watching the magical EK speedo he’d fitted go around, or riding on the tank of his WLA, sans helmet, (goodness, how did we survive) stoked the fires as well. Yep dad was a car nut so I guess it’s in the blood.

What are some of the cars you have built over the years?
I had a 36 Plymouth coupe and a 37 Plymouth sedan when I was 15 that I was tinkering with. I sold them off when I got my license and got into old Holdens. There were a couple of EK’s, my custom being one, FB ute and a sweet 52 Pontiac. Oh and an unfinished 48 Buick in-between.

Out of all of those, what was your favourite and how come?
Easily my EK custom. Had many a great time in that old heap, from running it down the quarter at Surfers Paradise to winning top custom at Wintersun. Sadly it didn’t live to see the custom car renaissance we enjoy now. Poor thing had more hits than Elvis and I’m sure it was possessed.

EKs feature a lot in your art as well. Why about them do you love so much?
Because they were a big part of my life at one point, from becoming a man to almost being killed in one and all the stories in between. Plus there a cool looking car, also, in my painting “summer 1962” (the girl in back of an EK wagon) I wanted to give it an Australian feel. After all, that’s where we are.

And what’s the one car you’d love to build – like what’s your ultimate project?
Well I do like the odd makes but the ultimate for me would have to be a 36 Ford 3 window coupe done 40’s style but different to the norm. Mind you the 46 business coupe I’m doing at the moment will do.

Now getting onto your art, when you did you start playing with it?
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t drawing or making something but I guess my focus on art bit hard about 95. The striping since I was apprenticed as a signwriter in the mid 80’s striping and scrolling trucks.

I find with artists there are people who are great at one medium, and those like yourself who excel at many – you pinstripe, paint, build custom cars, and make sculptures as well. Do some mediums come quicker to you than others? Do some mediums suite some moods better than others?
That depends on what my focus is at the time or the idea thats floating around. Sometimes, especially after a couple of reds I think I can get all mediums happening at once. Other times, I’m better off just sitting in front of the telly.

Now you seem like the kind of guy who always has a bunch of projects on the go at any one time. Do you find that motivation to finish them off is hard, particularly when you have newer and better ideas that come along?
I think that’s something most creative people suffer from. You’re creating a masterpiece and while your mind is off in some artistic la la land another idea will pop up and you know you just have to see if it will work. There’s many a half started project in my shed or studio and I’m sure I’m not alone there. Hello. Helloooo. Anybody???????

I’m definitely guilt of that one! Where do you look for inspiration for your art and your cars? What’s the kind of process that happens between having an idea and the finished project – like does it evolve and morph organically or does it usually just come together like you thought it would?
I guess inspiration comes from everywhere. B grade sci fi, art deco, WWII and atomic age styling all play a big part. Usually an idea will go through a series of rough sketches until I’m happy with the layout enough to put it on canvas. Sculpting is different though. The picture is in my head and it’s just created until it resembles what I had in mind. That is if I don’t have any of those interruptions like in the previous question.

As an artist, what do you get out of making art? Why does it make you tick?
I’ve always enjoyed making things, creating something from just an idea, bringing it into the world and showing whoever I have cornered at the time. The thought of inspiring someone tomorrow, or 100 years from now with my art keeps me going.

Following on from that, what do you love about people’s reactions to your art?
The reaction I like most is “I must have it”. I also enjoy seeing people standing around an artwork discussing it, with lots of pointing, pondering, chin cuping and hhmmmm-ing. I had that a lot with my Rosie the Riveter painting.

Any advice or tips for aspiring artists?
Good expensive brushes won’t make you a good painter. If you can, do a course. There’s a lot you didn’t know. Be confident enough to sign a big signature.

If someone is keen to buy some of your art, how can they see some of it/get into contact with you?
I don’t have a website as such. A lot of my art is on the www.pixbypete.id.au website or on my facebook site.

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As well as playing with cars, I also don’t mind playing with the odd custom pushbike. No, not those lowrider bikes that are that small you can’t ride them, I’m talking full size 26″ wheeled cruisers.

The latest creation to roll out of the shed (actually the living room truth be known!) is this board track motorbike inspired piece. The starting point was a Kustom Kruiser branded bike purchased on ebay. The concept was simple – strip off any superfluous parts and make it look fast as hell. Even the front brakes have been ditched – who wants to slow down? The standard handlebars have been trimmed and turned down for that classic board track motorbike look, while the Quick Brick tyres are the perfect finishing touch for that art deco era aesthetic. And yes, it will be ridden!

The mandatory before pic:

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