Take the time out of this day to remember why you ride.
INBOX @ FYXO
You might think this is dumb, Andy. I know it’s just a typical domestic story but it’s what’s behind my love of cycling. Thanks for the blog I really appreciate the work you put in.
Far from dumb, this is what the fabric of cycling - to me - is made of. I love Le Tour, the classics, racing, commuting, tinkering, but greater that every single stage of Alpe d'Huez and every C-Record bling machine is the life long memories I retain from friendships made on two wheels.
Put the kettle on.
I’m a fat bloke who loves bikes. I didn’t always love bikes but when I was about thirty and living in Canberra I met Brett Seaman. Brett was pretty good on a bike but his real skill was a passion for life and it rubbed off on us all.
At the time I had a Speedwell Special Sports which was the first important thing I’d ever bought with my own money. I started riding to work and it made Brett laugh till he shat. He said he hadn’t been riding but seeing me inspired him to get back on his bike. He had a sh1tty old yellowish Kuahara and the blokes in Wollongong where he came from reckoned it was the last friction shifting bike in captivity.
Sh1tty or not Brett always made that bike sing. One time up Hindmarsh drive I thought I had him but as I went to pass Brett turned sideways and spewed on me because of oxygen debt. Very effective - he got over the top first.
Brett taught me to love the Tour and Phil Liggett and to love the bike. I bought a Centurion Turbo with 105 bits and we started regular training rides. Up Black mountain, heart attacks on Mt Ainslie, down Stromlo without touching the brakes, Red Hill and so on. Canberra is a paradise for cyclists.
Brett’s joy and passion spread throughout the land. Although others were responsible too, Brett’s passion was the primer the Canberra Cycling Club needed to push it along. We had the Haymans, Mick Tolhurst, Steven Hodge and a few others who were just phenomenal but under them were people like Michael Aisbett, Paul Ingwerson, Carts - the big leg driver, Tim from the Bike shed who built my wife’s bike and a whole lot of really good, passionate and friendly riders. Being there and then it was like watching the start of something beautiful and I think the CCC has never looked back.
When I moved to Melbourne I went to Cecil Walkers and bought my first proper bike a 55 square 531 frame with Mirage bits. Holy fuck it was sensational. Brett went and bought the same bike from someone in Canberra and it was the first time he’d had a really good up to date bike.
Brett and I rode as much as we could when ever we could and it made life sensible and beautiful until stuff like wives and kids and him getting killed less than a year laterat Merimbula just stopped it all. The bike was smashed and he was dead but while he had it he made that thing sing like few people I’ve ever seen.
After 15 years I pulled the Cecil Walker down and rebuilt it from scratch, fully chromed frame, pearl white, campagnolo record titanium 8 speed, DP 18 rims – that bike was a thing of my heart. A car again put that to bed with a dope doing a right turn in front of me at Queens parade.￼
Now I have a Master Olympic about to go together and am working out a deal on a Pegoretti. I ride a ten speed Colnago Dream which is just sensational, but the key thing is just bikes. I’ve got about ten or so and they’re all fantastic. They move me around and make the world look good.
I still love bikes and I still love Brett. Brett always said when you’re in the bottlo, buy more than you can drink because later on you’ll be drunk and the bottlo will be closed so you might as well just do it now. We’ll all die soon enough so before that happens I’m going to ride the wheels off my bikes, buy new bits to look at, play with, use in some eclectic build or hold on to and pass on to some other nut.