Bananas, bananas, bananas

20 Apr

Right now, what’s the first word that comes into your mind that starts with the letter B?

I’m sure there were a few males out there that had beer or boobs come to mind, but the vast majority of you probably thought BANANA.

Well, for me the word would be BIKE. This year it seems as though I’m eating, breathing and crapping bikes.

If I was to describe my life at the moment, I would say it’s one big bike and I’m riding it – wow, how very creative. To help explain the cheesy start to this paragraph, and to help explain why my blog posts of late are as regular as a constipated chimpanzees bowel motions, I will let the photo’s do the talking.

At the start of the year I quit my mining job in Tasmania to try and get work in a bike shop, and to be based in Melbourne for the countdown to the Final Continent Expedition departure. For the last couple of months I have been working 4 days a week at a local bike shop. I’m basically the shop bitch, I’m like the eager teenage work experience kid. In the shop I’m at the bottom of the bike mechanical hierarchy, I serve customers, build the new bikes up, do all the punctures, and I have been getting pretty good at emptying the rubbish bin. It’s great to be surrounded by bike enthusiasts and like the sponge I am I have been soaking up all the knowledge I can get my hands on – I never knew bikes were such complicated things.

I have been attending a 4 month bike mechanic course 1 night a week at the local TAFE (polytech). With working at the bike shop and taking this course I hope it arms me with the skills to keep our touring bikes rolling whilst in Africa and to give me the required skills to help in training the locals that will be working in the sea container bike work shop. Which by the why we have found out the destination of the container, I will do a blog on that after Easter.

Most normal people in their living room have a TV or a mantel piece, but our living room there is a bike mechanic tool set and a bike work stand. And yes folks, that is my touring bike in the stand, it arrived last week. And yes that is Mandy’s bike frame and wheels in the background; we are still waiting for all the componentry to arrive for hers. Hopefully it arrives in the next couple of days as we are planning a little Easter cycle trip.

Living in Melbourne a bike friendly city has been the perfect training for Africa. I don’t own a car and don’t use public transport, I just ride my bike everywhere, to the park, to the pub, to work. I don’ t miss having to wait in traffic, I don’t miss spending money on petrol, I don’t miss waiting for public transport, I don’t miss wondering if that ‘clunk, clunk’ sound in my car is going to cost me money, and I love not having to think about sober driving or finding a parking space in town. I would be lying if I said I missed having a car when it was pissing down with rain and freezing cold though.

Then there is the Sunday every now and then spent taking pedals off bikes, turning around handle bars around and packing them into the Africa bound sea container with the Bicycles for Humanity crew.

Looking at all this above I find it rather funny as before I had set myself this little Africa cycle challenge, I had never thought about bikes all that much, a bike was a bike, where as now a bike is either a mountain bike, a tourer, a fixie, a hybrid, a flat bar road bike, a single speed. I think that’s the beauty of having little goals, you end up exploring new things in your effort to reach your goal. I suppose my Africa cycle is just another part to my bigger goal that is working the world. Definitely something that has consumed me, like alcohol to an alcoholic, or bananas to a monkey………………………….ummm ok before I make anymore banana analogies, I’m calling this a post.

PS If you are planning a trip to Melbourne in the near future, you should coincide it with our Sunday fun day fundraising event, BEER, BIKES and BANDS, Sunday 29th May at the Workers Club on Brunswick Street in Melbourne’s funky Fitzroy area. We have just had Little Creatures brewery jump onboard as the event sponsor! More details to come.

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2 Responses to “Bananas, bananas, bananas”

  1. Rowan April 29, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    I’m sort of slowly reading through your adventures. It’s incredible. I’m wondering if I should give up my language and resort to grunting and bashing people with sticks because I have never felt like such a yocal.

    ….I think I won’t…

    Kudos to you though. I too ride a bike, and also found out rather recently that there’s a hell of a lot more to it than, well, a bike.

    Interesting to see what you do next, after you’re thirty. Whether you could really stop such a life.

    • Hap April 30, 2011 at 5:21 am #

      Hey Rowan,

      Cheers for the comment.

      Yeah mate, after 30 who knows, I’m as keen as you are to see what happens, I have a few plans but will see what eventuates.

      Cheers Hap

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