There’s something magical about waking up to the call of the Magpie, in a dingy hotel room, with holes in the walls (wall paper peeling off) and to the stench of post-parma flatulence mixed with dirty bib shorts. Now, I know that was grotesque, but it’ll paint a vivid picture for ya.
Personally, I was stoked on our accommodations. For $30 Aussie notes, we slept like logs on a windless summer night. The sunrise looked good and best of all: it wasn’t raining. At all. Yet.
After scarfing down a “scroll” – Australian for cinnamon roll, two tangerines, a pie (meat pie), another pie (meat pie) and a breakfast croissant (ham and cheese), we were ready for mediocre coffee and yellow-tinted water for our bidons. The sun was still shining, so we went off, rain jackets strapped to our bags.
The winter in Victoria can be unforgiving. One minute, it’ll be sunny and the next, a monsoon. After losing a 5D Mkiii body to the Roobaix (R.I.P. baby), I was hesitant to shoot in the rain, so a sunny morning meant more photos and more photos means more “recovery stops.” Even, in the end, that means for hurterer legs. Bugga!
Our day would be packed with hardpack. Lots of climbing, up steep hills, over the range and back down into Healesville. On paper, it looked easy, on the legs, not so much. 65ish miles and 7,000′ of almost all dirt meant we were in for a long day and even longer descents. BRAPPPPP!
Thankfully, the morning light and afternoon landscapes kept my mind off the lactic acid fermentation forming in my quads… See for yourself in the Gallery!
Andy White of FYXO has a pretty decent bicycle collection, ranging from some Australian pedigree, to classic Italian, carbon madness and bikes like this immaculate Concorde Squadra with a mix of Campagnolo.
Most of Andy’s bikes are obvious choices but this one stood out as being a bit different…
So I asked him why, out of all the bikes on this Earth, did he spend so much time building up a Concorde Squadra PDM? Nothing against these frames, they’re immaculate! His answer “Because I wanted to do Concorde PDM FYXO bidons.”
That’s dedication to the cause…
A local rider in Melbourne came out and shot some video of the 2014 Melbourne Roobaix.
Thanks for letting me go on another overnighter ride in the Aussie bush. It’s exactly what I (and my bike) needed. What a perfect 48 hours… oh and happy 4th of July!
For the next 48 hours, I’ll be riding in the outer reaches of civilization deep in the Yarra Ranges with a handful of mates. As per the norm when it comes to these rides, there will be ample documentation upon my return.
This trip will be atypical from previous treks, since it’s winter and the weather can change in the blink of an eye…
See you soon!
Llewellyn is one of Australia’s best kept, not-so secrets. Those who know, know, leaving the rest of the world coveting frames from Eisentraut (1959), Moulton (1957), Weigle (1977), Sachs (1975), etc.
Granted, Llewellyn has only been building since 1979, and the others, as stated above, have been around only slightly longer. Darrell Llewellyn makes steel bikes and steel bikes alone. He’s built for numerous Australian national athletes, was an Olympic mechanic and had a hand in the early days of NAHBS.
It’s winter here, Down Under and it’s been quite the shock to the system. I was just getting acclimated to the heat of Texas Summer and now I’m riding in nothing but cold weather and pissing rain.
Today Andy and I went riding a few local trails and after our ride, I shot a few photos. Nothing serious, just head shots, head tubes of our bikes (thanks to My Mountain Melbourne for the loaner Yeti SB95c!) and dirty butts. See a few more below.
It’s merely by coincidence that I’m in Australia when this kit was completed at Endo Customs in Los Angeles but it worked out perfectly. My original concept for doing the Radavist’s first kit was looking to nature for inspiration, particularly venomous animals you might encounter in the woods or while camping.
The Black Widow spider (USA), or in this case, the Redback spider (OZ) has a far worse reputation than its bite, yet the population fears it. An all-black spider, with a bright red marking on its abdomen will induce your fight or flight response. These kits were an homage to nature’s way of visual coding… The same marking makes it visible in the woods as you’re ripping trails, or on a road climb.
Marked with “Rubber Side Up” on the drive-side leg, the Radavist Jackal on the other, the script logo across the chest, on the lower back and the raidō r-rune from the Elder Futhark on the upper back of the bib, it’s a straight forward, yet classic kit that hopefully will become your staple.
Price is $270 + shipping for the bibs and jersey. I’m only selling this paired for this round. That means you get a medium jersey and medium bibs in each order, along with some stickers and a stem cap. This is not a pre-order, these kits are in stock and will ship this week.
SORRY SOLD OUT but thanks to FYXO for the photos!
There are enough competitive races, or rides that look like races in the world and the Melburn Roobaix is not one of those events. Instead, Andy and Melody White from FYXO aim to bring people together, from all “rolls of life” to take a leisurely spin around Melbourne’s many cobbled back-alleys and bike paths. I.e. off the beaten bike path…
With over 2,000 registrants this year, planning was essential. Rider registration the day of was streamlined, there were now two route options, with over 40 variations for completion and yes, plenty of prizes, all of which were drawn from a lottery. It didn’t matter how fast or slow you completed your manifest, as long as you did so, you were eligible for prizes.
So… what is the Melburn Roobaix all about? I don’t know how to answer that, other than it’s all about the participants. There’s no overwhelming demographic, not one specific type of bike reined supreme. Rather, a broad sampling of the Melbourne cycling community attends each year. Commuters, ex-racers, current racers, weekend bike path warriors, enthusiasts, cool kids, kinda cool kids, first timers, party goers, costumed freaks, costumed geeks and yes, even people on Melbourne’s rentable city bikes.
I have to say, after spending over six hours in the rain, following meandering packs of people wearing soaking wet costumes, looking for cobbled alleys, I’m convinced this is truly one of the most down to Earth events in the world. Everyone was more than stoked to ride around in the pissing rain, into headwinds and without a care in the world. The people are what make it so much fun and this Gallery is dedicated to just that: the people of the 2014 Melburn Roobaix.
Many, many, many thanks to the people of Melbourne (particularly the patient drivers), the crew from Brisbane / Queensland I rolled with, the volunteers, vendors and FYXO for making this such an enjoyable event!
Now if I can just figure out why all “Roubaix-themed” events wreak havoc on my camera gear!