Category Archives: Melbourne
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!
At the Melburn Roobaix yesterday (more to come on that), I bumped into my friend Ben Kamenjas from Sydney, who I met a few years back when he worked at Deus Ex Machina. Ben’s a wealth of cycling knowledge, especially the obscure / idiosyncratic world of French components and frames. At a certain point in your life, you tire of looking at others’ work and decide to start building for yourself.
What you see here is Ben’s first bike, under his moniker Cicli Spirito (no link yet). It’s a fendered porteur with a customized VO rack that mounts to the vintage center pull mounts and classic French parts with a classic geometry.
It’s always difficult to shoot a porteur with weight on the front, so I asked Ben to act as the kickstand while I snapped a few, very quick photos.
With this weather, I’m sure Ben was stoked on his Swift Industries Pelican bag, fenders and nice, plump tires during the Roobaix. That’s a great looking bicycle!
… for the Melburn Roobaix. That means I’ll be shooting the event and bikes, as well as doing some rides. I’ll be fairly busy while I’m in OZ, but am looking forward to the event.
Today, after landing at the airport, FYXO picked me up and we dropped off a customer’s vintage De Rosa road bike. Coincidentally, this will be ridden at the Roobaix. While Andy was shooting photos in a cobbled alleyway, I took a few of him doing his thing.
This is totally random but the bike looks great! See a few more below.
Tomorrow I’m heading out for another dose of Australia to document the Melburn Roobaix for FYXO. I know there are a bunch of events happening while I’m there, like this party and other rides, so if you’re planning on being in Melbourne, I’ll see ya there.
I’ll have plenty of products with me to hand out, so don’t be shy (of course you won’t be, you’re Australian)…
Having just come off of a successful CMWC in Mexico, the world now looks to Melbourne, Australia for the 2015 host city. This is going to be good! See more at CMWC 2015.
“Master of Skids”
Andy is going over the top with this year’s Melburn Roobaix. He’s making a Fauxnago track bike, just like this one, as one of the prizes. I’ll see you all there and I hope you can make it. It’s gonna be a fun weekend in Melbourne.
Photo by Andy White
This is by far, my most favorite FYXO photo ever and this is one of Andy’s greatest long tales:
“Many have tried to replicate this ride, some with success, some with failure, none without awe of the surrounds of this part of the world and the challenges it presents when it’s just you and your bike.
I look back and think ‘did I really do that?’. Particularly day one’s 200km+ on dirt, sand, rock on a singlespeed CX one gear without an iPhone – yes, this post is that old.
These posts have inspired many to get out on there bikes and push limits and find new roads, surely helped popularise ‘gravel grinding’, yondering and whatever the hashtag of the moment is, but in truth it’s just #ridingabikewithmates.
The words of this story remain unchanged, though I’ve stitched the three day / three post report from 2009 into one. Lily Allen still puts me right back in the Eildon pub every time I hear it.”
If you could hear and smell this post, it would be the complete experience. Instead, you have to rely on words and photos. See more at FYXO.
I’m going to try my hardest to get back out to Melbourne and this might be the event for it! The 2014 Melburn Roobaix is nearing…
Man, I haven’t done a Shop Visit in some time. Thinking back at a few local bike shops I’ve been to in the past few months, two of my favorites were MTB shops. One of which was Topanga Creek Bicycles (which FYXO shot some great photos of) – I didn’t have my cameras and another, very different shop was My Mountain Melbourne.
As someone who’s recently rediscovered his love for XC and trail ripping, My Mountain was an all-you-can-eat buffet of radness. Well, as long as your wallet has enough clout. The owner, Tim, is not messing around. It was his Yeti SB95c that I was riding and that’s just the tip of the iceberg for the kinds of builds leaving his shop.
Tallboy LTC with full ENVE? Sure thing. Coming right up. Trek ProjectOne SuperFly with XX-1? You got it.
The world of high-end MTBs is just out of most of our grasps, but that’s not what makes a shop rad. My Mountain sponsors local racers, events and has an extensive demo fleet. They’re a new shop, so infill is coming in slowly, but right now, it looks like there’s a lot of potential in this space.
Check out more in the Gallery!
Photo by Andy White
… Literally. Just walked in the door after 24+ hours of traveling and all I can think is how for the first time all year, I finally felt like this last trip to Australia was truly a vacation. I rode four times total, aside from pedaling around town each day, ate without guilt, drank without worry, my camera barely left my bag, I shot maybe half a roll of 35mm film and we didn’t do one of those big big rides. Oh and I ate a lot of meat pies.
It’s weird how a place across the globe can feel like home, and in a lot of ways, can make travel there somewhat lazy. The weather was shit 95% of the days, cold, windy, rainy. We had two sunny days, luckily, both of which were spent on good rides. I just felt, kind of like doing nothing. This year’s been really tough and before you chastise me with some “boo hoo, I have to travel all the time and ride my bike” remark, trust me, it gets exhausting!
Luckily, I’ve got some good friends down in Melbourne and I was perfectly content keeping Dan and Malachi company all day. Maybe it’s the jetlag talking but this trip down under was a sobering one and yet, I kinda wanna go back once it warms up…