Bicycle Mechanic courses now running

Ever wanted to know how to fix you puncture? Wondered how to get your foot into the bicycle industry door? Or just wanted to look cool fixing a bike like Mike.

Well wonder no more. Good Cycles and Bicycle Training Australia (BTA) have merged to introduce a world of bicycle mechanics to a world of curious and enthusiastic cyclists. BTA provides training for bicycle technicians, and offers Continue reading “Bicycle Mechanic courses now running”

Meet the Good Cycles Team

Over the next few weeks Good Cycles will be posting a series of interviews that introduce you to the team of employees that make Good Cycles great. First cab off the rank is Co-founder/Director Luke Wright.

Interview #1

Luke03Name: Luke Wright

Position: Co-founder/Director

Q: How did you get involved with Good Cycles?

A: Loretta and I hatched the idea for Good Cycles a few years back. What started out as a short conversation about social enterprise, and how Melbourne was a city ripe for a bicycle-based organisation like Good Cycles, quickly snowballed into an actual living, breathing entity. Three and a half years later, the enterprise is going strong and doing lots of great things. It’s awesome to see it all come together.

Q: What does your day to day at Good Cycles look like?

A: Getting Good Cycles off the ground looked like a chook running around with its head chopped off. It was a lot of hard work – as a founder you end up being everything from the cleaner to the business development manager to the grant writer. I’ve recently stepped back from the day to day to have a break and to allow some people with fresh energy to come in and take the organisation to the next level. In summary, my day to day at the moment, involves a bit of reading, writing, playing music and riding bikes.

Q: What’s the best thing about working with Good Cycles?

A: I’m passionate about seeing what bikes and the bike industry can do for people who haven’t had a lot of chances in life. It’s a long, slow and costly process taking an organisation from an idea to a successful entity, and we’ve still go a long way to go, but to see some good news stories happen regularly now through the good work we do, that’s the best thing ever. To see people ride a bike for the first time, or be given their own bike when they couldn’t afford their own, or to offer someone his very first job working on bikes — that’s what it’s all about.

Q: Are you a keen cyclists? What do you ride? Have you done anything impressive when it comes to bikes?

A: I’m a committed commuter. Before starting with Good Cycles I knew next to nothing about bikes. I just knew they were a great vehicle for creating positive change. I now know a bit more about bikes, and I’ve caught the bike buying bug, but I’m still just a dabbler. I still commute everywhere by bike, I take the odd roadie ride on the Boulie or Beach Rd, and I occasionally get out on a rail trail for an overnighter.

Q: Tell us something about yourself that’s not related to Good Cycles or bikes.

A: I’ve played guitar since I was 12.

You’re Very Important

VIP

We’ve just kicked off our  VIP membership program at our Docklands Bike Shop.

It’s an easy way for us to give you the best service we possibly can and it’s a great way for you to get excellent value and  performance from your bike. Beyond that, by becoming a VIP member you’ll be directly supporting our social programs and making a huge difference to the lives of those we work with.

Here’s how it works –

You choose a level of membership Bronze, Silver or Gold which equates to our services levels – Good-Standard, Good-Commuter and Good -As-Gold. Paying up front for 12 months of attention saves you money and has numerous other benefits – we’ll be doing our best to treat you very, very well. See the details of the differing membership levels here.

Your membership lasts for 12 months and gives you services, tune-ups and gear to make sure your bike is running well all year round.

You’ll get a VIP card and be able to log in the VIP area to more easily book your services and tune ups. We’ve designed this to be convenient and valuable to our customers but it is also closely linked to, and motivated by, our core vision.

As a social enterprise we’re driven by making a difference rather than a dollar  – that’s part of why we chose bikes.

For social and environmental change bikes are a big lever . They can facilitate skills development, employment, confidence and psychological well being for the individual and they can transform whole cities for the better. Their impact is scalable in a way that few other objects can claim.

We’ve seen the difference that our social program have made and we know the impact of more people commuting by bicycle each day.

We know that by providing an  accessible, convenient and high quality service to Melbourne’s cyclists that we’re improving both our environment and community.Coming up with smarter ways of doing that is part of the brief  – hence the VIP membership program.

We’d love to see you come on board and become part of our community as well as being a customer.

You can sign up right here:)

 

More than just a Bike shop in Docklands – The Good Cycles Story

When ever anyone walks into our Docklands bike shop and service centre they usually have a few questions. A common one is “Do you sell bikes here?”

We do. But the Good Cycles story is much bigger than mobile bike servicing and our expert mechanical service centre. When people ask the broader question about what we do the answer is both longer and deeper. We’re most recently using the tag #Positive Bicycling Solutions to encompass all we do. This nicely covers our social programs working with those in need and the great service we provide to Melbourne’s cyclists across the CBD – but the story is best told through images.

We’ve been very fortunate to have Dan Grixti, a talented globe trotting videography, come on board to help tell this story. The resulting video is below. Huge thanks to Dan for his time and commitment and please subscribe to our new Youtube channel for more stories about bikes and how we’re using them to empower people’s lives.

BTW – that’s Luke on the ukelele for the backing track, a man of many talents.

 

 

Xmas Bike Books

While there are bike shops in Docklands, it’s not known for its bookshops. However Christmas is upon us and the rush is on to find the perfect present so here’s some great books which are sure to please the cyclist in your life….

Sex, Lies and Handlebar Tape
by Paul Howard

sexRated as an extraordinary biography by the Times this book delves into the public and private life of the Remarkable Jacques Anquetil, the first man to the win the Tour de France five times; the first to win all three grand tours (the Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and Giro d’Italia); and the first to win both the Tour and Vuelta in the same year. Open about doping, back when you could be, to responses like
“ Doping? What doping? Did he or did he not make them play the Marseillaise [the national anthem] abroad?

-it’s a racey tale in all regards – highly recommended…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cyclopedia: It’s All About the Bike Hardcover
by William Fotheringham

Cyclo

 

All things Cycling and Bikes in one book this is a must read for all bike lovers. This book is an A to Z compendium of everything you could ever want to know about the bicycle, amazing facts, history, places, people and stories. If the cyclist in your life wasn’t already driving you nuts with the depth of their obsession – this will help get it over the line.

Goggles & Dust: Images from Cycling’s Glory Days
by The Horton Collection

Googles and Dust is a collection of over 100 recently restored stunning photographs taken during the 1920’s and 1930’s when cycling was one of the most popular sports in the world. Carbon fibre, multiple (or any) gears and not smoking and drinking whilst engaging in athletic activity are all far in the future. These guys make all of us look like cookie dough. There is no HTFU for them – inspiring and astounding all at once.

 

 

Pro Cycling on $10 a Day: From Fat Kid to Euro Pro
by Phil Gaimon

10This is the biography of Phil Gaimon who began riding to lose a little weight before college, discovered he was a natural, fell into racing and rode his way into a pro contract after one season. That was our plan as well – clearly timing is everything.

Destroying the romance of being a pro-rider while simultaneously celebrating the sport is quite a trick. A guide and cautionary tale all in one for the those pursuing the big time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fifty Bicycles That Changed The World
by Alex Newson (Author), Design Museum (Contributor)

changeThis book explores bike design and innovation from the Penny-Farthing to the Velocipede. This book gives the reader an interesting insight into the design of the bicycle and how it has evolved over the decades both in terms of style and technology. Really only for those already some way down the rabbit hole or planning the descent into deep geekiness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bike Mechanic: Tales from the Road and the Workshop
by Guy Andrews (Author), Rohan Dubash (Author), Taz Darling (Photographer)

MechThis list wouldn’t be complete with a mechanics tale in there. A behind the scenes look at what it takes to keep the star cyclists on the road. This book will grant you access to some of the world’s best bike mechanics giving you insight into their lives and knowledge. It’ll also give you a window into the dramatic life of a mechanic at Good Cycles as well – come on, there has to be common ground there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bike Porn Volume 1
By Chris Naylor

pornBike Porn brings together some of the most seductive and tantalizing bikes ever to be photographed, from the slickest single-speeds to the most teched-out racing machines and beyond, captured in all their finely crafted glory.
The workshop copy of this is well thumbed – it’s also full of inspiring t-shirt worthy bike quotes, which, frankly, never get old.

 

 

 

 

Finally – Thank you for all your support over 2014. Good Cycles is just approaching 18 months old and in that time we’ve done a huge amount of good. Over 100 refugees and asylum seekers have come through our Good Wheel program, gaining the skills to use a bike herein Melbourne. This provides independence, freedom, access to resources and a huge psychological benefit to them as they negotiate significant disadvantage.
Over 30 long term unemployed and ‘at risk’ youth have come through our Mechanic training program with a number now having transitioned into employment in the industry.
We’re serviced many, many hundreds of bikes and done our part to keep Melbourne on the road.
We’re looking forward to a big 2015 and hope you’re along for the ride.
Happy New Year – see you on the other side.

Bike Friendly Cafes From Docklands to the Alps

Being a bike shop in Docklands gives us access to some great bike friendly cafes – but our neighborhood is just a small part of a big city and state.
Melbourne is, of course, famous for having great coffee and a rich café culture. With over 670kms of bike paths stretching throughout the city and coffee being part of cycling culture, it is no surprise that many of our cafes are cater for cyclists. Here is the list of bike friendly cafes we know about and please feel free to tell us about any we have missed.

 

Hortus – Docklands

HOrtus

Of course, top of the list comes our favourite café close to our bike shop in Docklands. Hortus is a beautiful space on one of the busiest bike paths in the city – great coffee, friendly staff and innovative fit out. Two thumbs up from us – but hurry as it is a semi-permanent structure and project.
http://www.broadsheet.com.au/melbourne/food-and-drink/article/seven-seeds-hortus-greenhouse-cafe-docklands

 

Bright Velo – Bright

BrightVelo

Café Velo, a part of  Bright Velo – Australia’s first dedicated bike hotel, is a European-inspired retro bike café filled with cycling memorabilia and providing tasty treats to help cyclists replenish and recover after their rides. Located on Ireland Street in Bright 
it is on the door step of the Victorian Alps and some of the most spectacular, and challenging, riding in the whole state. In the Summer expect semi-pro teams and bike racks full of carbon fibre.
http://brightvelo.weebly.com

 

Cog Bike Café – Warburton

COG

The Lillydale to Warburton ride is a 40km trail each way with a welcome surprise waiting along the trek, the Cog Bike Cafe and bike workshop. The Café provides a rest stop for cyclists to stop off and refuel and the repair workshop has all your biking needs.
http://cogbikecafe.com.au

 

Café Racer – St Kilda

CafeRacer

Located at 15 Marine Parade St Kilda is Café Racer. Although some would say it has declined in recent years it is still viewed as an important part of Melbourne’s vibrant cycling cultural history. The café offers ample bike parking which cyclists take advantage of stopping in before and after rides. Located at the start of the iconic, and much maligned, Beach Road – one of the most popular road cycling venues in the world – expect a high proportion of MAMILs on any given weekend.
http://www.caferacerstkilda.com/history-cafe-racer-st-kilda/

 

Fifteen Pounds – Fairfield

15pounds

This bustling café offers cyclists peace of mind providing secure bike racks out the back of the café. Located Just opposite Fairfield Station riders can treat themselves to a variety of tasty selections offered on the Fifteen Pounds Menu.
http://www.broadsheet.com.au/melbourne/food-and-drink/directory/cafe/fifteen-pounds

 

Bike Gallery – Hawthorn East

Bike Gallery

The Bike Gallery sells two things bikes and coffee, first and foremost a retail space the Bike Gallery also provides customers with a place to rest with a latte in hand.

Address: 74 Auburn Pde, Hawthorn East
http://www.bikegallery.com.au/blog/coffee

 

Allpress Espresso – Collingwood

Allpress

Serving great coffee and food from its Rupert Street in Collingwood Allpress Espresso is a bike friendly café providing cyclists parking in the enclosed rear courtyard of the now transformed warehouse.

http://au.allpressespresso.com/allpress-roastery-cafes/melbourne-roastery-cafe/

 

Seven Seeds – Carlton

SevenSeeds

Bike friendly Seven Seeds can be found on 114 Berkeley Street in Carlton and apart from great coffee and pastries you will find a indoor wall-mounted bike rack to keep your ride safe.
http://sevenseeds.com.au

 

Kanteen – SouthYarra

Kanteen

Located on the Capital City Trail and close by Yarra Boulevard, Cyclists regularly make a pit stop at Kanteen to refuel and enjoy the river views while they recover after a long ride. With plenty of space to park your bike while you kick back Kanteen has become a favorite among cyclists.
http://www.kanteen.net

 

Market Lane Coffee – Prahran

MarketLane

Great location, terrific coffee, and plenty of bike parking you can find Market Lane Coffee at Shop 13 Prahran Market, South Yarra.
http://www.marketlane.com.au

 

The Great Provider – St Kilda

GreatProvider

With marina views and a hanging bike rack it’s no wonder The Great Provider is a favorite amongst locals and cyclists alike. Located on Marine Parade you can stop in after a ride along the St Kilda Beach front for breakfast, lunch or a quick coffee before you get back on the bike.
http://www.thegreatprovider.com.au

Let us know any we’ve missed !

Bike events around the world

 The Best Bike Events

 

The overwhelming interest in Melbourne’s first night ride, Ride the Night, got the team here at Good Cycles thinking about other interesting bike rides and bike related events that take place around the world. We had heard of a few but just a little digging turned up some amazing things.

 

Parkour Ride

We have all heard of Parkour – the Parkour ride borrows that pursuit’s affection for parking buildings.  The event is open riders on all kinds of bikes with the two riders racing a special circuit up and down a multi-storey car park in a bid to be crowned the winner.   A bit cool, a bit edgy – we’re happy and unsurprised to see our friends at Knog have a hand in this.

 

Pakour

 

http://www.parkourride.com

 

 

World Naked Bike Ride

Bare as you dare is the tagline for the World Naked Bike Ride, which is held internationally and is the biggest naked protest event in the world.  Rides take place in cities and towns across the planet and though clothing is optional helmets and sunscreen are essential. It is pitched as being a way of bringing attention to the vulnerability of cyclists – why you need an excuse, we don’t know.

http://www.asbareasyoudare.com

 

 

Tweed Run

If you would prefer to dress up, rather than down, there are Tweed rides run the world over attracting vintage bike aficionados and revelers dressed in their finest tweed and period costume. The Melbourne Tweed ride is run by our very good friends at The Squeaky Wheel. Step back in time to when cycling kit meant woolen garments and the world moved at a more civilized pace.

tweed

Melbourne- http://www.thesqueakywheel.com.au/tweed-ride/

 

 

Hardcourt Bicycle Polo world championship in 2015

Hardcourt Bike Polo is quite simply Polo played on a bike and next year will see Timaru in New Zealand play host to the Hardcourt Bicycle Polo World Championships.  Why Timaru? That is a very good question to which there is no doubt a reasonable answer – which you can find and post in the comments.

Polo

https://leagueofbikepolo.com/forum/tournaments/2014/09/11/whbpc-2015-bid-timaru-new-zealand

http://www.bikepolo.com.au/cities/melbourne/

 

 

Cycle Messenger World Championships

Next year Melbourne will host the 23rd Cycle Messenger World Championships, which is considered the ultimate urban cycling competition. The championships will see bike messengers from across the planet battle it out in a variety of events to determine who is the best. Get down to the Championships from April 2 – 6 2015 and support the Australian Messengers as the take on the worlds best.

Good Cycles be there as mechanical support – we can’t wait.  While this event will attract the hardest of the hard core from across the world – it wil also be agreat party. What better city to host it than Melbourne?

Messenger

http://cmwc2015.com

 

Bike Rave

If glow sticks, your bike and a dance party sound like your cup of tea you should get yourself to Vancouver for the annual Bike Rave. Vancouver’s streets light up with glowing bikes as event goers get creative and deck their bikes out with glow sticks, EL wire, bike lights and everything else shiny or blinking.

Known as a glowtastic mobile dance party on wheels the event has scheduled stops along the route for people to mingle and dance to the custom made 5 hour mix of music that accompanies the riders along the way.

Glow

http://www.vincentparker.ca/bikerave/

 

 

The Tour de Donut

Yes, you read that right. Tour de Donut is an annual race held in Ohio where your ability to eat donuts is just as important as your ability to ride fast. The event is a mass start timed ride where for every donut the rider eats (and keeps down) they receive a 5-minute deduction from their ride time.

The race has three distances each with a differing number or donut stops:

  • The 64-mile course where riders visit 4 donut stops
  • The 32-mile course where riders visit 2 donut stops
  • The 15-mile mini where riders visit 1 donut stop.

If you are a lover of donuts and riding you should get yourself to Ohio in September. Training should include a Krispy Crème VIP membership – assuming such a thing exists.

Donuts

http://thetourdedonut.com

 

 

Bicycle balloon race

Hot air balloons and bicycles have been teaming up since 2007 for the annual Bicycle Balloon Race. The event sees a hot air balloonist and a rider team up to win the race, which involves the bike and the rider being taken up in the balloon and dropped at a location some distance away where the rider must race their way back to the starting location.

Balloon

 

 

http://balloonfestnj.com/about_balloon_festival_nj_fair.html

 

 

Bicycle film festival

The Bicycle Film Festival was started as a way to celebrate the bicycle through artistic mediums like music, art and film. The festival has events scheduled in cities around the world drawing more and more attendees each year to the screenings of films from both established and emerging filmmakers.

http://www.bicyclefilmfestival.com

Fixed on fixed

Fixed On Fixed from Raechel Harding on Vimeo

Melbourne has a deep and rich cycling culture. It’s an eco-system that includes MAMILs ( middle aged men in lycra) all the way through to fixie riders.

What is a fixie? – you may well ask . Let’s take a moment to make break down a few distinctions

Bikes come in a huge range of flavours. Even within each kind of riding there are different applications. You can get a mountain bike – but is it a downhill, trail bike, cross country, hard tail or full suspension?  You can get a racing bike – but is it a road bike, a time trial bike, a cyclo-cross bike or a track bike ? It gets complicated quickly which part of the reason why fixies have become so popular over the last ten years.

To explain – one distinction of how to categorize bikes is through the gears. Without heading down the rabbit hole of gear discussion, all you need to know for now is that when your bike has just one gear combination it is a single speed. Single speeds come in two kinds – free wheel and fixed.

A free wheel will allow the rear wheel to continue rotating when you stop pedaling giving you the ability to coast. Fixed wheel bikes have no free wheel and the gear on the rear wheel is ‘fixed’ to the pedal crank. This means that if the back wheel is turning the pedals are turning. A fixed wheel bike is the simplest set up you can have.

Riding one for the first time it feels like the bike is riding you. You have to manage the momentum and physics of the affair differently and deliberately. There is no taking it easy – the only time you’re not pedaling is if you’re skidding the back wheel – which is the fixie riders usual method of braking as fixies are often run with no hand brakes.

If at this point you’re wondering about the sanity of this you’re not alone, but fixie riders talk of feeling a part of the bike – as if the bike is an extension of their body. There’s  no doubt at all that it takes an extra level of skill and commitment to ride a fixie – as in many things that’s the hook for those that love them.

First track bikes, then adopted by bike messengers due to their power and simplicity, the fixie has become a cultural icon through hipsters adopting them as their steed of choice. Fashion will come and go and it’s widely acknowledged that we passed peak fixie some time before the peak beard call of last year. Fashions will pass and those that found something deeper won’t care – they’ll stay where their passion is.

‘Fixed on fixed’ is a beautifully shot film by Raechel Harding about that kind of passion. Cyclists who love fixies deeply – it’s about the people as much as the pursuit and shows off Melbourne in fine style. Check it out here – and if you want to try a fixie come into our Docklands bike shop and we’ll be happy to help you out.

Fixed On Fixed from Raechel Harding on Vimeo.

Ride The Night

Australia’s first night time ride event Ride The Night is kicking off in February in Melbourne and the entry places are filling very quickly. It promises to be a night of adventure with music and events all night. You’ll want to move fast to get a place and then make plans to pimp your bike out for night time riding.

Riding a bike at night is a different prospect to riding during the day. You need to attend to a few things to stay safe.

Without a set of decent lights you are effectively invisible – fine if you’re a ninja riding empty roads, potential suicide in any other situation. Luckily there are numerous night riding lighting options – in fact 30% of all Kickstarter projects over the last 2 years have been for innovative bike lighting systems (not really). Continue reading “Ride The Night”