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Puns galore as Warne hits the news bicycle

Remember the good ol’ days of Australian cricket – before we lost to New Zealand – when Australia could rely on Shane Warne to take wickets as well as headache tablets?

What made those days memorable was the banners he inspired at games, which inevitably punned on his name or others in the team, ie:

You’ve been WARNEd – Australia has declared WAUGH, we have a REIFFEL we’re PONTING at you…etc, etc

Or those that simply asked: Who ate all the pies?

Well good news for fans who miss those days because Shane Warne is back in the news, and sub-editors are having an oval-shaped field day.

The issue at hand is an ‘altercation’ – or an ‘acceleration into’ depending on who you believe – with Melbourne bicycle rider Mathew Hollingsworth on January 17.

@Warne888 immediately took to Twitter to vent about bicycles taking up road space and the manners of their riders. The incident giving him something else to talk about than Liz Hurley, budgie smugglers and his golf game.

Quicker than a Chappelli fixie, the rant triggered a bike chain of events that had headline-writers worldwide racing to combine cricket + cycling + description of what was actually happening.

The best/worst Warne vs cyclist puns

– After the event, The Age had: Warne, cyclist left in a spin

– Meanwhile, Fairfax stablemate the Sydney Morning Herald ran an opinion by ex-pro cyclist Bridie O’Donnell: Warne’s cycling spin falls short of his social responsibility‎ (O’Donnell expands on how this incident affected the wider cycling community in her blog.)

– The Northern Territory News also ran an opinion piece: Warnie puts bad spin on cycling

– Warne then demanded that cyclists have registration plates, prompting the SMH to run with: Warne’s bicycle rego demand belted for six

– And once the cyclist revealed his intention to sue, the SMH backed up with: Warne’s Twitter outburst drove cyclist to sue, laywer reveals (We’ll accept ‘drove’ here as being intentional.)

– For its part the 3AW blog went with Cyclist sues Shane Warne over run-in.

– News.com.au  did seemed overly subdued with this headline: “Cyclist wants Shane Warne to pay to avoid court after road-rage incident”. So we looked in the URL and were satisfied.

– Local news was also getting in on the act, the Peninsula Weekly trying:Campaigner gets on his bike for safer cycling

– And in case like the rest of us you’re wondering what’s going on in Lad Magazine Land, Zoo was also following a Warne story; albeit one of its own making entirely unrelated to the incident.

What are your suggestions for Warnie versus cyclist puns? Or do you find the whole incident just tiresome

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Fixie bike index – what would be Australia’s hipster capital?

A recent post in the Priceonomics blog has caused a stir for what it reveals about where hipsters are hanging in the USA.

Taking fixie bike ownership as a being a “strong indicator of hipsterness”, Rohin Dhar scrolled through 1.3 million bike ownership listings to calculate which counties and cities in the USA had the most hipsters.

The results have raised eyebrows – and not only in the hipster ironic way – because topping the list was Orange County.

If like us all you know about Orange County is based on the TV series OC in the early 2000s, then you’d understand why this is has been a surprising result. Unless all those beaus and belles had all parked their bikes behind those black SUVs and Mercedes.

Los Angeles came in a distant second, followed by San Jose, San Fran (I’ve been told by natives not to call it that, but I can’t resist), Portland in 14th spot and NY not even making the top 25.

Speaking of New York, eyebrows were painted even higher up foreheads when Manhattan pipped Brooklyn as the most hipster borough.

Most hipster city in Australia?
Which brings us to Australia. No similar study has been done here, and if it was, the city of Orange probably wouldn’t be topping the list – although it does have a croquet club.

Also, basing hipsterdom solely on owning a fixed-gear bicycle surely downplays the effort of wearing a moustache and pretending to enjoy sitting on milk crates?

So, in the lack of any hard data, what city do you think is the most hipster in Australia? What other factors should be considered?

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Guest blog: The ups and downs of riding in Melbourne

This week, we asked Melbourne writer/rider Doug Hendrie about the ups and downs of riding in flat Melbourne.

I’ve been zipping about Melbourne on a cheap hybrid for eight years now, and I’ve virtually given up on public transport or short car trips as a result. Melbourne is a flat city – perfect for riding, with a gentle slope leading me from my suburb, Carlton North, down to the Yarra for work. Riding in Melbourne had a huge boost with the drought. More than a decade of below average rainfall in Bleak City = a big increase in riders venturing out.

Here’s a short list of pros/cons of riding in Melbourne:

Sweet bits:

  • Traffic is pretty bad in inner Melbourne and worsening, and the public transport system is groaning under the weight of new users. The plus side: a bike trip is generally faster than any rival form of transport. Plus parking is free.
  • Plenty of safe-ish routes to ride. From the inner northern suburbs, there’s Canning St which takes you most of the way in to the city, or the scenic route beside Merri Creek linking in to the main Federation Trail which tails the Yarra into town. The main bike thoroughfare in the centre of the city, Swanston Street, is being redesigned to exclude cars, cutting out the dangerous encounters as bikes squeeze between parked trucks and trams.
  • Bike culture is thriving. From its hardcore lycra enclave, cycling has diversified. Now you see fixie hipsters fooling around, workers on hybrids, young women on their bikes (the hardest market to crack, according to Crikey), tourists on the solid and reliable Melbourne BikeShare bikes, alleycat racing down bluestone lanes in Collingwood and open concrete drains in Flemington, and of course the infamous Hell Ride down Beach Road on Saturday mornings. New Australian bike magazines like Treadlie target these emerging riders, while the Brunswick Velodrome is where track cyclists hang out.

Pitfalls:

  • Dickheads or distracted drivers in cars. A universal issue for cyclists, of course, but one to be aware of. I had a near miss last week as an impatient tradie fanged it towards a red. The great thing is, of course, that the sheer number of intersections in Melbourne generally give you the chance to catch up to the offending driver and offer some tips as to how they might improve their control of their pet ton of metal.
  • Trams. Not only are tram tracks the perfect width to catch the unwary or drunk cyclist, but the new breed of tram can rocket along.

Doug Hendrie rides – and writes – in Melbourne. His website is www.doughendrie.com.au

What would you add to Doug’s list?

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A very Chappelli Christmas

Unless we’re mistaken, Christmas is essentially a time to wrap up heartfelt boxes and write yourself off…

As an online bicycle retailer, we’ve effectively been wrapping up Chappelli-hearted packages all year; so we’ll settle instead with just writing down some highlights of 2011.

Chappelli's wicker bicycle basket
Chappelli’s wicker bicycle basket

Chief among these was the expansion of our classic range of fixies and internal hub bicycles to introduce  our stylish 8-speed men’s and women’s bicycles, which proved certain hot-sellers; not to forget these wicked – sorry, wicker – baskets to go with.

Thanks go to Stoli Vodka – and all those who voted on Facebook – to our entry in the Original Design Awards, which we narrowly won. The ensuing party was memorable too; best summed up by a dubious image of Tom and Pablo duelling it out in a treadmill bike contest.

Swedophiles too rejoiced in 2011, with the launch of Chappelli in Scandinavia, providing potentially millions of Northern Europeans something more substantial to ride on than just their hopeless good looks.

Speaking of good looks, we also welcomed to our team our mechanic-in-chief Drew Reid, who has slaved in Pablo’s workshop harder than an elf at Christmas.

We were also stoked by this video made by Lewis Farrar and friends who took some of our fixies and women’s 3-speeds for some country riding. Watch it and share the joy in their Blue Mountains escapades.

And, on the subject of escapades, if you’re worried that you’ve exhausted your annual supply for the year, fear not… As we speak, Pablo is desperately working to finish a Chappelli tandem bike in time to ride home from the office Christmas party. With Tom having politely declined, he is seeking applicants to be his designated rider on the night…

Tom and Pablo get in the Chappelli Cycles Christmas spirit
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The bicycle scrap-yard saviour

It was a case of one man’s trash being another man’s (Pablo’s) treasure.

A couple of weeks back, a guy blew a car tyre outside of Pablo’s summer shack. He didn’t have a jack, but Pablo did, and obligingly changed it.

Looking in the guy’s tray, Pablo spied an aviary and an old women’s bicycle that were being taken to the tip.

Already having a chicken coop, Pablo didn’t see much use for the aviary,  but the bike on the hand…

“It was beautiful – I was pretty sure it was a 1940s Speedwell women’s bicycle in amazing original condition.”

On closer inspection, the bike had an old-school leather saddle, a single speed gear and pedal back brake.

The guy offered it to Pablo as a gesture of gratitude, conveniently availing himself of the need to dump it (as for the aviary, who knows…).

Somewhat poetically, Pablo needed only to pump up the bicycle’s tyres to restore it to good working condition.

His fiancée Elise now has another beautiful bike to ride around the backroads of lower Portland.

Chappelli is currently offering a range of women’s bicycles inspired by the vintage bikes of the 1960s with guaranteed pre-Christmas delivery on every women’s bike ordered by December 14, 2011.

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Vyvyan and his Chappelli conquer The Gong in style

If Vyvyan Rose didn’t raise a few eyebrows among the pro-amateur road-racing set when he chose to take part in Sunday’s MS Sydney to Wollongong event on a Chappelli three-speed, he certainly did when he started overtaking them.

Vyvyan with his white Chappelli that conquered The Gong

The event now over, Vyvyan, who was blissfully unaware of the 90km up-and-down route  until two days before, is entirely happy with his choice of bicycle. “I’m feeling surprisingly fine; it’s like I never rode the race.”

He even finished ahead of one of his two mates also participating, both of whom were on very fancy 20+speed road bikes, and also overtook several participants on the way.

Paradoxically, he says that having only three gears made the route easier to ride.

“You’re not arsing about trying to find the right gear when you go into the hill or the top of the hill. You either have low, medium or high and that’s it. So mentally, if it looks like a steep hill you go straight to the lowest gear; I noticed this even more because I was going past people struggling to find the right gear.”

The bike also proved its value in the descents. “When we got to the top of a hill and stopped pedalling I’d easily be freewheeling 5kms/h faster than my mates.”

So what did other participants say as he rode past? “I got several comments about the bicycle, and lots of people riding past and saying ‘Beautiful bike; you’re nuts for doing it on a fixie!’”

“I took the kudos and didn’t tell them about the three gears hidden in the hub.”

Vyvyan’s team raised $1500 for MS Australia – and his mates have since placed orders for their own Chappellis too!

Let us know if you’d like to be part of a Chappelli team at this or any other cycling event.

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Chappelli Cycles comes to Sweden

Fir trees, blondes and Volvos – there’s more to Sweden than you might imagine. Moose, for example. Or Chappelli Cycles.

Chappelli Cycles now in Sweden
Chappelli Cycles now in Sweden

Chappelli’s new Swedish office has just received its first shipment of 160 gleaming bikes to arrive at their office in Malmo, in Sweden’s south.

The bikes are being dispatched via the website across the very long length and shortish breadth of the country – even the snow-covered parts for those who are either particularly keen or have an ulterior motive.

“Chappelli bikes are like sports cars,” explained Christian Bruun, the dashingly handsome Swedish office manager. “You don’t take it out in winter, and if you do, just take care of it.”

Chappelli models that made the first batch for Sweden include the Classic, the Crema and the Diablo, as well as an exclusive silver metallic model with black wheels.

Christian tips the Chappelli aesthetic will make an impression in design-loving Scandinavia. “The design is really attractive for the price,” Christian says. “I’ve got one that I’ve been riding around and people have been loving it,”

And if not, there’s always the Volvo.

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Sydney Lord Mayor talks cycling with Chappelli

Late last week, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore spoke to Chappelli Cycles exlcusively over Twitter about cycling in Sydney.

If you missed the interview – or had trouble following it on Twitter – here’s a rough transcript:

Chappelli Cycles: Ok, first up, NYC just announced a #velib bike share scheme – what is the potential for Sydney?

Clover Moore: We plan to introduce a bike-hire scheme as soon as possible – in practice will revisit as bike links are finished

CM: From looking at bike-hire schemes in other cities, we know a safe network of bike paths must be in place to make it work

CC: Melbourne seems to have had mixed success with bike share – are you confident it can work in Sydney?

CM: Before we embark on major projects, we do the research & consultation to ensure we know what works

CC: Ok –  For current Sydney cyclists, what amenities – in addition to bike paths – can they be looking forward to?

CM: Working on 10 key regional bike routes central Sydney-destination/connection-getting people safely where they need to go

CM: Maps of the routes here sydneycycleways.net/maps.html

CM: Walking into Parl today, bike paths full of riders – 6hr count last mth >1700 riders at King/Kent Street intersection

CM: Over 3200 employees from > 200 companies signed up to #SydneyRides challenge – huge given first year http://t.co/cMEo3ojM

CM: First 10km of separated cycleways open & consulting community on next connections

CM:  Links planned on Wentworth Ave, George Street (Redfern), Bourke Street Waterloo/Sydney Park http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/AboutSydney/ParkingAndTransport/Cycling/CycleNetwork/default.asp

CC: That sounds very encouraging!

CM: Now 28 free secure bike spaces in Goulburn Street Car Park and over 1000 bike parking rings and racks have been installed

CM: If you have a spot that could do with some bike parking, let us know http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/AboutSydney/ParkingAndTransport/Cycling/BikeParkingRequestForm.aspx

CC: Q @clovermoore : Speaking of safety, what is the likelihood of Sydney rolling back mandatory helmet laws for cyclists?

CM: Need to look at balance btwn personal & community safety benefits & evidence for/against helmets-we’ve recommended review

CM: I believe @nswpolice should focus on public safety on sts eg running red lights rather than individual choice helmet laws

CM: But need a safe separated cycleway network so people can ride without having to battle heavy vehicles

CC: Lastly @RocketFuelStyle recently tweeted she was happy to see you riding to work – how often do you get to?

CM: I walk or ride to work a few times a week and have joined a bike bus to see the city on my way into the Parl or Town Hall #cmcc #sydneyrides

CC: Well @CloverMoore Thank you v much for agreeing to this interview – much appreciated. Keep us in the know about any cycling news too!

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Time to meet your maker (of bicycles)

Introducing Drew, our new chief mechanic at Chappelli Cycles. Hailing from Sacramento, California, Drew’s been building and riding bikes for as long as he can remember.

“In the States I raced road and mountain bikes, and I’ve brought over my own fixie that I built with me” he says,” he says.

The bicycle gene (as opposed to the Levi’s bicycle jean) apparently runs – or rides – in the family: his dad just finished the Race across America “Biking is a big part of my family and where I’ve grown up.”

Arriving in July, Drew is already making an impression in Australia, not least on Pablo, with whom he shares his days in the Chappelli workshop. “He works his guts out and is on the ball. He’s a nice cool guy,” exalts Pablo, who is yet to find out whether Drew shares his love for Grease the musical as much as grease the lubricant.

As for Australia, that too is making an impression on the young American: “I’m enjoying how everyone is so relaxed here. Back home is so uptight and such a fast-paced environment.”

There is of course an exception – what is it with car drivers?

“The driving here is a little bit crazier. Back home if I was with mates riding on the road together cars would respect us, but that doesn’t seem to happen so much here, or so it seems.”

Even that though is not enough to dampen his spirits: “I’m just excited about being part of Chappelli and being part of the team. I got lucky, this is my dream job, just working on bikes all day.”

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Mount on bikes

Remember those beach holidays feeling jealous of the kid with surfboard mounts on his bicycle? When you prayed for wind, it wasn’t just for the surf but also the malicious hope that his bike would get blown off track into a ti-tree bush.

Well it seems designers haven’t grown weary of developing whacky ways to affix various items to bicycles.

This week, photos have circulated the web of the Samsung ‘fixie’ with top-tube mounted tablet. While we choose not to comment on the practicality of having to consult something flapping between your legs while riding, Wired notes that the tablet could be useful as a map or tracking device. Surely a handlebar fixture would make more sense though?

Speaking of handlebars, just days earlier just days earlier, Gizmodo ran this report on a bike-mounted iPhone speaker. The invention is essentially a silicon case with a horn attached to amplify the sound through the bottom of your player.

Just as useful – and if you get tired of your what’s in your bike-mounted water bottle, why not this bike-mounted bottle opener?

And then there’s this. A bike-mounted rainbow graffiti system – though in this case it’s not clear which is the bigger tool attached to the bicycle!

What would you like to see attached to your dream bike?

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The custom Chappelli Olympic racer

If Mad Max rode bicycles, this might just be the one. Pablo put the finishing touches on it this week – and given the state it was in before he first laid hands on it, there’s been A LOT of touching that’s taken place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bike started as a racer used by the Australian Olympic team with a yellow and green Litespeed titanium frame. When it was decommissioned, the owner gave it away to a friend who placed it with dutiful care into his boot and drove away.

He was promptly rear-ended, in the type of car crash that would be used as an analogy to describe Mel Gibson’s latter-days career.

The boot was eventually prized open, only to reveal that the prized beauty was now a steaming titanic mess; the likes of which hadn’t been seen since James Cameron picked up a camera in 1996.

Restoration begins
Still, the frame was in tact – even if the handlebars, forks and rims looked like extras from a communal backpackers’ kitchen.

Every bike store he went to, the man was told to give up and go home. But instead he came to Pablo – who as a British guy in Bondi is used to being seen as the last resort, or chance.

Always loving a challenge – and accustomed to creating mad bikes from unlikely sources – Pablo saw hope.

Stripping back the frame, he revealed a metallic-silver-hued frame. Whacking on one of Chappelli’s 8-speed internal hubs  and a brown suede San Marco saddle, he turned the one-time racer into a perennial cruiser.

And while it might not survive a Mad Max-esque apocalypse, it’s history suggests it might just have a chance.