Sunday, May 01, 2011

A Bike Swap Meet and a Wedding

Went to a bicycle swap meet this Saturday - never been to one before.

I'll swap you this for that Monsieur
 I must be getting old because as I walked in the door I saw an elderly gentleman that I used to ride with when I first moved into Mentone.
Tony Birkett migrated from England in 1958 and loves a chat. We sat together for some time while we exchanged stories. I moved on later to be tapped on the shoulder by another old friend, well not so old, my age really. OK then, we are both in advancing years but the friend, I'll call him Graham (that's his name) was well in the know with these strange collector type people and so he introduced me to several people that might help me with my new bicycle restoration project. Its a pre-war stayer or motor pace bike, very big in Germany and Belgium and generally most of Europe I guess. It was popular here in Australia in the 30/40s.
The swap meet was held in Richmond at a bike shop under the Richmond railway station. The station is located on the intersection of Swan and Hoddle streets. I'm not sure where the Swan name came from but Hoddle Street is named after William Hoddle. He was responsible for the original open grid of Melbourne.

Richmond railway in the 1800s before the crossover  bridge
And later the bridge was built to ease congestion (early 1900s) yet in 2011 it is a bottleneck.
In recent times the railway station embankment has been used by street artists.
Initially the railway was a level crossing at the intersection but as the 1800s were drawing to an end, a bridge was built to take the trains over Hoddle Street. Built under the bridge are a number of shops, one being Abbotsford Cycles which held the swap meet. As we arrived my other friend, Bob - that's his name as well, spied a Malvern Star men's bike being unloaded for sale at the swap meet. It didn't get to the front door before Bob did a deal for this 40/50s 2 star Malvern Star bike.

A Malvern Star very much like the one Bob bought.
Later that day we had to get all spruced up for a wedding which was about 100 kms away in the Gippsland district at Nyora on the road to Poowong. True!!!
Steve and Karen were tying the knot and we were invited to join them for this joyous occasion. Karen and I had been training partners for when we were preparing for the World Masters Track Championships in 2007 and 2008. She was successful in standing on the podium with a silver medal and Steve was a great support, not only to Karen but to all of us. The wedding was on their country property at Nyora and the weather was a perfect autumn afternoon.

The butterfly kept Karen company throughout the ceremony, even thru the ring exchange and to the walk to the car awaiting the drive for photos.
Karen's best friend Peta read a Japanese proverb that if you wanted to have a secret kept, then you needed to tell a butterfly, because butterflies can't talk. Peta open this box of butterflies and they all flew amongst the guests but one landed on Karen's hand and that's where it stayed throughout the ceremony and even later as she and Steve walked by the guests afterwards. A very special moment.


  1. Scary when you meet elderly people that you have not seen for years and then you realise they are about the same age as yourself :-(
    I was waiting for you to say you had swopped your bike for a penny farthing, now I am disappointed LOL.
    Love the butterfly story it is great. Diane

  2. What a lovely idea for the butterflies... especially as it stayed on her hand!

  3. Diane, I did meet a man who had and rode a Penny Farthing. He knew a mate of mine who raced and now also has a penny farthing and a day later when telling another friend of this man said, "Yes I know hime, he was my teacher at Uni". Very small world.

  4. Craig - the butterfly thing was very touching. There's more behind this story that makes it more appealing.

  5. What an interesting week-end! are you planning to enter the Tour-de-France on your renovated bicycle?
    The wedding in the country sound just perfect!

  6. No, no, no Dianne - I shall be watching the Tour on Tellie on the Gold Coast QLD with my Daughter and riding with some of my friends from July 1st to July 5th before returning to winter Mentone.

  7. That is amazing about the butterfly!

  8. LLM, yes - we were amazes as well.
    Karen has a serious health problem and we saw the butterfly as a sign of hope.

  9. The first mountain bikes did not have clipless pedals, which made it very difficult to get their feet out of the toe-clips if they needed to. Bikes Sale Melbourne


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