First time for everything.

First time for everything.

Over the 20 years Melodie and I have been a team, she has had MANY bikes.

Melodie's bikes prior to bumping into me included:

'THE DEATH TRAP' - a bike she'd got from a junkie for $10 on Commercial Drive, Vancouver while outside a restaurance.  I named it that from my brief experience pedalling it on one of our earld dates.

The Courier - a 3 speed ladies bike she'd got from Mighty Riders.  This was a bike we stored in the stairs in our place above the post office in East Van.

A quick chit chat gave us this incomprehensive list of bikes I've assembled for her:

  • A tiny track bike
  • Colnago Master road bike
  • Tommasini Tecno road bike
  • Zullo track bike
  • Trek Marlin MTB
  • Surly Pugsley Fat bike
  • Shogun Trail Breaker ladies MTB

Of course, there's also the 'Melodie Speciale'.  An exquisite Grandis ladies bike, Italian made, columbus tubing, with rare as rocking horse manure Campagnolo components, custom leather work - too pretty to ride and so much so that it hangs in the house like the art that it is.

I had a dig around the hard drive and found a few shots of it from one of the two occasions it has been ridden.


I shared on my stories the insanity of this build, like the Campagnolo pista pedals with titanium axles which are the best part of a gorilla (AUD) these days, and made Melodie realise who crazy I am... about her.


One more from an alleycat a lifetime ago.  Full Campagnolo Chorus, with matching bar tape, MKS pedals.

Kicking myself for not keeping this one - if only so my daughter could ride it.


These were all bikes that I made FOR Melodie, without considering that she isn't a 'cyclist' - whatever that's supposed to mean.   


Maybe you've made bikes FOR your partner too.  Beyond the practicality of their needs, what I realised is, I'd stolen the part of the project that I loved when building bikes.  Getting to choose - everything!


The Melodie Special

As soon as I popped the idea into her head of a bike where she got to choose her eyes lit up, and as it turns out she realised she has never had a brand new bike of her own.  Her first bikes were hand-me-downs, junkies and restored rigs from bike shops.

I'm a big fan of Surly bikes.  I'd known of Surly since the 1x1, but it wasn't until a Surly Wednesday came to be mine that I transformed it into a TONKA which got me hooked on the brand.   


It's refreshing to see a bike company releasing models that maximise fun and utility over the speed of another industry trend.   Surly invite playfulness by making bikes that are versatile, and it was just the other month when I wanted to tow a kayak to a lake, a simple switch of a front rack to the back and voila!    My kid sat in the back which made the trip even more fun.  Surly for the win!


I sent Melodie a link to their site to check out bikes she might like and for the rest, stay out of her lane. 

Commuter Cycles had the 'Midnight Special' which comes in lilac which Melodie immediately thought of 'Melodie Special' - also my favourite pizza!    

I booked a time to test ride some bikes - and a few days later an SMS ping! confirmed they were ready.  


Off to Commuter Cycles we go!


I thought she should test ride a few bikes rather than have her heart set on a bike based on the name and colour.   I put her in the super capable hands of Caff at Commuter, who was also on the Melburn Roobaix event crew in years gone by.


Caff took her through the range of bikes that might suit her desires.  After a few spins around the block, the Bridge Club was her favourite.  'It felt really comfortable.  My centre of gravity felt perfect on it, and the big tyres made it easy to hop up the curb'.


A rose by another name it turns out may be evener sweeter.



Once the model and size was decided on it was time for the fun stuff - custom powder coating colour, shiny trick bits, contact point, tyres and a discussion about how she thinks she will use it, where she will ride it.

Choosing a colour when presented with so many options can be daunting.  Melodie chose 'Tuscan Red' which I can't help but think was a subliminal attraction to red wine.

It was about this point that Melodie announced that this is her first NEW bike. 

Her first!  

While I still get tingly when it's NBD for me, her excitement was so palpable she started getting teary at the realisation.    This bike was hers and she was making it her own.


The Bridge Club comes stock in 4 colours.   Black, Gloss Black, Majestic Moss and Whipped Butter - below.



Upstairs at Commuter is what I call the 'Gucci Mezzanine' where all the exotica is on display.  From Chris King to Skingrowsback, White Industries, Apidura, Schmidt, Thomson, Voile, Velo Orange, on and on.    


Melodie was so excited she just HAD to bake a gluten free brownie the night before for the team.   

 The brownie seemed to have a flow on effect with tyre choice, and between Rene Herse and Panaracer she settled on the GravelKing SK's, with a Velo Orange cockpit, seatpost, polished fittings through out.



With all the bits picked, the frame is transported to the Powder Coaters to be re-imagined, and then back to the service centre where they build and service dreams - one bike at a time.




It's worth mentioning that this is Huw - who founded Commuter Cycles 15 years ago.   

Like many, he'd thought it'd be cool to open a bike shop, and did so with zero experience working in one.  With passion and determination, he's built an incredible community, amazing team of staff, and a shop that has a 'get out there and ride' vibe.

When I travelled the world, I definitely had shops in mind when visiting cities.  Keirin and Cicli Berlinetta in Berlin, Blug Lug in Tokyo, Golden Saddle in LA, Pedalhead and Redbike in Edmonton, VeloColour in Toronto, Brixton Cycles in London.

Commuter Cycles is definitely the kind of shop to put on your bucket list if you're visiting Melburn.





Can't wait to see what the Commuter Cycles team come up with.  I'll be extending my creative input to some custom decals.  Wine not!

See you again soon.


LINKS you might like:

Surly Bikes

Commuter Cycles