I don’t know how I got mixed up but somehow I confused the numbers 79 and 16, and instead of the quick jaunt to Prahran that I’d planned, I ended up in the uber rich and Jewish North Caufield. While waiting for another tram to wing me in the right direction, I noticed a star of David that had been scrawled on the tram stop with the words “Shalom baby” encircling it. I would have taken a photo but I was busy being eyeballed by one of Melbourne’s world renowned weirdos. The last thing I wanted to do was to enflame the situation by pulling something metallic from my bag.
After a brief but uncomfortable wait, I hopped another tram which took me back towards Chapel st, leaving me with a casual stroll through Windsor to my intended destination, the annoyingly named Prahran. Windor is the grungier end of Prahran, amongst the usual cafes and overpriced second-hand bookshops are shops like Fat Helen’s Recycled Clothing, Comics R Us, a shop that sells whitegoods adorned with airbrushed panelvan art and the aptly named ‘Bong-o-rama’.
After a fair amount of lollygagging I reached ‘The Freedom Machine’ which happened to be both a bike shop in the centre of Prahran and my intended destination. I was there to buy a bike. I knew exactly what I wanted and after some haggling and a test ride, I was in possession of a Giant CRX City. A bike of such svelte beauty and road annihilating power that I was relieved of over 900 Australian dollars for the privilege of calling it my own. For the bike nerds out there, I’m talking about an aluminium alloy frame [in red hot gloss black] and a Shimano Nexus 8 internal twist shift gear system. What this means is that:
- The gears are all contained in the back wheel, which means less maintenance, because the gears are completely sealed
- Changing gears is via a single twist shift handle
- I can change gears without peddling
- I can rev the twist shift gear changer at lights like I’m riding a motorbike and thus look even cooler
During the ride home I was smiling so much that my helmet strap started biting into the skin under my chin. I even took some photos. Take a look for yourself and taste the radness:
Tonight, the bike sleeps indoors.