Tillie & Coco

two ladies, two bicycles, two hemispheres

Category: Parts

Just another Tuesday

by Alacoque

Hey Tillie (and “hello” everyone else!),

this morning I headed into Newtown to attend a Seed Saving workshop at the Green Living Centre. The workshop was great! Jane demonstrated collecting and saving seed from carrots and tomatoes (two different techniques), then we planted broad beans in toilet paper rolls for The Great Crate– an installation that will be part of Art & About Sydney from 21st September to 21st October. For more workshops offered by the Green Living Centre have a look here (don’t worry I’ve already registered for the DIY Bicycle Panniers workshop!). I was too busy getting my hands dirty to take any photos but by coincidence the rocket in our community garden is going to seed so here’s a surrogate photo instead!

Rocket going to seed
Self-sown lettuce and a cheeky little tomato

As I had Willa with me I took the pram and walked to Newtown. It should have taken me 36 minutes to walk, according to google maps, but with three different stops in Victoria Park (1. ducks, 2. feed, 3. nappy change) it ended up taking  an hour and a half! This is why I need to get back on the bike. If I’d ridden it would have taken about 15 minutes and I would have arrived before those needs arose (well excluding the ducks but there’s always time to stop for ducks).

Victoria Park
Bike locked up on King Street
Pentimento window display

On the walk back through Newtown I stopped in at Cheeky Transport, my favourite bike shop, to check out their baby bike seats and helmets. Their recommendation? The Yepp Mini, a front mounted child seat. There were none in stock so I put my name down and will get a call when they come in. I said I’d be happy with either the lime or orange, which do you prefer?


Willa also tried on a couple of helmets for size. This exercise reminded me of an eighties movie montage where teenage girls try on various hats but instead of over-actors in fluro clothes and spiral perms we had a rather mellow baby covered in banana and leftover rusk. We decided on the smallest one (I can’t remember the brand) and at half the price of the next model up I can totally cope with the cat and dog pattern.

Walking back through Victoria Park I spied these folks smoking lazily on the lawn in the dappled sunlight. Bike dropped casually beside them.


When I was waiting at the lights on the other side of the park this bike ninja pulled up. BIKE NINJA!


All in all a pretty awesome day!

Love Coco xx


Parts & Accessories

by tillieandcoco

Dear Tillie,

A problem you may not have encountered, seeing as your bike is so awesomely kitted out, is getting accessories to fit and match your bike. Now I love my Electra Amsterdam but I didn’t take into account the difficulty of acquiring parts and accessories when I bought her. See Electra is an American brand and they only make two shipments to Australia a year. That leaves one playing the waiting game and performing lots of weird finger crossing in the hope your local retailer will manage to get the part you’re after. That’s what has happened with my rear rack. Basically I can’t get it here. I tried, they tried, but it just didn’t happen. SO I’ve gone for the alternative- a basic Topeak rack that I am customising for my bike. The other accessory I very much wanted but couldn’t get here (they don’t import them) was skirt guards. I ended up buying them from the online Electra shop, but as they don’t ship to Australia or accept international credit cards I was forced to use a shipping forwarding company called Hop Shop Go. This meant I could get the product here to Sydney but the shipping costs were greater than the skirt guards themselves! And of course they only had them in black.

So that explains why today I spent the morning sanding off layers of paint from my rear rack and sanding on some ‘tooth’ on my plastic skirt guards in order to be spray painted to match my bike. After I had sanded, wiped down and dried my parts I tied them onto my clothesline, laid down a drop sheet and got painting! I used White Knight’s Rust Guard Epoxy Enamel in Cream. It offers ‘superior rust protection’ and is self-priming- very handy!

Now I just have to wait for the bloody things to dry so I can attach them to my bike (so impatient I know!). I was planing on stencilling something on the skirt guards (flowers, sugar skulls, pinup girls perhaps) but I couldn’t decide what and realised it simply meant more time watching paint dry (which is as boring as, well, watching paint dry) so for the moment they will remain plain old cream, but I’m going to keep my eye out for some stickers/decals. If I get inspired in the future I can simply take them off and paint again.

Anyway, what do you think so far?