Tillie & Coco

two ladies, two bicycles, two hemispheres

Old school

by Alacoque

Dear Tillie and fellow bike lovers,

last weekend I spotted this old school cyclist outside the Powerhouse Museum. I’ve posted before about their bicycle collection and I’m assuming this particular bike is one of theirs they keep in working order for spontaneous loops around the forecourt just like this! It appears to be a modern reproduction. Isn’t it wonderful! Can you image what is must have been like to see penny farthings rolling down the main street back in the day?

Love Coco xx

by Alacoque

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The Stigma of Riding a Bike

by Alacoque

An interesting article on one of the barriers to cycling http://aseasyasridingabike.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/the-stigma-of-cycling/

Sydney’s Most Leisurely Bike Rides

by Alacoque

Concrete Playground features Sydney’s Most Leisurely Bike Rides http://sydney.concreteplayground.com.au/news/76336/sydneys-most-leisurely-bike-rides.htm

Let’s go for a ride baby!

by Alacoque

Dear Tillie and friends,

as you saw yesterday we had Wilhelmina’s bike seat fitted on the weekend and we couldn’t wait to try it out. We took her for a little cruise around the local foreshore, sticking to shared paths to allow us to both get comfortable with her on the bike before tackling traffic. We had to stop once or twice to fiddle with her helmet (see if you can spot the shot where she’d pushed it down over her eyes) and by the time we got to the park we had things all worked out. In fact on the ride home she was so comfortable she conked out (so cute)!

Thank you to my darling husband for being so snap-happy and capturing the moment. Tillie I hope you noticed the Sydney icons in the background- just for you!

Love Coco xx

Baby presents

by Alacoque

Hi Tillie & friends!

Guess who got a new baby bike seat and helmet this weekend…

Love Coco xx

P.S. A big ‘thank you’ to the wonderful Cheeky Transport for ordering in and fitting the seat for me! You guys rock!

Citrus cleaner

by Alacoque

Hi Tillie & folks,

as a little follow up to yesterday’s spring cleaning post I’d thought I’d share this great homemade cleaner. This is not something I’d buy citrus fruit specifically for, rather it’s really a frugal way to use every last bit of the fruit you can. My parents have an orchard so when I go up to visit them I often return with a load of citrus. We’re talking lemons, limes, navel oranges, blood oranges, tangelos, the list goes on and on. When we’re sick of eating them plain and baking them in cakes I will juice a whole bunch. Before juicing I peel the fruit with a vegetable peeler (I don’t want the thick layer of pith you get when peeling by hand) then immerse the rinds in a jar 3/4 full of plain vinegar. This simple concoction infuses for about 2 weeks and is then ready to use after being strained and diluted 50:50 with plain vinegar. The citrus oils smell amazing and have fantastic cleaning powers. It’s an effective all purpose cleaner that allows you to clean your home without chemicals and it’s oh so cheap!

Coco xx

Spring cleaning

by Alacoque

Hi Tillie & folks,

this morning while I was sitting in the backyard after our morning walk, and Willa was rolling around enjoying her nappy-free time, I looked around and realised spring has sprung early. Even my water lily is breaking the surface in our fountain.

 

 

Of course course spring means spring cleaning and I thought it was high time I pulled my bike out in preparation for her new baby seat. Camilla, my lovely bicycle, was dirty. Really dirty. She was covered in grime and cobwebs. In fact she’d become a real spider hotel.

 

 

 

Lets take a closer look at that spider shall we? I still can’t believe it was living in my fake flowers!

 

 

So I evicted the spiders and dusted the whole bike down before giving it a good old scrub and left it to dry in the sun. It’s already sparkling and ready for it’s first spring ride this weekend. Here’s a little bell before and after:

 

Coco  xx

Not just any Tuesday…

by Tillie

Hi Coco (and everyone!),

Today is my last day of leisure before 18 months of graduate school. The sun is out, so I went for a ride around town before stopping for groceries. I found this rather nice tree-lined pavement (a welcome change after cycling down a back street full of bins). I also found a car park I didn’t know about, but who cares.

The Pedestrian Bridge is being repaired at the moment. It obviously has some foundational problems.

One thing about having 8 months off / not being allowed to work, is that I’ve gotten into the nasty habit of shopping every day. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it’s a big waste of time and it makes me a lot less strategic about meals. S and I will need to get back into the habit of weekly grocery shops after today – it’s a great way to save time and money! As we are both well aware, cycling to the grocery shop is a great way to limit what you buy because you can only carry so much, but today I really pushed the boundaries of what my pannier and basket can handle. I need to make some hearty salads to take for lunch for the rest of the week, because I refuse to buy meals on campus (after years of £1.70 jacket potatoes at the Museum, I won’t be able to handle $14 dinners on principle). When my basket is full of fruit and veg, I hang my lock over my handlebars, like people with fixies do!

After I make my hearty salad I plan to spend the rest of my afternoon watching Law & Order. Since January I’ve managed to watch the first six seasons (is that bad?) The episodes from the early 1990s are brilliant – no one has a mobile phone, and the detectives actually look like real policemen, unlike the latest episodes in which they all look like models. I’ll miss you, crime drama!

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!

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Rocket going to seed
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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).

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Victoria Park
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Ducks!
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Bike locked up on King Street
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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?

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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.

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

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All in all a pretty awesome day!

Love Coco xx