Friday, 1 February 2013

Sepia Saturday – On yer bike!

The newspaper photo of my brother

In Australia this is a rude way of telling someone to go away.
Here’s a story of how my brother used his bike as a protest.

When we were in high (secondary) school, we lived out in the country and had to travel by bus to school. 

When the number of children in our area dropped, the bus was re-routed to a much more roundabout route that then took us over an hour to get to school.

As it only took about 25 minutes by car, my brother decided it must be shorter for him to ride his bike to school. 

It was shorter, but only just. But, he was making a stand!

It must have been a pretty hairy ride at times as the first part of the road was barely wide enough for a car in either direction, until he got onto the highway. 

Dad with a great bike...
and a great hat!
The highway would have been OK most of the time as it was a bit wider, but here he had to share with trucks, tractors and other larger farm machinery. We lived in the middle of the wheat belt of NW Victoria.

He made it into the local newspaper, the Wimmera Mail Times with a large photo.

It wasn’t uncommon for people to ride bikes long distances, but to do it day after day over the same distance!

Unfortunately, it didn’t have any impact on the bus route but my brother is still a keen cyclist. Not quite as skinny now though.

Mum and her little sister - looks like
the little sister got the seat!
I’ve also included a selection of some of the other family members on bikes.

Me on my first 'big' bike.  I was a
farm kid and not fond of dresses
Youngest brother


  1. Nice collection of family members on bikes! Your "big bike" seems to be a big trike. The only type of tricycles I remember seeing here were small and had much smaller rear wheels.

  2. You are absolutely correct - it is a trike - in fact all the photos here are trikes except for the 'main story' bike. It was a common thing here to have these (don't see too many now though). They came before the two wheeled bikes with trainer wheels, before then graduating to two wheels.

  3. We've still got a trike in our shed that looks just like the one you are riding (looking very cute by the way). Our kids loved it.

  4. That bike ride to school had to be grueling if it was 25-minutes by car. And dangerous too. It was indeed worthy of a write-up in the newspaper.

    I love your photos. Those tricycles with solid wheels are so cute - as are the kids, of course.

  5. It's funny to notice the differences between two countries as far as bicycling is concerned. Here it is not uncommon to cover larger distances between where you live and where your work is. Can't imagine a newspaper willing to publish a picture of this feat. But I guess that's what people call 'cultural differences'.

  6. Brave man! But I guess then people didn't worry so much about health a safety! I used to cycle to and from work in London.. 45 minutes each way in heavy traffic. After a while you get used to the risk!

  7. I enjoyed all the happy smiles on the tiny bikers. Nice photo of your brother.

  8. Those trikes with three larger wheels were far less common, but I can rmember wanting one when I was small.

  9. i had a bike just like your first one and terrorised the neighbours in the village by riding at top speed on the narrow pavements - when the local policeman was not around.

  10. I like these photos!!! I can't remember if we had a trike, will have to look through some photos.
    I know my sister had a 2 wheel bike that we "shared".

  11. I would have loved the trike, I think... Took me a while to learn to ride my first big bike!

  12. Gotta luv a fellow that makes a statement and sticks by it. Enjoyed the post and pics.

  13. Over here that saying kind of starts off a race! Great story- and cool photos too!

  14. Great photographs. Whichever continent we are on, whichever country we were brought up in, there are always bikes, and small kids, and smiles.

  15. Excellent that you have so many family photographs.

  16. I am sorry that I missed you last week, Jackie. What a fun post, all you little kids look so cute, and good for your brother!

    Kathy M.