Bike Beauty: Part One

I am sure few of you have stopped to think about the beauty of machines!! But I am sure amongst our followers some of you, like me, appreciate the skill, creativity and yes, beauty which can be found in human made machines... and the machines I want to show you over the next two days are the bicycle and the motor bike.

Now I have machines in my blood as my grandfather and many of my family were motor mechanics. I also have bicycles in my blood as the same grandfather was a racing cyclist from Bendigo in Central Victoria - where cycling has been a significant sporting activity since the late 1800s.

Here is Arthur Robertson Morris below with (1) his first bicycle (2) as a racing star and (3) on the right... the Killian Morris motor bike he made with his friend Mr Killian. Of interest both men met when apprentice jewellers - Mr Killian went on to run a very successful jewellery business in Bendigo and my grandfather took to being a motor mechanic.

My grandfather's main claim to fame was that he serviced the vehicles driven to Bendigo by the notorious criminal Squizzy Taylor and one of my uncles as a young child made a considerable amount of money guarding Squizzy's cars when parked outside the local pub!!!

Top Left: Arthur Robertson Morris with his first bicylce The Killian Morris Motor Bike

We believe that my grandfather called his bicycle the Albena - Al after his wife Alice and Bena after Bendigo. I really don't know if this is true but what I do know is that my mother's name was Alice Albina Morris and went by the name Bena. She always told us that she had been named after the bicycle!! I went through school living off this wonderful story but my friends always said that Malvern Star would have been a better name for her!!! And dare I mention the bicycle name of Cyclops!! Certainly my mother was very One-Eyed about her family!!

There is no doubt that Arthur Robertson Morris was a very clever man and back in those days you made your own tools!! Here is a lathe which he made as you can see from the labelling Science's latest Device - Grinding cylinders by Electricity... by A. Morris.

Lathe invented by Arthur Robertson Morris

My aunt Jean Newman on my father's side was also into motor bikes and below she is taking her turn in the sidecar with her great friend Jean McCarthy (nee Walker).

The Two Jeans going for a spin: L: Jean McCarthy (Walker) R: Jean Newman

I am delighted to tell you that both bicycles and motor bikes are still very much a part of my life. Two of my adopted grandsons are top Australian cyclists. The younger of the two, Oscar Gallagher is both a road and track specialist and is about to represent Australia at the Junior Track World Championships in Luoyang, China.

Oscar Gallagher - on road and on track

The elder of the two Sam Gallagher is one of Australia's young Elite cyclists having also represented Australia in the Junior World Track Championships.

Sam has now added motor bike riding to his great loves and sometimes I go with him as pit crew and recently we spent the day together where I was able to take some photos to show the beauty of bikes.

Here is Sam's great passion ...

Sam Gallagher's motor bike (Photo: Anne Newman)

....being cared for with the greatest of love and devotion as all beautiful objects deserve to be!!

Sam Gallagher with his motor bike (Photo: Anne Newman)

Tomorrow, Sam and I will show you just how beautiful these machines really are.