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Journeys : Feb March 2012
In Tasmania today I had bought myself a Yamaha XS1100 that required a little work. In my quest to find parts, I ended up coming across more bikes than I needed – seven in fact! This allowed me to build two, sell some as job lots and keep the rest for parts. It didn’t take me long to realise that this was what I wanted to be doing with my time. Opportunity knocked when my wife Bonnie was awarded a scholarship to go back to university and do her PhD. I was to stay at home with our two children, Romulus and Grace, and establish Salvaged Cycles. I now spend my time here in Launceston, juggling full time parenting with working in my shed. Launceston is great because it is central, making it easy for me to travel all over the state in pursuit of bikes and materials. Through Salvaged Cycles, I build customs, restore bikes, fix bikes that don’t run, sell parts and do some servicing and mechanical work. I have a ready supply of parts from the many bikes I have pulled apart, which allows me to choose parts to keep for my own projects while on-selling others for other people’s bike restoration dreams. Being able to build completely unique custom bikes is the part of my business that I love the most, but I also love that I am helping to keep other bikes, especially the old classics, on the road. And of course, as well as rebuilding, restoring, repairing and reselling these beautiful bits of machinery, now and then I also get the chance to do what I love most – r iding them! Having an eye out for what can be re-used has stayed with me through my whole life. Old grey fence palings are a coffee table waiting to be built; driftwood becomes art in the garden; old pallets line my shed walls; packing crates become shelves; a broken cigarette machine makes a cabinet; a discarded wardrobe becomes a door! This means that the parts of Tasmania that most appeal to me are those rural and remote communities full of memor ies and old mater ials – infinitely useful but equally neglected. There are treasures every where. I’ve lived in the north-west, the south and now the north and I have managed to collect recycled bits and pieces in all corners of the state. But Tasmania is not only good for salvaging – in keeping with my other passion, it provides me with some of the best motorcycling roads in the world. The bike roads in Tasmania definitely make up part of ‘my slice’ – and my business, Salvaged Cycles, allows me to take advantage of both of my favourite features of our island. Combining my love of motorbikes with my love of salvaging has been a fantasy of mine for a long time. Recently, however, I realised that I didn’t have to dream it anymore – I could do it! February / March 2012 43
Apr May 2012