Re: [CR]shipping frames [with]in australia and other endless Gonzo ramblings

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From: "Ben Kamenjas" <>
Subject: Re: [CR]shipping frames [with]in australia and other endless Gonzo ramblings
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2006 18:38:34 +1000

Ahhh ... So you're the buyer of that very cool Jim Bundy track frame recently auctioned. My selfish and very childish reaction is to say "no way Jose, cannot do" and suggest your best option is to have me taking on the custodianship instead. But that wouldn't be very good CR list etiquette ;)

I can understand the seller's reluctance, and he was pretty clear in his auction notes. Cutting down boxes and fitting within the Oz post size limits (max 105cm in length, and max 140cm total girth - 2 sides + top + bottom) isn't very easy and takes a bit of time to do. For travel within Oz the same rules apply but due to the sizing it's always a case of nudge, nudge, wink, wink and going to a post office that isn't so pedantic about exact measurements ... some people don't have that option and it seems that this seller has tried and failed and now is reticent to try again. Forget couriers unless you well heeled, and UPS and Fedex down here are also pretty expensive. We don't have extensive and cheap freight and bulk mail options like you cats in the states - you cats got it made. To my mind the next alternative for your situation is called Bus Freight and is like some subsidiary of the greyhound bus network. For you Bozo's this is for domestic shipping only - busses don't cross the pacific !!!! They have a fixed rate "bike box" service and literally any standard size bike box will accepted regardless of weight. Sounds a little scary as most people ship their bikes by taking off the front wheel, handlebars and pedals, lowering the saddle and just stuffing it in in, with the ethos of ... "it's just a bike" but this won't concern you as yours is just a frame and fork and there is plenty room for protecting it ::just in case::. It can be dropped off and delivered to any Greyhound bus depot for pick up or for a smaller additional fee can then be courier delivered to most any urban home or work address. At worst you may have to spring for a token amount for the cost of a bike box, some packing material and a bit of gas coin as well as the bus freight charge. I'd say tops at $50aud ... probably a lot less. Your friend in Melbourne will probably have to repack it for flying, otherwise a hefty oversize luggage fee will apply ... then there's the possibility of excess baggage fees, and them unfairly maligned baggage handlers who are fresh out on parole and addicted to crystal meth and mezcal, both taken at the same time. Ouch, you'd think the USDA and CIA could ensure a good supply of cocaine ... oops, sorry wrong forum 8-)

Scenario deux ... you could pay my gas money (about $35aud) to pick the frame up in person and drive back to Sydney. Then take it in person to the most excellent man who made the frame and say "Jim, some bloody yank bought this old frame of yours, we gotta do our best to make sure that any half said myth, folklore and ass vocalization doesn't end up with it as it's history. Let's set the facts straight !" ... to which Jim will reply "Sure, how about a beer before we start". We can see if he may have any details or recollection of the frame, period he made it or customer it was made for ... and perhaps see if he has any original decal stock that would suit (for a reasonable price as Jim's now retired ;) ) if a restoration may be required further down the path. Doesn't get better than straight from the horses mouth (sorry Jim). In fact there is an excellent paint restoration facility here in Sydney who know Jim very well as they have both done (and still do) much work together. Their quality is great and the customers are unanimous in their praise for the quality of the work ... not cheap but nothing good is and the exchange rate is in your favour which ends up making it a sweet deal. Goes without saying that the guys at Pearl Paint are pretty good at restoring Aussie frames correctly, perhaps more correctly than similar services in the states and you can be riding within a month of purchasing it ... seems some of youse like to wait 6 months, sicko's !!!. Irrespective, I can send it Air Mail to you in SF, CA for about $100aud and it takes about 1 week. I'm not making any coin on this offer, but sacrificing a fair bit of time to ensure that it's handled and packed properly and this frame made by a friend of mine is passed onto you with as much history and detail as I can glean. I outed this offer to the list whilst the auction was running and have made contact with the seller about the possibility of me picking it up on behalf of a foreign buyer .... just don't expect me to play any mama's and papa's or grateful dead in the car on the way down to pick it up. Just Kraftwerk and Nina Hagen as I shift the Getrag box into 5th and sail down the highway in my E28 like it's an autobahn, pretending the advisory km/h signs are actually mp/h. Heck .. im gonna throw in new Beru leads, Bosch rotor and cap, fresh oil and filters, and bolt on some recently acquired 15" rims just for the journey (that's right, 15" is bling on my income, buddy). Actually probably not the rims ... unless some kind soul can source me four 72.5 - 74mm hubcentric spacers from Tire Rack (alloy not plastic) and mail them widgets ova' here pronto (anybody?). Of course my nom de guerre in said driving mode is Herr Horst Schitz from Stuttgart ..... no drugs, just fresh adrenal fluid from Budapest (pineal glands are cheap there). OK Ok, maybe a few blotters in case of emergency, and a bit of ether. Gonzo mode indeed - except, both my very good Samoan mates aren't attorney's, but they do know a lot of them. Heck i'll even taken a camera and document the journey, some of youse yanks don't get just how crazy us Aussies are ('cept the texans of course) :-P

Sorry I get carried away at the thought of a road trip, you see, nothing makes me appreciate this big brown land of ours more than ripping past it at high velocity in a very 80's german car. There I go again ... sorry. Scott, here are options and the frame you have bought looks to be a fine example from a builder who was and is very well regarded by many here in Sydney. He built my first frame !!! If you need a hand i'd be glad to help and there's a few on the CR list stateside who can vouch for my my ability to pack/ship frames well (not only because nobody else has offered to do so, right guys?). It's not about the money (besides chicks and drugs come way before that).

Of course, my childish side will sneak in again and advise you to forget about it ;)


Ben "wannabe Gonzo" Kamenjas Sydney, Oz

p.s. not that I would condone such violent acts but is there a paypal account that I could contribute to so that both Bob Freeman and Michael Allison can be funded to attend Le Cirque. I love you guys !!!! We really need a East Coast Vs. West Coast hip hop style stoush. It'd be great, improves the breed, get in there swing a few, then we all regale about it afterwards. It's good to fight, it's natural . I mean just look at US history - you cats live for it. Nothing like an honest scrap to clear the air and bring us all closer together. Maybe as a double bout we can have Phillippe Starck and Rant Peddlesome take on all comers WWF style who disagree with the style or their fork crown or head lug extensions. Ahhh ... the smell of campy grease, Weigle's framesaver, Clement tires and fresh blood. Brilliant !!!!!!! It might be a little scary for the girls on the list like Jan and Hilary but I swear numbers on the CR list would soar and then, maybe then the right honorable Dale can stand atop a podium and proudly proclaim "The first rule about Bike Club is ..... ".

Jeez, im an idiot .... it's no secret that the CR list is perhaps the only one that would have me ;)

p.p.s (or p.s.s. ?) Im serious about the hubcentric rings !!!!!

On 31/03/2006 Scott Minneman of San Francisco, CA wrote:
> I recently bought an on-topic frame from somebody in Australia, and
> need to
> get it from Canberra to outside Melborne (where a friend of mine will
> bring
> it stateside next time he flies over). I've been told by the seller
> that
> bike frames are too big for Australia Post, and that there's no
> equivalent
> of UPS or FedEx.
> Can somebody who's familiar with shipping things around down under
> please
> advise me on who/what to point the seller to? Will the "Couriers
> Please"
> method work, even when Canberra isn't one of their home cities? What
> are
> the names of other plausible options?
> Somebody must know this off the top of their head, and can save the
> seller
> some time and frustration in trying to figure it out.