Cycle Zoo, Bikes for the 21st Century

For sample pages and availability see here.

The Cycling Zoo update (August 15, 2021)

After finishing the first edition of Cycle Zoo, I started my long-running bikes blog, and continued to work, and build and ride bikes including wooden recumbents. Gradually I took on longer and longer Audax rides and have now managed to complete two 1200k rides, both flat Murray Tours organised by Simon Watt.

Several steps were key to writing the new book, and developing leaning trikes:

Adapting Vi Vuong's leaning trike design: Vi's technology can radically simplify the design of Human Powered Vehicles and I feel honoured to have adopted, used and championed it. It led to

My Industrial Design Master's Degree: The opportunity to study a research masters in Industrial Design came just as I was being retrenched from a long term job at CMG / Regal Beloit. My Master's title was Simple Leaning Trike with the research question "How can DIY leaning Trikes lead to Sustainable Transport. My supervisors Robbie Napper and Mark Richardson fought hard for me to get in. Thanks!

At Monash, I wrote journal articles, attended transport conferences and gained an introduction to the academic world. I also started 3d printing which led to 3d printing bike parts at home, and my relatively recent design blog.

I hope you enjoy the new Cycle Zoo.

How "The Cycling Zoo" was written (May 15 2009)

Well it goes back a long way! I have always ridden bikes and got my car license quite late, so never lost the bike riding habit.

In 1986 I spent some time in Germany and lived in a shared house in Wiesloch near Heidelberg. One day I saw a photo in the newspaper of a bloke who'd built his own recumbent bicycle and decided to build my own. I started right there in Germany and built a really naïve, crappy recumbent bike which was rear wheel steer and as far as I was concerned, unrideable. Many people start building bikes this way, but I never gave up. When I came back to Australia, I built another bike which was still crappy but at least rideable.

It took about 10 years of very-part time tinkering (did a few important things like getting married and starting a family though!) to build a decent recumbent bike on which I did the 1997 Around the Bay in a Day Ride and competed in the 1997 OzHpv Challenge. My bike building has been a bit more intense since then and I have built tandems and load carriers, organised human powered vehicle events, captained a Tandem Greenspeed on a 210k ride and owned about 20 folding bikes...

During 2004 my family travelled to Germany and visited the Spezi special bike exhibition in Germersheim. I collected a few books from the various stalls and amongst them was "HPV Chronik" which is (not a new and virulent disease but) a history of the German Human Powered Vehicle Club on its 10th anniversary. The book had lots of stories about bikes and their riders and I thought that it was great and that something similar about Australian Cycles could be written.

Australian Cyclist and the OzHpv Magazine "Huff" had already published a few of my articles and these formed the nucleus of what was to become a book.

When the book was about 75% together, I started looking for publishers through all my various contacts (friends, neighbours, relations) but their wasn't much interest in publishing it. Bev White helped me a lot at this stage, encouraging me and talking about self-publishing and web publishing.

When the book was about 90% together and my long-suffering friends Jamie, George and Alan had been through several drafts editing and making suggestions, I approached Publishing Solutions and started the process of turning the manuscripts and binary bits on computer discs into the book as it now stands. Publishing Solutions had published Kate Leeming's book "Out There and Back", and she had recommended them so this seemed to be a very good place to start.

Well I'm very pleased with the results and I only hope that you, the reading public will be as well.

A special thanks to my wife and son, Ewan and Christine for their help with the book