10 Oct Get A Grip Event – Australia
*beep beep beep…* 8AM. On a saturday morning. Whose bright idea was this!? Ugh, way too early to function. But today is a big day. I need to focus and get myself pumped up…
A couple of mates and myself started Pedal Pushers in Brisbane around early 2015. The intention was to get other pedal powered bike enthusiasts together for rides, swapping tips and info as well as trading parts. What we didn’t realise is how quickly this group would grow, with members from all around South East QLD. Before too long we had the idea to put together a show where members could come together and show off their pride and joy and have a good time with like-minded people.
Those 8AM wakeups are brutal. But once the realisation sets in that the first day of Get-A-Grip 2018 is upon us, I pretty much leap out of bed with a smile on my dial. Like a kid at Christmas. It’s only early but already my phone is loaded with messages and missed calls, a foreboding sign that today is not going to get any easier…
The first day of Get-A-Grip comprised of a drag racing session, followed by some trick riding and then a cruise into the city. After a bit of mucking around we finally have the drag strip prepared, with the Brisbane River and Inner Western suburbs providing a picturesque backdrop. We kicked off with a few qualifying runs to get the racers primed for the big event. Once everyone was ready and raring to go, we revealed a surprise. We enlisted the help of a flag girl to drop the flags on the start of the race. It added a pretty special element to the vibe we had going on.
With the racers lining up ready to go, the ever-beautiful Miss Kitten Darling drops the flags on each race. Spectators watching on the sidelines with bated breath. Cameras all around snapping the action as the racers launch off the line. Many of the races were a very close affair, with only split seconds the difference between progressing through to the finals and having to park up the bike. Before too long we reached the pinnacle, the grand finale, with the winner of this one taking home bragging rights.
Miss Kitten dropped her flags to signal the start of the final race. Alan and Chris set off on one last run. Pumping pedals, giving it their all. It was neck and neck until the last few metres where Alan was able to pull head and take out 1st place, much to the delight of those on the side-lines. What a race!
We backed up the drags and trick riding with a leisurely sunset cruise into the city, taking in the sights along the way. It’s about this time of afternoon where the city starts to come alive. The run along the river through South Bank is littered with people observing the Pedal Pushers BC procession with delight. Smiles on faces as we roll by, many rushing to grab their phones and cameras out to grab a quick photo. It’s moments like these that make you appreciate the joy that these bikes bring. Happiness is found on two wheels.
*beep beep beep* Ohh it’s that dang alarm again. After the previous day’s efforts all I wanna do is sleep in a bit. But as they say.. no pain, no gain/there’s no rest for the wicked/you can sleep when you’re dead, and all those other joyful, motivational phrases. My head is heavy, muscles aching but the smile on my face just can’t be wiped off. Day 2 of Get-A-Grip 2018 is gonna be another banger.
We managed to score a decent little venue for our shindig, a local bowls clubs not far from the city. Plenty of room inside their events hall. Or so we thought..
Not long after getting ourselves set in place, the bikes start rocking up in dribs and drabs. And then by the truck load. Literally. In no time at all the place was packed! We certainly underestimated the amount of space we would require. And that is by no means a complaint. We were totally stoked for such an amazing turn out- not just the bikes, but people too!
The spectacle that was the Get-A-Grip 2018 Show’N’Shine was really something to behold. The variety of the bikes and the calibre of the builds was impressive. Which made the task of casting judgment for the trophy winners that much harder. From rusty old rats to one of a kind show stoppers and everything in between, the quality was exceptional. Myself and the rest of the judging panel really took our time to go over all the fine details to pick out any imperfection we could, because there was no other way to pick a clear winner. It was a photo finish for all of the trophies up for grabs. But we think those that took top honours really did deserve not only the trophies, but the praise from their peers too.
The afternoon wasn’t just about the bikes though, It was a really good opportunity for a well earned drink and a catch up with old friends and making new ones. The whole weekend had a really good vibe, exactly what we wanted.
Even though the planning and preparation that went into this weekend was at times painful, other times difficult to juggle with other commitments, and near on impossible without the help of some really awesome people – would I do it again?
In a heartbeat, without a doubt. In fact, ideas are being thrown down for Get-A-Grip 2019. Stay tuned for that one, folks.