Spoke Magazine

Inside Outside – Simon Courtney

Posted by Caleb Smith on Wednesday October 5 2011

Bike builder, hair farmer, graffiti artist, mountain cycle enthusiast, microbrewer, member of the Weber owners club, top fuel lover, sneaker freaker: these are just a handful of ways to describe Christchurch based designer and all round bad-ass Simon Courtney. Knowing his insanely diverse interests and talents we couldn’t think of a better person to rock this week’s Inside-Outside.

Okay okay, so I spend a lot of time on the net surfing for more information on stuff I will most likely never own or do. I could have sent people to the wooden boatbuilder enthusiasts’ website, the beer forums to find if it is smart to rack off your beer post fermentation, my local pub’s beers of the week update, what knife releases, or one of the various Dog Training video web sites, but felt I would kill your blog with boredom. I figured pipeburn would have been profiled, so here are some of the other sites I spend a lot of time on.

jalopyjournal.com/ and the H.A.M.B.
If you know me you’ll know that I have as strong a love for cars as I do for bicycles. The Hokey Ass Message Board is a site dedicated to traditional Hot Rods and Kustoms. There is everything you wanted to know about how to fix the passenger side power window on your ’61 Thunderbird to just browsing the classifieds to see who is passing on their long standing unfinished project car. It’s not the place to find muscle cars with chromed Jordans and don’t type the words “ratrod” and expect to be taken seriously. It’s a great community of grumpy, knowledgeable old bastards from around the world.

BBQ and BEER. Good god this is a dream life; Mike’s wife must be stoked. A true flag bearer for the charcoal grill, he always has something meaty photographed well and served up with a recipe and craft beer match for you to try out yourself ( I recommend Manuka planked salmon). Bring on summer and a Weber Ranch Kettle!

Well, who wouldn’t like a site dedicated to early Porsche air-cooled culture! Bob Tilton, apart from being a genuinely nice guy, has been creating a book of truly great stills and background stories and sharing the progress of its creation with all enthusiasts. Bob (himself) printed 225 completed books in January which promptly sold out, so has done a reprint and still updates the site with more lustful 911 glamour shots that have been keeping my sights firmly set on a five-car garage with a space for a late ’60s Porsche in it (for those fair weather days ya know.)

Grain edit is focused on classic design work from the 1950s-1970s and contemporary designers that draw inspiration from that time period. The design work profiled often has a textural and rough edged feel about it. I really like thinking that it was actually made by hand; there is some kind of direct contact to the artist, there’s an embedded personality to it. A great place to visit when you’re blinded by all the slickness around us these days.
(SIDE NOTE: I ain’t stupid, I know computers were often used in the creation of a lot of this stuff, but more as a tool than a creative device.)

The voice of the (mainly American) handmade bicycle builders. I have spent far too many late nights researching though advice and articles, and finding all sides of reasonable conjecture about the ever-changing cycling world is worth hearing out. All the “superstars” of bike building contribute when possible, and there is a thread called Friday Night Lights where builders post up their week’s progress – kinda sums up the leisure life of a frame builder, haha.

Was hard to reduce down to five. I was going to include ignoredprayers blog but words just don’t do it justice:

Inside Outside is a weekly spotlight of inspiring stuff from inside the web but outside of mountain biking. Each week we ask someone from within mountain biking to give us their top five daily websites that aren’t just about mountain biking.

  • http://www.anotherpintplease.com Mike

    That is awesome, Simon. Thanks for the shout-out! If you ever decide to export the hair farmer gig, let me know. I’m in need.

    • http://twitter.com/SimonCourtney Simon Courtney

      Haha, thanks Mike! I’ll have to bring some over and swap grill / beer stories.

  • http://www.werkcrew.com Bob Tilton

    Many many thanks for the mention – incredibly honored!

    • http://twitter.com/SimonCourtney Simon Courtney

      Just keep up the good wErk Bob, your site is one of my favorite distractions.