The Last Ho Chi Minh Longbike?


Readers of a certain age may recall the fabulously anarchic Monash Playground, now unfortunately lost to the world through rather boring OH&S edicts! Well the man behind the Monash Playground was a Grantley Telfer, an all-round admiral character and self-starter from South Australia’s Riverland. Many years after the Playground’s demise, Grant is still going strong with a major shedding business in SA’s regional areas.

Grant Telfer and HCM

A unique rider with his unique bike!

But Grant’s major claim to fame here, apart from his insistence on wearing white overalls and no shoes on almost all occasions, is that he has been from the cargo bike movement’s earliest days, a daily user of an original Ho Chi Minh cargo bike! Grant’s bike is one of the four original Ho Chi Minhs, built by Ian Grayson in about 1985. The ‘HCM’ was at the heart of the local cargo bike movement that started in Adelaide in the early 1980s, centred around the Musgrave Street Bicycle Workshop. Publicized internationally, the HCM was in all likelihood a significant inspiration for some of the more commercial ‘longtail’ bicycle design around the world in more recent times!

Bruce Steer (designer of the Adelaide Longbike that followed the Ho Chi

The Last HCM?

The Last HCM?

Minh) recently traveled to the Riverland and visited Grant, providing a couple of photos of his marvelous machine. Grant rides the bike into Mannum most days to fetch the paper and brekky supplies. Bruce and Grant have ‘souped it up’ several times with various forms of electric assist to ensure that it remains usable with aging knees. Grant’s bike may be the last remaining of this unique design and it’s certainly a valuable and an indelible icon of South Australian bicycle history!

For those interested in cargo bikes and Adelaide’s home-grown bike culture, please see the Adelaide Longbike page elsewhere on the Portadbug site.

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