Bicycle teacher Brett Richardson visiting the Commissariat Store

In June 2019 Brett Richardson visited the Commissariat Store on his vintage bike to post on cyclingbrisbane. Let’s extend the story further!

1829 in Brisbane, convict labour was constructing the Commissariat Store in William Street.10 years later in Dumfriesshires, Scotland, Kirkpatrick Macmillan was fitting treadles to his bicycle. Kirkpatrick Macmillan was born in 1812 in Dumfriesshire and was the son of a Blacksmith. During his time working for his father he had become intrigued by the hobby horse, a two wheeled vehicle that was propelled by pushing your feet on the ground. He decided to make himself one but very quickly realised that this could be improved further if he could find some way to propel this mode of transport without actually putting his feet on the ground.

 By 1839 he had completed his machine and had in effect created the first pedal bicycle. Although this invention was extremely heavy and would have taken considerable physical effort to propel it Kirkpatrick Macmillan had very quickly figured out how to ride his invention and it was not long before he was making the 14 mile journey into Dumfries. A well known story also tells of Macmillan making the 68 mile journey on his bicycle to Glasgow which was said to have taken him two days. During this journey he was said to have run over a little girl while cycling through the Gorbals in Glasgow and he was subsequently fined five shillings. Legend suggests that the magistrate was so impressed with his invention that he asked for a demonstration of how it worked and that he infact paid his fine for him.

ABOUT THE BUILDER

Brett Richardson commenced his time in the bicycle industry in 1976 where he worked for a subsidiary of The Phillips group of companies trading as ‘General accessories’.  Brett participated in all assembly procedures within the manufacturing process where he learnt wheel building and all mechanical aspects of the bicycle. In 1977 with minimal frame repair experience he was poached by another Brisbane based bicycle manufacturing company. After a few years with Cycles Australia he ventured out into Retail bicycles sales and in 1981 commenced producing his own brand “Berretto”. With the introduction of firstly Japanese and then Taiwanese product entering the high end bicycle market and the introduction of exquisite materials of Aluminium and Carbon fibre, saw the local handmade steel bicycle frame market became obsolete with many builders fading away into non-existence. Brett sold off the retail side of the business but retained the frame tooling. His interest in historic bicycles influenced Brett to adapt his skills to ‘Vintage style ‘steel bicycles and produced Penny Farthings and vintage style bicycles and tricycles for enthusiasts. Brett has for the last 17 years worked for TAFE Queensland as Australia’s only Bicycle teacher passing on his skills and experience to the Bicycle retail industry.