I opened Ponybikes at the beginning of the Great Fixie Movement of 2008. My intention was always to be more shoppe, than shop. If you don’t know what that means, google is your friend. I have stayed true to that vision and have been fortunate to be trusted to do some challenging, amazing, and creative work over the last 13 years. I build custom bicycles and wheels. I fabricate, weld, paint, and fix problems. My intention was never to be a retail store 

I’m going to jump back 2 years to give you an idea of where I am and how I got here 

I fell deeply in love with someone who lived overseas. We had a relationship that I was invested in but was really only a safety net for her to relocate to Australia with her offspring. This one is totally on me. The red flags were there all along. Red flags are only flags if you have rose colored glasses on, and boy did I ever. I really am a tragic romantic. Covid hit just as our relationship started to go south and I learnt about Benching (google) It truly is a horrible, horrible thing to do to someone. Do not. Just don’t. It’s real shitty behavior. As my heart was breaking, and the world was catching fire, my flat mate decided it was a good time to move home to his parents, leaving me with a lease, a broken heart and not being able to find someone to take his spot. That’s when we went into the first serious lockdown 

I have always been a resilient person, but the pandemic was something that I knew nothing about, and I am not ashamed to admit that I was scared, frightened and incredibly alone 

I was hemorrhaging money and finally, after much searching, found a cheaper place where I could live by myself. This place was perfect for me and after a tumultuous time, I finally felt like I was home  

Lockdown continues;  

I figured out things were not going to get back to normal for some time, so I enrolled in a Community Services course for the coming year. I’ve got a lot of love to give. Things were looking up and my confidence was coming back 

My bookkeeper had discovered there were financial discrepancies with my commercial real estate ledger. I had brought this up with them several times, and because of this, when time came to negotiating rent relief, they dialed the bullshit up to 1000 and truly made me question my existence. Somehow, I found the strength I needed to get through and came out on top. This did not bode well with said real estate. More on this later 

Lockdown ends and I’m starting my school year 

I went to the supermarket on a Saturday afternoon to buy a bachelors hand bag (google) I’d just been for a swim and was feeling good. There was a guy there who couldn’t figure out if I was a guy or a girl. I’m not sure why this was so important to him, but it was, so he followed me out of the supermarket and beat the shit out of me. I’ve been assaulted a few times in my life because of the way I look (yes, it is always men) but this one hit me differently. Maybe it’s because of the year I had just had, but I just could not bounce back in my usual way. I spiraled badly into depression and PTSD.  Fortunately, I have a great psychologist and after lots of talking, I managed to get going again 

Shop and uni were ticking along nicely, so cue commercial real estate 

After giving them many opportunities to fix the financial situation, I had to get the Small Business Commission involved. The real estate did not like this, so they carried out a reentry. Off to VCAT we go and I’m back in the shop again. This did not please them, so they did the only thing they could do, issue an eviction notice for the end of February in 2022 (it’s August 21) 

We enter our sixth lockdown and once again I must apply for rent relief. Here I am thinking, after all we have been through, they would start to dig up, but alas, let’s talk to the Small Business Commission one more time. At this point I’ve got Stockholm syndrome, I really want to help them, but they just keep doubling down. They are Selling Sunset wannabes without the intellect (love that show, it’s a guilty pleasure, don’t tell anyone)   

My first year of school was a personal litmus test to see if I was committed to my studies. I passed. I am and always have been absolutely fascinated with the human condition. I have enrolled in a double bachelor of Social Work/Psychology beginning in 2022. With my main VCAT case coming up, I decide to cut my losses and get as much financial renumeration as I can. The plan is to pay rent on my home for a year and study and heal 

Then the owner of my house decides to sell 

then my dog dies  

then my friend dies 

and at a certain point you need to get out of the way and push in the opposite direction 

Setting up a new shop and finding somewhere to live is not where I want to focus my energy right now 

I have decided to put everything in storage and take off for a bit

I have never done that, and it is scary and exciting at the same time. My plan is to spend time with old friends, begin my serious studies, make music, ride bikes, chase the sunshine, and go slow… all the important things 

I don’t know if I’m closing Ponybikes, it is, however, on hiatus 

I may or may not jump on this horse again… either possibility is totally fine with me 

I’ll stop taking on big jobs mid December so I can get it all done 

If you need something, now is the time 

No, you can’t have my tools 

Much love 

Sash x 

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