Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Excited about big balls

While this is a bit late off the press to be considered news, it is not too late to make fun of. Below is footage of Danny Hart's winning downhill run at this year's World Championships held in Champery, Switzerland.

Hart was still a fortnight shy of his twentieth birthday when he pulled off this surprising victory. Unfortunately, there's not a thing I can say to diminish the impressiveness of the Brit's ride, which, as an Australian, I have a natural inclination to do.

This may or may not be a photo of the commentators. No, I don't know why one
of them is wearing a USA skinsuit either. (Courtesy of Getty Images, apparently)

Fortunately though, the British commentary is good for a laugh. They're very excited. I guess I would be too if I were British. You know, not winning much and stuff...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Interview with a cyclo driver

Known here in Cambodia as cyclos (pronounced see-clo), these human-pedalled taxis with room for one (or three if you're Khmer) aren't nearly as ubiquitous as they once were in Phnom Penh. These days the tuk-tuk, which is faster and can carry more, is increasingly the transport of choice for those wanting to carry a largish load. 

That said, there are still plenty around if you want to pretend you're Tintin or Snowy or Le Van Loc.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

How bikes can save us

I'm not entirely certain where this comes from. Nonetheless, it's an interesting infographic (apparently that's what they're called these days) about how bikes can save you money. I guess statistics should always be taken with a grain of salt but I think the truth of what's below cannot be doubted - bikes will make you healthier and save you money. Word.

Biking And Health

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas idea #3 - Transformer Bike

OK, only 12 days out. And while you may well already be sorted for Xmas thanks to me (Christmas Idea #1 and Christmas Idea #2), it's possible you're still looking.

If that's the case, I bring you this idea, which I should add is useless (the idea that is, not the product), as I don't think you can buy it anywhere.

No, this product is anything but useless. Just think, you're riding along and want to pick an apple from a tree. Previously, this would having been impossible with all but the lowest lying branches. Not any more.

Or you want to intimidate a bad driver? Before now, you're best bet would have been to gesticulate wildly and scream in pseudo-Italian. Now, you can increase your size like a frill-necked lizard and scare the crap out bad driver.

Or you want to clothesline yourself. Impossible on a bicycle no longer.

I could go on but I think I've made it pretty clear what this bike has offer. So, without further ado, I present Transformer Bike. Guy that made this, you're a legend.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

You can take your zone and shove it!

19km to go. Comfortable?

"Living in the twilight zone"

"Zoned out"

These are two headlines from one article in The Age today. I guess they were so happy with their puns that they just had to use them both. Fair enough. But why stop there? Why not "Out of my comfort zone" or "Zoning out, man"?

And why restrict themselves to "zone"? We're talking trains here after all. The subject "train" has to be to punsters what Schoolies is to someone wanting to get laid. Unfortunately I'm not a punster but that won't stop me having a go; "Unres-train-ed ticket prices" or "Off the rails" or "What's the loco-motive?" or "Losing track". Shit man, it's a meat-market of puns.

Cycling Explained

All your questions answered...

Monday, December 5, 2011

"Always read the comments"

There's an old saying that says "Never read the comments". It refers to the comments that often appear at the end of online newspaper articles. These observations are made by anyone who feels like it. While of course a generalisation, these comments are normally poorly written, ill-considered and littered with misplaced apostrophe's.

Despite all this, I disagree with the old saying. I say read the comments. They're hilarious. There's been quite a lot of talk in the papers recently about the new cycle path that just opened on Swanston St. I've read the hundred or so comments that appeared in The Age article and chosen the best few, in blue, to share with you here today. I've taken the liberty of making my own comments underneath.

Some may argue that I've taken some cheap shots here. I probably have.


The Weekly Cycle
Making fun of people since February.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas idea #2 - Treadlie magazine

While we're still a while out, the one month till Christmas-off marks the beginning of stress for many. In an attempt to at least somewhat assuage said stress, I'm making it my duty to provide all the gift ideas you'll need if you happen to be gifting for bike a lover.

If Christmas idea #1 didn't tick the box, then perhaps today's idea will. While still nary more than an ankle-biter in the cutthroat world of bicycle press, Treadlie has already etched itself a place in magazine stands that pre-Treadlie was empty.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"It will level the playing field"

You often hear pro-doping pundits support their belief with something along the lines of, "Well, it will level the playing field if everyone is allowed to dope." That's pretty much what the last French winner of the French Open, Yannick Noah, said in Le Monde (that's a fancy-pants French newspaper) recently. 

Noah. Perhaps he should stick to tennis.

In case you missed it, here's what he said; 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A response to "Bloody, sweaty cyclists"

The purpose of Nick Ryan's article in Adelaide Now is devised expressly to bait cyclists into a foaming rage.

Maybe what Nick Ryan looks like

I am a cyclist and here I am foaming with rage. RRRAAAHHHH!!

So, here is Nick's article with a few of my own annotations in italics:

We live in a place well accustomed to plagues of all kinds.

Yes we do.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Christmas idea #1 - Soft bike porn

If you're anything like me, you won't start thinking about Christmas shopping until it's verging on too late. However, if you're further along the spectrum of being organised, you may get some of your shopping done in time. And if you're really weird, perhaps you've already started thinking about gifts now, a whopping 37 days out from the big day.

If you fit into that latter category, then today's post may be useful. Even if you don't, you could bookmark today's post and then set a reminder on your phone for, say, December 20th or so (and hope that the postage gods are on your side).

Monday, November 14, 2011


Bamboo is not a widely used frame material and probably never will be. That said, there are some very attractive options out there. Most notably (according to me) is the range of bikes from Craig Calfee. These bikes are beautifully made and while I can't see myself ever buying one (knowing full well I should never say never), I would love to give one a ride. This one for example...

According to Calfee, "There are many good reasons to choose Calfee Bamboo for your next bicycle frame. Calfee Bamboo bicycle frames are very stiff, transferring power efficiently; are durable, resisting damage from stress and impacts; are comfortable, surpassing aluminum, steel, titanium and most carbon frames in smoothness."

Perhaps pledging that I'll never own a bamboo bike is just an example of being old-fashioned and scared of change. Maybe bamboo will be THE material in years to come. If so, fine. I can live with that and I will be the first to eat my words.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bike Anatomy (and stuff)

Have I got a treat for you today? Yes, yes I do. And with the knowledge that people don't like reading much these days, it's pictures, pictures, pictures! Pictures of bikes of course. Some of them are art, some informative and others funny. They've all got two things in common. Firstly, they're all about bikes which is how they've made it onto these fabled pages. And secondly, they're all labelled or tagged so you can learn all about top tubes, seat stays, head sets and bottom brackets. So fling that Saturday paper aside and get some bike in ya!

There's this one from Aaron Kuehn.

And then this one. I'm not sure who it's by but I came across it on the Two Wheels Better blog. And a note of caution; if you're studying for your bicycle mechanic's certificate, perhaps avoid using this when revising.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dutch Cycling Embassy

Fresh from the womb is the Dutch Cycling Embassy, a coalition of private companies, NGOs, universities, research institutions and governments. And as their name would suggest, they're both Dutch and into cycling. Indeed, the goal of the group is to "facilitate cycling worldwide as the most modern, efficient and sustainable means of transportation by sharing [their] expertise and technology as the world’s number one cycling country."

With their launch comes this video;

Monday, October 31, 2011

A bike on a rope!

Following on from the welcome contributions of Korea and Japan, I continue the world tour of the bizarre + bike with this gem from Russia.

Why? No idea.

Nonetheless, thank you Russia!

Sunday, October 30, 2011


The Kondo KHR3HV biped. Isn't he cute?

Yesterday it was Korea, today it's Japan. Here we have a modified Kondo KHR3HV biped (you can get your own unmodified version here for USD$1738.80) that has been taught to...wait for it...ride a bicycle!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Competitive Exercise Biking!

The CPS9200 spinning bike. Once a direct route to boredom. No longer...

With Phnom Penh as my home these days (flat, busy, dusty and dangerous roads), I've been spending a lot more time on spinning bikes than I'd like. And up until now, I've been bored. Having seen these videos though, courtesy of the International Organization Jackie Spinning Championships, I'll be able to assuage my boredom by incorporating an exciting dance routine into my otherwise dull training sessions.

Thus far, I'm not too good, so I'm not prepared to show you my moves just yet. For now, you'll have to be content with the performances of a couple of my spinning idols...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

2012 Giro!

This is a photo of the trophy

It may still be 191 days away but that doesn't mean we can't get excited about the 2012 Giro d'Italia. Which may be in May. In fact it is. And the organisers of the event clearly feel the same way if the release of this video is anything to go by. With some dramatic scenes taken from last year's race, a dramatic* theatrical voice-over and some, uhm, dramatic*  striking music, I am left in no doubt that next year's race will be dramatic, theatrical and striking!

* I would like to thank Microsoft Word's Thesaurus for contributing to the variety of adjectives penned in this prose blog post. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I think therefore I shift

I think therefore I shift (photo from Prolly is not probably)

What if I told you that you can shift gears on this bike with nothing but your grey matter? You'd probably say, "You Parlee crap!" But I don't, I Parlee the truth. With the Toyota Prius X Parlee Concept bike, you can change gear simply by thinking about it. Doesn't seem possible? No it doesn't. But according to my computer nerd friend IT and Technology Consultant, this sort of technology is now available.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cambodian Mountain Bike Series

This is the start of this post

I returned to Phnom Baset on Sunday for the final round of the Cambodian Mountain Bike Series for 2011. I was hoping to make amends for my showing in the previous round where, for the first time in my life, I failed to finish the race. Then, I was sporting number 13 (which I chose). So, despite not believing in fate or numerology or ghosts, this time I chose number 12. It didn't help. I was sitting about mid-field and feeling as OK as can be in these sorts of situations (read totally exhausted) when on lap three of four my chain snapped. So, for the second time in my life, I failed to finish a race.

Friday, October 21, 2011

This and that...

It's been a long time between drinks for those that sip from The Weekly Cycle cup. That's because I, The Weekly Cycle bartender, have been extremely busy being lazy.

"If only I was on a bike..." McNulty, some time in 2007

So, for those of you getting the DT's, I apologise (sure, it maybe a little haughty to think that anyone's so hooked on The Weekly Cycle gear that a week off causes the shakes, but...yeah...whatever). I've received plenty of emails asking me to provide a fix; "We need a re-up, Mr. Weekly Cycle...hook a brother up" has been the general theme of them. Well, here it is, and you've hooked up to the main supply. This shit's pure (I've just finished watching The Wire, so I'm feeling all B-more gangster like).

So for this Friday, a bit of this and that...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Australian 24 Hour Mountain Bike Championships

Today's entry is a guest-post from my mate Jesse Carlsson. Below is his report on the 2011 Scott Australian 24 Hour Mountain Bike Championships which took place last weekend in Canberra. Jesse raced in the Open Pairs division with my other mate, Alex Denham.  And not only did they race, they won.
After Dan broke his elbow a few weeks ago, the Orbea team was down to two for the 2011 Scott Australian 24hr Championships in Canberra. There was only really one option – enter the pairs category. So that’s what we did.

Jesse...seeing double

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Age; bipartisan or arse hole?

In the last few days, the Melbourne-based newspaper, The Age, has been going to town on bicycle-themed stories. Some of them promote cycling as God's answer to all problems transport, some of them portray cyclists as suicidal maniacs, while others seem to simply report that there is a war on the roads between cyclists and motorists.

Is this too much to ask? (from

Of course, ask The Age, and they'll say they're just reporting the news. But from the prolific nature of these bicycle-themed articles and the diatribe of acerbic comments made by readers (drivers and cyclists alike), I'm left in no doubt that articles about the so-called "bicycle wars" sell newspapers. So, it might just be possible that The Age has an agenda in promoting said war. Which leads me to wonder; is The Age simply reporting the news, or is it a massive arse hole stoking the fire of what was once a small problem but is quickly becoming more bonfire-esque?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"I want that one" says the pro

In the last week or so, Mark Cavendish's move to Team Sky has gone from certain to doubtful. The reason is quite simple; the new World Champion wants to continue winning on Specialized bikes, while Team Sky riders roll on Pinarellos.

Cav on his Specialized

I'm not certain of the details of the deal, but I believe Cavendish was under the impression that Specialized would be coming with him to Sky. Only problem there is that Sky have a contract with Pinarello through 2012.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tour de Timor, part 3

Stage 5

I realise that I lied slightly when I said that I slept soundly all night except for my 2am pisses. While I did indeed sleep well, I didn’t always sleep soundly. This was mainly due to the chickens. While not overly knowledgeable about country things, a fact supported by my inability to convince the horses to tow me up the hill during stage one, I was always fairly confident that chickens (or is it roosters?) did the cocker-doodle-doo thing at or around sunrise. It turns out that this is not the case, or at least not so in East Timor. In East Timor, they cockered and they doodled and they dooed all night long. They may well have been doing it all day too, but I didn’t notice. It’s not something you notice in the day but it sure as hell is something that gets through to you during sleepy time. Still, despite these rude chickens, I still slept well. I can’t help but feel they were very healthy chickens. Again, I don’t know much about farm affairs but surely such loud protestations are the sign of a healthy chook.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Tour de Timor, part 2

Welcome to Illiamar/Illiomar! Thank you...

Stage 3

I awoke on the morning of Stage 3 relieved that I hadn't succumbed to some mysterious disease whose only symptom was Pinot-coloured piss. Speaking of waking, my body had well and truly fallen into line. Every night I was exhausted by 8.30 or 9 and would fall soundly asleep. This was despite only having a crappy yoga mat as a mattress (Pierre, if you're reading this, I am grateful for the lend!). Unfortunately, since I was drinking so much, I did have to go wee-wee once each night, usually at around 2am. Otherwise I would sleep through. In the morning, I would go immediately to the toilet and have the most satisfying and glorious shit. Then, after waiting my turn in the breakfast queue, I would eat an enormous breakfast including bacon, eggs, beans, noodles, bread rolls, cereal, cakes, juice and other things too. I had similarly large meals at lunch and dinner. We weren't allowed seconds but we were allowed as much as we could heap on our plate, so heap I did. I would have made my father proud if he were an engineer or a professional binge-eater. A highlight of dinner was the chicken, which had obvious Portuguese influences. I always put the chicken on top, as its shape renders it unsuitable for foundations. Soon after dinner, I would go to bed, and the process would repeat. It all worked like clockwork.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tour de Timor, part 1

You can’t tell exactly how people will respond when you tell them you’re going to live in Cambodia. But you can be pretty confident they won’t say, “Oh, great. That sounds lovely”, or “Ah, I’ve always wanted to go there.” It’s not like if you’re off to Paris or Prague. I’ve had countless responses, but there are some fairly common themes that seem to pop up, such as, “Oh, why?” and “Oh, be careful” and “Oh, isn’t it dangerous there? Isn’t there some guy called Pol Pot or something?” always accompanied with raised eyebrows and a slightly tilted head.

The entire race route was adorned with decorations such as this in Dili

It is true that Cambodia was very dangerous for almost all of the second half of the Twentieth Century. Lots of people were killed. You’ve probably heard about it. If not, go and do some reading; start with the Cold War, that will take you into the Vietnam War, then move on to Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge.

Friday, September 9, 2011

"Way Back Home" by Danny MacAskill

Filmed late last year in locations around Scotland, this Danny "MegaSkill" MacAskill film is simply awesome. What's more, it doesn't feature the riders, or in this case rider, being a dickhead for the camera; an all too common scene in bike videos. Just good riding, some nice songs and stunning camera work.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Off to the Tour de Timor!

Tomorrow, I'm heading off on what I am confident will be a pretty special experience. The third Tour de Timor takes place from the 11th-16th of September in a little place called Timor-Leste.

If I'm to be honest, I'm also confident it will be pretty hard. In fact, I am shitting myself a bit. I have never done a multi-day stage race before. I don't think I have ever ridden 550km in a week before. I am not very good at riding up hills and I have spent the last six weeks training in Phnom Penh where there is nary a mound in sight, let alone a mountain, or even a hill. And, we have to get up at 5am each day (except one day which is 4am!).

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Shop Talk with Shop Guy #3

Welcome to Shop Talk with Shop Guy* #3. We can't show you Shop Guy's face because he's a shop guy. Today, Shop Guy gives us the low-down on the 2012 range. And instead of telling us that everything is 250% lighter, stiffer and stronger, Shop Guy just tells the truth. Can you handle it?

2012 is a not here yet on the calendar but it is well and truly here for those of us in the bike industry. While some bikes and bits are starting to turn up in stores now there is still much to anticipate in the coming months. While most brands are promising that their products are lighter, stiffer, faster, more compliant or prettier for 2012 generally there is no great revolution from the bike industry in the coming year. There are some cute ideas and neat tricks but there is nothing that makes the bike you rode in 2011 obsolete.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Scrotums! (and things)

This is what cycling does to people
As it's Father's Day, I thought what better topic to discuss than scrotums. After all, you can't be a father without one. You could almost say that fathers and scrotums go hand-in-hand, although you probably wouldn't.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Riding in Kep

Last weekend, I visited the seaside town of Kep with a few friends. We met on Friday after work at Deum Kor Market to find ourselves a taxi. I was slightly worried about my bike causing problems. But I figured that while in Australia there are often rules that make taking a bike difficult, no such rules seem to exist in Cambodia. And I was right; the driver folded down some seats in the van and we made the bike fit. The ten of us paid $70 for the three and a half, 170km trip South. Road travel doesn't feel all together safe in Cambodia, but we did make it there (and back).

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mountain bike racing in Cambodia

13 lived up to its name for me today...thanks 13

Today I took part in the fourth round of the Cambodian Mountain Bike Series. It turns out mountain biking is pretty big in Cambodia and one of the few sports that has organised, annual events. This morning most of the one hundred or so competitors met at Flying Bikes (a local bike shop that is also the importer of Cannondale and GT) at 5.45am to get trucked out to Phnom Bassac, about 30km northwest  of Phnom Penh.

I made friends with Pierre (the owner of Flying Bikes and organiser of the series) yesterday; he took me out to the track to have a look and I helped him set out the course a bit. So this morning, I was relieved that he offered my bike a spot on the special trailer instead of having it loaded onto a truck.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"Bike boost bid fails, finance watchdog says"

According to the Victorian auditor-general, Des Pearson, a bid to increase the popularity of cycling to become a major form of transport has failed. The Victorian Cycling Strategy was launched by the then-Labor government in 2009.

The report, which can be accessed in its entirety here, states that "There was an overemphasis on physical infrastructure solutions, to the relative neglect of other measures essential to achieving the strategy’s goal, such as promoting cycling, educating potential cyclists and reducing the incentives to use cars."

This is bullshit. Firstly, an increase in physical infrastructure is a measure that promotes cycling. Secondly, there has hardly been any increase in cycling infrastructure. Sure, there are a few new bike paths here and there, but not many are particularly good. I've said time and time again, it's not enough to simply paint a green line down the road, jammed in between parked cars and trams, and draw a bike on it. This neither makes people safe or feel safe.

A Melbourne bike lane

Saturday, August 13, 2011


I've just been introduced to a great new website called bindle. It's a site that allows you to "show and tell" your gear. If, like me, you hadn't heard the word 'bindle' before, you won't appreciate the aptness of the name. Thanks to our friends at, you can now:


  [bin-dl]  Show IPA
–noun Slang .
a bundle, usually of bedding and other possessions, carried by hobo.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


One of the best things about living in an unfamiliar place is exploring. I love exploring new 'hoods, new suburbs, new cities and beyond. And there is no better way to explore than on a bike; you can go at your own pace, stop in here and there, go slow enough to smell the roses, and go fast enough to skip over the boring bits.

And if there's anything better than exploring a place on a bike, it's exploring a place on your own bike. When you're on your own bike, you feel a little bit at home even when you're not. Your bike is something you know so well, so to be on it in a foreign land is refreshing and comforting.

22km to Phnom Penh

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"Laurence of Cambodia: Journey into Phnom Penh"

Riding in Phnom Penh is like being in an adventure film. Here's the preview of what this film might look like...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Melburn-Roobaix clip

This is a bit late in the coming but you know what they say...

I took this clip during this year's Melburn-Roobaix, "a ride, not a race". Half the fun of this event took place after the pedalling was done; this was in part due to this fella's Bullit, which contributed no end to the fun atmosphere. I think a bike like this would be a pretty good investment, not in the usual sense of the word; more in terms of being able to bring the party anywhere that two wheels can go (everywhere!).

Bring it...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Phnom Penh!

After somewhat of a large hiatus, the weekly cycle is back. I've been busy packing up a house, watching the Tour de France, and moving overseas.

Since I last wrote, Cadel Evans won the Tour de France. It would be remiss and dishonest of me if I didn't admit I was surprised. I thought his age and the quality of his opponents ensured that 23 seconds would be the closest he ever got to the top step on the Champs Élysées. All I can say is sorry for doubting you Cadel and I'm really happy you won.

Anyway, enough of that for I have nothing more to add to what's already been said. For now, the flavour of the weekly cycle will be different as, for the next twelve months, Phnom Penh, and not Melbourne, will be where I call home.

What I've noticed so far is while Phnom Penh is far from a bike-friendly city, it is a bloody fun place to ride. It's also hot, which I'll hopefully get used to. I've been here a little over a week and have found the local bike shop and some people to ride with.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tour legends and legends of the tour; stage 10 - Abandonments

Amets Txurruka (Spa) (withdrawal Stage 9, fractured collarbone)
Ivan Murillo Velasco (Spa) (non-starter Stage 6, fractured collarbone)
Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) (withdrawal Stage 9, Fractured 3 ribs, Fx shoulder blade, collapsed lung)
Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel) (withdrawal Stage 4, fractured collarbone)
Frederik Willems (Bel) (withdrawal Stage 9, fractured collarbone)
Juan Manuel Gárate Cepa (Spa) (non-starter Stage 9, shoulder pain, groin pain from Stage 5 crash)
David Zabriskie (USA) [American National Champion Time Trial] (withdrawal Stage 9, fractured wrist)
Christopher Horner (USA) (non-starter Stage 8, concussion, fractured nose)
Janez Brajkovic (Slo) (withdrawal Stage 5, concussion, fractured collarbone)
Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) (non-starter Stage 10, fever)
Alexander Vinokourov (Kaz) (withdrawal Stage 9, fractured femur, possible Fx hip)
Tom Boonen (Bel) (withdrawal Stage 7, concussion)
Bradley Wiggins (GBr) [British National Champion Road and Time Trial] (withdrawal Stage 7, fractured collarbone)
Rémi Pauriol (Fra) (withdrawal Stage 7, fractured collarbone)
Christophe Kern (Fra) [French National Champion Time Trial] (withdrawal Stage 5, knee tendinitis)
Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) (outside time limit Stage 6)
Beñat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) (withdrawal Stage 8, fractured arm)
Pavel Brutt (Rus) (withdrawal Stage 9, crash)
Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) (non-starter Stage 10, poistive A sample doping from Stage 5 test)
Wout Poels (Ned) (withdrawal Stage 9, crash)
John Gadret (Fra)

These are the twenty-two cyclists who have so far abandoned the 2011 Tour de France. Some readers of this blog might have thought I too have abandoned; but no, I've just had an extended rest day.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tour legends and legends of the tour; stage 7 - Kraftwerk

Throughout this, the 98th edition of le Tour de France, I will be writing a daily despatch on some of the things that have combined to make this race one of the biggest, most celebrated and anticipated sporting shows on earth.

The Tour hasn't just inspired folk to get on a bike; it also inspired the German electronic band, Kraftwerk.  Their track, imaginatively titled Tour de France, was released in 1983. It reached number 22 on the UK charts and saw various versions released.

It's not to everyone's taste but it is about cycling!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tour legends and legends of the tour; stage 6 - 1924

Throughout this, the 98th edition of le Tour de France, I will be writing a daily (except yesterday) despatch on some of the things that have combined to make this race one of the biggest, most celebrated and anticipated sporting shows on earth.


The 1924 Tour (which I mentioned in Tour legends and legends of the tour; stage 5) was won by Ottavio Bottecchia who was the first Italian ever to do so. What's more, he was also the first cyclist to take the yellow jersey on stage one and keep it all the way through Paris.

Stage one was was a 381 km marathon (well, actually nine marathons if you want to be pedantic) from Paris to Le Havre. As such, the stage started at 1am. The Tour itself was also monstrously long at 5,425 kilometres (or 129 marathons to continue the use of this unusual unit of measure).

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tour legends and legends of the tour; stage 5 - Henri Pélissier

Throughout this, the 98th edition of le Tour de France, I will be writing a daily despatch on some of the things that have combined to make this race one of the biggest, most celebrated and anticipated sporting shows on earth.

A common hypothetical in cycling circles asks what could have been for Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali? How many races would these two great Italians have won if it weren't for WWII? For considering both cyclists had their careers interrupted by the war, that there would have been many more wins cannot be doubted. So, the hypothetical is, how many?

Bartali and Coppi share a drink

A hypothetical you don't hear so often is, what could have been for Henri Pélissier? This is despite the fact that he too won many races either side of a great war. Maybe you don't hear it so often because his was WWI, which was shorter. Or perhaps it is actually because he just wasn't as good. Sure, he had an impressive palmarès with wins in the Giro di Lombardia, Milan-San Remo, Paris-Roubaix, Bordeaux-Paris, Paris-Brussels, Paris-Tours and the Vuelta al País Vasco. But despite various stage victories and podium finishes, he was only able to win one Grand Tour, the 1923 Tour de France.

Compare this to Bartali and Coppi, who shared eleven Grand Tours, and Pélissier's record looks somewhat lacking. So maybe that's why there's no Pélissier hypothetical getting bandied round at bike-geek parties.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Catherine Deveny Interview

I recently had the pleasure of having a good chat with Melbourne writer, comedian and social commentator, Catherine Deveny. She is an avid commuter cyclist, what she terms "walking with wheels", and those familiar with her will not be surprised that she has some strong views on various topics related to bikes.

Catherine enjoys the wind in her hair

So without further ado, I present to you one opinionated, informed and ready-to-talk Catherine Deveny.

Tour legends and legends of the tour; stage 4 - 1948

Bobet chats with the Pope

The great Italian, Gino Bartali entered the 1948 Tour for the first time since he won it a full decade earlier. After twelve stages of racing, it didn't look like he would repeat his victory, as he languished over 21 minutes behind the leader, Frenchman Louison Bobet.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Tour legends and legends of the tour; stage 3 - 1989

Throughout this, the 98th edition of le Tour de France, I will be writing a daily despatch on some of the things that have combined to make this race one of the biggest, most celebrated and anticipated sporting shows on earth.

Fignon and LeMond

With Contador losing 80 seconds to his main rivals on stage 1, there is already talk that he may have lost the Tour. And indeed, if he happens to lose by less than 80 seconds, all will look to the events that occurred between the Passage du Gois and Mont des Alouettes.

In most walks of life, 80 seconds isn't all that much. In cycling, it's heaps. Indeed, it was one tenth of that amount that separated Laurent Fignon and Greg LeMond in the 1989 Tour after three weeks of racing. This 8 second time difference still stands as the closest Tour de France ever.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Tour legends and legends of the tour; stage 2 - Jacques Anquetil

Throughout this, the 98th edition of le Tour de France, I will be writing a daily despatch on some of the things that have combined to make this race one of the biggest, most celebrated and anticipated sporting shows on earth.

Jacques Anquetil was the closest thing to a rock star the cycling world has ever seen. So close, in fact, that he probably would put a few rock stars to shame if he'd ever had the chance. There were women, mansions, speed boats and benders. His biography, Sex, Lies and Handlebar Tape, as well as being an excellent read, has to be one of the great titles of all time (I'm a big fan of a good pun).

He openly admitted both to doping and racing bikes for solely financial reasons. This second assertion is perhaps confirmed by the fact that he only rode a bike three times after his retirement in December, 1969.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tour legends and legends of the tour; stage 1 - 1903

Throughout this, the 98th edition of le Tour de France, I will be writing a daily despatch on some of the things that have combined to make this race one of the biggest, most celebrated and anticipated sporting shows on earth.

Yellow newspaper, yellow jersey.  No coincidence.
Today marks the beginning of what is invariably the biggest three weeks of racing for each and every one of the 198 starters. As such, I thought a good place to start would be the beginning...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Northside Wheelers

Northside Wheelers is a bike shop unlike most.  Malachi Moxon, the owner and operator, runs the operation out of a small space on Greville St., Prahran.  For those familiar with both Melbourne and cardinal directions, you're probably asking, "Why northside?"  There are two reasons for that and both relate to Malachi's geographical roots; firstly, he heralds from Yorkshire, a fact his accent reveals, and more recently, he calls the north of Melbourne home.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

An open letter to The Age: "The Cycle Section"

An open letter to The Age,

I have included a picture of the cars section from your website.  No doubt you recognise it.  I can understand you having a cars section.  People like cars.  Top Gear is a pretty popular show.  There are famous movies about cars such as Herbie and Cars (whoever came up with that title deserves an Oscar).  There are big car races and car shows.  People spend a lot of money on cars and take pride in their vehicles.

Cars interest many different people from various walks of life.  Some people like sports with cars such as F1 and rallying.  Some have specials interests, like vintage, drag, hotrod, lowered, raised, stretched and fizzed.  Some people just use their cars to get to work.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Melburn-Roobaix 2011

Today was the 6th annual Melburn-Roobaix.  The weather was perfect for the 800 or so athletes who subjected their bodies to the punishment doled out by the fabled cobbles that are peppered between Hawthorn and Brunswick.  Andy of fyxomatosis fame put on a slick event that was enjoyed by all.

While this is a serious event ("a ride, not a race"), there was still room for a bit of fun.  There were Power Rangers, unicyclists, tandems for two and tandems for three, spandex, lycra, wool, sound systems, baguettes, and beer.  There were hipsters, commies, roadies and posties.  There were rich and poor, old and young, shaved and not.  All sorts were brought together by one thing; bike.

Unfortunately, I couldn't catch everything on film, as I was concentrating on other things, but here are a few snaps I did manage to catch...enjoy.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Banff Mountain Film Festival

I had no idea what to expect when I headed into Capitol Theatre last night to see the Banff Mountain Film Festival.  To be honest, up until a couple of hours before, my cycling-tuned brain had me thinking I was off to the Banff Mountain Bike Film Festival.

Despite not being all about bikes, I was nonetheless in for a treat.  While it doesn't have something for everyone, it's appeal is certainly broader than your average sports documentary.  To give you a taste, here's the trailer;

Melbourne's Winter Lights Video

Here's a short video of Melbourne's Winter Lights in action (which I wrote about yesterday).  Not a professional production, I'll admit...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Melbourne's Winter Lights

M is for Melbourne

The Winter Lights crew outside the Arts Centre

Last night I took part in the opening night of Winter Lights; a collaborative initiative between Melbourne Bike Festival and the City of Melbourne.  Every evening for the next two weeks, a band of merry cyclists will be cruising the streets of Melbourne town stopping off at various spots to have a chat and perform various tricks on various types of bikes.

The idea of the event is both to encourage Melburnians to get out on their bikes during winter and to offer some light entertainment to those in town.

Each of the bikes are fitted with MonkeyLectric lights.  These contraptions comprise of a set of LEDs that attach to your spoke and create pretty patterns when your wheels spin.  They can even be programmed to display something specific.  For example, the City of Melbourne's logo:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Spate of doorings leads to police crackdown on cyclists

An article in today's The Age, Cyclists face fines as police gets tough, raises a couple of concerns for me.

Before I go on, here's the article;
Cyclists entering Melbourne's CBD will face fines of hundreds of dollars if they disobey the road rules under a police crackdown beginning today.  Police will patrol major routes into the city at peak times following a recent jump in bicycle crashes that have left some cyclists with serious injuries.
Senior Sergeant Dale Huntington said four cyclists had died on Victorian roads this year, and in recent months several cyclists had been injured after riding into car doors on St Kilda Road.
Bike-related laws to be enforced include failing to wear a helmet (a $146 fine), not having lights ($146), failing to obey a traffic light ($292) and riding in a tram safety zone ($292).
“We have seen a number of incidents recently, particularly in the St Kilda Road area, where cyclists have collided with opening car doors," Senior Sergeant Huntington said.  "We're asking both riders and also motorists to share the road, to be courteous and considerate of each other.  "There's no second chance for a bike rider. When involved in an accident it's always going to be a serious incident."
The most recent figures from Bicycle Victoria's annual road count, taken on March 1 this year, revealed that 1510 cyclists passed through the intersection of Swanston and Flinders streets in the city between 7am and 9am.  That was the busiest bicycle commuter intersection in the city, recording an average of 12.6 cyclists per minute.  However, the number of riders was down 18.5 per cent on the previous year due to wet and windy conditions in the city on the day the count was taken.
Senior Sergeant Huntington said that under Operation Compass, police would target four key entrances to the city — Footscray Road, St Kilda Road, Albert Street in North Melbourne and Royal Parade.
He said despite bike helmet laws being enforced for the past 10 years, officers were finding cyclists were still flouting them.  "They also aren't wearing the proper lights at night time," he said.  "It's a winter period and we've got people riding to work later in the night time and also early in the morning when it's dark.
"Motorists find it hard to see bike riders at the best of times, so when you're not wearing those reflective vests, not wearing a helmet or not wearing the lights, you're riding around invisible to other road users."
He said Operation Compass would run for the next three months.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Old man, pink bike, workman's hat = hipster

I saw this old man at the supermarket today. I love old men and this one is particularly cool. He's rocking a pink bike with a milk crate on the back. And the workman's hat is a fine touch; I can't believe the hipsters haven't caught on to that yet. As they say, hipsterism fetishises the authentic, and what could be more authentic than a workman's hat? Additionally, a workman's hat is nothing if not vinatge, and we all know that hipsters base their image on a carefully created sloppy vintage look.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ginkgo tree no match for these thieves

I've locked my bike to trees many times in the past...I won't be doing that any more.

Meanwhile, these guys have style.  They are not prepared to steal just any bike.  No, first they have to try it out.  And clearly this one simply wasn't up to their exacting standards.

I can't help but feel that maybe they're a bit bored too...

For some tips on how to avoid having potential thieves test ride your bike, read here.

Monday, June 13, 2011


It's the end of the long weekend and what better way to lament that fact than by enjoying some Muppets on bikes.  And it turns out Kermit has mad skillz...who knew?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Le Coq Sportif

This year, Le Coq Sportif (The Sporty Rooster) will replace Nike as the supplier of jerseys for Le Tour de France.  This got me thinking about why there is a sporting brand named after a flightless bird.

For me, chickens don't represent much in the way of sportiness.  When I think of chickens, I think yummy, a bit noisy, and commonly eaten by whatever animal wants to eat them.  Sure, if you’re a piece of grain you don’t want to come up against a chicken but otherwise you’re probably all right. 

So, I hit up a popular, free, web-based, collaborative encyclopedia to bring you the lowdown on this athletic domesticated fowl.

The brand was founded way back in 1882 by Émile Camuset.  He named his brand in honour of the Gallic rooster, which is a national symbol of France.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pit In


"Why do I have to get off my bike just to go and sit on another seat?"

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Photo Op.

Bicycles make the perfect models.  They're not shy at all, even when they're naked.  They are always photogenic.  They look good from any angle.  The wind doesn't ruin their hair.  They can work on no sleep.

China, somewhere rural

Bicycles tell a story about the world around them.  Just like people, bicycles come from many different countries.  Just like people, bicycles migrate for many different reasons.  And just like people, bicycles do many different things, from racing around a velodrome to delivering newspapers.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Pushy pushbikers pushing their luck

Today I want to bring your attention to Danny Katz's article from The Age.  It sums up all the problems with pushbikes succinctly, fairly and truly...except that recumbents aren't four-wheeled.  That said, Danny, I'm sure you can find plenty of other reasons to berate recumbents.  For example, they're stupid.

Anyway, without further ado, Danny's article;