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.