Friday, October 5, 2012

Magpie swooping season

If you wanted yet another reason to hate Collingwood, magpie-swooping season may be just what you're looking for.

If you've ventured outdoors in recent months, you may well have experienced the indignity of being dive-bombed by an overly-agressive bird with delusions of grandeur. That's because it's nesting season and by walking or cycling past their tree, you're a threat.

Some facts (that I stole form this Australian Geographic article):
  • 9-12% of all magpies swoop aggressively.
  • Nearly all attacks take place during nesting, between August and November.
  • 99% of swoops on humans are by male magpies.
  • 52% of swooping magpies target pedestrians and ignore cyclists. They’ll also let most people walk by untroubled, swooping on just 35 per cent of them.
  • 8% of aggressive birds target only cyclists, showing no interest in pedestrians but going for 65 per cent of passing bike riders.
  • 29% of aggressive magpies target both cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Sometimes swooping magpies target specific individuals – repeatedly attacking one person in a family and leaving the rest alone. They have long-term memories so can continue attacking an individual years later.
So, are there any ways to avoid being attacked? Well, some people seem to think so. Like this person;

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Police to "target" safe cycling

"Police will this month put their wheels in motion and target bike safety as part of the 29th annual Safe Cycle Month." - VicPolice website

So, this month, safe cycling will be "targeted".

Let's break that down a bit;

Target: verb (used with object)
  • to use, set up, or designate as a target or goal. 
  • to direct toward a target: The new warheads can be targeted with great precision. 
  • to make a target of (an object, person, city, etc.) for attack or bombardment.
I guess they're going for the first reading, however, I can't help but think they could have chosen a better word, like one that isn't a synonym for dropping bombs. Perhaps something like "promote" or "champion" or "advocate".

Especially when on the very page they are targetting promoting their campaign they have this at the bottom;

Now it's as though if you're a "target", you've either recently robbed an ATM or you're a cyclist.

What's more,
"Cyclists who are observed displaying safe cycling behaviour during Safe Cycle Month will be given an information card by police. This card contains road rules and safety tips, and cyclists will have the chance to win a number of prizes."
Ah, shouldn't cyclists displaying unsafe cycling behaviour be the ones to receive this information? I guess they'll just get a fine.

So, what tips are offered by the five-O on being a safe cyclist? Well, there's this;
“Bike owners need to check that their bike is in roadworthy condition and that their helmets are well fitted.”
So don't go getting one of those $5 helmets from 7-Eleven because I can assure you they will not fit.
"Wearing bright clothing and planning journeys in advance along safe routes will also reduce the risk of injury on the road."
Under no circumstances should you make an unplanned journey. I once made this mistake and I can tell you it was not pretty. I didn't have any food supplies or wet-weather equipment. I only had a vague idea of what direction to head in and the sun was beating down. If it weren't for the existence of street signs and thirty years of local knowledge, I don't know if I ever would have made it. I guess god does exist.

Oh, and the fact that I was riding to a rave was also helpful as I was wearing a becoming fluoro ensemble that warned all and sundry that I was there.

So, if you plan on riding around this month, watch out because “Police will be watching, acting and enforcing the road rules for the safety of all.”

I think @Treadlie Magazine summed the whole thing up pretty well with this tweet;

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bike-Changing World Champion

Blink and you'll miss. Don't blink and you'll probably miss it too. Here is a video of Quentin Jauregui riding for France in the recent Junior World Road Race Championship.

His mechanics clearly find it pretty impressive too as does a bystander who asks whether the rider actually just changed bikes.

Here's another video which shows the change a bit more clearly;

Apparently, Jauregui has a cyclocross background which explains his skill somewhat.

For the record, while he may be a bike-changing world champion, in the actual race he came 46th.

MoreArt 2012

Wall pastings by Sadie Chandler

I went on a bike ride today to check out MoreArt, the Moreland City Council Art Show. As part of the show, the friendly folk down at the Squeaky Wheel are taking cyclists on tours of the Moreland area
showcasing art that has been displayed.

Today we began our exploration at Coburg train station and meandered our way southwards on the train line. Along the way we saw various paintings and installations, each with a story and a local bent. Some of the artists even came along for the ride to explain their works.

Details and photos below the break.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Trials of bicycling

Here's some nice footage of Melbourne trials rider, Andrew Dickey, jumping on things all around Melbourne.

The only thing that would improve this video is if he jumped onto the Ferrari at 2"45'. Oh, and if the music were different.


Monday, September 17, 2012

MKS Titanium Aero Bell

Every once in a while, a new product comes along that makes so much sense you can't help but wonder why it took so long to be invented.

This is the case with the MKS Titanium Aero bell. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that I've often looked down at my standard non-aero bell and cursed it for being heavy (making the handling of my bicycles unpredictable) and substantially reducing the aerodynamics of my hybrid.

The MKS Titanium Aero bell solves both of these problems. Made from aerospace-grade titanium, this little beauty tips the scales at a measly 16 grams.

And its aerodynamic properties are truly mind-boggling. The Weekly Cycle tech department have conducted tests in a wind tunnel and found that over a 40 kilometre time trial, the MKS Titanium Aero bell will save a cyclist between 45 and 60 seconds over other leading bells.

What's even more extraordinary is that it's actually faster running the MKS Titanium Aero bell than no bell at all. 15 seconds as it happens.

Unfortunately, due to UCI Article 1.3.024, which states "Any device, added or blended into the structure, that is destined to decrease, or which has the effect of decreasing, resistance to air penetration or artificially to accelerate propulsion, such as a protective screen, fuselage form fairing or the like, shall be prohibited", professional cyclists will not be able to take advantage of this new piece of equipment.

That said, there's nothing stopping us mortal amateurs (and triathletes) from using one. And at only $60, why wouldn't you?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Keirin racing

This is a fascinating documentary about Keirin racing in Japan. The sport was developed there in 1948 (according to the internet) or 1949 (according to the film) as a way to raise money to help the war-ravaged nation recover.

It's interesting to see such a culturally-specific and unique interpretation of the sport of cycling.

The doco features the Japan Keiren School. Apparently, the 10% of applicants who are accepted into the school endure intensive 15-hour days in the hope of graduating to become professionals.

The Japanese spend close to 10 billion dollars on bets each year.

Monday, September 10, 2012

SEX SEX hire a bike SEX SEX

Ah, OK, I should begin by saying that you shouldn't watch the video below while at work unless you're a colleague of Ron Jeremy or something.

This clip is an advertisement for a Russian bicycle hire company. The voice-over states, "It's not important how you use the bicycles you rent from us. What matters is that you return them on time and intact."

So there you go. Next time you're in Russia and after a hire bike, you'll know where to turn. Or not.

All I can say is, if sex sells, these guys will rent out a lot of bikes...

Prokatvrostove - Bike season 2012 open from prokatvrostove on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Well before eBooks and iPhones, cycling had its own phenomenon that was named by taking what it was and adding a single-letter prefix; iCycling.

Unlike the 'e' in email and the 'i' in iTunes, which  simply stand for 'electronic' and nothing really, respectively, the 'i' in iCycling not only stands for 'ice', it also gets you saying 'ice' as you read the whole name. How cool is that (pun intended)? You could even read it  as icicle-ing, if you were that way inclined.

It would be like if someone making a new sport that required contestants to kill people in the most cunning or proficient way. They'd be mad not to call it 'sKilling'. Killing with skill. Yep, they'd be mad...not to...

Anyway, someone did invent iCycling way back in ancient times. And to prove it, here is some archive footage from 1939. I'm not sure where it's from but I would guess France based on the Pathé stamp on the footage. It turns out this footage is most likely from Canada (thanks to "British guy" for the information).

Thursday, August 9, 2012

To commute…

verb (used without object)

-to travel regularly over some distance, as from a suburb into a city and back: He commutes to work by train.

-to put my head out the door and check the temperature. It’s cold so I put my jacket on. Almost as soon as I start pedalling, my legs burn a little. That happens every morning. It’s their way of waking up. Soon after I settle into a rhythm and take in the morning. It’s been raining. My clothes let me cheat the fresh, cold air. I love the contrast I can feel between my covered skin and the few exposed parts that sting slightly. As usual, I’m too warm by the time I arrive at the traffic lights under the bridge. I pull over, remove my jacket and stuff it in my bag. As I’m doing this, a girl on a cruiser pulls up in the bike lane. The lights change to green and I pedal past her on the footpath and then hop onto the road. I ride around the corner and down the ramp then across the bridge over the river. As I approach the bike path on the other side, I notice the girl on the cruiser riding along ahead. She’s taken a route I didn’t know about. I’ll have to try that tomorrow. Soon after I pass the girl again, feeling a bit silly, even though she probably doesn’t recognise me from earlier. I ride along the edge of the bike path because that bit avoids the ripple strips before each of the pedestrian crossings. Lots of people ride along the edge. It’s nice and smooth there. Near the construction site, I come across the fat construction worker. I see him a few times a week. He doesn’t work at the construction site. I’m not even sure if he’s a construction worker but that’s what he is to me. His right knee bends out each time he pedals. He must have an old injury. From a car accident in my mind. Then the English guy who used to come into the bike shop I once worked at passes in the opposite direction. I often see him but I don’t think he recognises me. I’m getting even warmer now. I remove my gloves and stuff them into my pocket. The wind is blowing quite hard this morning although not as much as yesterday. It’s a north-westerly. Which of course means it’s travelling south-east. I’ve always found it odd that wind is defined by where it comes from rather than where it’s going. Then I get to thinking about what gets described like wind. Not trams or buses. No one cares where they’ve been, unless they've picked up a crazy person or someone who's spewed. Maybe people. They are usually defined by what they’ve achieved rather than what they hope to. That’s all I can think of. My nose starts to get runny. I blow it into the air and watch the snot glisten in the sun as it’s carried south east by the north westerly. Then I see Hugh coming in the opposite direction. I met him in Timor last year. We see each other most mornings. Today, we give each other a high-five as we pass one another. Hugh’s hand hits my wrist. It stings a bit. It’s our first high five though. I’m sure we’ll do better next time. My nose is runny again. I blow it again. I reach the end of the bike path so join the road. There’s a bit more traffic than usual because it’s been wet. Cars stream past me. Then I turn right and the traffic is banked up. I pedal past the cars. A truck’s engine is making a high-pitched noise. It sounds like there’s a miniature traffic jam inside it replete with angry horns. I ride on. I pass by the 1965 Ford Falcon. Its number plate is NEATXP. It is neat. It’s been driven since yesterday. It’s facing the opposite direction in its driveway. As usual, the bus and I have our little battle along this stretch of road. It passes me. Then I pass it when it stops to pick up passengers. This repeats four or five times. Near the end I turn right then left and I’m almost there. I ride the last stretch directly into the wind. Then I cross the road at the crossing while giving a nod to the crossing lady. I arrive at work forty-five minutes after sticking my head out the door to check the temperature and it’s time to start work.

-to make substitution.

-to serve as a substitute. .

-to make a collective payment, especially of a reduced amount, as an equivalent for a number of payments.

Friday, August 3, 2012

VicRoads Melbourne bicycle survey

I was stopped on my commute to work this morning by a guy conducting a survey. He asked me if I had two minutes to spare to answer his questions. I didn't - I was running late. But I like surveys and I figured it was about bicycles so I lied and agreed to answer his questions.

The "survey is about your cycling travel and particularly about how you perceive different types of cycling facilities such as shared paths, cycleways and on-road bicycle lanes. The information you provide in this survey will be used by VicRoads to inform the development of policies and guidelines and ultimately target investment towards areas that will make cycling a safer, more comfortable and enjoyable experience."

If you're like me and like bicycles and surveys (and live in Melbourne), you can do an online version here. It's a bit long but it's a survey so it's fun.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Dooring fine now $352

Yesterday, I received a press release from Greg Barber, the Victorian Greens Leader, announcing that his campaign to increase the fine for dooring has been successful. I've always thought that an increase in education and cycling infrastructure would be more effective in decreasing the incidence of dooring incidents than increasing the fine, but I guess this can't hurt.

Here's the press release;
Every cyclist feels the threat of being doored when riding by parked cars. Too many have been unfortunate and have been doored, and there has been tragic deaths as a result.
Dooring is now the most common cause of a bike crash and this is why The Greens have been taking urgent action to reduce the threat of car doors to cyclists. 
The response of the cycling community to the Parliamentary Inquiry into The Greens Dooring Bill (Road Safety Amendment (Car Doors) Bill 2012) has been large and positive, and has resulted in a win for cyclists.
The government yesterday announced that the on the spot fine for 'dooring' has more than doubled to $352. This is a vast improvement on the measly $141 fine that existed previously; that's less than the fine for not having a bell on your bike!
Congratulations go to all of you who made a submission via our website (view here: and for those who participated in other ways. It shows what a strong community can achieve when working together - this is your win.
While more than doubling of the dooring fine is a great improvement, and the dooring issue has received much exposure and publicity in the process, more needs to be done
The Greens are working to ensure the penalty matches the seriousness of the offence - doorings can cause serious injury and death. 
The Greens Dooring Bill includes loss of three demerit points from the drivers licence, making the penalty a closer match to the seriousness of the offence. The greater the penalty, the greater the deterrent. I will be pursuing this in the passage of The Greens Bill through the Parliament.
We will keep you informed on how this proceeds.
In the meantime we will keep up the work campaigning to bring back the bike budget and improve cyclist safety with The Greens Bike Blackspot app - put your blackspot on the map here:
Safe cycling.

Greg Barber
Victorian Greens Leader and Spokesperson on Transport
Meanwhile, if you'd like to avoid being doored, here's some advice.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

How to buy a bike

I'm not here to offer financial advice on bike purchases. Obviously, the physical act of buying a bike involves exchanging money for the product. There are a few different ways to do this, such as cash, credit cards and payment plans, but I'll let you figure out what's best for you when it comes to these more mundane issues.

Instead, I'm here to offer advice on buying a bike when, for some reason or other, you're not inclined to or perhaps aren't allowed to.

Often, the only barrier to getting a new set of wheels is someone else; be it a wife, husband, father or any other rational human being whose financial sense outweighs their love for bicycles (if indeed they even possess a love for bicycles). For the remainder of this post, such people will be lovingly referred to as the Minister of War and Finance.

Specious arguments / Lame excuses

A couple of years ago, my Minister of War and Finance and I drove across the Nullarbor. This trip involved a lot of coastal driving which would have seen my steel road bike potentially suffer from rust. Not wanting to dunk it in fish oil, rendering it stinky forever, I posited that I needed to buy an aluminium road bike. Two weeks later I was the proud owner of a Cannondale CAAD10.

My Cannondale, not rusting in Esperance, Western Australia.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Nerd Night - Le Tour de France

Nerd Night is a fortnightly event held in Phnom Penh. At the latest edition, I gave a presentation on the Tour de France. Since it took place on my penultimate evening in the Cambodian capital, meaning I would likely never see anywhere there ever again, I decided to give the talk in lycra.

The format of the night is simple; 20 slides, 20 seconds each. I tried to cover a bit of everything that might help the uninitiated better grasp the complex beast that is Le Tour.

Excuse me if I speak a little fast; there's an awful lot to get through.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Is Bradley Wiggins a c**t? Cut

Warning: This post contains rude words, like "c**t". If you're not offended by such language, you can read the unedited post here.

Halfway into the Tour and it looks like Bradley Wiggins is going to win the thing. Of course, he could crash or crack, but I think those are the only two scenarios that are likely to derail his chances. And in my opinion, neither are very likely.

So, let's turn to a more important issue. Namely, is Bradley Wiggins a c**t?

Is Bradley Wiggins a c**t? Uncut

Warning: This post contains rude words, like "c**t". If you're offended by such language, I have written an alternative post here.

Halfway into the Tour and it looks like Bradley Wiggins is going to win the thing. Of course, he could crash or crack, but I think those are the only two scenarios that are likely to derail his chances. And in my opinion, neither are very likely.

So, let's turn to a more important issue. Namely, is Bradley Wiggins a cunt?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Bicycle Sounds

People often meld bicycles and art. There's the bike sculpture by Ai Weiwei and the Cyclotrope by Tim Wheatley to name but two.

And here we have music made with bicycles. It's by New Yorker (where else?) Stephen Meierding and recently won the Bike Shorts film festival in New York (where else?).

Bicycle Sounds from Stephen Meierding on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cycling History

I realised today that I've written quite a few posts on the history of cycling. As such, I've decided to put them all together in one place for those who share my interest.

You'll notice on the navigation bar above that there is now a new page entitled Cycling History. Whenever you've got a thirst for some tales of yore of the two-wheeled nature, just click there (or here).

Fausto Coppi; a big player in cycling's history

Friday, June 22, 2012

How a bicycle is made

This film was released in 1945 and outlines the design and manufacture of a bicycle. It was filmed in the Raleigh factory in Nottingham.

In the grand scheme of things, bicycles haven't changed all that much since then. This is a quaint overview of how our "faithful friends" came to being...

How a Bicycle is Made (1945) from British Council Film on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Dreyfus Affair & the Tour de France

Alfred Dreyfus of Dreyfus Affair fame

It's well known (amongst bike nerds) that the Tour de France was started by a newspaper as a way to boost sales. What's less known is the fact that the Dreyfus Affair led to the very creation of said newspaper.

For those unfamiliar with the Dreyfus Affair, it can be summed-up thus; in 1894 a Jewish French army captain named Alfred Dreyfus was sentenced to life imprisonment for selling military secrets to ze Germans. The only problem was, he hadn't. Evidence of this came to light but was suppressed by the army. Word of the cover-up began to leak and the whole thing became a shit storm between those that supported Dreyfus (the Dreyfusards) and those who didn't (wait for it...the anti-Dreyfusards (who were also generally anti-Semites)). Eventually (five years later) he was set free and all charges against him were shown to be baseless. You can read more about it here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

An alternative history of the Tour de France by numbers

Yesterday, posted an interesting little piece on the history of the Tour de France in numbers. It explores all the fastest, bestest and mostest of the world's most famous (cycling) race.

While that's all grand, I thought it's also worth looking at the other side of the coin; the slowest, worstest and leastest. And I assure you, this is not to belittle those who've won with the lowest average speed or come last most often - indeed, it could be said that these are the cyclists who have had to fight the most courageously, and some for very little recognition.

Wim Vansevenant - a champion (at coming last)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Yangon - the city with nary a bicycle

The blog's been a little quiet lately and for that I apologise.

One of my excellent excuses for this being the case is the fact that I've been in Myanmar for the last 10 days. I realise that still leaves two weeks of blog silence unaccounted for and for that I blame laziness.

Anyway, Myanmar is an interesting place. It is a country that is quickly opening its doors to the outside world and moving tentatively towards democracy, maybe.

And like other countries in the region, it also has many bicycles. That is, unless you visit the former capital and economic centre, Yangon. There, you'll be hard pressed to find any two-wheeled vehicles, be they motorised or otherwise.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Passo dello Stelvio

With today's crucial Giro stage finishing atop Europe's second highest mountain pass, I thought it appropriate to revisit an old post. The Stelvio. No gears. No brakes. No worries...

The Fat Cyclist just wrapped-up a series of posts on his version of hell, aptly titled Fatty's Inferno. It's funny. You should read it.

In it, Fatty talks about various roads of this cyclists' hell, each one dedicated to a different type of heinous cyclist, such as whiners and eternal attackers. He also has a section just for fixed-gear riders. Here's an extract:
Before me lay a pristine valley. Clean air. Pines and aspen. Tall grass, waving gently in the light breeze. Not a single building in sight. A single road dropped sharply down into this valley, at which point — with no flat to speak of — it immediately climbed steeply back up. The only riding to be had here would be hard climbing and steep descending.
“This is a beautiful place,” I told The Cyclist. “And this is an incredible road. How can you call this a level of hell?”
“No kidding,” agreed The Cyclist. “Actually, I vacation here. It’s one of my favorite places.”
And then I saw something far down at the bottom of the valley that perplexed me, deeply. Thousands — perhaps millions — of bikes laying down (drivetrain side down, of course), littering the valley floor.
Meanwhile, not a single rider was in sight anywhere. “Where is everyone?” I asked. “Why is nobody riding?”
“Take a closer look at the bikes,” replied The Cyclist.And then I got it. Every single one of them was a fixed gear bike, built without brakes, for showing off and for urban riding — and entirely useless in a place like this.
“But where are the riders?” I wondered.
“Oh, they’re here all right,” smiled my guide. “It’s just that I have made them invisible. You see, fixie care much more about being seen than about the ride itself. In the absence of an audience — not to mention coffee shops and thousands of pedestrians and exhaust from a road choked with cars –they quickly lose interest in riding.
I read this and I chuckled. Then I thought to myself, "I know of one rider who is going to have a great time in hell. Patrick Seabase."

Check him out climbing and descending the Stelvio on his fixie (if you don't know of the Stelvio, just understand that it's big and steep).

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lock UP

These German nerds have really put the "up" in the term "I'm going to lock my bike up".

I don't know what they're saying but I'm sure it's nerdy. Good on 'em. I am full of respect for people who are willing to waste their time on complicated projects for the sole purpose of succeeding at making something complicated.

This is without doubt a very successful and complicated project.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Inflatable Helmet

If you're looking for a way to waste 3998 Swedish kroner (which is approximately $570.519548), I've got just the thing for you - the Hövding.

Stylish person not wearing a helmet...or is she?

Is it a scarf? Is it a helmet? Well, it's kind of both. And just like other inventions that claim to be able to fill two different roles (like hybrids), it doesn't do either well.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bicycles, fear, helmets & whatnot

The steel horse fills a gap in modern life. It is an answer not only to its needs but also its aspirations. It's quite certainly here to stay.
As with most good quotes, the relevance of this one has stood the test of time. It could have been written yesterday or 50 years ago. In fact, it was penned in 1869.

Mikael Colville-Anderson is an "urban mobility expert" (read "bicycle transport promoter") and the man behind the excellent bicycle blog, In the TEDx talk below, he discusses the culture of fear that many believe is coming to rule our lives.

He touches on the emotive issue of helmets and their associated laws. He goes some way to explaining why certain people see the idea of helmet laws as abhorrent while others are equally appalled by the idea of not wearing a helmet.

While scientists are split on the benefits of helmets, there is no doubt that cycling, with or without a helmet, is good for your health. And while it's hard to quantify these health benefits, it's no surprise that people have gone and tried. Apparently, Denmark has seen a 30% drop in cycling levels since 1990. If those lost numbers still cycled, 1,500 lives would be saved each year. Why? Because the health benefits of cycling are twenty times greater than any risk involved.

Now, I'm always wary about these sorts of numbers. What does twenty times greater actually mean? Why would we save 1,500 lives per year and not 500 or 5,000? Where do these numbers come from? While they're certainly not arbitrary, I think it's safe to say that someone with a different agenda could present some very different figures.

Nonetheless, it's certain that cycling is good for one's health. And while I'm not a scientist, I would contend that the benefits of cycling do indeed outweigh the risks. I would be hesitant to put a number on it but it seems to be a view held by those who know better.

Anyhoo, check out Mikael's talk and make up your own mind.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Councillor Ken (wr)Ong on bicycle speed limit

Melbourne Councillor Ken Ong has declared that there should be a 20km/h speed limit for cyclists in the CBD. According to him, cyclists are the "silent killers" in the city. It seems Ken has been studying persuasive writing and particularly emotive language.

His logic goes like this; ''The other day when I walked out from town hall I nearly got run over from a cyclist who shot through a red light as I was crossing Little Collins Street right in front of town hall.''

I would contend that the problem here was not the speed of the cyclist but the fact that they shot through a red light. Therefore, cyclists should not be allowed to go through red lights. Which they're not. So that's sorted then.

I'm all for lower speed limits, but it should be a consistent speed limit for all vehicles. I think it's pretty obvious that cars are more dangerous than bikes so I can't see any reason why bikes should have to go slower than cars. Sure, bikes are silent but cars weigh a thousand kilograms and are two metres wide. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

A new day door-ning

Dooring's been in the news a bit lately. The ABC had a go covering it the other week (you can read about it here). And yesterday The Age published (quite a good) article on dooring with the catchy headline Cycling's door zone of death.

The article covered the main points - it's the door operator's responsibility to check for cars, cyclists can reduce their own risks by being careful, the leading cause of hospitalisation for cyclists is dooring, etc., etc.

But what piqued my interest was Dan's comment. I don't know Dan. I don't want to know Dan. Dan's from Sydney and here is his comment;
"And if a door is opened into a cyclist’s path, causing a collision, who is to blame? The law is unequivocal in this instance: people are obliged to open doors with care, and any resulting collision is the fault of the door opener." That is the stupidest thing I've ever read. ANY resulting collision? So if a cyclist (or another driver for that matter) is driving too close, not paying attention, drunk, asleep, then its still the door opener's fault?! If a car is parked on the side of the road and the driver opens the door to exit the car only to find a cyclist wrapped around the doorframe then I would assert that the cyclist hasn't allowed enough room between themselves and the car and are riding too close. As usual, cyclists trying to blame everyone but themselves for their poor judgement and perverted necessity to be as much of a nuisance and inconvenience to motorists as possible.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


A while ago, I wrote about Pit In, the ingenious invention that enables a cyclist to ride their bike into their desk and get straight to work.

Today I present to you another example of cyclo-furniture splicing, the We-Bike;

Similar to the Pit In concept except this one has the bike actually built in to the desk. The point? Well, when you pedal you'll be powering your electronic devices.

That's a hat-trick right there - saving the world by generating your own electricity; exercising; and working.

Monday, May 7, 2012


I just saw the (Warning: Rude word coming up) smug fucking ABC news anchors' comments on a report on car dooring. They responded with arrogant incredulity to the assertion by Bicycle Network Victoria's Garry Brennan that a car dooring accident is always the driver's fault.

The male anchor, who I will call Paul because he reminds me of Paul Robinson (and because I can't be bothered looking his name up), helpfully points out that "[he has] seen, and we have all seen our share of reckless cyclists".

I don't really think it's necessary to explain this, but I will just in case you're as dumb as Paul; yes, there are reckless cyclists who cause accidents. But if a person opens a car door into the path of a cyclist, it is always the fault of the person in the car. This is both the case legally and in the magical world of common sense.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Zip-gate Appendage

This is a follow-up to Zip-gate, Wednesday's post on Stephen Roche's comments that cyclists shouldn't be allowed to unzip their jerseys.

On my ride yesterday, I thought I'd take a photo of myself and tweet it Roche's way. Actually, the photo was taken at my usual sugarcane juice stop while I took a break from my ride. After taking several photos of the sky, my knee and the ground with my phone's camera, I finally got the money shot;

In my state of concentration, I failed to notice the sugarcane lady was observing all the action. When I finally looked up and noticed her, it was too late; in her eyes I was some kind of freak.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


The International Cycling Union (UCI) has some odd rules. One of my favourites is that “Socks (and shoe covers) used in competition must not exceed the mid-distance between the ankle and the knee”.

Victoria Pendleton - Not OK, OK?

Now Stephen Roche (who won many things a long time ago such as the Tour, the Giro and the Worlds) has come out and suggested that cyclists shouldn't be allowed to unzip their jerseys.
"You can see their Christmas present from their wives hanging round their neck, but nobody's getting any value out of it. If you don’t stop it now, they’ll have no jerseys on shortly. They talk about heat, about not being able to breathe. Bullshit. Footballers, every time they score a goal, pull their jersey off, but it was banned because it didn't look nice. Why do we tolerate it in cycling?"

Monday, April 30, 2012

Bike Crash App

A New York law firm that specialises in representing cyclists has released a free app for iPhone and Android phones designed to be used in the event of an accident.In this litigious world, I suppose it's no surprise.

Like any good app from a lawyer, it opens with a disclaimer, or in this case a "Disclaimer !";

Friday, April 27, 2012


I just came across this fantastic advertising campaign today. It doesn't have a whole lot to do with bicycles, except you'll notice a lot of people in Belgium cycle and someone gets doored (and then reacts appropriately...or not).

Here's the description from the producers;
To launch the high quality TV channel TNT in Belgium we placed a big red push button on an average Flemish square of an average Flemish town. A sign with the text "Push to add drama" invited people to use the button. And then we waited...


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Printing a bicycle

Fillet brazing, TIG welding, carbon layering, tube-to-tube, computer numerical control (CNC), monocoque, hydroforming.

These are a few of the methods used to construct bicycles. Some have been around for a long time, others are relatively recent.

This bicycle wasn't constructed using any of these methods;

A bike hot of the printer
It was made with a printer!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Four punctures and a funeral

When I told my mum that I planned to ride down the Mekong River from Kratie to Phnom Penh, she said, "Oh, is that safe? Why don't you take a little friend?"

Personally, I would have made a funny joke, like, "Huh, wouldn't it be better to take a boat?" But my mum's not so silly.

Fortunately for her, I already had in mind Rowdie as a potential little friend. That's his real name by the way - the one his parents gave him. Pretty cool huh? And before you ask, yes, he is a bit. But in a good way...mostly.

The night before leaving, I got myself organised. Amongst other things, this involved changing my tyres. This is normally a painless enough exercise, however on this occasion my valve snapped off. As a result I had to use one of my two spares. No matter, one tube should be enough, right?

Anyway, we set off on the bus from Phnom Penh bright and early on Monday and arrived in Kratie, which is just under 250km away, about nine hours later. If that sounds slow, it's because it is.

Kratie is famous for dolphins but while we were there we didn't go to see any. Instead, we saw nice old buildings, like this one:

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bill Cunningham

What do you think when you hear the name "Bill Cunningham"?

If, like me, you've never heard of him, probably something along the lines of "Invoice sly cured meat".

In fact, Bill Cunningham is an old man who rides his bicycle around New York and takes photos of people. I know, first thought, dirty old man. While this may or may not be the case, this is not what Bill is known for. Once he's pedalled around taking photos, he goes off and peddles these photos to the New York Times in exchange for money*. The NY Times then publishes his photos.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Cyclist "In Yellow Lycra"

In its never-ending quest to confuse its readers about whether or not they should hate cyclists, The Age today showed a video of two mountain bikers biffing it out in Christchurch that has apparently gone 'viral'.

In her best I'm-a-reporter-and-this-is-very-serious-and-definitely-newsworthy voice, the anonymous reporter explains - both inaccurately and in less detail - what can easily be ascertained from watching the video in its original format:

Let's take a look at the transcript of the altercation, with some commentary from yours truly in blue;

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Sunday in Hell

De Vlaeminck
If you've got 90 minutes to spare, I can think of worse ways of wiling it away than by watching A Sunday in Hell (directed by Jørgen Leth). It follows the 1976 Paris-Roubaix and makes for some really fascinating viewing.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Hell of the North

The pavé
“It's a bollocks, this race! You're working like an animal, you don't have time to piss, you wet your pants. You're riding in mud like this, you're slipping ... it’s a pile of shit.”
That's how the Dutchman, Theo do Rooij, described the 1985 Paris-Roubaix. That year, he was in the winning position until a crash ended it for him. When then asked if he would contest the race again in the future, he replied, “Sure, it's the most beautiful race in the world!”

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Bike Fixtation In-vend-tion

If people like Homer get their hands stuck in food vending machines, what kind of person would get their mitts stuck in a bicycle vending machine?

Silly question, right? There are no bicycle vending machines. But wait. What's this I see before me?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Will you be my BFF?

Long before BFF came to mean what one free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia defines as "Best friends forever - a close friendship typical of teenage and young women (sometimes young men). Such relationships are common in high school but, rather than lasting forever, tend to deteriorate when the parties go to college", it meant something quite different and altogether less annoying. Not to mention better.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


I recently saw this photo. It was then that I realised that the effort poured into this blog had until now been wasted. It dawned on me that bicycles are not that important. Sure, they're fun to ride, environmentally friendly, sexy, expensive, light and just fantastic. But are they a pretty picture of a bicycle in a coffee?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Commenting on Commenters

OK, here I go again. I'm going to comment on commenters. I realise it's a waste of time; it won't change anyone's view. Indeed, the commenters I'll be commenting on surely don't read this blog. They'd be reading or or something. Still, commenting on commenters is soothing for me.

Of course, if I just held back from reading the comments, I wouldn't get so worked up that soothing was necessary. But I can't help myself. It's like not being able to resist staring at a terrible car accident or a crazy person. For some reason, us humans are into train wrecks.

Today, I was reading Bike riders' bid for car-free zone to extend into St Kilda Road in The Age. Have a read if you like. If you can't be bothered, it can be summed-up thus; some bike riders are bidding to extend the car-free zone into St Kilda Road.

The plan

And, here's what some people said (my comments in a soothing shade of blue):

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bike Thief 2012

Thanks to Chilli Cycles for the heads up on this one. I wonder if I'd stop someone who was in the process of stealing a bike? I might be scared of getting shot. Not sure...I'm confident a hardened criminal could stare me down pretty quickly come to think of it.

Anyway, check out this short film which demonstrates that bike owners can probably only depend on themselves when it comes to keeping their wheels their own.

Here are some tips from a while back on how not to get your bike stolen.

And also, don't lock your bike to a Ginkgo tree. Here's why.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tickled Pink

Eddy Merckx in rosa during the '68 Giro

Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Merckx (you may know him as Eddy Merckx) recently became the first inductee into the Giro d'Italia Hall of Fame. As such, he was presented with the Trofeo Senza Fine for his fifth and final Giro victory of 1974 (the trophy has only been awarded since 1999).

Friday, March 16, 2012

Milan-San Remo!

This Saturday, we've got the first of the five Monuments of 2012, Milan-San Remo. It's known in Italy as La Primavera, which mean The Spring, because it takes place in spring (all very complicated, I know).

That awkward moment when you celebrate winning Milan-San Remo before you've actually won...and then you don't win.

While the UCI sets a limit of 280km for one-day races, MSR gets special consideration and is permitted to go to 298km. It's a race where very little happens for the first 280km and then, like, a lot happens.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Road Racing, Cambodian style.

Things are never done quite the way I'm used to here in Cambodia. That's one of the things I love about the place. With that in mind, I wasn't sure what to expect when I rolled up to the start line of the inaugural Sihaoukville bike race.

Having clambered out of bed some time before 5am (I don't like giving such early times the honour of actually being named), I forced down some muesli (and accidentally purchased strawberry UHT turns out the pink packaging that so attracted me was trying to tell me something). I then pedalled down to the start, feeling equal parts smug and jealous as I rode past the last of the drunken revellers making their way back to their hostels.

The race was scheduled to start at 6am. In true Cambodian style, proceedings were to be launched by a certain "His Excellency", in this case the Minister for Tourism and head of the Cambodian Olympic Committee, Dr. Thong Khon. In true Cambodian style, Dr. Khon was late.

Tour de Fuck You #2

Following on from Tour de Fuck You, here's another clip exploring the theme of the sanctimonious cyclist.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Tour de Fuck You

Sanctimonious. Self-righteous. Self-satisfied. Smug. Preachy. Pious.

These words are often used to describe cyclists. And for good reason. Some cyclists are dickheads.  Just like some drivers. And some pedestrians. And some doctors. And some priests.

This hilarious film clip, titled Motherfucking Bike by Sons of Science, explores this notion.

Warning: Rude words.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Get your Fix

Who am I? I'm dirty. I smoke pot. I break the law.

No, not Bill Clinton.

OK, I'll give you more clues.

I deliver packages. I carry mini D-locks in my pants. I use Chrome messenger bags exclusively.

Still not sure? OK, one last set of clues in the form of a picture;

Monday, March 5, 2012

Le Tour de Whatever

Rémi Gaillard is a French humourist who posts his videos on YouTube. He became famous in 2002 when he dressed up as an FC Lorient football player during the Coupe de France. While in disguise, he posed for photographs with the team, signed autographs and shook hands with the president at the time, Jacques Chirac.

In the video below, he got a bunch of mates together to simulate a Tour de France type scene for random cyclists out on their Sunday ride. Complete with Tour de n'importe quoi (Tour of whatever) car and t-shirts, photographers, streakers and screaming fans, the scene strikes the tone of the Tour perfectly.

Gaillar's motto is Cest en faisant n'importe quoi qu'on devient n'importe qui (It's by doing whatever that one becomes whoever). I don't really know what that means, but it's funny shit.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Book Review - Vin Denson 'The Full Cycle'

The Full Cycle is the autobiography of British cyclist Vin Denson and it is one of the most charming cycling books I've ever read. It overflows with youthfulness, innocence and old-world determination. Vin Denson isn't famous but he was certainly an excellent cyclist, possibly even great. Amongst others, he won stages of the Giro and the Dunkirk 4-Days race and the overall in the 1965 Tour of Luxembourg. He was also the super-domestique for riders such as Rik Van Looy, Jacques Anquetil and Tom Simpson.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to...? No, not Alain Prost silly. Not George Thorogood. The Weekly Cycle! That's right, this very blog turns 1 today! Happy Birthday! While this blog hasn't yet fulfilled its purpose (to make me rich), it has been lots of fun and a great way to keep in touch with the many and varied components of the bicycle world, including bicycle components themselves!

The blog affords me the opportunity to share all the things that I love about bicycles. Its steadily growing readership shows me that others enjoy what I have to say, which is nothing if not nice. I plan for many more birthdays to come.

I thought a look back to some of the more popular posts would be a good way to celebrate. Newer readers might find something new, while older readers can reminisce.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mad skillz on a girl's bike

What do you get when you jump off a wall on an old girl's bike? A broken girl's bike. Then you weld it and do it again.

Check out Frenchie Mickael DuPont shredding it on a girl's bike. Not a poor tradesman in any sense of the word.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Missing the point

Cycling is a hot topic at the moment. In Melbourne we have a city divided. Just like women identifying themselves (or being identified) as either Jackie or Marylin, most Melbournians can now be labelled either Warnie or pedal-pushing hippy. Which one are you?

Of course, as with most labelling systems that offer a grand total of two choices, you're probably neither one nor the other completely. But everyone seems to have a pretty strong view on the matter. The Age and Herald Sun comments sections run hot every time a cycling issue is mentioned, which now seems a quotidian occurrence. Read them, and if you are someone who has even an ounce of common sense, you will probably weep.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Otway Odyssey

While it's too late to fit a training schedule in for this year's Otway Odyssey, I thought this post, which I wrote after the 2011 edition, might provide some useful advice for riders taking part in next weekend's race.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to make it this year as I'm in Cambodia. Good luck to all; it's bloody awful and equally satisfying.

So without further ado, here's last year's post (the first ever on this blog);

Friday, February 10, 2012

The man who lived on his bike

Below is a really cute film by a Canadian chap named Guillaume Blanchet. Shot on the streets of Montreal, it's perhaps the cinematic version of this photo;

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Hitler Bicycle Rant

Well, I know these are far from original but I thought I'd give the Hitler rant video a go. With talk of bicycle registration, Shane Warne and a recent degradation of cyclist-driver relations, this is what came to me...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Bicycles of Siem Reap and Battambang

I've just come back from a few days in Siem Reap and Battambang. While there I made sure to get a few photos of bicycles in action. Bicycle use seems healthy in these parts, particularly among the youth.

Around many parts of the Tonlé Sap lake there is no electricity. This boy is taking a charged battery home to take care of that problem.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Shit Cyclists Say

This has been doing the rounds on the web, so apologies if you've seen it. If not, enjoy...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Art, China and Bikes

Ai Weiwei, the Chinese artist who designed the Bird's Nest Stadium for the Beijing Olympics and is often incarcerated à la Aung San Suu Kyi (except he gets locked up in China while she's confined in Burma) has just had his Bicycles Forever installation installed at at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

An Epiphany in Cyclist-Driver Relations

As I'm at home sick today, I thought I'd catch up on some news, and what better way to do so than access my favourite online news source, None, that's right. Not The Washington Post, not The Times and definitely not The Age (which actually is shit).

"What's holding us up?"
"Ah, not sure. A bicycle or a tractor or something."

And was I disappointed? No I was not. Because I found a fantastic article that makes some groundbreaking and profound assertions that are sure to change the way drivers and cyclists view each other. Pretty exciting though, isn't it? OK, here's the headline (my palms are sweaty);

Saturday, January 7, 2012


I recently had the pleasure of meeting up with a few of the Ride2Rescue crew as they had a layover in Phnom Penh. As a mostly Aussie outfit, it seemed fitting to chat at a pub while being soothed by the dulcet tones of Ian Chappell and Ravi Shastri wax lyrical on the Australia versus India Test at the SCG.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Vervelend hè, fietsen?

The title of the video below (and this post) translates to "Annoying is not it, cycling?" in some bizarre foreign language (Dutch). It was created by some kids for a school project in what must be the first useful thing students have ever created for an assignment since the small bookcase I made in woodwork in 1995.

It's clever. And funny. And only one minute long. It would do well in speed-dating come to think of it...

Thanks to BicycleBaseCamp for bringing this to my attention (well, actually I just stole it from their website (but they just stole it from youtube so it's all good)).

Thursday, January 5, 2012

He's got the goods

I'm often impressed by the amount of stuff that Khmers are able to transport on their bikes. Particularly impressive are the guys that carry around all of aisle 12 (that's the aisle with baskets, brooms, containers, buckets, brushes and pans, blankets, scrubbing brushes, mops, dusters, sieves and of course plastic piglets).

This morning I accosted one of these very men...he's got the goods...