cfsmtb in low earth orbit

Thursday, September 30, 2004

cycling - in low earth orbit!

Yes, this activity has been known to happen in France, as well as Melbourne.

from todays mx - "Cyclist deaths - high toll sparks warning"

Attempting to start some dialogue about this, lets see if it kicks off here or here

Thursday, 30 September, page 2

Police are urging cyclists to be cautious after the number of road bike deaths has doubled so far this year. Eight cyclists were killed on Victorian roads this year, compared to four deaths in 2003.

The reminder coincides with the 21st anniversary of the Victorian Police Safe Cycle Campaign, which aims to educate road users on how to avoid bike collisions and injuries. October is Safe Cycle month and police will reward cyclists obeying road rules.

Figures show a quarter of accidents happen when a cyclist turns on to the road from the footpath and 30 per cent of casualities are caused when drivers don't look for cyclists.

Don't know about the Clown,

but the grumpy kitties are spot on...

Melbourne FlashMobs Again!

The Chicken & the Egg!" Melbourne gets FlashMobbed again!

Which came first? Well, part 1 saw the Chickens come first, manifesting right infront of Melbournian eyes on the corner of Bourke & Swanston. Chickens pulled out and then blew up pink rubber gloves only to hold them on top of their heads and proudly begin cluck, cluck and clucking!

Cycling in Jakarta......

Priyanto never thought that selling soya bean milk on his bicycle was a tough job that required him to put his life at risk. Pedaling his old bicycle everyday from his home in Tambora, West Jakarta, to the National Monument (Monas) park, offices in Harmoni, Istiqlal Mosque and Senen market in Central Jakarta, the 34-year-old braved the vicious city traffic. 'Being bumped by motorcycles is a frequent experience during my four years of bicycling ... and they didn't even bother to stop,' Priyanto told The Jakarta Post while waiting for customers at the Istiqlal Mosque's compound recently.

City mulls possibility of bicycle lane
Responding to calls from the public, the Jakarta Environmental Management Agency (BPLHD) will carry out a feasibility study to create bicycle lanes in the capital. 'The study is necessary to know if we need to revise gubernatorial decrees regulating streets,' the agency head Kosasih Wirahadikusumah told a press conference at City Hall on Friday in preparation for the Car-Free Day event on Sunday. Bicycles and non-motorized vehicles are an urban transportation option, he said, since they are environmentally friendly.

Car Free Day gets lukewarm response
Cyclists cruised their way past joggers and pedestrians strolling leisurely along the quiet Jl. Sudirman and Jl. Thamrin in the fresh morning air. Here and there, groups of children played soccer, while their parents got in a bit of exercise.This scene, which would never happen on a weekday, played out on Sunday on the two main thoroughfares in Central Jakarta in commemoration of Car Free Day. Centered around the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle, the event was a call for Jakartans to help reduce pollution by leaving their cars at home for the day. All motorized vehicles were barred from the streets' fast lanes from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Big thanks to Juz for the links!

Now I've read everything.....

A man and his family told law enforcement officers that they were threatened with a chain saw during a case of road rage Monday afternoon. Esam N. Almashni, who owns several stores in Mobile, was taking a break from hurricane cleanup to visit the Biloxi beaches when two men in a pickup threatened him with a chain saw and nearly injured his wife.

Bicycle Of The Gods - No. 4


UK - Villagers protest at new toll route

Families fighting a proposed new toll motorway to be built alongside the M6 have put up banners at the entrances to a village near Stafford. Former Seighford parish councillor Gillian Cox has organised the protest banners which have been put up over the signs at the two main entrances into Derrington. 'They say 'Another Motorway - Not on our Doorstep Thank You'. We want to show that there is strong local opposition to this four-lane expressway coming anywhere near Derrington,' said Mrs Cox, who was on the council for 21 years until resigning because of ill health earlier this month.

US - Freeway Insanity

Something remarkable is happening in Vancouver.
In a reversal of a trend for the last 100 years, people are abandoning their cars and switching to transit, bicycles and walking. At the same time, the provincial government is pushing a major program of freeway expansion.
In June, Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon announced plans to spend well over $1 billion to expand the freeway from Langley to Vancouver. At the time it could be taken as pressure to get Translink directors to approve the province's planned RAV line. After all, most transportation planners -- and people who have observed Los Angeles' freeways -- recognize that expanding urban freeways only creates traffic jams and encourages sprawling, automobile-dependent suburbs. 'It just means a bigger parking lot,' said Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan. New Westminster Mayor Wayne Wright agrees. 'We can't take any more. We've got 40 000 cars a day right now'.

Australian government denies plans for new energy tax

Australia's industry minister, Ian McFarlane, has denied claims by the opposition Labor Party that the government has secret plans to introduce a new energy tax. Labor says the plan was suggested during a meeting with energy industry representatives in May. They reportedly discussed a $US1 billion tax on power bills to fund alternative energy research.

Melbourne Stuff

An insurance survey says seven out of 10 drivers of ordinary cars think four-wheel drives are a menace in the city. They argue that these vehicles are driven by arrogant and aggressive drivers and are dangerous to other drivers. But the survey failed to nominate as a key hazard the bullbars on many 4WDs.

Safety fears have forced Melbourne's fleet of red double-decker tourist buses from city streets. Tour operator City Sightseeing has pulled out of Victoria after authorities refused permission for their new open-top buses.

The latest twist in the Mitcham towers saga has exposed flaws in the planning process. The battle of the Mitcham towers may be brought to an end not by protest or legal appeal but through a deal struck between the developers and the State Government. Originally planned as a dual 17 and 11-storey complex, the development may shrink by several storeys despite approval by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal over the objections of residents and the local council.

More dunny budgies in the UK

Fly nuisance to double with global warming
The fly population in Britain could double within five years, experts have warned. A leading biological scientist is forecasting global warming will result in a massive increase in the UK's fly population if temperatures continue to rise.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Errata to New York CM news

See CM International yahoogroup, thread on the NYPD's actions starts here.

"The NYPD are strangely trying to play several sides of issues in their dealing with CM. It is ludicrous for the police to issue foreboding warnings about impeding vehicle traffic (which bikes don't normally do, of course; other cars do), when, at Critical Mass, they themselves cork traffic and urge us through red lights."

Critical Mass roundup & related news

Critical mass rides through the radical history of Melbourne
Critical mass rides through the radical history of Melbourne On Friday night Critical Mass rode around the streets of Melbourne uncovering some of the radical history of Melbourne. The ride was about 13km in length and took about two hours to complete.

Photos of Critical Mass History ride
"Hey, this was a great ride, with some interesting anecdotes on the history of Melbourne. Two people gave little speeches at each stop giving the significance of the building, monument or site. The only problem was that if you were at the back you probably couldn't hear most of the talk. Maybe next time a mobile megaphone can be organised?"

Police Sawed Through Locks and Seized Bikes, Riders Say
Although about 1,000 bicyclists on a mass ride moved peacefully through Manhattan on Friday night with just a small number of arrests, riders complained yesterday that the police had seized about 40 bicycles at one location after sawing through locks securing them to sign posts and light poles. Many of the bicycles had been locked on East 36th Street, near Fifth Avenue, by cyclists who said they became worried when the police arrested a few ride participants. But others may have belonged to people who had nothing to do with the ride, they said.

The monthly ride, called Critical Mass, has been held in New York for the last several years to promote nonpolluting transportation. This was the first since more than 200 riders were arrested last month. That ride was billed as a protest against the Republican National Convention and drew thousands of cyclists.

Cyclists roll out peaceful protest
About 800 bicyclists taking part in monthly Critical Mass ride head uptown along Park Ave. last night. Nine people were arrested, but the event was mostly peaceful.

Protestors on bicycles took to the streets of Manhattan last night, but it was a smooth ride compared with what happened before the Republican National Convention. The 800 cyclists who turned out yesterday wheeled around town for about an hour to promote environmentally friendly forms of transportation. There were eight arrests for disorderly conduct and obstructing traffic at 36th St. and Fifth Ave. and one more at Union Square, police said. Cops seized about 33 bikes abandoned on Seventh Ave.

Lots of bikes, but far less drama
Closely watched by police on the ground and in helicopters, about 700 bicyclists rode from Union Square through midtown and down Fifth Avenue Friday night in the first Critical Mass event since before the Republican National Convention.

By 9 p.m., police said they had arrested eight people on East 36th Street near Fifth Avenue and one person in Union Square. Those arrested were charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing traffic, police said. Forty bikes were confiscated, most of them left at West 36th Street and Seventh Avenue by riders who did not want to be arrested, police said.

Nine arrested during mass bicycle ride
A mass bicycle ride ended with nine arrests on Friday, a month after police arrested hundreds of cyclists who mobbed streets the weekend before the Republican National Convention. 'We think the ride went really well,' said Leah Rorvig, a volunteer for the environmental group Times Up!, which takes part in the monthly 'Critical Mass' rides. 'It was a really celebratory mood.'

NYPD Says No Arrests Made at Cycling Protest
Anticipated Problems Apparently Avoided. The riders were protesting for better riding conditions and fewer cars on the streets of New York City. Despite the turnout, the NYPD tells Eyewitness News that there have been no arrests made, and no major problems caused as a result of the monthly event. They are the same group that took to the streets during the Republican National Convention.


We Don't Want Him Either
No! Send him to The Hague! How 'bout Abu Ghraib? - chants a small contingent from the Tejas Bloc aka the Radical Tejas Bloc. They are standing against the Ford Theater on 42nd Street in New York City. It's about 5 p.m., the day before the Republican National Convention is to begin. Only blocks away, an anti-Bush march that set out in the morning, 400,000 strong, is still working its way downtown. It's the largest protest of a political convention in the history of the United States, and it moves slowly.

US - Advocates: Mike better for bikes
Mayor gets support from proponents of alternate means of transportation, though they hope to see more. Despite high-profile clashes between bicyclists and the city before last month's Republican National Convention, some advocates for alternative transportation say Mayor Michael Bloomberg's record on bike access is an improvement from previous administrations.

Bloomberg has backed the Manhattan Greenway, a network of off-street bicycle paths, that would eventually allow cyclists to ride around Manhattan. About 30 miles of the greenway's planned 38 miles have been completed. The city also has improved bike access to the Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges.

The loneliness of the long-distance bicyclist
Rider does find comradeship in San Francisco. OK, I'll admit it, I'm a bicycling fanatic: It is now my confirmed habit, twice a year, to cycle down from Redding to Sacramento and the Bay Area. I do not cycle down all the way from my home in Dunsmuir (Siskiyou County) because that would involve a suicidal trip over the Shasta Lake Bridge in the same lane as the big rigs, and I'm not that crazy.

I make a regular pilgrimage to a dingy old office building at Seventh and Market streets, nerve center of San Francisco's bicycling community. The building houses the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, as well as the various enterprises of Chris Carlsson, Critical Mass co-founder and one of the Deep Thinkers of the local bicycling movement.

Cyclists Hope to Break Cycle of Violence

A group of about 25 cyclists from around the world arrived in this West Bank town yesterday on a peace mission after traveling over 3,300 kilometers. Bernhard Odernheimer, 63, from Germany, said he and his American wife joined the so-called Peace Cycle when it started in London on Aug. 14 heading toward Palestinian areas with a message for peace.

"Our mission is to help governments end their conflicts," he said after meeting Palestinian President Yasser Arafat for an hour at his Ramallah headquarters. Odernheimer, a retired chemist who currently lives in the US state of Michigan, said he heard about the Peace Cycle through the Internet and decided to join it with his wife. They flew to England and joined the group who started in London and cycled to France, Switzerland, Italy, Greece and from there flew to the Jordanian capital of Amman. "We stopped on the way and talked to people about our mission and that we want to see an end to the conflict in the Middle East," he said. The team will end its tour in Jerusalem Tuesday where the members will mark the fourth anniversary of the Intifada.

Cars Car Cars

"They were once the domain of farmers and tradesmen, but now four-wheel-drives are more common on the boulevards of our leafiest suburbs or outside our best private schools. The latest research on four-wheel-drive vehicles and their owners is far from flattering. About 50 per cent of motorists think four wheel drives don't belong in city areas and some even suggest that they should be banned from some roads."

Today Tonight chuck in their 2c into the debate. Whoopi-doo.

Comment on the above via cyclingforums, CA on 4WD, Coppershark called it!

About one in three Tasmanians shopping for a new car opt for a SUV. The love affair with SUVs is driving sales records. The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries' VFACTS service shows SUV sales accounted for a third of the Tasmanian new car market last month.

Half of all drivers hate 4WDs.
Nearly half of all motorists believe the drivers of four-wheel-drive vehicles are more arrogant and aggressive than other drivers, according to a new survey. The survey of 1880 people by insurance company AAMI in all parts of Australia other than WA and the Northern Territory found 46 per cent of motorists believed that 4WD drivers were more arrogant and aggressive on the road. And 17 per cent of 4WD motorists agreed.

FUGLY! Yet more proof Americans design and drive bloody awful cars

Climbing Down from the S.U.V., and Liking the View
Lon Frye with his new Chrysler 300C. He bought the car after driving S.U.V.'s for almost two decades. 'I finally had grown tired of that trucklike ride,' Mr. Frye said. When Stafford Coakley went shopping for a new vehicle a year ago, he knew exactly what he didn't want: another sport utility vehicle. After driving a 1999 Nissan Pathfinder for three years, he said, he had had enough of the high cost of filling it with gasoline and what he considered an uncomfortable ride on his commute. And he had come to realize that there was not much more space in his Pathfinder than there was in many sedans.

California Adopts Nation's First-Ever Global Warming Standard for Cars
Statement by Roland Hwang, NRDC Vehicles Policy Director
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) today voted unanimously to adopt the nation's first ever regulation to reduce global warming pollution from cars. The new standard requires tailpipe emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants to be reduced by 22 percent by the 2012 model year and 30 percent by the 2016 model year. A 2002 bill (AB 1493, Pavley) required CARB to adopt the standards by the end of this year. Following is a statement by Roland Hwang, vehicles policy director at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). 'California made history today by adopting the most important motor vehicle pollution requirement since the catalytic converter in the 1970s. The air board's decision will be remembered as a major milestone in the effort to fight global warming.

Clear-headed thoughts about commuting on two wheels

Clear-headed thoughts about commuting on two wheels

"Read your article with great interest about cycling aroung Boston (''Bumpy Ride,' City Weekly, Sept. 19). I commute from Dorchester to Brigham and Women's Hospital in the Longwood Medical Area. Riding into work in the morning, usually leaving by 6 a.m., I run into little if any traffic and it is a great way to get the blood moving for the day ahead. Biking to work also means that I don't have to worry about paying for parking, which around the medical area can run from $18 to $30 a day. Going home at 4 or 5 p.m. there are always traffic snarls, so I have to ride slower than in the morning, but with the bike I can keep moving; also by adding a few extra miles I can get a workout in on the way home."

Asians on the move

Whether by road, rail or river, Asians move about in huge throngs every day. Straits Times photojournalists dodged speeding traffic, side-stepped bicycles and got splashed as they roamed the cities of Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Hanoi to bring back these photos.

Through the haze, Indonesians peddle hope of a pollution-free future
Ari Sufosa is a rarity in Jakarta. For this interior designer is one of the handful of the Indonesian capital's 12 million residents who braves the heat, humidity, traffic jams and all-engulfing pollution to cycle to work. 'I'm lucky though,' he says. 'My office is only a kilometre or so from home, I go via back roads and so avoid the really nasty buses. And I can shower at the office if I need to.'

ID sought after bike death

Police are trying to identify an elderly man who died Sunday after falling from his bicycle on the Gold Coast. A witness told police they saw the man fall from his bike at the intersection of Bermuda and Rudd streets, Broadbeach Waters, about 6.50am (AEST). The man was taken to the Gold Coast Hospital but was pronounced dead.

Oil on the boil to $50

Could oil hit $US50 a barrel oil this week? It all depends on the weather. Last week, markets in the United States and Australia were held hostage by the oil price. When oil surged to a 21-year high of $US49 a barrel on Wednesday, New York's Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 185 points and Australia's market's record breaking month-long streak faltered.
The Washington Post has a front page story about how the Bush administration has encouraged the energy industry to loot public lands, regardless of the impact on the environment. Even Westerners who used to support the energy industry are appalled. So, has it helped? No. This article from Bloomberg has some sobering information, hidden in the dry financial language.

Oil: The beginning of the end?
A retired geologist's 'peak-oil' theory finds a new audience as some worry reserves are drying up Ireland - As he sat last month in his book-lined study, Colin Campbell got a phone call that made him shriek with joy. 'Holy Mother!' he yelped after he put down the receiver. 'The good ol' moment's arrived!' The call had brought word that the price of crude oil was shooting up - a climb that, in the days that followed, would take it to near $50 a barrel. To Campbell, a 73-year-old retired oil-industry geologist who lives in this coastal Irish village, this was sweet vindication. It meant that the 'moment' he had been predicting for about 15 years - the beginning of the end of the age of oil - might finally be at hand.

Australians sick of public transport

Australian commuters fed up with waiting for late-running trains are taking out their frustrations on rail workers or their fellow passengers, a new survey has found. One in four have even considered changing jobs to work closer to home, according to the national study carried out in state capitals by recruitment company Talent2. Of the 1000 public transport commuters surveyed, 41 per cent said they have witnessed an act of 'public transport rage', a verbal or physical attack on a transport worker or another passenger.
Maybe other PT authorities belive a change of tactics maybe beneficial...

Melbourne transit police have started using a carrot, rather than a stick, to combat misbehaviour on the city's trains. From today, police will hand out prizes of movie tickets or fruit juice vouchers to commuters who give up their place to an elderly person, don't litter, or keep their feet off the seat in front of them. The joint initiative between Victoria Police and transport company Connex will be trialled for two weeks on all train lines.


A Melbourne woman accused of crashing her car while nearly nine times above the legal blood alcohol limit has been charged with reckless conduct endangering serious injury.
The reading is one of the highest in Victoria for past decade. Ms Leanne Fay Bartelson, 44, had a blood alcohol level of .448 when she turned in front of oncoming traffic on Somerton Rd, near her Roxburgh Park home, about 9.40am on May 14, police allege. She will reappear in Broadmeadows Court on October 15.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

How start a scare campaign and alarm people - Part 5467

Oh bugger, where did I leave the keys? Must check for spares in the stationary cupboard at work............

Horror weekend on nation's roads

Eighteen people, including a young boy and his parents, have been killed on the nation's roads this weekend. One of the dead was a drink driver who had been arrested just an hour and a half earlier but got back in his car once police left the scene. The eight-year-old boy was travelling with his parents and another couple, believed to be related, when their sedan and another car collided in Perth late Saturday night.

All five people in the sedan were killed.

Yes, an bloody horrific weekend on the Australian roads, YET AGAIN.

Four wheels bad

'I hate driving in my car'
Imagine the scene. Groups of youngsters lining up to sign a pledge that they will fight the cravings for grown-up love affairs, that they will not capitulate to their objects of desire. These kids would rather walk that extra mile than be falsely wedded to a passing fancy. They pledge to do the right thing - what might be called the Silver Walking/Cycling Thing. The 'Good Going' pledge, introduced by local authorities across London in the past few weeks, states that the signatories will do their bit for the environment, their fellow man and for the city they love. Short and sharp, it reads:

'I know I can improve the health and quality of life for everyone living, working, visiting or being educated in London by reducing traffic congestion and vehicle emissions in the capital. That's why I pledge my support to Good Going - travel awareness in London.'

Cyclists, get set, ...oh the tracks are yet to be built!

The last line of Bicycle Race, the hit song of British legendary rock group Queen released in 1978 might echo the desire of Heru, a foreign bank employee on Jl. Sudirman, Central Jakarta, to ride his bicycle to work along Jakarta's major thoroughfare. 'I hope I can ride my bike to work... or at least use it to travel a short distance around my office building, to go out for lunch for instance,' the 35-year-old resident of Bintaro, South Jakarta, told The Jakarta Post on Friday. His wish, however, is not yet on the agenda of the Jakarta administration. Without a bicycle lane, daring cyclists have to negotiate the congested city streets."

Automakers Attack Proposal to Address Global Warming

Automakers on Wednesday attacked a California plan to regulate automotive emissions of global warming gases. The state's proposal 'clearly goes far beyond what is reasonable and achievable,' said Fred Webber, president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a lobbying group that includes all of the major automakers except Honda and Nissan. Mr. Webber spoke at a news conference a day before the California Air Resources Board is scheduled to begin two days of hearings on a plan to reduce automotive global warming emissions about 30 percent by the 2016 model year. A vote on the plan is expected Friday.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Car Free News

Hobart - A group of waterfront businessmen say removing cars from Sullivan's Cove would halve their trade. But they say the State Government is blatantly ignoring their concerns about waterfront development.Four operators yesterday called on the Government to hold a meeting for waterfront business owners before proceeding with development plans.

The "Car Free Day" event, which took place across Europe this week, will not be followed up with effective sustainable transport policies and represents little more than a "street party", activist group Transport 2000 has claimed. The "In Town Without My Car" day, which is part of the wider European Mobility Week campaign, took place yesterday saw and sustainable transport initiatives taking place in numerous cities around the continent. The event allows people to "rediscover the pleasure of walking undisturbed" and councils to assess the impact of traffic issues like air pollution and noise pollution.

Car-free day fails to put the brakes on commuters
More than 100 Swiss towns and cities have taken part in this year's international car-free day, which met with limited success. The "In Town Without My Car" campaign was designed to encourage commuters to leave their cars at home and travel to work by public transport. The French-speaking part of Switzerland took the lead on Wednesday, accounting for around 50 of the 116 municipalities taking part. The total was double the number for last year.

Dozens celebrate 'Car Free Day
Imagine trading in your car keys for a bike. That's what some people in Orange County want more people to do. They celebrated the idea Wednesday during a 'Car Free Day' celebration. The Raging Grannies fashioned their message into song. 'Too many cars, too many cars - They cost too much to keep up with repairs...'

Arcata celebrates Car Free Day for second year in a row
While the Arcata Plaza and Humboldt State University's parking lots were still packed with their normal load of cars, the city sought to get people out of their vehicles on Wednesday.

Govt.'s indifference to Car Free Day is symbolic - Greens
The Green Party has accused the Government of indifference for its poor response to car free day and said that under a Fianna F'il Government people using public transport, bikes or walking would always come off second best to the car.

Car-free day quiets streets around Europe
Hundreds of European cities and towns restricted auto traffic yesterday, part of the continent's annual campaign to lower air pollution by encouraging commuters to use public transportation, bicycles or their feet instead of their cars. More than 1,500 municipalities, mostly in Europe, participated in the seventh annual car-free-day campaign by setting up roadblocks to prevent nonessential automobile traffic from entering city centers. The campaign has spread to cities in Japan and South America.

childish and immature

Apologies to all those LoTR fans. not safe for work....
Yep, to directly quote TISM,

Hardwired into everyone's head, Is the person they're gonna be, Growing up ain't a matter of choice, It's a matter of wait and see.
(Which explains why I like this monkey wrenched version so much)

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Paralympics 2004 - Aussie cyclists blitz Paralympics field

Australia has jumped to third on the medal tally at the Athens Paralympics after claiming three golds from the four cycling finals held overnight. Greg Ball set a new world record in winning the one kilometre time trial, while Christopher Scott also achieved a world's best time in claiming gold in the three-km individual pursuit.

Australia's cyclists have continued their dream run on day three of the Paralympics with two more gold medals. The cyclists are responsible for all four of Australia's gold medals and are the most successful nation at the velodrome so far. But there was also bad news for the squad, with two riders taken to hospital after crashing during the race for a bronze medal. Visually impaired cyclist Lindy Hou and her sighted pilot Janelle Lindsay held off the British to win gold in the B 1-3 tandem sprint. 'It's been my dream and the dream has come true,' said Hou.

Millennium Park Bicycle Station

Now this is the way of the future!

Labor promises to boost public transport.

The Labor Party has promised an extra $4.5 million over four years to boost public transport if it wins next month's ACT election. The money would be used to improve ACTION services in Tuggeranong, Gungahlin, Lanyon and West Belconnen. The policy also calls for new buildings to provide bicycle parking, showers and change areas for cyclists.

World Business Council for Sustainable Development

No excuse for non-sustainable transport in urban areas, says Wallstrom. More needs to be done by industry and government to ensure cleaner transport options in urban areas, said speakers at a major conference last week. The "Smart Moves for Sustainable Mobility" conference concentrated on current action that needs to be taken to reduce car use in urban areas. Several speakers pointed out that greater commitment is required from industry and governments to promote sustainable mobility. Government action was called for in the form of pollution control legislation, tax incentives, R&D funding and public education.

Soon, Traffic-lights could control your calories!

An idea to bring in traffic-light food labelling to inform consumers about the nutritional value of a particular item, is reportedly being considered by the Liberal Democrats in Britain. According to The Daily Mail, the scheme would give shoppers the opportunity to choose food that is lower in sugar, fat and salt, and would induce producers into making their goods healthier. 'What we need to see is the Food Standards Agency taking forward the idea of traffic-light labelling, which the Liberal Democrats want introduced, and making sure that the scheme is clear and consistently applied across the food products and all food companies,' health spokesman Mr Burstow was quoted by the BBC radio 4 as saying.

Critical Bee Mass in West Brunswick

Motorists negotiating Melbourne's rush hour traffic have an extra hazard to watch out for tonight - a swarm of bees. Police issued a warning at 5.30 pm (AEST) to motorists travelling through the intersection of Brunswick Road and Fleming Road in Brunswick West to keep their windows wound up until the bees moved on. A police spokesman said officers had been dispatched to monitor the swarm of bees and report on their movements. 'Apparently when it comes to nightfall they sort of calm down a bit,' he said. 'But at this stage we are advising motorists driving through the area to put their windows up.'
How big was the swarm? Did the bees "cork" the traffic? TeeHee, remember the storyline of Phase IV?
We are all just flying home....together......four wheels bad, six legs & wings good.......think I better stop now.

Developers clinch $200m Burnley sale

The Melbourne site of GE Consumer Finance's Asia Pacific headquarters in Burnley's Botanicca Corporate Park is close to being sold by its developers. The inner city Botanicca is a $200 million, 70,000 square metre corporate park being developed by RMAC, a joint venture between Macquarie Bank and property development company R.Corporation, headed by Andrew Rettig. For sale are two buildings of 10,250 square metres leased to GE, as well as a third building of about 14,600 square metres, which is to be built for GE.
Who gives fuck about Burnleys natural environment when the state government can turn a buck out of all that useless land lying around, so close to the city....

Super city-bay freeway link

A super freeway linking Clifton Hill and Rosebud could be created under a Frankston bypass proposal. Plans to extend the southern end of the Mitcham-Frankston freeway are part of a new study to improve transport on the peninsula. With a price tag of up to $800 million, a full dual-carriageway bypass would create a continuous freeway about 100km long.
Holy shit, blow the bridges, proclaim the Bicycle Republic of Yarra! Damn the infidels to hell!

Cities And Towns In Many Countries Mark 'Car-Free' Day

More than a thousand cities and towns across the world are marking a 'car-free' day today. The idea of the annual event is to encourage people to use alternative, less-polluting methods of travel in place of their private motor vehicles. France started the initiative eight years ago, and since then it has been enthusiastically backed in the rest of Europe, in parts of Asia and Latin America. But many diehards are refusing to do without their personal transport, despite the example of mayors and government ministers cycling to their offices.

Australians fall in love with SUV's

Finally to Australia's increasing love of the four-wheel drive. The average Australian has always been passionate about driving, but it seems they're giving up the traditional family sedan. The latest fashion accessory is what's known in the automotive as the sports utility vehicle - the SUV, which now accounts for more than a quarter of all cars sold in Australia.

Bike Racks for Home Storage and Commercial Bike Parking

Cool bike storage ideas for the home and urban environment.

Recipients In Oprah's Car Giveaway Face Hefty Taxes

It was the car giveaway seen and heard around the world, but people who got brand new cars in a surprise giveaway on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' last week are finding out that those vehicles aren't exactly free.

Car Free Day stuck in traffic

City ignores global ecological event
Urban expert calls for tough action. Even on a day designated internationally as 'car free,' the automobile will rule Toronto. For Car Free Day, Montreal will today close two major downtown streets, joining smaller Canadian cities such as Kitchener, Ottawa, Victoria and Corner Brook, Nfld, and cities around the world in promoting transportation alternatives to the car. But Toronto is doing little more than allocating funding for next year's Car Free Day. 'Unfortunately, it fell through the cracks in terms of our ability to fund it this year,' Councillor Joe Mihevc (Ward 21, St. Paul's) said in an interview yesterday. 'But we are getting ready for a big thing next year.'

Diesel fumes linked to cancer deaths

The convoys of trucks that ply our highways might indicate a healthy economy, but the freight industry's heavy reliance on road transport has the potential for an entirely opposite impact on those exposed to the exhaust fumes. There's a substantial body of expert opinion to say the fine particles from diesel exhaust are the most dangerous elements of the traffic pollution that's responsible for about 1,200 deaths a year in Australia.

Arrests at GOP Convention are Criticized

One late August evening, Alexander Pincus pedaled his bicycle to the Second Avenue Deli to buy matzo ball soup, a pastrami-on-rye and potato latkes for his sweetheart, who was sick with a cold. He would not return for 28 hours. As Pincus and a friend left the deli, they inadvertently walked into a police blockade and sweep of bicycle-riding protesters two days before the Republican National Convention began. 'I asked an officer how I could get home,' Pincus recalled. 'He said, 'Follow me,' and we went a few feet and cops grabbed us. They handcuffed us and made us kneel for an hour.'

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Happy Car Free Day!

Yarra Car Free Events and Speaker Box series - speakers and venues .
Yes the links are working now!

Carfree Cities

World Car Free A carfree day for your city? What a great idea! But if you think it's just a quick no-brain public relations rumble and simple to do, think again.

European cities observe car-free day
European cities stage an annual car-free day on Wednesday aimed at reclaiming, for a few hours at least, traffic-choked streets and at cleansing urban air fouled by exhaust fumes. More than a thousand cities and towns that are home to 120 million people - most of them in the European Union but including locations in Asia and Latin America - have promised measures to encourage public transport or seal off the centre, giving freedom to pedestrians, bikes and cultural festivities.

Try car-lite for a day
Car-free? As if.
Wednesday is International Car-Free Day. It has been a big event for the past few years in Europe, where it is part of something called Mobility Week. Observances are planned this year in the Americas as well, from Berkeley to Bogota. But here in Triangle, USA, the underlying notion of Car-Free Day may sound a little wild: You can actually live without your car for a day.

Car Free Day in Cork - Cork Rights and Freedoms - Indymedia Ireland

Car Free Day in Cork
Our city - our streets - our choice !
9.30 am Bike Ride assemble City Hall, ride around city centre for about 40 minutes. Organised by Cork Environmental Forum. 11am - 1pm Bike Doctor, Emmet Place (outside Opera House) - get your bike checked out / basic repairs done for free, or just hang out with the lovely folk of the Cork Cycling Campaign, and watch the skateboarders.

oh shit....

From South Africa - Can we avert an urban crisis?

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu's magic date of 2014 for the eradication of all informal settlements has placed the issue of sustainable cities on the political centre stage. More recently, media reports have set the country's upper classes aflutter about the possibility of apartment blocks filled with 'low-income' earners invading their leafy suburbs. On the other end of the spectrum the poor are near the end of their tether with confused housing lists, slow infrastructure delivery and chaotic transport facilities. Urban discontent is brewing, and there is general consensus that informal settlements are at the heart of it.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Save the Bogan

blackjeanus mulleticus maximus

"First identified as a sub-species during the mid-70s, the Melbourne Bogan is thought to be a close relation of the Booner (found in Canberra's outer suburbs) the Westie (spread throughout Western Sydney), and the Bevan (Bribane).

It is believed the initial Melbourne population was introduced to purpose-built habitats such as Frankston and Dandenong. However, by the mid-80s, the species had multiplied to plague proportions, spreading through much of Footscray and further Western regions. While authorities considered a culling program, they need not have bothered, as the regional population began a rapid decline from the early '90s onwards. The situation has now reached a critical point, with Bogans rarely sighted in Melbourne, and those remaining clinging to the region's outskirts. In the year 2000, the species is now officially endangered. "

And thank the deity for that. Mind you, even after escaping from the Deep South & moving to Melbournes inner 'burbs in 1990, I still like to attire ones self occasionally in cheapo beanies & steel cap boots. Now if I could only figure out how to attach spd cleats to the bottom of my size 6 Blunnies I would be a very happy lady.

Yarra Car Free Stuff

Actually, don't believe the street is going to be closed off to smog boxes. Think they just don't want you to bring the car in. ummmmm, how does that work in a society as dependant on cars as Melbourne ummmmmm.
Car free festivities in Yarra Must check again to see if the links are working. ummmmmm

China roll

There are more than 300 million cyclists in China, so what better way to see the country than on two wheels, asks Merope Mills.
Early in the morning, on the road climbing out of the town of Jixian, the woman in high heels overtook me on her bike. Given that my bicycle and I had about 20 years apiece on her and hers, it should have been no contest. But as I panted and puffed and pedalled that bit harder, she swanned ahead, seemingly unaffected by her inappropriate footwear, the creaking rustbucket she was riding or the bags of shopping weighing down her handlebars.

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that the Chinese really know how to ride a bike: China has the highest number of bikes of any country in the world, with about a quarter of the population owning one. So if there was ever a way to see a country as the locals do, it was to saddle up and join those 300 million-plus souls on the Chinese roads.

Why offenders must be punished for their crimes

Letters -

"I read with interest your editorial, "When jail is not the right answer" (The Age, 16/9). It seems to miss a significant aspect of our judicial system.

Our system exists not only to punish offenders who are convicted of an offence, but to deter others from undertaking similar activities. One could well suggest that the deterrent value is of more benefit to our society than the actual punishment imposed on offenders.

I cite in particular the case of Silvia Nicole Ciach, the young woman referred to in the editorial, who killed a cyclist on Portarlington Road in December 2001 while she was using her mobile telephone. This activity is endemic on our roads. As a cyclist, I am concerned that letting the killer off - essentially scot-free by giving her a non-custodial sentence - sends a message to other drivers that piloting a lethal weapon in a grossly negligent manner is not a big deal.

Ms Ciach may very well feel very remorseful, as your editorial states, but that does not send a clear message to other drivers that they should concentrate on driving their cars, rather than play with their telephones and thus increase the risk of injury and death for other road users.

Certainly it is important to view each case on an individual basis, which is why our legal system is structured as it is, rather than having arbitrary and mandatory sentencing and all the injustice that that entails.

However, it is also important to broaden the scope of this editorial argument to take into consideration the effects that such a high profile case has upon the behaviour of would-be offenders.

The law is not just about one offender; it is about protecting everyone.

In any case, the families of victims should have no say at any point in the sentencing of an offender. They are in no state to influence the path of justice. We no longer live in the stone age."

Carl Brewer, Brighton

School bus crashes in Melbourne, 21 injured.

Twenty-one schoolchildren have been taken to hospital with neck injuries after a bus crash in Melbourne. A school bus carrying up to 40 children collided with a truck and a car in the Burnley Tunnel near the Richmond off-ramp at 12:30pm.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Posting this to cheer myself up

Home is where the heart, was...

.....Once upon a time, there was a beautiful little one bedroom HOME.....located in a side street in Northcote.
Many many happy memories were created over six years, of veggie patchs, cats, kittens, dawgs, bicycles and weird stuff scavved out of the local tip. There the developer$$ bought it, turned it into a horrible shrink-wrapped version of a Docklands apartment and totally destroyed it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

TV crowd rattles residents

TV crowd rattles residents
Television audiences attending The Footy Show and other live programs at Channel 9 are infuriating Richmond residents. People living near Nine's Bendigo St studios say television crowds are pinching their on-street parking and behaving like louts when they leave. Yarra Council has vowed to tackle the parking issue after concerns were raised at a public meeting last week. Bendigo St resident Anne-Marie Purnell said Tuesdays and Thursdays were the busiest days. 'We've been here three years and it has got worse. It's certainly a real headache for us. You pay your rates and you expect to be able to park outside your home,' Ms Purnell said. 'They film their game shows and The Footy Show on Thursday night. It is impossible to park outside my house and we get people parking over our driveway.'

Transporting Melbourne and several other bits - Part V

Scoresby policy doesn't stack up: Latham
The federal government's decision to withhold funding for the Scoresby section of the Mitcham-Frankston Freeway didn't stack up with the Victorian Liberals' stance on the matter, Labor said. The federal government has withheld $421.5 million in funding since the Victoria's Labor government reneged last year on a pre-election promise to build the project in Melbourne's east without tolls.

Leighton work book grows
Leighton Holdings is set for a boost to work in hand by having a finger in every piece of the Mitcham-Frankston freeway pie. Chief executive Wal King said yesterday he expected the Victorian Government to announce the preferred tenderer next month. And with Leighton involved in competing bids, it is guaranteed either $1.3 billion or $2.6 billion of work.

Record freight moved by rail
Australian Rail Track Corporation has made a record-breaking start to the new financial year. Adelaide-based ARTC said yesterday freight volumes in July and August were at record levels and that more strong growth would follow, thanks to an $872 million deal signed in June.

Princes Highway speed to be cut back
VicRoads has confirmed it will reduce the speed limit on the Princes Highway between Pakenham and Longwarry. The current limit of 110 kilometres an hour will be reduced to 100.

Politicians 'dodge' youth road toll
Politicians were holding out last night against calls by road safety experts for people to seriously consider giving up long-held freedoms for the sake of young lives. Night curfews and passenger restrictions for young drivers are proven methods of reducing fatalities but had for years been dismissed by governments, road safety expert Mark Stevenson said.

Canberra boosts state road funding
The Howard Government will announce hundreds of millions of dollars in new road funding today, benefiting mainly South Australia and Queensland. The upgrade in transport infrastructure comes just days after Treasury announced a budget windfall of $25 billion - more than double the forecast from the May budget. Despite unveiling an $11.8billion national transport plan in June, Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson has secured extra funds that will be channelled into areas in need of major upgrading.

NSW - Capsicum gel for train police
New South Wales's controversial transit police could soon use 'capsicum gel' to subdue violent offenders on trains. The development came as a budget estimates committee was told rail police sexually assaulted a woman on a country train. State transport minister Michael Costa said he had asked RailCorp chief executive Vince Graham to consider giving capsicum gel to hundreds of transit officers.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Oil hits troubled waters

Oil prices have leapt as investment banks and hedge funds join the 'black gold rush', and the long-term future for supply is bleak, writes Robert Winnett. A large warehouse in Amsterdam may seem an unusual place to attract the City's top traders and hedge funds. But, in the past few months, Morgan Stanley has been accumulating warehouse space in the Netherlands to store its hottest new property - oil. This and the tankers that have been hired by the investment bank illustrate just how important oil is now becoming in the City of London and Wall Street.

Warrnambool - New cycle paths around corner

Work to make two new cycling paths for commuter and recreation use on busy Warrnambool roads is scheduled to begin within the next three weeks. The construction, funded through VicRoads at a cost of $19,400, comes as the State Government announced $27,000 to help Warrnambool City Council implement its new cycling project dubbed the Cycle-able Warrnambool project. A spokeswoman for the council said one path would run along Koroit Street linking Henna and Giffen Streets and into Walsh Road in the industrial estate. The other path would run 1.1km in each direction along Ardlie Street. The paths are included in the city's new bicycle plan which aims to provide a network of inter-inking cycle-ways.

Death leads to safer routes
The safety of cycling routes in the Warrnambool area will be improved in the wake of a fatal training accident. Moyne Shire and VicRoads are investigating options to improve training routes in the Warrnambool-Wangoom and Port Fairy areas. The move follows the recent death of Warrnambool cyclist Michael Kenneally in a training ride collision with a car on the Cobden Road near Naringal. Cyclists have been asked to identify their preferred training routes and highlight ways to improve their safety.

Slower speeds not enough
Slower speed limits in Warrnambool's main street would not be supported by VicRoads unless a median strip or other devices like speed humps were added, a new city council report said. Warrnambool councillors will tonight consider a report which recommends further investigations be undertaken into how a limit slower than 50kmh can be introduced in the central business district. The report comes after the Warrnambool-Moyne Local Safety Committee last month recommended the existing limit be lowered. However, the report to tonight's meeting said VicRoads was broadly supportive of slower speeds providing appropriate traffic calming devices were added. It said the devices suggested by VicRoads included median strips, single-lane approaches at intersections, speed humps and pavement markings.

Sustainable Transport, Car Free, Not Car Free et al

Hobart - Ban Cove cars, pleads top trader
The head of the Sullivans Cove Merchants Association has taken moves to cut waterfront parking one step further -- he wants all traffic out of there. Association president Jeff Thomas conceded yesterday that his call would put him at odds with many of the docks' 160 small businesses that he represented. But, he said, his opponents should study other historic dock areas in France and the UK where business activity improved after cars were excluded.

UK - Action to help make the city's streets more safe for children
A drive to promote children's safety on the roads will be launched in Leeds this week. The city is joining major centres across Europe to back road safety for children, safer streets, responsible car use and sustainable transport as part of European Mobility week 2004. Events will take place across Leeds from September 16 to 22 and will be linked to the official theme 'safe streets for children'. European Mobility Week is an annual event involving countries across Europe who are dedicated to sustainable transport.

UK - Free trips aim to get public back on buses
Bus trips will be free on almost all routes across the Capital for one day next week to encourage more people to use public transport. It is hoped thousands of people who don't normally catch buses will try it out on the holiday Monday - then decide to use them more regularly. Fares will be scrapped on most routes from 9.30am to 7.30pm on Free Bus Day, which has been dreamed up by city leaders as part of a week of events promoting alternatives to using the car.

Instructors struggle to calm Cairo traffic chaos
A cigarette dangling from his lips, driving instructor Ahmed Ramadan imparts a valuable lesson to a learner as he twists together the two frayed wires that choke his training car into life. 'The first thing to know about driving in Egypt is that you need a strong heart,' he says, before pausing to add: 'The second thing to know is that friends in high places and money mean you can do anything.' In his box-like Soviet-era training car that has an exhaust attached to the bottom with a piece of string, Ramadan seems an unlikely front-line trooper in an epic battle to bring Egypt's unruly drivers to heel.

Suzuki Alto: new small car is evolutionary, aggressively priced
No Alto is evolutionary. Suzuki is focusing on cutting production costs to the bone and sees no reason to completely reinvent such a successful package. It's not yet clear when the new model will be seen in India and China. Entry-level model is prices at just USD6,200 in Japan.
Alto has become a global car for Suzuki, with different versions built on a large scale in China, India and Japan. A new-generation model is out in Japan.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Flashing again?

Thank/blame last weeks episode of Mondo Thingo for this social event reanimating in Melbourne. Why not, a bit of whimsy & a giggle never hurt anyone.

Objects of Beauty

Superb images of Chinese working bikes. wow

The Australian: Commuters targeted for training

Commuters targeted for training
Rail commuters could be the target for a campaign to make them 'alert' to the risk of bombs, as part of a review of mass-transit security. Although air travel security has been tightened, the Government has been concerned that land transport is more vulnerable. Federal and state security officials are concerned that major rail stations, particularly those outside Sydney, are not as secure as they should be. There is specific concern about large bicycle lockers and garbage bins on platforms, which could be used to hide large bombs.

Next they'll be checking the ortliebs & bum bags. My ancient campros are pretty roomy too. Sheesh, our community has been taken over and controlled by scared people.

Car Free Stuff in Melbourne

Planned your party frock yet for Car Free fun in Melbourne?

Spice up the 19th by remembering to get Three Sheets in the Wind with International Talk Like A Pirate Day! Splice the Mainbrace me buckos!

Kinetics - Hase - Pino Tandem - Specifications

A tandem with a 'bent front seat!

Transporting Melbourne and other bits - Part IV

Transport upgrade plan targets congestion
The Victorian Government is considering a plan that will see a multi-million dollar upgrade of train and bus services in Melbourne. The Metropolitan Transport Plan aims to tackle emerging transport issues over the next five to 10 years.

Connext budgets for more fines in Melbourne
Victoria's government is planning to make public transport more attractive to help ease traffic congestion in Melbourne over the next ten years. The government's transport plan includes multi-million dollar upgrades of bus and train services. Melbourne's current train operator Connex has been fined two point four million dollars to compensate for cancelled and delayed trains in the three months to June.

Cautious welcome to public transport plan
A public transport lobby group has cautiously welcomed a proposal to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into train and bus services in Melbourne's eastern suburbs to ease chronic congestion on the city's roads. The state government is reportedly considering a $300 million upgrade of the Dandenong rail line and an extension of SmartBus services in the eastern suburbs as part of a new transport blueprint.

Winter back with menace
Rain, hail and snow brought winter back with a vengeance to Victoria yesterday, wreaking havoc across the state. Driving conditions were treacherous, with hail severely reducing visibility, roads blocked by fallen trees, and some highways hit by flooding. There were more than 200 reported crashes across Melbourne - five times the usual number - in 10 hours of mayhem.

Finding a way out of the fog
Another week of the federal election campaign, and another week of debate on the Mitcham-Frankston tollway has produced a new round of contradictions and absurdities that could only be tolerated in politics. For example, just before the 2002 election Steve Bracks wrote to thousands of residents along the tollway corridor saying, in effect, 'Believe me, I'm Steve Bracks and I'm here to tell you there will be no tolls'. The promise was driven by an Opposition scare.

Fischer calls for uniform tracks
On the eve of the 150th anniversary of the state's railways, former deputy prime minister and enthusiastic train spotter Tim Fischer has called for all of Victoria's train lines to be converted to standard gauge.

UK - Towns rally behind trams battle
The people of Oldham and Rochdale gave a resounding message to Transport Secretary Alistair Darling at two town centre rallies in support of Metrolink extensions: 'We are not taking `No' for an answer.' Supporters turned out in force to show their backing for the campaign to save the future of phase three of the Metrolink, which would bring two lines right into the heart of the two towns.

UK - Velo Vision Magazine

Inspiring news of specialised cycles, bikes as transport and human power. It's a quarterly dose of cycle inspiration.

More ideas for the Cattle Dawg Transportation Device!

Yet more cycling stuff

Adding in this at the top, some some mongrel/mongrels did a major bike heist on Bike Now during the weekend. May the fleas of a thousand smelly cattle dawgs invade their armpits and may their wheel sets be easily buckled....

Velocity in the papers - Duo ride trade cycle
For a bloke who makes bike parts, it's surprising that Grant Smith rides home 28km on a hybrid road-mountain cycle he reckons lacks a professional's fancy accessories. 'Those guys that have all the good gear, I reckon they're cheating,' the businessman joked. Parts, including high-quality rims, are what Mr Smith and his business partner (and neighbour) Tom Black make at their company, Velocity, and they are even taking a shot at a Queensland exporting award.

Fun and informative Bicycling Web Site "A Cycling Website for those of the Road Persuasion by: Mike Munk (a hopeless roadie)"

Re-Born to Ride - At 57 years of age, when most men start taking up the game of golf, James Hallmark took up bike riding.

US - A Letter to the Editor....Bicycles have a right to be on the road
Dear Editor:
I'm writing this letter to get the message out and maybe save a life. The reason why? Bicycles and cars must share the road. Over a number of years, cars have hit a few of my friends. All of them were riding on the road and over to the far right of the lane as the law requires. The mirror of the passing car hit them. It happened again.

The side mirror of a car hit my friend. She had on a helmet, bright clothes so cars could see her and a flashing taillight on during the day just to be extra safe. While waiting on the ambulance to arrive due to her injuries, a law officer on the scene asked my friend 'how many cars had to swerve around you?' and other questions to let her know he felt she should not be on the road.

Transport and Energy

The excellent CenterLines on line newsletter.
"In healthy communities, walking and bicycling are a normal, routine part of daily life. In these 'active community environments' the community leaders and citizens recognize that providing for active living through community design is a health issue as well as a quality of life issue.

This site tells you how to help create neighbor-hoods and communities where people walk and bicycle. This doesn't just mean sidewalks, bikelanes and trails, though these will certainly be elements of an overall plan.

Creating active community environments means taking a look at the broader scope of where there are and aren't opportunities to walk and bicycle safely, easily, and conveniently."

Tragedy strikes happy band of teens
A close-knit group of friends has been torn apart by a tragic accident that left two teenagers dead and two others fighting for their lives. James Haddow, 19, and his 17-year-old flatmate Renee Short were killed when their car, carrying five teenagers, was hit by a four-wheel drive in Shepparton in Victoria early yesterday.

Government of Western Australia Experiences the Future of Transportation with Ballard Powered Fuel Cell Buses
Ballard Power Systems' (NASDAQ:BLDP) (TSX:BLD) President and Chief Executive Officer, Dennis Campbell, was present with various industry and government officials for the inaugural launch of three Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses, powered with Ballard(R) heavy-duty fuel cell engines, in Perth, Western Australia.

"The commissioning of these three buses powered with Ballard(R) fuel cells puts Western Australia at the forefront of the most dramatic and sweeping transformation in the history of motor transport," said Dennis Campbell, Ballard's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Ballard(R) fuel cells produce electrical power without combustion, and without the urban pollutants and greenhouses gases that threaten our quality of life. The Government of Western Australia is to be commended for its leadership and commitment to zero emission urban transit, as the public transport system prepares for a two-year demonstration of Ballard-powered fuel cell buses."

Environmental Pact: Cities join ranks over pollution
Baguio, Chiang Mai team up to fight deadly fumes. Chiang Mai - Baguio City in the Philippines has forged a technical partnership with Chiang Mai, its counterpart upland resort in Thailand, agreeing to work together for 'sustainable transport' and focusing on transport policies and the promotion of alternative fuel to curb urban pollution, according to a Philippine newspaper.
The two cities have agreed to share experiences and expertise in the reduction of vehicle exhaust emissions and explore the promotion of non-motorised transport such as bicycles, reported the Sun Star Baguio.

Glib comments don't mean nuclear energy safe
"As a Brattleboro resident and college professor teaching energy technologies, I question the glib pronouncements that nuclear energy is 'clean, safe and dependable.' The public statements from the self-proclaimed pro-business Vermont community led by Gov. Douglas could not be further from the truth. Dependable? Uranium is a finite natural resource, just like fossil fuels. U.S. production of uranium ore peaked in 1980 and has been reduced to a trickle. Today, over 90 percent of the fissionable fuel 'burned' in U.S. nuclear plants is imported - be it mined, refined, machined or fabricated in a complex web of operations beyond our borders."

peak oil - running on empty
"i have a car driving friend that would never refuel until the reserve light had been on for a while and the fuel gauge needle was resting at the bottom. she told me that she couldn't stand filling up and also enjoyed the thrill of wondering whether she would make it to the gas station without the car coming to a spluttering halt. "don't worry, she'd tell me, it hasn't happened yet, i think i have an automotive guardian angel". this was until we were on a service station free stretch of the m25 when the unthinkable happened and i was volunteered to get fuel in the empty emergency canister. empty since the last time she'd run out and had emptied its contents."

But, is it art?

As early as 1913, Marcel Duchamp placed a bicycle wheel on a stool and displayed it as a work of art, and in 1917, he sent a porcelain public urinal to an art show, and thus introduced the concept of the ready-made. In the '70s, installations became a vogue, generating among artists a craze for found objects and a mania for collecting mass-produced articles.

From the other side of the fence

Anti-car propaganda that is blindly accepted as truth
Dr Dan Barlow, the head of research for Friends of the Earth and a member of the Forthright Alliance, used "sustainable" seven times in 300 words about a new Forth bridge. Sustainable alternatives, least sustainable, sustainable option, sustainable transport, sustainable transport planning, sustainable transport alternatives, neither sustainable nor supportable... He was against a new bridge.

"Sustainable" means a lot to environmental lobbyists. It is like perpetual motion or alchemy - a chimera that takes scant account of reality or practicality. It has been endowed with a mystic quality, such as "renewable" or "consultation", and become an ingredient in roundhead collectivist jargon.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

git down!

A Dancin' Fool and introducing his little mate, Teflon Johnny.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Uncomfortably Numb

Spot the Pink Bits - Current temperature: Melbourne, *11 September, Time: 16:55

Temp (deg C): 7.0

Holy shite, I've cycled in practically most conditions that Melbourne can throw at a small cyclist. Today, whilst pedalling around doing several errands, I suffered a NUMB face. Think the last time that happened was early one winter morning in 1997. Hooray for thermals & explorer socks, only wish I could afford a nice $600 gortex jacket.

Silent But Deadly!

Australian environmentalists with a sense of humour, introducing "Friends All for Renewable Technologies" - FART - Silent But Deadly!

Navel Gazing

There's far too much dire navel gazing going on today.

Here's what I was up to three years ago, waaayyy back on 11 September 2001. With a few alterations, like straightening up the helmet, minor costume details, such as adding more zipties, and learning to smile more frequently, this little "Malvernia Star" ensemble came up just dandy at the Fringe Parade, Fringe Fashion and at least two Critical Mass birthday rides,

A lovely ensemble, the perfect accompaniment to any hardwood floor

Unfortunately my current silliness levels are a tad low, but am planning a heightened level of silliness in the near future. Possibly next weekend, Arrrggg!

Now, don't forget to smile!

Town Bikes put the pedal to the metal

Town Bikes put the pedal to the metal
It's about slapstick, lipstick and a name that stuck, writes Angela Blakston. Not everyone gets to have fun wearing kooky costumes and dancing on stage with their favourite bands. In this way, Carla Yamine and Gabi Barton, aka The Town Bikes , have it made.

But it's a Wednesday and that means planning and rehearsals for the Bikes; less fun and more work. Yamine has walked the two doors from her Northcote home to Barton's, where they are checking posters and travel itineraries, getting ready for their one-month US journey with American blues eccentric Bob Log III.

'Our first gig is in Tucson, Arizona, at an all-girl roller derby . . . It's going to be an interesting road trip; riddled with delirium and truck stops,' says Barton. 'Apparently Bob has this thing about the (food) vouchers at truck stops and that's how he plans his day, around these vouchers.'

Saw Bob Log III a couple of years back in Melbourne, seriously one of the hyper gigs I've ever witnessed. Apparentely the gig he played before was even more quality, Bob chucked up inside the visor of the miked up crash helmet he was wearing. And kept singing. Yaaaa for low-brow culture!!!!

Not to be confused with that other Melbourne website. Hmmmm, did someone take offence?

Transporting Melbourne & other bits - Part III

The wider implications of a funky Mitcham
A ruling allowing a high-rise may be a watershed, write Royce Millar and Martin Boulton.
Mitcham is not cool. And frankly, it's hard to imagine it ever becoming so. Yet making Mitcham a groovy place to live is integral to a planning decision likely to go down as a watershed in Melbourne's development. On Tuesday, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal approved a huge apartment project, including dual 17 and 11-storey towers, in the outer-eastern suburb's Colombo Street. The tallest building in the area is now just three levels.

Funky Mitcham?
Ahh, a advertising ploy is materialising, yes, 80's retro Melbourne, yes, Pseudo Echo in the soundtrack, yes, Won't you take me to Funkytown. Won't you take me to Funkytown. Won't you take me to Funkytown. Won't you take me to Funkytown.........

Blueprint for a smoother ride to work
A $300 million upgrade of the Dandenong rail line and an extension of SmartBus services in the eastern suburbs are priority projects under a new transport blueprint to be released soon by the State Government. The Metropolitan Transport Plan, now in draft formand to be approved by State cabinet, outlines the Government's direction in transport to 2010. Key initiatives include a third rail track between Dandenong and Caulfield, extension of SmartBus services to create a series of orbital bus routes across Melbourne, and a feasibility study for a public transport link along the Eastern Freeway to Doncaster.

Delays and fine print hit Connex for $2.4m
Connex has been hit with a record $2.4 million fine for cancelled and delayed trains - the largest such penalty in five years. The State Government imposed the fine for the three months to June, according to figures released yesterday. It is four times the fine it paid in the previous quarter. The figures reflect the continuing shortage of drivers and trains. The Sandringham line had 499 cancellations in the last quarter, more than any other line, followed by Frankston, with 455 cancellations.

Fast Rail $6.6m blowout
The Geelong Fast Rail project has blown out by $6.6 million, the State Opposition claimed yesterday. Opposition transport spokesman Terry Mulder said the blow-out was equivalent to more than $1 million a minute of travel time saved by Fast Rail. "Trains between Geelong and Spencer Street are currently no faster,'' Mr Mulder said.