cfsmtb in low earth orbit

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Hey, finally got it to work!

Yep, we've been busy the last fortnight. Extraordinarily busy. Incessantly organising bike-orientated stuff. Talking with other Bicycle User Groups. Yarra Council BAC meetings. Renovating a house. Going to work. Feeding the dawg & cats. YarraBUG stall at the Bicycling Australia Show. Talking about the bloody stairs on Gipps Street for one and half days at BAS, amongst heaps of other bike stuff in Yarra.

And this little effort:
Yarra Bicycle Users Group
Better Half hard at work sussing out FTP. Site hosted by, sponsored by Abbotsford Cycles. More coming soon.
Tired now, must go to bedibyes.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


..and here's some we prepared earlier....

Stupidest thread ever on a bicycle fourm. Bloody funny though

Voting in the Bicycle Victoria
Elections. Voting via the phone. Jeez it would be fun if you could vote via playing a game of ming mong!

Tolls - Westgate - Bad Cyclists - Global Warming

Motorists face $6.50 toll blow
Motorists will be forced to pay up to $6.50 to use the Mitcham-Frankston tollway when it opens in 2008. And drivers will keep paying to use the $2.6 billion road until about 2043. The State Government will announce the winning bidder to build the 40km road soon, possibly as early as tomorrow.

VicRoads is conducting a safety review of Melbourne's landmark Westgate Bridge, as it tries to deal with increasing traffic volumes. The 26-year-old bridge carries 150,000 vehicles a day, tens of thousands more than it did in 1978. Bruce Gidley, from VicRoads, says small cracks in the bridge have been fixed or are being monitored. He says the investigation will now look at ways of improving traffic flow without altering the bridge structure.

Coroner condemns street cyclists
A coroner has condemned cyclists who illegally ride on pavements. An inquest heard Ted Rhodes was punched by a cyclist he 'verbally abused' for riding on the pavement in Wandsworth, south-west London, last December. An open verdict was recorded as post-mortem tests failed to link the punch to Mr Rhodes' death two days later.

Letter: Cyclists must learn to observe road rules
After a few months of driving on the back roads of Blacksburg, I have a few burning questions for many of the cyclists in the Blacksburg community. First, when you see a stop sign (or any other street sign), why do you believe that it does not apply to you? You're on a vehicle, you're on the same roads cars use, and yet for some reason you feel the rules of the road don't pertain to you. Do you expect cars with the right of way to slam on the brakes or get into an accident to avoid hitting you? Do you secretly hope to get into an accident and hope to sue us? Do you think we won't hit you when you're going the wrong way down a one-way street?

Global Warming - Next 30 Years are Critical
Amid the threat of rising oceans, increasingly extreme weather and recent reports that levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have leapt in the past two years, few would argue that addressing global warming is not a burning issue. But as the Government's chief scientist Sir David King delivers a speech warning that urgent action must be taken, what form that should take - and its feasibility - is still the subject of heated debate.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Mel -Boring

West Gate safety under the microscope
The West Gate Bridge is undergoing its biggest safety review since opening in 1978, as VicRoads concedes it has reached capacity. The safety review, the first component of a three-part VicRoads investigation into alternatives to cope with growing traffic volumes, has uncovered some small cracks in the bridge and minor rusting of bolts.

Inspirational spending
Editorial -The excuses public authorities use to justify spending taxpayers' and ratepayers' money are ingenious and varied. The latest examples are in a report to be considered tonight by the Melbourne City Council finance committee. They involve the spending by councillors and staff of almost $1 million over the past three years on travel. One planner embarked on a $20,000 global study of 'green' buildings. Other destinations were a Russian flower arranging festival, a yacht race in Japan, and a tour of Copenhagen's bicycle facilities.

More reactionary whinging courtesy of the Hun

Scoresby anger will hit Vic poll: Doyle
Voter anger over tolls on the planned Scoresby Freeway in Melbourne's east will hold over to a Victorian election in 2006, state Opposition leader Robert Doyle says.

Road alarm
Victorian Police are alarmed at a 50 per cent climb in pedestrian deaths. In the most recent a Mentone man, 78, was killed as he crossed the Nepean Highway at Cheltenham. His wife, 82, was in a critical condition at the Alfred hospital. Forty-two pedestrians have been killed this year, compared with 28 at the same time last year.

More funds announced for Calder Highway
The Victorian Government has approved more money for work on the Calder Highway. Transport Minister Peter Batchelor says another $53 million has been released for the Kyneton to Faraday section, on top of state money already spent since 2002. He says all the planning is finished, expressions of interest are being sought, and tenders will be called as soon as the Federal Government puts in its share.

In your car car car, In your car car car

The Italian government is planning to introduce a new tax on big polluting cars such as sports utility vehicles (SUVs), a move which could benefit Turin-based Fiat (FIA.MI: Quote, Profile, Research) but incur the wrath of other European countries.

AlterNet: The Smell of Hummer
The Hummer is an absurdly-expensive, gas-guzzling, low-performance, high-polluting, gussied-up chunk of automotive junk. Now Hummer cologne distills that into scent. The Hummer - it's not just for driving anymore. Indeed, you can now splash the essence of Hummer all over your body! General Motors, the maker of this massive symbol of automotive macho, has now licensed a new Hummer cologne calling it "The Essence of Adventure," and pricing it as high as $52 for a Hummer-shaped bottle of the stuff. The scent is advertised as being "masculine with rugged and adventurous attributes." They go further, promising that this new fragrance "embodies all that Hummer is.

Caught red handed
Depending on your perspective it's mass law breaking, a cheeky little manoeuvre or an example of a society too selfish to wait. Jumping the lights is now a mass motoring offence. Jumping red lights is becoming a frighteningly common occurrence - with the latest figures showing that traffic cameras in London are catching almost 10,000 drivers every month.

Lawyers Oppose Delay In SUV Vandalism Trial
Lawyers for a Caltech graduate student accused of firebombing sport utility vehicles oppose a bid to delay his trial. Attorneys for Billy Cottrell filed a motion this week objecting to a delay sought by prosecutors. Authorities said they need more time to research defense claims that Cottrell suffers from a form of autism. The 24-year-old physics student is accused of damaging or destroying 125 SUVs in the San Gabriel Valley last August. He has been held without bond in federal custody and could face 35 years to life in prison if convicted.

Beijing smog stifles French air show
A French aerobatic show scheduled to launch the 'Year of France' in China on Thursday has been cancelled due to some of the worst air pollution the capital has witnessed in months. The elite 'Patrouille de France' of the French Air Force cancelled its show at Beijing's Nanyuan Airport due to poor visibility caused by severe pollution and fog, organizers said.

Bicycle News

Creation of a safe training route for cyclists will be a priority under a new bicycle plan adopted by Warrnambool City Council. The plan covers a variety of issues, but the need for a safe training route for competitive cyclists has been highlighted as a main priority.

The center of business. The center of innovation. The center of education. Since 1981, the global cycling community- the thousands of manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, buyers, media, and industry influencers- have made Interbike the center of cycling. Yep, its bike porn as we know it, it's Interbike time again....

Silent procession honors dead bicyclists
Except for the occasional sound of shifting gears or of fallen leaves crinkling under wheels, nearly 50 cyclists, wearing black armbands over a colorful array of bike jerseys, rode in a silent procession from Nyack's Memorial Park to the end of the Piermont Pier.The four-mile ride was held as a memorial for two Rockland residents who were killed by vehicles while riding their bicycles on roads.

Seoul's pedal pushers set off a chain reaction
'Build it and they will come.' While probably not the same voice that urged Kevin Costner's character to build a baseball ground in an Iowa cornfield in 'Field of Dreams,' the Seoul Metropolitan Government may just have heard this dictum whispered from the reeds lining the Han River when they decided to establish the extensive network of bike paths that line this city's watercourse.

Bikers pedal for cleaner air
Group makes case on the streets of Chilean capital Riding bicycles `reduces traffic and air pollution' A cacophony of whistles, chanting and bicycle bells competes with the noise of evening rush-hour traffic, as 400 cyclists snake through the downtown of Chile's capital city. This, like the first Tuesday night of every month, is the highlight for Chile's Furiosos Ciclistas (Raging Cyclists) - a hodgepodge of naturalists, environmental activists and cycling addicts who take their passion to the streets of Santiago to rally for bike paths and promote cycling to help clean up this smoggy and congested capital.

Superman is dead

Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation
Christopher Reeve passed away October 10, 2004, with his family at his side. As Christopher himself once said, "So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable." We can. We must. We will.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

emperor bonsai (little Bush) steals another election

'You assist an evil system most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. An evil system never deserves such allegiance. Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil. A good person will resist an evil system with his or her whole soul.' - Mahatma Gandhi

On this day - 10 October 2004

1899 - One of the United States' leading black inventors, IR Johnson, receives a patent for the bicycle frame. Pictured above & below, is the legendary Major Taylor, World Cycling Champion in 1899.

Jacques Derrida Dies at 74

World-renowned thinker Jacques Derrida , a charismatic philosopher who founded the school known as deconstructionism, has died, the French president's office said Saturday. He was 74. Derrida died at a Paris hospital of pancreatic cancer, French media reported, quoting friends and admirers. The snowy-haired French intellectual taught, and thought, on both sides of the Atlantic, and his works were translated around the world. Provocative and as difficult to define as his favorite subject - deconstruction - Derrida e modern-day French thinker best known internationally.
``With him, France has given the world one of its greatest contemporary philosophers, one of the major figures of intellectual life of our time,'' President Jacques Chirac said in a statement, calling Derrida a ``citizen of the world.''
I never was a an admirer of Derrida but his influence cannot be ignored. Feel the urge to go over to the Dark Side for awhile, slab of vic, packet of winnie blues, draw the curtains & watch Bathurst 1000.
Nooooo! fight back against the darkness, put the basket back on Black Francis, go for a pedal and buy that fucking ice cream that was mentioned earlier. Remember the good news from yesterday, the tourers freewheel will be fixed by Monday, and there's a lovely 48cm 4130 road frame waiting for you to build up with Shimano 600 gruppo, the Bicycling Australia YarraBUG stall you're organising, not everything is going to shit, chin up keep going!!!!

On their bikes! Garry McDonald and Minister for Health Bronwyn Pike ride for World Mental Health Day

Bicycle Victoria and beyondblue: the national depression initiative today announced a joint campaign to encourage all Victorians to tackle depression and go for a bike ride to mark World Mental Health Day (Sunday 10 October).

Harry Barber, General Manager of Bicycle Victoria, said: "This is our prescription for World Mental Health Day. Get your kids or call a friend and ride your bikes to somewhere scenic where they sell good ice-cream and remind yourself what life is all about."

Pleasant sentiments Harry, but I need more than ice cream to cheer me up. Think beer 'o clock's going start early this Sunday. It's a glorious Sunday morning. Wish it was raining.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

We Will Reap What We Sow

by Simon Willace Saturday October 09, 2004 at 11:09 PM
They voted, even though some tried to stop them, they were shown the futility of democracy and given a choice but by their very action 80 % were heard this time around…

We were offered too much, because they knew we are only human…in a land with already enough the offer of more was far too much for us to ignore. In the end we were indifferent to the years of lies and purposely ignored all the current deceptions as we voted for extra funds and the promise of secured lifestyles in a cashback return offer…it met our needs for greed.

In the end we no longer cared about WMD or children overboard, as we collectively, instantaneously and decisively turned our backs on poverty in Timor and in one vote we welcomed the destruction of all old growth habitat, it is like the bare mountains of Tasmania a landslide victory assisting only planetary destruction.

Today we immediately welcome CO 2 sequestering allowing underhand future coal dependency instead of following Russia to Kyoto and in so doing we congratulated our nation as the second largest polluter per head in the modern world ….permanently.

We voted for all of this just so that there could be no change at all, no emission reductions, control or use of wind, tide or solar radiation and no way out of war.

Our vote today confirmed and condemned us as consumers of the American way… its our future, there is no more denying and no more Australianizing we are Neo-consumers and this is Australia’s best way to become American.

We will continue to support all wars and occupations… Taiwan Iran and Indonesia will freshen the coming conflicts and directly threaten in the Growing War On Terror culminating and deepening our need to become more involved.

All this went with the package so that our nation and lifestyles can enjoy the economic growth borne from the despair and poverty of others.

There are no sore losers here in the largest state of the American Empire as we have all won, here on this sparsely populated mining island, we are the winners… battle 1.

We will get our spoils of wars, for as long as the price of our sons is worth the cost.

This time we gave Johnny a mandate for war, not GST or Refuges this time… this time it was until death do us part…We will now go all the way with America, but in the end… years from now we will be left alone not because of where we are but because of who we have become.

Well Done

Election Depression, Car Sharing, Pipelines

Take depression for a walk: McDonald
Actor Gary McDonald has long known the best way to
battle his anxiety disorder is to get out of the house and go for a long bike ride or walk. The man who made Australia laugh with Norman Gunston and Mother and Son was told by a doctor 11 years ago that the best way to battle the 'black dog' of depression was to exercise. 'I know now that if I am getting a little bit that way that I just have to start the day with a half an hour walk,' he said.'Any form of exercise pumps the endorphins and lifts the spirits.' McDonald is fronting a joint campaign between anti-depression group beyondblue and Bicycle Victoria to encourage Victorians to get out and ride a bike to mark World Mental Health Day on Sunday.

Might take him up on the suggestion. Think I will probably be depressed beyond description this time tomorrow.

Vic Greens hopeful of Senate seat
Victoria has a number of seats held by small margins and the result may also deliver a Senate seat to the Greens. Victoria has five Lower House seats on a margin of less than 3 per cent. The Coalition holds Gippsland, McEwen and Deakin with Labor holding Chisholm and McMillan, which a redistribution has made notionally Liberal. The battle has been most intense in Deakin, in Melbourne's outer east, where the Liberals have campaigned on the powerful state issue of Scoresby freeway tolls using full page newspaper ads, direct mail, letterbox drops and mobile signs.

Beyond the car pool, communal cars
Melbourne is about to join a global transport movement that offers the convenience of car ownership at a fraction of the cost and will also help to reduce traffic and parking congestion. Car-sharing was pioneered in Switzerland and Germany in the late 1980s and has spread across Europe and North America. Last month, a report by the Fed-eral Government's Greenhouse Office recommended the concept as a cost-effective and environmentally sustainable alternative to car ownership. The City of Darebin will host Victoria's first car-share program. The scheme will begin in Westgarth next month and a second program is planned for Fairfield early next year. Schemes are also being negotiated for Fitzroy and St Kilda and may be in place by year's end.

A bright spot amongst the gloom.
The State Government is considering a radical plan to build a pipe-line for recycled water along the Mitcham-Frankston freeway. Water from the Carrum Downs treatment plant would be piped to commercial customers in the eastern suburbs. The Herald Sun believes the plan is in at least one of the two bids for the $2.6 billion project. The Southern and Eastern Integrated Transport Authority is expected to choose the winning bidder next week.

Fill up for next fuel price hike
The RACV yesterday warned Geelong motorists to fill up before record oil prices reached the bowser. Corporate relations manager David Cumming predicted petrol prices would rise early next week. ``You won't find much fuel under $1,'' Mr Cumming said. ``Next week is going to be a very expensive week for petrol.''

Toll road errors climb
Up to 2500 new cases of CityLink account errors have been found - and the audit is still going.The latest discovery follows the overcharging of 3000 customers, detected by inspectors in August. Inspectors found up to 1500 cases where they believe customers have been charged more than the trip cap, a source said. They have also identified up to 1000 vehicles they believed were wrongly classified.

Wealth sparks car kingdom

Just ask Liu Min. He recalls the day when he rode his bicycle to work in the sprawling capital. Twice a day, the 36-year-old says he joined rivers of cyclists for his 35 minute commute between his office and home.

But things are changing in the 'kingdom of bicycles.'

'I've always dreamed of owning a car,' says Liu, a China Post employee. 'With a car it is more convenient to move around in Beijing or go for an excursion in the suburbs. I love to travel.' Liu's life has changed dramatically since February, when he bought a sport-utility vehicle for 85,000 yuan (US$10,240). Liu earns 36,000 yuan per year and chose a domestic brand due to the low price. The SUV saves him about 20 minutes on his home-office commute if traffic is good. Liu's excitement about owning his first car is shared by a growing number of people. As affluence grows, more people are locking up their bicycles and jumping behind a steering wheel. The national economy has doubled since 1990, boosting living standards, especially in major cities and along the east coast. A consumer society is emerging. The auto boom is beginning as well. As the economy barrels forward, annual household incomes in major cities are reaching or exceeding US$4,000 - the figure regarded as a take-off point for private auto ownership on a massive scale...

China traffic death toll 600 a day, says WHO
More than 600 people are killed each day on China's roads, the United Nations health agency said on Friday, double the death toll announced by state media just months ago. 'The World Health Organisation estimates that more than 600 lives are lost and more than 45,000 people are injured on China's roads every day,' the WHO said in a report....

Bikes banned from commuter trains

The ban on bicycles begins on Monday 11 October. South West Trains (SWT) is imposing a ban on bicycles during peak times. The company says that because of the lack of space during busy commuter times it could no longer provide areas for bikes. The ban applies to trains arriving at Waterloo on weekdays between 7.15am -10am and leaving between 4.45pm - 7pm. A cycling group says it understands the problem of crowded commuter trains but claims the company's policy to ban bicycles is short-sighted and flawed.

Friday, October 08, 2004



Thursday, October 07, 2004

Brew Bike?

Could this be replicated, say, with a local touch, like a singlespeed entirely created of Abbotsford Stout stubbies?

Meanwhile in the USA

At least it's one good use of a freeway

Spend too long lurking in, and you will be sent to hell....

From the UK - City Cyclists

City Cyclists: "Whether you're interested in better conditions for cycling in the City, tax breaks for cycling, social events or historic rides through streets crammed with over 2000 years of history, whether you're a cycling student, lawyer, courier, bonds trader or whatever else, you'll find plenty to read here. Cycling levels have almost doubled in the City since the turn of the century, probably the biggest increase anywhere in Europe."

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

A website of great promise....

Bicycles Dom "The Cyclists who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the bicycling circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them. Getting involve then is your ability to take advantage of chance. And the amount of bicycling chance encounters that are happening all around us are unlimited ... you just have to be able to see them and act upon them."

Email and pass on this link across the internet!


Melbournes very own Pub Bicycle Users Group brewed up a special "Sidewall Stout" a few months back. Maybe we should think of planning a lighter "Radler" style brew for the summer months?

Sad bike

Well, look on the bright side. A pen wasn't used to tweak the d-lock, and the thieves also forgot to chisel out the headset (possibly Chris King?)* or the nice nylon pedals.

*bad joke.

Car Culture IS Stupid

Hahaha. How funny. Not really actually.

Errata to "Ride To Work" article

Fire at Rove production company
A fire is raging at a building housing a production company owned by television personality Rove McManus in Melbourne's inner east. Firefighters were called to the building, on the corner of Mollison and Nicholson Streets, Abbotsford, about 6pm (AEST). A Metropolitan Fire Brigade spokesman said those in the building left when the fire broke out. "We've had structural collapse within," he said. "At this stage we're still checking out the adjacent building to make sure the fire hasn't got to them." More than 50 firefighters were battling the blaze, the cause of which was unknown, he said.

Ride to Work Day 2004 (tm)

Recently posted to, see related thread here

Yes, share your story of the 2004 edition of RTWD, did you,

- Ride to work because it was an advertised BV event,
- Rode to work regardless of it being an advertised BV event,
- Got a bunch ride going via work/social contacts,
- Popped down to F(r)ed Square for free munchies & entertainment,
- Wanted to ride in but stuff got in the way or used the car/caught PT.
- Something else, please tell….

Ours started off with a trip down to Richmond Town Hall where Yarra Council put on a Cyclists Brekkie & Brunswick Street Cycles had a stall & work stand for minor repairs.

Partook in the usual social pleasantries by chatting away to local cyclists, council staff et al and did a well received presentation of the Wonders of a AirZound2 (under the portico of the town hall, good acoustics!) Later cycled off to F(r)ed Square for a quick visit & chat and then re-commenced ride to work.

Decided to take a short cut through Queen Vic Market, hit a tricky bit of bluestone, tried to dab, but forgot one was clipped in. Duly fell over & dented right knee. Ouch. Got to office, parked bike & started work as pod dweller.

Afternoon, happily reunited with bike, riding home up Queensberry, notice big plume of smoke up ahead. Get off bike, call partner, WTF? Is that near home? Yes, start riding home real fast; get to intersection of Hoddle, fook, that’s really CLOSE. (Damn, freewheel is stuffing up again, too tight after taking out spacer. Note, must go to LBS this weekend.) Get closer, phew, factory on corner of Mollison & Nicholson. Pedal along for a closer look, just like all the other residents milling around. Hmm, spectacular. Get home, pat the cats & cuddle dawg. So, was your day as exciting as this?

New buildings must be bike-friendly

Large new commercial and residential buildings will have to include facilities for cyclists following regulatory changes announced by Planning Minister Mary Delahunty yesterday. Space for bicycle parking as well as showers, changerooms and lockers will be required for new buildings larger than 1000 square metres, Ms Delahunty said. Victoria is the first state in Australia to introduce such requirements, which are intended to encourage Melburnians to embrace pedal power.
The new provisions will come into effect immediately.
'Cycling currently accounts for around 2 per cent of all trips in Melbourne but its potential is enormous,' she said. 'It is a clean and healthy travel choice. But lack of bike parking and end-of-trip facilities is a significant barrier to people cycling more.' The regulations will also apply to buildings undergoing a change of use and to extensions. Most large new buildings will be affected by the change, including offices, retail spaces, hospitals and apartment buildings."

Monday, October 04, 2004

From the Victorian Greens - ALP join dinosaurs in providing a 'fossilised' future for Australia

The Australian Labor Party today 'joined the dinosaurs' in locking in a fossil fuel future, with its announcement of a new $300 million coal to gas power plant in the La Trobe Valley, said Greens Victorian number 1 Senate candidate David Risstrom.The ALP today announced plans for the construction of a $300 million demonstration coal gasification power plant, locking in a fossil fuel future for decades to come. 'That $300 million could put solar panels on over 100,000 Australian roofs, and building a strong renewable energy industry. Instead, more government money will be sunk into burying greenhouse gases, rather than dealing with the threat of climate change.'

Saturday, October 02, 2004

The Ultimate David Hasselhoff Experience

Hey I never liked Knightrider or Baywatch, but this kicks serious booty. Nothing at all to do with cycling, may have something to do, briefly, with personal transport of another kind.

You Are Either With Frank Or You Are With The Terrorists!

Maybe history could of taken a different turn if Frank had had it his way...

Calendar of US Military Dead during Iraqi War

Click here.