cfsmtb in low earth orbit

Monday, February 28, 2005

It's just a ride

The world is like a ride at an amusement park. It goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it's very brightly coloured and it's very loud and it's fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time and they begin to question, is this real, or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, they say, "hey - don't worry, don't be afraid, ever, because, this is just a ride..." And we... kill those people. Ha ha "Shut him up." "We have a lot invested in this ride. Shut him up. Look at my furrows of worry. Look at my big bank account and my family. This just has to be real." It's just a ride. But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok. Jesus murdered; Martin Luther King murdered; Malcolm X murdered; Gandhi murdered; John Lennon murdered; Reagan.... wounded. But it doesn't matter because: It's just a ride. And we can change it anytime we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings and money. A choice, right now, between fear and love.

The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one. Here's what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money that we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace. Thank you very much, you've been great.

Sound effect of three shots, Hicks pretends to fall down dead, lights go down.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Critical Mass, scum journalism and the Victoria Police

"Hey, Bazza, don't forget to pick up those dozen or so jam donuts for Mick on the run home"

Critical Mass, scum journalism and the Victoria Police : Melbourne Indymedia, by Takver
Have you ever wondered about what power a journalist wields? What spin they can put on a story? How they can have an honest cop transferred? On the February Critical Mass - the Bolty Ride - cyclists dumped their feelings on Herald Scum journalist Andrew Bolt, while honouring former police bicycle squad member Russell Lindsay who has been transferred to other duties due to pressure from said journalist. The ride also paid respect to a cyclist reported killed on Todd Road, Port Melbourne on February 1st.

Herald Sun journalist, Andrew Bolt, and 3AW talk back radio host Neil Mitchell, and Melbourne police superintendant, Mick Williams, had done a wonderful job pushing for a ride on CityLink, except they failed to turn up with maps to hand out for their route. Instead we saw several squad cars, the police horse squad, half a dozen highway patrol motorcycles, several constables on foot, the police helicopter, and even members of the special force squad (riot squad) in plain clothes all outside the State Library to meet and greet the cyclists on the organised coincidence of critical mass. The media were present as well, although I doubt any had the gumption to send a reporter on the whole ride.

A map was handed out by cyclists called the Bolty Ride. It contained a route map for the ride and three text inserts. It included a ride by of the Herald and Weekly Times buiding on Southbank, and the Herald and Weekly Times printing plant in Port Melbourne, as well as riding along Lorimer Street which has been castigated by cyclists for dangerous car driving. (more in article)

Police blocking Todd Road as Critical Mass held a minutes silence for a cyclist killed on February 1st. Imagine the outrage if anyone dared interfere with Blue Ribbon Day? More photos here.

More discussions here and here. Is this bullshit, we mean, approach, courtesy of advice via the Boston Consulting Group? Come on, it's far wiser to save the money for jam donuts, and also recruit more local police. The 3AW rumour about CM doing Westgate was a absolute pisser, did they get all overexcited and confused with BV's Great Melbourne Bike Ride (cancelled this year), which they used to sponsor once? Regardless whether ones opinion is pro or anti Critical Mass, observing Andrew Bolt and Mick Williams chasing phantoms around the internet recently illustrates how gullible the media and police really are. May the deities protect us all from terrorist bastards, the authorities are too busy wasting police resources safeguarding Transurbans revenue, and chasing wacky bicycle rides around the inner 'burbs. There's plenty of rich pickings here for investigative journalists to research.

more from article......Superintendant Mick Williams also appears to be protecting the monetary interests of a private company, CityLink, at the expense of the right of protest and freedom of speech of cyclists. We should demand better of our public servants.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Is There Life On Mars?

OOoooo, I'll definitely have a think about that

Scientist argues case for life on Mars
A theory from a European Space Agency scientist, that methane-producing microbes are alive on Mars, is about to get its first airing in a scientific forum.

waves to the long lost rellies

BIG Cycling news this weekend in Melbourne

The 107th Austral Wheel Race
Vodafone Arena will once again play host to the cream of the World's best track cyclists starring in the 2004/05 International Track Cycling Series. This Series, promoted by Cyclists International, is Australia's premier track cycling series and is renowned as the discovery ground of many of the worlds best track cyclists.

Or is that the 112th? Whoops-a-daisy, must surely be confusing this with another ride, big cuddly Mick has designed the route this month.

Climbing, Descending & the Blues

We few, we happy few, we band of cyclists...

Been giving serious road training more than a cursively thought of late, now being in possession of a decent road rig. Actually have a pretty reasonable stable of bikes. Going back a few weeks, the prep for the 100km Irene Plowman didn't quite go to plan so I thought it a good compromise to assist cooking food at the Audax checkpoint instead......five dozen eggs and approx 2kg of bacon later......

Spot the Skillsy, Checkpoint at Port Melbourne, photo courtesy of Gordon Macmillan

Anyway, being a sensible type, one is not a aficionado of earphones-earpods-whatever whilst riding, but just what would be (hypothetically) groovy to listen to while either climbing or descending? A biased selection based upon the same artist for both the climb & the fun bit on the other side of the hill:

Roxy Music, 'Both Ends Burning', 'Price of Love' (cue the trumpet)
Sparks, 'Angst in My Pants', 'This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Both of Us'
Iggy Pop, 'The Passenger', 'Lust for Life'
Killing Joke, 'Dominator', '(Lets all go to the) Fire Dances'
Count Basie, 'One o' Clock Jump', 'Jumping At The Woodside'
Madness, 'Nightboat to Cairo', 'One Step Beyond'
TISM, 'Get Thee To A Nunnery' , 'Greg The Stop Sign'

Possible combo: The Atlantics 'Bombora', and The Tornados 'Telstar'. Or the other way around if you wish. Cue: Wind Trainer & big flat screen telly. Yes I am entering an premature Old Biddy phase, tedious anaemic crap like what passes for RN'B ('young persons music'), has an unnerving ability to turn me mildly psychotic. Rhythm and Blues, wasn't that once the domain of Howlin' Wolf, Ray Charles, Percy Sledge, Booker T & The MGs and Screamin' Jay Hawkins? Now it's a crock of electronic farts, softcore p0rn, & pop tarts (of both genders). In short, utter crap. Oh sorry, we were discussing training techniques and went all tangiental. Heres a nice piccie to visualise too ( cue: the 'chorus bit' Telstar theme)

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

(Not) On the Good Foot, Wee Margins & Hot Legs

From a recent edition of the NZ Nelson Standard, image courtesy of Moz. Young chap obviously wasn't using his 'chocolate foot'.

Oenone Wood yesterday gained control of the Geelong Women's Tour by the smallest of margins on the first day of racing, while Barcelona Olympic gold medallist Kathy Watt was the centre of controversy after she was relegated to last place in the morning's time-trial and later fined for urinating in public. The 40-year-old Watt had won the first stage, an eight-kilometre time-trial in Portarlington, from Natalie Bates and Alexis Rhodes, but a storm of protest was unleashed against her when many riders and team managers took exception to what they believed had been a "totally illegal" bike set-up by having the handlebars too low.

Kathy, Kathy, Kathy. An absolute pisser, after all these years she's still bullheaded & doing things her way.
Hey, during the descents, did Kathy put her hands in the air and go wwwwwwwwweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!! I still occassionally do, but have enough impulse control and lady-like decorum to discreetly answer the Call of Nature when in public.

Completely unrelated but I couldn't resist using this image. Possible pissweak captions "Watts Fan Celebrates", "Motorists Try Cheap DIY Fuel Option" and "Urine Good Hands"

Ok, to keep the blokes happy....Rod Steward & a blonde lady friend are in town

Not fair, why her legs in shot, why can't I have a perve at Rodney?

Rod Stewart's girl shows off her hot legs
Rod Stewart's girl Penny Lancaster had her amazing pins out again yesterday as the couple relaxed by the Yarra. The leggy blonde bombshell and rockin' Rod took time out to cycle along the river and enjoy the warm weather.

Yeah, but can she spin? Is she a pure climber with strength and the Coeur de Lion to climb mountains? Who gives a flying proverbial, she's Rod Stewards girlfriend. w00t!

Fat Cats of Little Britain

Yes, your bum will get big in this

Public transport plans blocked by need for car taxes
Public transport schemes designed to tempt motorists from their cars and reduce congestion are being blocked because the Government is reluctant to lose income from road taxes, it has emerged. Green projects such as bus lanes are falling foul of Department for Transport rules which force local authorities to weigh the loss of revenue from fuel duty and VAT which would result from drivers switching to public transport.

The revelation brought demands for a rethink last night from government advisers. Professor David Begg, chairman of the Government's Commission for Integrated Transport, called for an urgent review of the policy. He said: "The danger is that too much emphasis is placed on the impact on the Treasury coffers and not enough on the wider economic and social benefits of improving public transport." One senior local government planner said that it was hypocrisy for Labour to champion the Kyoto agreement on carbon emissions only to put obstacles in the way of 'green' transport plans.

Now whats to say, a similar process or collusion, is not at work here in Australia?

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The dastardly Hun pilfers my idea!

Echoing Mr Lefty's thoughts, no, I can't be bothered buying a copy. But it was my idea, my IDEA, dammit. Certainly the hardworking folks here would strongly disagree but I don't give a toss. Can someone scan it for me? pleeessseeee. To busy attempting to write/design a website at present. Bugger it, going off to sook.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Pedalling a message

Tasmania - She's on move with a message
Marathon cyclist Kate Leeming says Tasmania would be much larger -- and more pleasant to ride through -- if they just "ironed out all of the hills". She finished the Tasmanian leg of her 27,000km ride around Australia yesterday, and is nearing the end of a journey of almost nine months. She timed her expedition to fit in with the United Nations Decade for Sustainable Development. She intends her trip to link communities through sustainability education, inspiring young people to be environmentally pro-active.

"I'm a demonstration of a sustainable life, and this is a motivational act to kick people into action," she said. "My message is not one of extremes, but we need to manage our resources for the future so that we have something left."

See more on Kates journey here:
GRACE - The Alcoa Great Australian Cycling Expedition

Biker pedaling to protest Bush policies
When George W. Bush was governor, he posted a stern warning to litterbugs in the Lone Star State: 'Don't Mess With Texas!' Now, a Western Kentuckian who twice voted for Bush is pedaling his bicycle to Washington with messages for the president: 'Don't mess with Social Security' and 'Bring our troops home.' Billy Burks, 59, of Mayfield in Graves County, left home on Tuesday on his bicycle with plans to follow mostly two-lane highways across Kentucky -- from Elizabethtown to Lexington to Ashland -- then into Southern Ohio and onto U.S. 50 across the Virginias to Washington, within the next six weeks.

The fear & loathing is over

"Nobody really knows what it means, but it sounds like an epithet," he said in an interview that, for him, journalism "can be an effective political tool."

Freeway Views

It’s Novel. It’s Unique. It’s Shithouse.

Design change to accelarate tollway
Instead of going under, the new freeway will fly over major roads, saving construction time. The controversial Mitcham-Frankston tollway - or sections of it - could open before its late-2008 construction deadline, after major design changes. Road builder ConnectEast has overhauled the design of three key interchanges to minimise traffic disruption on existing roads, slash truck movements, quicken construction and save millions of dollars.

Herald Sun: Plan to lower age for driving licence
Victorian lawyers have recommended the state's driving age should be cut to 17 – provided new drivers face curfews and passenger restrictions. The trade-off, aimed at giving young drivers more experience with less risk, has been proposed by the Law Institute of Victoria.

Doesn't that inspire feelings of confidence for all road users.

Grim future for transport
A leaked report has called on the State Government to invest in public transport. The State Government needs to drop its debt-shy approach to public finance and borrow hundreds of millions of dollars to improve public transport and roads if it is to salvage its troubled planning blueprint, Melbourne 2030. In a confidential draft report on Government transport policy, a high-level advisory group has warned that without a dramatic increase in transport spending, Melbourne 2030 is doomed.

Refer here for Alan Parkers response. Lengthly but certainly worth an appraisal.

Hills starts defensive roadshow
Three weeks after being caught off guard by a $2.2 billion takeover bid from toll-road operator Transurban, Hills Motorway has belatedly started poking holes in the offer.

Meanwhile, up on the Bespin Gantry, err, Parliamentary Press Gallery

"........Daniel, I am your father."

"No, that´s not true, that´s impossible!"

"Search your feelings son, you know this to be true..."


Friday, February 18, 2005

Happy Trails to you

Cyclist and sunset over St Kilda Beach, Photo: Yuan K. Chou

Mildew blog
I am going to be a bike nerd, goddammit. I will. I will eschew the bus for my own transportation. I will ride my bike to the bar, and I will ride my bike home from the bar, wobbling a little perhaps. (I know enough people who have wrecked while bicycling drunk to be very careful there.) I will bust out my giant Timbuk2 bag and pack my camera and my knitting and a waterproof blanket and ride my bike to the summer movies in the park.

I am going to be a bike nerd.

What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander

From the world of RWDBs...Blog pundits claim CNN scalp
"They're scared spitless," says Glenn Reynolds. "But they shouldn't be."

The University of Tennessee law professor and author of the popular web log - blog - is talking about the reaction of the mainstream US media in the week after bloggers gleefully claimed the scalp of a top CNN executive. This scalp belonged to Eason Jordan, who was claimed to have accused the US military of deliberately targeting reporters in Iraq and killing a dozen of them. Exactly what Jordan said at the World Economic Forum in Davos isn't clear because there is no transcript yet and those who were present disagree on his precise words. But a report filed from Switzerland by a blogger set off a firestorm that eventually triggered his resignation, even though Jordan continued to claim he had not meant the US was deliberately shooting reporters.

Whatever the facts, the upshot is that the influence of the blogosphere - the ever-expanding habitat of bloggers - continues to grow.

Edward Morrissey, a call centre manager who writes captainsquartersblog. com, wrote that the moral of Jordan's demise was 'the media can't cover up the truth and expect to get away with it - and journalists can't toss around allegations without substantiation and expect people to believe them any more'.
Old Fashioned Saying: said to emphasize that if one person is allowed to do something or to behave in a particular way, then another person must be allowed to do that thing or behave in that way, too. On your marks get set ....GO! In a fair, balanced and reasonable fashion, of course.


Helen Clark (NZ Prime Minister)
"Personally, I've never heard of Johnny Farnham (laughs). This may be a great insult to Australia, but it's not on my horizon".

This just made my day. Pity about the Finns though. But maybe a rendition of Better Be Home Soon would been a tad inappropriate.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Bye, Rus, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

In breaking news, this challenge from Melbourne cyclists. This could go viral, bigger than the weekly b3ta challenge or the recent Old Rice and Monkey Nuts Google bomb. I'll happily donate a bottle of Chivas Regal or the next batch of homebrew (if it works) to this worthly cause.

Despatches from the blogosphere:
yep, hands up who thinks Lucky Phils story of woe possibly has hairs & a tail
Andrew ‘Hello Sex’ Bolt
Now I'm right off arvo coffee and possibly tea later.

example of the great work Acting Sergeant Lindsay did in Victorian schools. Unfortunately the Victorian community is now poorer due to political expediency and revenue protection. Shame on the Victorian Police for being so easily influenced. Also, members of the newly created OPI go for a tosca. Somewhere.

Possibly the most tangential thread in aus.bicycle history.

Bicycle Victoria "Great Melbourne Bike Ride® We will not be running the Great Melbourne Bike Ride® in 2005." Now, regardless of what you may think of BV, this news is a great pity..... I'll keep my pro-John Forester opinions to myself, but The Bike Paths event sounds like a cool idea though. Heard first on the Virginia Trioli Drive program. Just kicked off a thread here. Awaiting further discussion.

A different take on the current Rodney Adler
cluster fcuk, and the rapidly developing Korp case a soap opera: lawyer. What will Andrew "Hello Sex" Bolt have to say about frisky swingers in Melbournes brick and tile wonderlands?

Awaiting OR&MN's true response to Lucky Phils horrific ordeal at the hands of cyclists gone wild in the streets

Other guff occuring:
Will a cost hike change Toorak tractor factor? Good to see BV rattling the chain on this vexing issue. Now, what will BV do in the aftermath of the Bolt Beat up of yesterday, taking into consideration Acting Sergeant Lindsay was assisting with the Campaigns Team see here and also refer to page four of Feb-Mar 2005 edition of Ride On magazine. A comment or will they go all quiet? Meanwhile, trackback to this post refer to comments added for BV's response to 2005 cyclist deaths. Ignore the first two, gwadzilla got a little confused.

Continuing on in todays stream of conciousness blogging, jeez I love it when a new anagram (cileo) morphs out of a old anagram (cfsmtb)! How cool and post-modernist is that? I might be a old stroppy bint but I'm down wiv teh modern yoof of today. I really am. Perhaps.

Not forgetting, Lance lines up for TdF 2005. All I can say is, go Pie Boy!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Old Rice & Monkey Nuts Goes Nuts

Rebuttal to Andrew Bolts article, Herald Sun, 16 February 2005
Blogland is really going to love this Andy, and how you keep up to date with all those awful things they say about you. Remember Pandagate last year? Talking to imaginary people is the first sign of madness Andy. Truth be told, you're a very nervous and timid chap, hardly Bill O'Reilly material at all.

The fact is, Andrew Bolt has attacked an individual of great integrity, with over two decades in the police force. Acting Sergeant Lindsay holds very high public respect with all his years of policing and incredible hard work in the Victorian community, be it with working with school kids, Bike Ed courses, community groups, bicycle advocacy and generally acting as a great representative of the Victorian Police force.

What he does as a member of the Police Bicycle Patrol at the Critical Mass bicycle rides is a very small part of his work. The police have to constantly deal with the public - nothing at all can be misconstrued with what Acting Sergeant Lindsay has done attempting to communicate with participants of Critical Mass in order to find evidence. If you want to find evidence of real blurring of the lines and corruption look no further than the recent investigations of the Victorian drug squad conducted by ABC's
Four Corners "The Speed Trap". What Acting Sergeant Lindsay did hardly rates in this context - matter of fact it's Andrew Bolt taking police procedure completely out of context, and manipulating it into a badly researched news article.

The only real problem here is Andrew Bolts fatally flawed take on the issue - tied up in his twisted hatred of Christine Nixon. Mr. Bolt should really do something about that. It's creepy having to constantly read in the Herald Sun this compulsion he has with a married professional woman. If I was Mrs. Nixon, I would of taken legal advice by now.

In regards to the actual incident involving Phillip McCartney in November 2003 I cannot directly comment, as I did not observe the incident. But bystanders present mentioned they felt in real fear of the taxi plowing through the group of cyclists. Now regardless of whether one is pro or anti Critical Mass, the need to protect others from injury is very strong. If everyone in involved, including Mr. McCartney, had calmed down and not escalated the situation it possibly wouldn’t gotten so out of hand. Remember, there is two sides to a story. But asking for a fair and balanced appraisal and research from Mr. Bolt is pretty laughable. After all, this is a 'journalist' who conducts his research via google.

Yes, Andy, the blog has a site counter, and list of entry & exit pages viewed. Last week someone googled 'cyclist punched' three times. Nice to know you do your research here.

In closing, Andrew Bolts article is a contemptible attack on a Police Officer of great integrity, a man who is an example of the very best in the Victorian Police Force.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Even bad people have good habits

Bush, a "biking maniac," loves leaving aides in dust
President Shrub is a singletrack fiend. Oh well, I recall seeing a photo of Waffen SS officers playing with a kitten. sigh

Sydney Body Art Ride

More photos of the Sydney Body Art Ride: World Naked Bike Ride, photos by Tito Antonio.

Barely there
The Sydney Body Art Ride attracted 200 skin-flashing cyclists yesterday to raise money for the Children's Cancer Institute. Organiser Jake Lloyd Jones said 90 per cent of riders painted up for the ride from Randwick racecourse to South Maroubra Beach.

From a couple of days ago:
'Human rainbow' to brighten cancer fundraiser
Semi-nude fundraisers will use peddle power today to raise money for the Children's Cancer Institute in Sydney. Hundreds of cyclists are expected to shed their clothes and instead be covered in environmentally friendly, 100 per cent UV proof paint for the Sydney Body Art Ride.

Can't really see anything similiar to this taking off in Melbourne. Nothing to do at all with the weather. More to do with stagnant inertia, in both 'alternative' and so-called 'mainstream' cycling groups right here in Melb-boring. I'd like to be proven wrong about that. But that's not foreseeable in the near future.

Monday, February 14, 2005

St Valentines Day - Love the one you're with

Happy Bicycle Land

Meanwhile, up in north, the first annual Sydney Body Art Ride was held 13 February 2005. Oooo, that was yesterday. Must keep a watch for reports + photos.

NZ - Naked cyclists treat motorists to '21-bum' salute
Police intervention meant the protesters all had to wear underpants or briefs, although several female cyclists were allowed to remain topless. Police ordered naked cyclists to get their gear back on in Auckland yesterday, after arresting their leader for alleged indecent exposure. Even so, motorists were treated to a '21-bum' salute, equating to the number of scantily-clad but helmeted cyclists who rode from Symonds St to Karangahape Rd to protest against the world's dependency on oil-fuelled transport.

Car culture alternative peddled
Protesters celebrate `the joy of the bicycle' outside auto show. As a stream of Chicago Auto Show visitors strolled past, David O'Donnell stood outside McCormick Place on Saturday touting the environmentally friendly attributes of his transportation mode of choice: his bicycle. 'This vehicle is powered by nothing but pancakes,' he said. 'It's powered by nothing but chocolate chip cookies and water.' Carrying flags, signs, bullhorns and even pets, dozens of Chicago bicycle enthusiasts pedaled to McCormick Place on Saturday to protest the annual showcase of new and prototype vehicles. The friendly and sometimes humorous protest focused on alternative transportation and respect for bicyclists on the road.

NY - Many Lives, Many Wheels
They come, they go. And in between, Chinese deliverymen depend on their bicycles to eke out a living in a new land. Bicycles are everywhere in this eight-story building: bicycles leaning in the hallways, bicycles parked in the stairwells, bicycles nestled two deep in the single-room dwellings shared by three or four men. The sprawling landmark building, at 31st and Broadway, is nestled in the middle of Manhattan's wholesale district. Its central, though unglamorous, location appeals to its most notable tenant population: Chinese deliverymen. An alternative to farther-flung quarters in Chinatown or Flushing, this outpost is only 10 minutes by bicycle to restaurants in Murray Hill, 20 minutes to those on the Upper West Side, 20 minutes to the Upper East Side.

LA - Power of the Pedal Health
As president and chief executive officer of Los Angeles' Good Samaritan Hospital, Andrew Leeka practices what he preaches. The avid cyclist rides his bike 40 miles round trip between his home in La Canada and his downtown office. He's even created a hospital cycling club and instituted an annual 'Blessing of the Bicycles,' modeled on a similar New York event. This year's ceremony is scheduled for May 19 in front of the hospital, located at 1225 Wilshire Blvd. During last year's blessing, the hospital's chaplain read Bible passages and sprinkled holy water on about 50 gathered cyclists and their bikes. 'We did it to promote fitness and bike safety among our employees and the community,' says Leeka, who hopes the regular spring event will inspire more people to begin biking to work.
'This could change somebody's life, getting them into cycling.'

Boiling frogs

The Age - Opinion: This week's Scoresby: nil all
Another week in the saga of the Mitcham-Frankston freeway has produced yet another set of clumsy threats from Canberra, Victorian Government compromises, and significant policy backdowns. A little less than a year ago, senior Bracks Government strategists were positively stroppy when this column suggested they had underestimated the long-term damage of their tolls backflip by dismissing it as a 'three-week wonder'.

From a local perspective I view this akin to a three ring shit circus, Federal Government grandstanding, breaking promises and not considering alternatives, State Government grandstanding, breaking promises and not considering alternatives, and Local councils, caught in the middle and being called into
'Mr Burns' office for even daring to consider alternatives. Yes, that is a Simpsons reference, overheard at the Yarra Council meeting last week.

Pic: Loy Yang plant . On the subject of coal fired stations, remember Hazelwood, hey, wasn't it supposed to be closed a long long long long time ago?

The dirty state we're in
Victoria's abundant reserves of brown coal once seemed such a blessing. Now, with scientists warning of the impact of global warming, that's not so clear. Liz Minchin examines the state's power dilemma. Victoria likes to promote itself as a clean, green state, leading the way on environmental initiatives. But the truth is much grubbier. In fact, Victorians are among the worst greenhouse gas polluters on the planet. Every year, each of us is responsible for producing an average 24 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions; to put that in a global perspective, even the average American produces fewer emissions - 21 tonnes - than we do.

Heat on Government to sign Kyoto
The heat was turned up on the Howard Government ahead of the official start to the Kyoto Protocol on Wednesday, with protests in London and political pressure at home. Australia and the US are the only major industrialised countries to have resisted signing the protocol, which will limit greenhouse emissions and introduce an international carbon trading scheme. Several hundred protesters marched in London at the weekend, demanding Australia and the US sign up.

Global warming hots up
One of the world's most significant environmental agreements will take effect this week, eight years after being drafted. The Kyoto protocol, which aims to stem global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, will finally be enforced from Wednesday. But Australia will not be part of it. The Federal Government has refused to ratify the protocol, saying it is a 'failed, flawed' treaty.

It's much too late to sweat global warming
Time to prepare for inevitable effects of our ill-fated future. At the core of the global warming dilemma is a fact neither side of the debate likes to talk about: It is already too late to prevent global warming and the climate change it sets off. Environmentalists won't say this for fear of sounding alarmist or defeatist. Politicians won't say it because then they'd have to do something about it. The world's top climate scientists have been sending this message, however, with increasing urgency for many years.

Happy Smiling People

Riders keen to do it all again
Hundreds of bike riders pedalled into town yesterday on the closing day of the Great Tasmanian Bike Ride. Over the nine-day ride, bike enthusiasts tackled the state's rugged West Coast, braved bad weather and came home with only a few bumps and bruises. The ride began in Deloraine at the start of the month, travelled through Lake Barrington, Strahan, Bronte Park and finished yesterday with a 56km ride from Bushy Park to Salamanca Place. The event, organised by Bicycle Victoria, attracted bike riders from around Australia as well as England, New Zealand, Canada, the US, China and Malaysia.

Friendship ride attracts 1,000 cyclists
About 1,000 Thai and foreign cyclists took part in the annual Thai-Burmese bicycle ride yesterday. The trip, organised to promote friendship between the two neighbours, kicked off at an opening ceremony chaired by Senator Udon Tantisunthorn at King Naresuan Stadium in Mae Sot district. Participants pedalled around the city before crossing to Myawaddy, on the Burmese side, visiting temples and tourist spots. Entrants came from Thailand, Burma, Europe and Australia.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Pushie goes 236kmph

Translation required!
Scenario: Gentleman with far too much time on his hands designs a small jet engine. Oh wait, it's too small for a plane. What will he do with it? That's it, attach it to a MTB frame! Quite logical really. But wait, the bike still has what looks like a conventional drivetrain. Hope he hasn't completely taken leave of his senses and gone fixed. Now that will stuff his knees.

Friday, February 11, 2005

These are the people they warned us about

Clear the streets, return to your homes! Video of the lovely folks at Bike Kill 2004, with the black label bike club.

[begin sarcasm] We refuse to confirm or deny whether we appreciate any actions or suggested cruelty to bicycles or humans, depicted or otherwise in this video. [/end sarcasm]

Intrigued by the phenomenon of Tall bikes? Well pop over to and be totally corrupted.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Visionaries in Melbourne

Enrique Penalosa addresses Chicago Critical Mass (September 2001)

Can't afford to attend the EcoEdge Conference, but it's pleasant to know both Enrique Penalosa , Cassio Taniguchi and Oriol Clos are visiting Melbourne. Actually it's positively inspiring!

Rescuing the city's lost soul
A teacher and designer says the development of urban centres is a recipe for disaster, writes Jenny Brown. In the ideal city of the future you would do a lot more walking and commuting on public transport. You'd possibly harvest your water and food from the roof of your building.
The roof garden would double as an oxygen producer, a mini-carbon dioxide sink and as a heat reflector. Your local office or place of employment would also have gardens and your waste water would be run off into a living wetland in order to save or 'bank' open land and fresh water bodies around your city from human and industrial pollution. You might reside in a city but you'll be thinking in neighbourhood terms because the ideal city will have contained precincts designed to cater for all your daily needs: commerce, work, recreation, culture and education within walking distance.

2004 Australian Singlespeed National Champs - Pics

'Le Mans' Start

Chicken MMMMaaaannnnnn!

Click here for
Steve's and Hippy's photos. Read guff here: Deluxe Bicycle Club.

Serious rider (yes, there were a couple)

1st prize - a highly sought Pub Bike with high end components

The one & only Bikesoiler

Bikesoilers 'support crew' enjoying the laid-back vibe

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Yes we would indeed

Now this is what sustainable transport in Victoria needs, humour, wit and a pluralistic approach. But I can't see that happening without certain NGO's & 'revalent authorities' growing a spine. And possibly cease feuding, bickering and generally carrying on traditional timeworn Victorian tribalism. Funny place Victoria. Great place, intelligent people, wonderful communities, great place to cycle. 'Tis a pity important details have been discarded along the way.

Interesting Yarra Council meeting down at Richmond Town Hall last evening. In reference to Notice of Motion No. 1 'Urgent Need for Yarra Action on Transport'. There were baseless rumours circulating about council staff jobs being on the line. Now proved false and irrevalent. Anyway, sustainable transport is a combination of different modes, such as walking, alternative technology, public transport, cycling. One mode of transport should not dominate over another, Melbourne is currently overrun by traffic problems - so why should our only answer be primarly that of promoting ONLY public transport? Remember this - the mentality that created the problem sure as hell won't provide the solution. A reminder of excellent work thats been done: City of Yarra wins Bicycling Achievement Award.

Now, how do we get Eric Britton out to Australia? He has a blog too: A day at the office.

Breaking news: Andy talks crap, again. This time he's positively BARKING. Anyway, more backflips, fibs and a giant half-pike: Scoresby tolls.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Times Like This I Love The Internet

Woolly metrosexual?
The very latest from the Spot catalogue?
Or very brave brave man?

They've been busy in b3ta Towers this week, first up there's a Talented Kitty Kat, knitted Catsuits, then a very flash Bike, done to, of course, Pink Floyd, and not forgetting, Pathetic Motorways. Only thing missing is a mention of beer. Oh well there's always next weeks edition.

North Shore woes

Via Farkin - More here: District 'removing up to 41 kilometres of unauthorized trails'
"According to an article in the Vancouver Province Newspaper. On Thursday, reporting on Monday's North Van District council meeting, the Vancouver Province reported that the District is planning on 'removing up to 41 kilometres of unauthorized trails...' Looking at a trail map of Fromme makes it pretty clear that this would leave almost no trails on the mountain at all."

Not good, not good at all. The North Shore tracks on Fromme Mountain are world class singletrack territory. In Australia MTBer's have to continually deal with land managers who view cyclists akin to two-wheeled locusts.

Australian SS Nats yesterday in Upper Beaky, ride report, photos somewhere out there. Will find a link or photo gallery. Swell weather, good company, cold beer.

Jeez, you're a cynical mob...

...who have the time to participate in blog polls! Only joking, you're entitled to your POV, and hey, I did phrase the questions with a mildly cynical slant, and you responded. So there.
BTW, The What colour is your bicycle poll, the four individuals who have voted "Haven't A Clue" are bit of a worry. Last weeks deluge should of helped wash off the grot.

If you are a cyclist, are traffic conditions and/or behaviour in Melbourne detoriating?
0% - No changes recently, what's the fuss about?
0% - Yes, things are changing for the worse.
13% - More traffic, more pressures, hence more problems.
7% - Society in general is suffering from poor impulse control.
80% - I've been a recent victim of verbal/physical abuse while either commuting or training.

Have you actually seen a H2 in Melbourne?
5% - Yes
16% - No
11% - Saw a Matchbox model for sale at Coles Swan Street, Richmond.
5% - Only on
63% - I have nightmares regularly about them.

Why does local government tend to be slightly dysfunctional?
0% - Don't know.
0% - I know someone who is currently writing a research paper/thesis about this vexing issue.
5% - It's always been like this, so shut up & pay your rates.
40% - Local government tends to attract some people with more ambition than actual ability.
55% - Refer to Question 3. We know you're only a renter, so shut up.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

A question

Back track to here: Melbourne, We Have A Problem
Hypothetically, if all of Victorias' road toll occurred within one month of the new year, don't you think all relevant authorities & media would be having serious conniptions? Share the Road? Er, how about a more apt title like Doesn't Play Well With Others? Still awaiting a response from Campaigns at Bicycle Victoria, if I'm going to get one.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Cats and Dogs Will Walk Side By Side

From The Age Photo Gallery, with this caption,
"A cyclist offers his help to a stranded driver at Cathies Lane, Wantrina"
Yet more on the weather: Melbourne has never seen anything like it

Now that proves it, can we all be friends now?

Thursday, February 03, 2005

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

"Love to all the Rebels. Dedicated to all those who ride CRITICAL MASS on the last Friday of every month."
Cool short video, music + stills + flash

The Bad
"Call him what you will: Re Leone, Cipolla, Super Mario, jet-set cycling superstar, the Lion King, Cipo, matter what you call him, at 37 years old and counting, Mario Cipollini is by far the winningest active rider in professional cycling."
'Bad' as in Bad Boy, Cipollini is still a brilliant cyclist.

And The Ugly....
"I've watched this thing at least 50 times. It's amazing footage. It appears as though this guy was attempting to hit a cyclist with the car door open. When it happens he looses his balance...and, well the rest is internet history."
Well, its really a set-up, not quite what it seems. Still for any wronged cyclist, it's great fantasy-revenge carthesis...

overstated: NYC bicycle abuse

CM in Times Square - Image courtesy of yea bikes

"....If you've ever been in New York on the last Friday of any month, you've probably come into contact with the NYC Critical Mass bike ride wherein hundreds of bicyclists "spontaneously come together to ride the ordinarily car-clogged streets of their cities." I've seen this spectacle twice completely by chance, and it's awesome...."

Great article + links & comments, thanks to Bludja for the heads up.

Back to yea bikes check out: filmed by bike iii


...format: VHS, DVD, CD
...length: 10 minutes or under preferred
...deadline: March 15th, 2005
...submit to: Filmed by Bike III, 5267 NE 20th Av, Portland OR 97211 by mail only
...videos will not be returned include your name, contact info, e-mail address, and title of the piece(s)

Did the roof move for you dear?

photo from The Age

Posted earlier to aus.bicycle....Weird weather from the EAST....yeah different isn't it?

Weather warnings all over the place: Warnings for Victoria
Obviously the Yarra is experiencing moderate flooding, roads are closed and PT is possibly stuffed up to. Listen to the ABC for updates etc. Yes, we're up early because it's virtually impossible to sleep with this fcuking racket going on. Momentarily became airborne when holding down a piece of flapping shadecloth out the backyard. Sod it, it can flap around. Minor leaks, nothing too serious. Anyone riding in today before this shit clears out is a certified nutbag. I'll even design & print/pdf a crappy 'award' if it's required. Attempting to go back to bed now.

Snowing at Mt Buller, 150mm in the Thompson Catchment, Yarra River about to flood at Clown Casino, waves breaking over Beaconfield Parade, trees down all over the place, local flooding, no trams from the Southbank Terminal because it's flooded, and yes, public transport is stuffed. Red Symons gave the best advice. Stay home, no going to work or school today.

According to BoM, Melbourne's just experienced the highest rainfall EVER. Isn't February supposed to be summer?

Flashback to yesterday, Beyond the Black Stump, in Melton

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Shock Horror - Melbourne Weather Pushed Out of Shape By Earth Tremor!

Pretty donut-like image courtesy of BoM approx 0913 this morning

Earthquake felt in Melbourne
Or a lightning strike in Melton? Or a rift in the space-time continuum? Or a burrowing Giant Gippsland Earthworm? Off to have a gander at
Godlike Productions to see if any of the resident nutters have ventured a opinion or two. Public transport sures looks better than the pedally today, but one bike in the stable does have big SKS guards. I'll think about it.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Melbourne, We Have A Problem

Heard on ABC Radio on the 4pm news, a cyclist in their 30's was killed today in Port Melbourne. This news was confirmed here: Cyclist dies in accident [February 01, 2005]

That brings to four cyclists killed in Victoria since Jan 1, 2005.

I've checked the
TAC Crash Database, the stats for the years 2003 and 2004 were four cyclists fatalities for each year. Again, is this just a seasonal spike in the stats or a awful prelude to the new year? Have emailed Campaigns at Bicycle Victoria, to see if a media release or any other action is planned.

Commenced a discussion thread on aus.bicycle earlier this evening.

As Sergeant Phil Esterhaus once said "Hey, let's be careful out there".
But this complex problem doesn't solely involve cyclists, we have an antagonistic media fuelling an already aggressive car culture in Victoria. Pardon the cliche but something has to be done.


Big Weekend Coming Up!

Madison 04 - photos by hippy

Ok, for starters - 2005 Australian Madison Championships this Saturday 5th February. Go to Vodafone Arena, Melbourne Park - buy ticket, go to infield, watch the action, drink beer. The Madison is simply the most exciting track event you'll ever see - even the spectators are left breathless!

SSNats 03 - Pre-race briefing - photos by me

Slickerty Jim Mutton Chop Review Presents the ASSC -
Australian Singlespeed Championships this Saturday & Sunday 5/6 February at Dallas Brooks Scout Camp, Upper Beaconfield.

SSNats 03 - Damo & the Fairies - photos by her again

As for the SS Nats expect to see general tomfoolery, gentlemen dressed as ladies, gingham frocks, pinstripe suits, g-strings, wool clothing, possible nudity & copious amount of beer. And singletrack. Sounds like fun.
Got me a plan. Now better post this out to the PubBUG list.

NB: Note to Bikesoiler & self: must remember to tape Cycling Central at 11.30 Sunday, damn awkward timeslot & we keep forgetting about it...

In unrelated non-cycling news I would like the Mad Monks head on plate.