cfsmtb in low earth orbit

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Bike n' Wheels Expedition: Day 2

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Despatches from the desert, trackback back to Big Desert Adventure: Wednesday 12.37pm, Text message from Velophile, obviously still in GSM network;

Lunch in Hawker. Rather warm on to Wilpena tonight.

Stage 1 - av. rides 70km/day
Day 1 to 4 - Port Augusta to Angorichina
Climb winding Richi Pichi Pass to Quorn (40km). Day Two crosses open country with expansive mountain views to Hawker, steadily climbing to spectacular Wilpena Pound (120km). After a morning walk or mountain climb, ride dirt roads to Blinman and Angorichina (70km), then enjoy a rest day with a walk to Blinman Pools. Riders from the Bike SA Outback Odyssey join here.

Monday, April 25, 2005

(You're Not) Welcome to SUVCity!

Those crazy crazy Americans, and their love affair with SUV's! See the movie here folks!

Watch the real life thrilling exploits of Suzzie Soccer Mom, Steve Stiff Arm, Cindy Cell Phone and the Ronnie Republican!

Now hear this, yer pussy cyclists, stay off the roads paid for by SUV taxes, and you all don't come back now, y'hear?

NB: Eight and a half minute Quicktime movie, I assure you, it's well worth the download wait.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Goodbye Al

Whitlam govt minister Grassby dies
A former cabinet member in the Whitlam Labor government, Al Grassby has died. Albert Grassby was the immigration minister from 1972 to 1974. Mr Grassby was born in Brisbane in 1926. He worked as a journalist before entering politics in 1965 as the member for Murrumbidgee in the New South Wales Parliament.

In October 1969 he won the federal seat of Riverina, and in 1972 was appointed the immigration minister for the new Whitlam government - until he lost his seat in the May 1974 election. Mr Grassby initiated extensive reforms in immigration, citizenship and human rights legislation, and is credited with introducing the policy of multiculturalism to Australia.

He was also known for wearing highly colourful ties and recently told a newspaper they represented the country moving from a dull and colourless past to a new colourful Australia. Mr Grassby died in a Canberra hospital this morning.

I remember Al as a superb example of natural intelligence, wit and Australian larrikinism that is sadly absent now. And an extremely snappy dresser with lashings of European styling that none of us had EVER seen before. I just wish the picture above was in colour.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Big Desert Adventure!

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Beer, Beer, Beer, where can we find a beer?

Apols no Goatees tonight, we''ll all far too busy with important plans. My partner's off to do some Trans-Continental 'winter base training' on Monday.

This challenging escapade endeavours a South to North traverse of Terra Australis via the remote interior. Expect to relive some of the challenges of the late Burke and Wills Expedition (1860-61) and definitely be prepared for a journey well beyond the 'Back of Bourke'!

So the Kona Unit has been rigged up to go, after the much-loved & much-ridden MTB Ti frame finally died a few weeks ago. The new rig, now with a 9-speed rear derailleur (but no front) has been re-christened the 'Kona Travesty'. It's a lean, mean, desert ridin' machine, complete with spiffy bidon cages. I'll be staying here, minding the towels & being tormented by the dog, cats & the washing-up.

Apparently ABC
Central Australia will be keeping tabs on the Bikenwheels tour. And I'll be ranting away with the usual crap + updates from him every couple of days on this blog right here. So, tonight or at sometime in the next month or so, raise a glass to his Big Adventure. I'm sure he'll appreciate the thought, and a metaphysical 'cold one' while he's out there, cycling through the wilds of central Australia!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Future Obsessive-Compulsive Gunzel

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Far left: Note worried expression on woman's face. "Oh dear, hope he's an work experience driver"

Melbourne tram thief faces further charges
A boy charged with stealing two trams last week is facing further charges of stealing a bus and attempting to steal a train.

Aw, well, at least he's not fiddling with frigging Halo 2 or compulsively SMS'ing his mates.

Police tell of teen tram thief's obsession
A 15-year-old boy who allegedly stole two trams over the weekend, drove them a total of more than 25 kilometres and picked up passengers along the way is a good lad whose obsession got the better of him, according to police. Detective Senior Constable Barry Hills says the teenager is accused of stealing a tram from the South Melbourne depot on Friday night, driving it to Port Melbourne, returning to the depot and then driving back to Port Melbourne.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Bicycle Day

Cletus sez....

Around here us folks celebrate
Bicycle Day with Mom, flag and apple pie and bullwhip crackin' fer de kiddies. We'll have none of that acid droppin' pussy shite around these parts. Catch yer lickin' any blotter paper & we'll have yer strung up by yer gizzards. Now git goin' and go pedal somethin'. C'mon now! Aw, dang, someone done stoled my wheels.....

From Wikipedia
Three days later, on
April 19, 1943 (known as Bicycle Day), Dr. Hofmann intentionally ingested 250µg of LSD, which he hypothesized would be a threshold dose, based on other ergot alkaloids. In reality the threshold is 25µg. Hoffman wrote:
By now it was already clear to me that LSD had been the cause of the remarkable experience of the previous Friday, for the altered perceptions were of the same type as before, only much more intense. I had to struggle to speak intelligibly.

I asked my laboratory assistant, who was informed of the self-experiment, to escort me home. We went by bicycle, no automobile being available because of wartime restrictions on their use. On the way home, my condition began to assume threatening forms. Everything in my field of vision wavered and was distorted as if seen in a curved mirror. I also had the sensation of being unable to move from the spot. Nevertheless, my assistant later told me we had traveled very rapidly.

Dr. Hofmann summoned a doctor, who could find no abnormal physical symptoms other than extremely dilated pupils. After spending several hours terrified that his body had been possessed by a demon, that his next door neighbor was a witch, and that his furniture was threatening him, Dr. Hofmann feared he had become completely insane.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Michael Palin takes on the petrolheads

BBC Presenters Clash
One is a an outspoken, speed-loving presenter with a penchant for fast cars.The other is a gentle-humoured, travel journalist who enjoys nothing more than a ride on the back of a camel.

Now it seems Jeremy Clarkson and Michael Palin are about to meet head on. Palin is president of Transport 2000 which claims that Clarkson's BBC2 Top Gear series encourages irresponsible driving, promotes speeding and should be taken off air. Using Clarkson as a presenter with his distinctive image risks encouraging a yobbish attitude on the road, it adds, and glamorises speed.

It should be replaced by a programme that promotes sensible driving in greener cars, says the campaign group. Palin, a former Monty Python star, has a string of TV hits to his name including Himalaya, Sahara and Pole To Pole. Clarkson's Top Gear attracts 5million viewers a week. A spokesman for Palin's group said: "If we must have Jeremy Clarkson on TV, let's give him something useful to do such a trying out public transport or road-testing new bicycles." A BBC spokesman said Top Gear took safety very seriously adding: "None of the presenters advocates or encourages dangerous driving."

Update: Campaigners say scrap Top Gear and replace it with 'Third Gear' version promoting sensible driving
Transport 2000 campaigners called today for Top Gear to be taken off the BBC schedules and replaced with a new programme promoting “sensible driving in sensible vehicles”. It argues that, as a programme put out by a public service broadcaster, Top Gear should be responsible, seek to educate and be in the public interest, but that it falls far short of these ideals and is in danger of promoting irresponsible driver behaviour and an obsession with big cars, while ignoring the interests of most women drivers.

Transport 2000’s suggestion is for a new programme, perhaps called Third Gear, devoted to encouraging responsible motoring based on less environmentally damaging cars, considerate and safety-conscious driving, and exploration of alternatives to the car. The call comes as the BBC launches a consultation exercise inviting the views of the public on its future and its programmes.

Thought for the day

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Meet Hatchy/Hatchback, aka Halftail, ex Abbotsford Street Fighting Cat, photo courtesy of new(ish) owner hippy

"....Meddle not in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer.."

Our little terrors haven't yet attempted that manoeuver. But just in case, here's
PawSense to the rescue! A big cheerio to those participating in the MBTC MAD Ride. Can't make this year, still fiddling with the Kelly Take Off™ shifters and the Salsa Moto Ace Bell Lap handlebars. At least the Kellys are cheaper than going full STI. Much, much cheaper. Have a swell weekend folks.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Planet Rodney

Poor, poor little Rodney: "But then you come out. The government of Australia is punishing me today. I will be receiving a custodial sentence and I will be going to my room."

Pah, Brian Quinn got nine months, this corporate spiv should be out in 2 and half years.

Some say he's from Mars. Or one of the seven stars. That shine after 3:30 in the morning. WELL HE ISN'T

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Boom Crash Opera

Oi! You! No pussyfooting around and come out with your tail up!

Last Tuesday, it's a calm autumn evening. We're cycling along Wellington Street with the Better Half, after enjoying dinner on Smith Street. The on-road bicycle lane is obstructed by traffic barriers, iron poles and witches cones on Otter Street, all the way to the Police Workshop.

Hmm, maybe there's afterhours work planned for the warehouse re-development on the intersection of Gipps & Wellington? Don't give more thought, pedal off home. In the early hours I'm woken up by muffled thuds and odd crackling noises. Cynically think, ah, it's yet another factory going up. There's been been a bit of that activity recently. During the rest of the week, via radio talkback & letters to The Age, the REAL story emerges. It was a
counter-terrorist exercise.

"......Police have defended a counter-terrorism exercise in Collingwood last week, saying residents had been notified by a letter drop and the exercise needed "authentic" buildings. Residents near the former Collingwood TAFE college were woken soon after 5am last Thursday by explosions and gunfire, which were part of a combined operation by the Australian Defence Force and Victorian police. The Yarra Council, which was not warned of the scale of the exercise, said yesterday it would complain to federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock and the Victoria Police. It has called for ground rules for any further exercises....."

Correction to The Age, article, 5am last Wednesday.

Sic 'em Councillor Jolly & Yarra Council, I'll take back what I said about the leafblowers yesterday. On 774, Jolly mentioned how some residents were still traumatised by the Hoddle Street shootings. Shessh, you would expect the Victorian Police to show duty of care towards the local community. There is a better way to Uphold the right, and not needlessly scaring the living shit out of residents in the process.

London: Cyclists in capital's driving seat

Matt Seaton, Guardian Unlimited: Cyclists in capital's driving seat
Sometimes I almost miss the bad old days. Twenty years ago, 10 even, cyclists in London could style themselves, at least in their own minds, as courageous urban guerrillas - bicycle-bound, bandana-wearing anarchists, who daily braved the hostile chaos of city traffic to get to their destination. There was an implicit camaraderie, because we were an embattled minority, outlaws living on the edge, enjoying a certain dangerous glamour. Even if most motorists just saw us as a nuisance.

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Image from UK Indymedia: Cyclists pay tribute to Vicki McCreery

Most motorists still see us as a nuisance, but in London they have had to come to terms with our presence. The cycle lanes - once a joke, now much improved - and advance-stop lines at intersections have marked out in graphic fashion that cyclists have a right to road-space. The subliminal psychic message may be more significant than the practical effect: cyclists belong, it says to other road users; they have legitimacy. Traffic calming measures and speed cameras have also helped to make the capital's roads seem a less scary environment.

.....In so many ways - improving public health, making city centres sustainable, reducing car dependency and cutting CO2 emissions - cycling is the future. London is winning that race, even if much of the rest of the country seems stuck in low gear. Dangerous glamour? Take it from me: it's overrated.....

NYPD shenanigans

More New York Police Department shenanigans on Critical Mass. When you go to the NY Times link, click on the Multimedia link in the right margin for the video. To login use:

The New York Times: Videos Challenge Accounts of Convention Unrest
Executive summary: To prosecute a defendant who was arrested at the New York City Critical Mass in August (during the RNC), the D.A.'s office edited out footage from N.Y.P.D. videotape, which proved the guy innocent.

In reference to Critical Mass here in Australia, if possible, remember to bring either a bike/pen/paper/mobile/digital camera or recording device. At note to Mick Williams, remember to Uphold The Right, or has that noble intention been misplaced somewhere????

And remember to have fun. That's what it's all about, isn't it?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


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Bugger it, I don't feel like being highbrow today. So, instead lets have a chuckle fest at the expense of a SUV and PNC* owner ('petrol to noise converter' = wave ski) In other news, we just enjoyed a street tour of another PNC, namely twin overhead leafblowers courtesy of local council, so didn't Virginia Trioli's todays talkback diatribe on leafblowers sound unnervingly like ESP?

I remember, I remember, I go leaps and bounds, Down past the river, And across the playing fields, The fields all empty, Only for the burning leaves

At least authorities altered local by-laws to stop the proles burning crap in the fireplace or the backyard incinerator, and hopefully ceasing to contribute to global dimming. Now Melbournes autumn leaves are cleaned up via sub-contracting a crew with petrol leafblowers and a big truck. Hang on, that's contributing to CO2 emissions? Oh, I've got to go. Everythings giving me a headache.

Monday, April 11, 2005

It's the last of the V8's! Part from here, part from there! You know how it is Maxy!

Over there: US drivers fume as gas prices soar
There are increasing signs that US motorists are changing their driving habits in the face of record prices at the fuel pumps.

Right here
Petrol prices could rocket to $1.25 a litre by the end of the year as global oil prices sustain high levels, sparking outrage among motorists and consumer groups.

Over there, but not so far. A cautionary tale:

Few girl cyclists dare to brave city traffic ...Girls can do anything ... except ride bikes to school.

Ruminate a while, then consider:
Watch the Churn
...The issue is how to get from 'here' to 'there' without raising up a huge army of aggrieved car users in your path.

Chew on this:
Skeuomorphs and Cultural Algorithms
Skeuomorphs are material metaphors instantiated through our technologies in artifacts. They provide us with familiar cues to an unfamiliar domain, sometimes lighting our paths, sometimes leading us astray.

Me Conformadoor, she so sick mate. Yeah, so sick me haveta leave her inta drive and go figure somefink out.....

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Bicycle of the Gods Part 3 and a bit

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Descend like a GOD

Introducing the Merlin Cielo
Hey, adjust the 'e' two places, and hey, presto, cileo spells cielo. W00t! That's Italian for heaven. Did this originate in my subconscious? Am I channelling an Italian ancestor? Will a team of angelic domestiques give me a shove into low earth orbit? Is this a load of indulgent shite? Ditto, it's my blog and I'll merrily crap on as much as I like. In regards to the gorgeous ti & carbon Cielo, if the manufactors pop by, yes this is a free ad and I'll happily endorse your wonderful product. Can I have one now? A 15" frame, compact geometry and full campy chorus gruppo would be lovely. Thanks in advance. Oh, not forgetting, my partners MTB/Commuter ti frame developed a nasty crack on the chainstay (drivetrain side). A 22" MTB frame would be just dandy too within the next fortnight. He's planning a big trip.

Climb aboard the Cielo and leave the earthbound mortals behind.

I see red I see red I see red

Melbourne car culture: Seeing red
Drive in traffic for just about any length of time, any day of the week, and you're likely to witness the ugly side of human behaviour. What may start out as a small motoring mistake, such as getting into the wrong lane, can quickly provoke retaliatory aggressive driving from an adjacent motorist - from tailgating, horn-honking and finger signs to verbal abuse.

From a personal perspective, Melburnians come across as a well-intentioned but peculiarly self-absorbed bunch. Unfortunately some have an unnerving ability to believe they're more altruistic and/or knowledgeable than reality keeps playing out. Especially behind the steering wheel.

Yesterday afternoon, young Tim revealed plans to
target 'hoon' drivers. It's tough call whether these new laws are more nanny state zealousness or plain useless.

New Zealand:
Planners making a hash of inner city
The mayoral taskforce on urban design is a welcome addition to the push for a better-looking Auckland. Until now, Auckland's city councillors were like a group who had bought a sheep farm intending to convert to dairying while the council staff thought it was okay to use the same paddocks and were busy arguing about how to get the cows into the woolshed.

That's too good, now keep that quote in mind and peruse the latest approach to inner Melbournes traffic woes:

Carrot? Stick?
Levy on city car parks proposed
Melbourne City Councillors will consider a levy on commercial car parks in the city's central business district in an attempt to reduce traffic congestion.

But, but, but....what about fixing languishing 19th century infrastructure so public transport is an viable alternative instead of simply financially slugging people? London has
congestion charges, but it has a far more comprehensive public transport system.
Barely scratch the surface of this vexing transport issue, Oh shit, run away, run away

Costello talks turkey

We're running out of oil, says Costello
Treasurer Peter Costello has delivered a blunt warning that Australia is running out of oil as existing fields near the end of their productive lives. In a speech to the Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association, Mr Costello said it was little known that Australian exports of fuel had been falling for years despite soaring prices.

That's a (late) start, now tell the great unwashed about the
Saudi oil fields.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Vale, Karol Wojtyla

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Photo courtesy of David Escudero/Velorution

Centre of Rome shuts down ahead of Pope's funeral
The centre of Rome has shut down for the funeral of Pope John Paul II. Businesses have closed and cars have been banned, to allow people to get to the Vatican and other sites around the city to watch the proceedings later in the day.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Truck you, Australia Felix*

Superstitions, truckies & dewy melons, courtesy of Richard Neville.
Welcome to the blurred neurotic life of the mid-oughties, pithily summarised by an old counter-culture hippy that we young whipper snappers should be paying more attention to.

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Truck you, the sheep's back, Truck you, Tasmania

Ah, memories, the smell of diesel in the morning. Cars speeding too close for comfort on Charles Grimes Bridge. Nervous eyes in the back of my head further down towards Montague and Lorimer. Please, I'm going straight through, don't cut me off because you're in a hurry to visit the Polly Woodside. Ingles intersection and curb hugging National buses. Windscreen glass and derbis crunch under the michelin wildgrippers. Williamstown Road on-road bike lane, B-double slipstreams. Overextracted bitter coffee at Garden City, straighten up the fluoro-orange vest, then head on down to work.

*with apologies to TISM ........Humphrey's thoughts on I Drive A Truck....much Like Don Walker's unnerving vicarious portrayal of the Vietnam Vet experience in Khe Sanh, TISM wrote I Drive A Truck from the perspective of someone who has no affinity for, no interest in, and absolutely no right whatsoever to be saying anything about the life of a trucker. As a matter of fact, TISM are deeply afraid of truckers, and would rather drive their sensible cars off the freeway into a pole rather than incur the wrath of one.....

Thats it - Fixies are now officially so last week

Wired News: Fixed - Gear Bikes an Urban Fixture
Yes, kiddies, it's all over - the 'in crowd' have caught up with the alt.cyclist crew. Fixed gear is an acquired taste, it certainly isn't for everyone. Now watch the clueless fashionistas attempt to retrofit any old frame and wonder why various bits, including the bottom bracket, shit themselves. But it's so edgy & utilitarian. Sod that for a game of soldiers, the freewheel was invented for a reason. You only have one pair of knees. I really enjoy my knees and will be spinning around wwaaay into old age, not hobbling around on a walking frame or being car dependent. Don't believe me? Ok, lay your bets.

One buggered up bottom bracket + "No Standing" DIY augmentation.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Moving bikes & festivals

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Promo from '02, hey look on the left, isn't that an Melbourne Eddy Merckx fan?

A charming selection of bike related moving pictures, lovely work. First up: a selection from Lucas Brunelles work to be shown at the Bicycle Film Festival 2005. Watch the trailer!

"The Bicycle Film Festival celebrates the bicycle. We are into all styles of bikes and biking. If you can name it-Tall Bike Jousting, Track Bikes, BMX, Alleycats, Critical Mass, Bike Polo, Cycling to Recumbents- we've probably either ridden or screened it. What better way to celebrate these lifestyles than through art, film, music and performance? We bring together all aspects of bicycling together to advocate its ability to transport us in many ways. Ultimately the Fest is about having a good time."

Come on, Melbourne people. Ponder about this. Good coffee, not a _bad place to ride around, vibrant cycling culture, how about a film festival?

Bicycle culture in LA?

"LA, I say, is like being trapped in the set of a movie you didn't want to see in the first place."
(Charles Shaar Murray questions David Bowie during an interview in the 70's)

WTF? What do you mean, bicycle culture in LA? Isn't Los Angeles one humongous car-worshipping metropolis, baking in the sun?

"...Los Angeles is the center of the huge Southern California freeway system. While L.A. is considered to be the home of traffic jams and car culture, the L.A. freeway system successfully handles millions of commuters as they endure a daily collective migration of about 99 million miles (160,000,000 km). The MTA and other agencies operate bus, subway and light rail lines which together carry over a million passengers a day...."

Now, may we introduce bicycle culture in LA....

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For Australian cyclists: Taco = Soulvaki

Unlearn those stereotypes and prejudices and check out the amazing crew at the Bicycle Kitchen.

"....The most important thing about riding in the city is that you MUST BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE TRAFFIC AND YOU BELONG IN THE STREET!!! Yes city traffic is dangerous. Yes cars are moving fast. Yes cars are bigger than you. Yes cars are not watching for you. But if you ride like you BELIEVE you are traffic (which you legally are) you will be safer and riding Los Angeles will be the best experience ever!...."

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Now there's an inspired cyclist I'd like to have a chat to about costume design.

Also peruse the LA discussion list and website Critical Mass Los Angeles

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Oooo, now that's a tad cheeky.

LA Massers still do old school stuff, like actually discussing the rides and relevant cycling stuff. Mildly intrigued to how they keep the momentum going, must do more lurking on their list to find out what's their secret recipe. Could do with inspiration at present, so bored with endless forming, storming and endless circular arguments.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Trouble at mill: NYC CM

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Apparentely NY is a 'blue state'.

Greens Defend Critical Mass and Bicycles Against Mass Arrests
Green leaders spoke out against efforts by law enforcement to target Critical Mass, defending cyclists' right to assemble. Critical Mass, which holds mass bicycle rides to celebrate the bicycle as a healthy alternative to the automobile, has been the target of recent mass arrests and confiscation of bicycles. 'Police could easily allow Critical Mass rides to proceed without incident, instead of disrupting them and arresting riders,' said Henry Lawrence, past President of the Florida Bicycle Association and Florida Green Party candidate for Bay County Commissioner in 2004. 'Cities should make every attempt to accommodate bikes. Cities face increasing traffic demands, the effects of car exhaust such as asthma epidemics among children, and global warming. Bicycles represent one of the best hopes for clean urban transportation.'

Team development: forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning. Do only the first two observations pertain to Critical Mass? Or does critical mass occur after norming has been achieved? Or is it more like the time for action is past, now is the time for senseless bickering?

With lawsuit and nets, city keeps chasing Critical Mass
In the city’s latest legal maneuver against the monthly Critical Mass bike ride in Manhattan, just days before last Friday’s ride, the city issued a controversial summons to four members of Time’s Up!, an environmental action group on E. Houston St. that supports, but claims it does not organize, the Critical Mass ride. Time’s Up! now burdened with growing legal expenses, held the first of several planned fundraising meetings at its headquarters Monday night. Lawyers plan their response to the lawsuit, and the constitutional issues it raises, by April 19.

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Hey, arsehole, that's no way to treat a valuable & loved pedally.

City riding hard on cyclers' freedom
My wife and kids spent Purim at a Greenwich Village synagogue. I celebrated the holiday in a sausage joint near Union Square, hiding from the police. Just outside my one-man shul, on 17th Street, dozens of bicyclists were being arrested for riding without a permit, in what the cops call a 'procession.'

Freedom to ride
A few weeks shy of the NYC Critical Mass's 12th anniversary, the monthly bike ride is once again under attack. On March 15, Ray Kelly, Parks Commish Adrian Benepe and the City of New York filed a fresh complaint to shut down the ride. (The last legal attempt to do so, spearheaded by the NYPD's Assistant Chief Bruce Smolka, was denied by a federal judge in December.) The new complaint, which names four TIME'S UP! activists and those 'in concert' with them, seeks to enjoin anyone from promoting or advertising Critical Mass in any way. It also states that any gathering of 20 or more people requires a permit.

Monday, April 04, 2005

You people are... interesting combination of highly perceptive and WEIRD,

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Result for On the Road, again (refer to poll in righthand margin)

What is the greatest road danger? Answer Graph % Votes
1. Them (4 wheels+): 30.77% (16)
2 .Us (2 wheels+, no engine): 1.92% (1)
3. All of Them: 7.69% (4)
4. B-Doubles: 0.00% (0)
5 .My Vivid Imagination: 3.85% (2)
6. Dodgy Weather: 0.00% (0)
7. Little Plastic Bubble Cars: 3.85% (2)
8. 4WD/SUV Drivers: 17.31% (9)
9. The Puncture Gods: 3.85% (2)
10. Poor Impulse Control: 7.69% (4)
11. Swooping Mapgies: 3.85% (2)
12. Ever Present Threat of Alien Abduction: 19.23% (10)

Total: 100% (52)

Friday, April 01, 2005

Thwaites announces bicycle funding bonanza

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Established industry leader, Melbourne Bakery Touring Club shows the way..

The Victorian Government announced today a scheme to assist with funding bicycle infrastructure. John Thwaites, Victorian Deputy Premier and Environment Minister, says it's taken some negotiating to get all business and community groups to commit to the scheme which involves coffee producers and cafes to be given licensing rights on parts of the Principal Bicycle Network (PBN) in order to fund bicycle path infrastructure.

"It's very important that state and local government working with business groups, have now agreed on a model for infrastructure which we can together work on. There's been a lot of work done to get to this stage, and it shows that we are really concerned about doing something practical about implementing the Principal Bicycle Network."

Mr. Thwaites says further pressure may need to be applied to local councils to ensure they stick with the strategy in the long-term. He went on to detail the scheme, which involves unique business collaborations between Gravity Coffee, Crivelli Fine Coffee, Dalzotti, Eureka Coffee, Gravity Espresso Coffee, Grinders Coffee, Hudsons Coffee, Jasper Coffee, Maisano Coffee Concepts, Map Coffee, Monte Coffee, Piazza D'oro, Segafredo Zanetti, and Vittoria Coffee.

Brewing giant Carlton United, have backed the scheme, with the missing Yarra Trail link in Abbotsford being funded by a licensed bar and pancake restaurant on the banks of the Yarra. "We envisage the bike path, ramps replacing the concrete steps, and possibly even Collins Bridge, will be paid for in under 6 months from the proceeds" said a CUB spokesperson today.

Oh, look, Sheldon Brown shares in the spirit of March 32nd: FasterCard, the Credit Card Touring Cyclist's Credit Card! Read the a.b thread discussing Thwaite's unique proposal right here.