cfsmtb in low earth orbit

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Pray for New Orleans

Bicycle beads - New Orleans Mardi GrasBicycle beads - New Orleans Mardi Gras Image courtesy of

Years ago I my imagination was fired by tales of Marie Laveaux, Storyville and New Orlean's polygot community. Now whatever trace of this rich legacy are possible gone. No powerful gris gris ever could hope to stop the forces of nature and human expediency. Please, if you have any cycling news or stories from New Orleans, feel free to email me!

Latest: $10m aid to US Red Cross: PM The Australian Government will donate $10 million to assist relief operations in the wake of hurricane Katrina in the United States. Australians concerned about family and friends in the region can register their details with DFAT on the special hotline number 1800 00 22 14. Further details are available in the DFAT Hurricane Katrina travel bulletin

Fats Domino plucked from flood Rock 'n' roll pioneer Fats Domino has been rescued from the floodwaters of his New Orleans hometown, allaying fears that he might have perished in the grim aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, news reports said today.

Google News Latest on New Orlean's musicians, Jazz & Music. If you have better N.O music links, please email me

:: Metroblogging New Orleans
:: Australian Red Cross: Hurricane Katrina 2005
:: In Katrina's Wake: A special AlterNet package.
:: Truth Laid Bear: Hurricane Katrina Emergency Information
:: American Red Cross News
:: American Red Cross: Credit Card Contribution
:: Live streaming: WDSU Hurricane Coverage
:: Federal Emergency Management Agency

UPDATE: Excellent news summary and blog links from Terry Teachout
In light of the continuing crisis in New Orleans and on the Gulf Coast, we're starting each day's blogging with a list of links to other blogs and sites that are covering events as they happen.....Our Girl and I recommend the McCormick Tribune Foundation in Chicago, which is matching donations to its Hurricane Katrina Relief Campaign, $1 for every $2 given. Contributions can be made here. If you'd like to see what charities have been recommended by other bloggers, go here. If you're a blogger and want to participate, go here..."

People affected by Hurricane Katrina walk on the elevated freeway in downtown New OrleansPeople affected by Hurricane Katrina walk on the elevated freeway in downtown New Orleans.

Red Cross sending volunteers to South. Largest effort in its 124-year history
Much like Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire," the American Red Cross has always depended on the kindness of strangers. Now, it's truer than ever. The organization is mobilizing the largest relief effort in its 124-year history to aid the victims of the Gulf Coast's Hurricane Katrina. Some volunteers will be going to New Orleans, where Williams' play was set. But many others could be sent to places they've never heard of before.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Spinning Jenny

Jenny WardImage shamelessly lifted from invisiblegovernment

Jenny Ward, an unfortunately well-known Sydney anti-cyclist nutbag is at it again. An example of Jenny's previous diatribes From Todays Age (see letter below) Think Jennys stupidity/naivety requires more than writing letters in response, she needs to have her awareness (politely) broadened. Anyone have a contact for her in Sydney & willing to take her out for a spin on Sydneys streets? Again, politely of course.

Soup and other Nazis (30th August 2005)
MEAGHAN Wilson-Anastasios (Letters, 29/8), have you not seen the "Soup Nazi" episode of Seinfeld? Jim Schembri has made a legitimate, humorous comment on the superior attitude of some cyclists, who consider their needs above those of their fellow users of public spaces. Obviously, you have never been subjected to the bully-boy tactics of the lycra louts who infest the footpaths and streets. Either you are very fortunate, or you should get out more. Jenny Ward, Erskineville, NSW
"bully-boy tactics of the lycra louts" Ah, c'mon, thats bloody sexist! Returning to topic, Ms Ward is writing an response to, this letter (10th down)Which was in turn an response to this moronic article. I suppose we can appreciate her POV, but as an a cyclist involved with improving awareness via advocacy et al, I'm becoming increasingly annoyed with these kneejerk opinions. And hey, I didn't come down with the last shower either. Here you go: The Age: send your letters to:, Fax: +61 (0) 3 96012414 Snailmail: 250 Spencer Street, Melbourne 3000

Hurricane Katrina Coverage

Watch it via WDSU LiveStreaming

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Best-est link EVAR!

Cats In Sinks seriously rocks my world. As it will do yours. Enjoy.

We're considering a similarly themed project, ie: Cats In and/or On Beds. First pic: Princess Cleo & Mr Harry, Second pic, below: Princess Cleo snuggles up while cfsmtb has a nanna nap (recovering from Friday evening)

Nanna Nap

Friday, August 26, 2005

Schembri, He Wanker

Real Bicycle NazisDon't think this image is what Jimbo actually implied, but he doesn't know WTF he's talking about anyway.

From The Age: Join the Bike Nazi Party

I'm not even going to bother quoting Jimbo's so-called witty prose. Needless to observe though, he's clueless and embarrassingly out of his depth. Yawn. But one aspect amuses me about Jimbo, take a Captain Cook at his picture. We share the same decade of birth, and sweet creeping zombie Jesus, I look a lot healthier. Then again, I also share the same decade of birth with Old Rice and Monkey Nuts. Scarier. Apologies for paraphrasing this next well-known anecdote, but give me a bowl of alphabet soup and later on I could shit a better article than this.

Superb, ahem, tasteless timing by The Age, re: Thursdays terrible incident in Collingwood, Warning, this photo may disturb you. This brings back haunting memories of another frontpage photo, of an incident on the Merri Creek bikepath several years ago. A young man while out riding, with his dog running alongside, was stabbed and killed by a mentally-ill man. His loyal dog tried to protect the body when paramedics attended. Near Quarries Park there is a permanent memorial to him along the path.

Now, in a attempt to cheer myself up, Todays entertainment, watch this thread: The Age article on web site. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Nothing but the facts

GC1 quadrant shifterMediaWatch Laff-o-meter? The Inaugural Jim Ball Trophy? No, it's a GC1 quadrant shifter...

...And a big welcome to all our new viewers who came here courtesy of MediaWatch: Website Turks laugh on and/or Google, looking for this blog entry we did back in July: fully sikk moite

You will observe on this blog there are NO discussions pertaining to Skylines, RX8's or WRX's. But last Sunday, we retrieved a lovely 1930's Lawrencia road bike via the annual Boroondara Hard Waste collection. With a GC1 quadrant shifter and GH-6 Front Dynohub. She's a pearler. Photo's up soon.

BTW, to you young people out there. Spaces.msn sucks big time. Get yourself a real blog. With the option of Spell Check.


Thursday, August 18, 2005

Blinked and missed it!!!

Spin ma wheelsHoly Church of the Spinning Rims - cfsmtb in low earth orbit turned ONE this week.

Sheesh, the important minestones you miss when you're head down & brain off elsewhere. I feel like one of those Chinese spinning plate performers at the moment. What with the all WoJ business, interesting offers from certain peak organisations & a couple of bicycle-related interviews. Tip: keep your eyes peeled for a petrol price/bicycle themed article in a innercity Leader newspaper. Scintillating stuff. And RMIT's next Catalyst mag. Apparently people may find my haphazard holistic bicycle rants reasonably coherent. Even if it's only one or two sentences.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

New Wheels of Justice Forum & Chatterfest

WOJ%20ride%20006I think it's rather apparent the Wheels of Justice group has outgrown it's happy little yahoogroups I've created a WoJ forum on the Invision boards: Australian Wheels of Justice

So now you can have threaded discussions & keep your inboxes slightly less cluttered. Any problems or questions, please let us know ASAP. Please forward on the WoJ forum url to anyone you know who has an interest in 'grassroots' cycling issues.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I'm Fungry!

Fungrys All New Pickle BurgerAmongst a host of road issues in the meedya, the last paragraph of this one accurately illustrates the shallow priorities of Melbourne's younger road users. Makes many of my cycling exploits (in search of food & beverages) look relatively tame by comparison. Bloody callow whippersnappers.
P-platers face phone ban
In some cases, they had held a licence for just a few weeks. Others offered feeble excuses for their behaviour. Last month, a 23-year-old Docklands P-plater booked at 206km/h on the Eastern Freeway at 3.10am told police he did not realise they would be working so late. And in June, an Altona P-plater, 19, nabbed doing 173km/h on the Princes Freeway at Laverton said he was going to Carlton for a kebab.....
Feeling Fungry? Sod the kebab, try the All New Pickle Burger!

Monday, August 15, 2005


Image hosted by Photobucket.comAh, yes, Bicycle Day, would Hofmann approve?

Thought the caps-lock would get your immediate attention.

'Meth heads' send bicycle thefts sky high
Police say methamphetamine users' urge to fiddle with bikes satisfies need to keep busy. Crystal methamphetamine's method of destroying brain cells is well documented. But police are now coming to a startling conclusion about another side-effect of the drug -- bike thefts are skyrocketing because crystal meth users, or "meth heads," find disassembling bikes and fiddling with bike parts satisfies their need to keep their hands busy while on the drug.

Sounds like too many cyclists I know of who are partial to a tweak. And the scary bit, they only imbibe caffeine and Goat. Bloody dopers. Bwhahahaha.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

For Whom the Snow Falls

Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow...
Get ready for snow in the CBD... maybe
A large rain band now moving over Geelong could soon produce the first snowfalls in Melbourne's central business district for nearly 20 years, the Bureau of Meteorology said. BoM 128km Radar Loop

In July 1986 I recall watching snow fall on Hobart, covering the foothills and
gently decend to sea level. As Mum and I walked along the footpath, down the snowy Brooker, Mum mentioned what Robin Gray had apparently said a few days before. The day I am a dictator will be the day snow falls on the GPO steps. We both had a chuckle about that. Snow in Melbourne in 2005? What prophetic overtones could this bring? Maybe you should keep a watchful eye for those big Bad Wolves this weekend...

Blaidd Drwg

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Is there such a term as...

Oh, how can I ever thank you......Velosmith?

Harking back to this recent entry, have you ever heard of your trusty LBS bicycle mechanic using the term? Anyway I think 'Velosmith' should become common palance instead of the slightly colourless 'bicycle mechanic'. What do you think?

You, Me, Carpark

Oi, Svartvargr, I'll have ya!
Oi, Svartvargr, I'll have ya!

If Sögreni doesn't float your boat, then you obviously haven't got a pulse. Possible stead of choice for Thor & Odin at Val's Halal Kebab Emporium? (minor warning, contains potty mouth)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

But wait, there's more!

The TiffAfter the tiff, she simply couldn’t hold back the tears. He paused and turned back. "But wait I didn't mean those cruel words. Can we still be friends?"

ACA (k) are broadcasting a story on them, us, whatever tonight at 18.30. More cats & dogs & strawman arguments? Or a pleasant surprise? Let us see.

Updates via a.b threads:
Holy s**t :: Motorists will even hate us more now :: Channel 9 beat up Cyclist Vs Motorists :: Seriously though, it ain't all that bad, Read these Words of Wisdom.

And More Words of Wisdom, *cough*, Brutal Sarcasm from
Dr Henrik Ziegler.

Victorian Government report on road rage, Inquiry Into Violence Associated With Motor Vehicle Use
Obtain a hard copy at Level 8, 35 Spring Street, Melbourne. This report has been tabled in Victorian Parliament. The Victorian government has until October 2005 to respond. This report has gone to both Upper and Lower houses, so contact your local member, and politely enquiry what is to be done about these recommendations. For letter writing tips and contacts, refer to the Resources and Skills links listed below the Flickr gallery in the righthand margin of Bicycle Justice.

Friday Update:
$50,000 for Amy Gillett foundation
An interesting combination of cycling & advocacy groups, although on a minor note, I'm really over the zeroing in on remarks with possible negative connotations.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Getup, Stand Up, Don't Give Up The Fight

Shameless promotion, because it's my blog & I can.
GetUp is a new political movement to build a more progressive Australia. GetUp brings together like-minded people who want to bring participation back into our democracy. GetUp members use the latest online tools to act on the most important issues facing the country.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Melbourne Meedya Spin Cycle

Hell RideIntroduction
You wouldn't have to be a cyclist, or even hiding under a small pile of rocks here in Melbourne to realise the meedya have again targeted those two-wheeled road locusts. Instead of reviewing the usual hyperbole-laden
rhetoric, lets follow the discussion via what cyclists are saying...

:: AIS Womens Bunch Hit in Germany :: Licence demerit plan for cyclists :: Seven news tonight (Melbourne) :: ABC Stateline Victoria :: Attention Melbourne Hell Riders :: Cyclist down, motorists throw abuse ::

On Friday evening, ABC Stateline Victoria
broadcast a fair and balanced appraisal of issues facing cyclists when riding on the road. Sounds like roadies and recreational cyclists have finally realised we're encountering the same road issues. (shock horror!) And bridges are being built.
Road Rager
Calls for increased safety for cyclists on our roads
Australia's cycling community paused today, to remember Amy Gillett, the Olympic hopeful killed on a training ride in Germany. As family and friends attended her funeral in Ballarat they remembered a young woman who lived her short life to the full. But the road accident which claimed her life, and put her five riding colleagues in hospital, has sparked an amazing reaction and led to calls for increased safety for cyclists on our roads. Stateline went to see just how safe our roads are for those using pedal power and hear the plans afoot to increase rider safety and accountability.

Seriously though, there's too much hyperbole, misinformation and downright garbage being spun by the commercial media. Unfortunately it could be seen to influence brainless opportunists to target cyclists, ie: refer to the 'Cyclist Down' a.b thread linked above and this Victorian Police Press Release: Appeal for witness to Black Rock hit-run

Door PrizeNot unsurprisingly The Age has seen its fair share of pro and anti cycling letters gracing its pages. (The Hun? If there are letters, email me) Yes, yes, we live in a democracy and the population are entitled to their P.O.V. If you too, wish to express frank opinions with the masses, Bicycle Justice has a letter writing guide. Also while you're over there, refer to the Resources & Skills links listed below the Flickr gallery in the righthand margin. Returning to The Age, unfortunately it seems that a Letters Editor had a brainfart and let this one through.
Physics holds key
Having spent 30 odd years driving in Melbourne traffic, before escaping to the bucolic delights of southern NSW, I was surprised to discover that Melbourne still has a problem with latte-drinking, Lycra-clad, God-I-own-a-bike, therefore I own the road, cyclists. I can't understand the problem. Say, on average 90 kilograms of cyclist versus 2000 kilograms of car? No problem! Just leave it to the law of physics and it will sort itself! Frank Smith, Oaklands, NSW
Ladies and Gentlemen, can you spell i n c i t m e n t ? Mr F. Smith maybe a worldclass fucking idiot, but The Age has surely breached several points of its own Code of Conduct and Professional Practice More on a.b :: Sick people out there :: and long thread on CM-Melb

Where do I go if I have a complaint or comment to make about The Age? Please call (03) 9604 1138. Comments received from readers are reported to editors and senior management. Readers can also contact the department via e-mail:

Off you go now, you've got homework. Fortunately, Tuesdays Letters page
(2/8) saw an intelligent and eloquent response.
Tasteless response
I AM saddened that Frank Smith (Letters, 1/8) cites physics as a solution to motorists' road rage directed at cyclists. At best it is tasteless given the tragedy faced by the Australian women's cycling team in Germany; at worst, I wonder if the car driver in the weekend's Beach Road hit-and-run incident, which left cyclists injured, feels validated by such comments. Perhaps Mr Smith would like to substitute other vulnerable road users for cyclists: the elderly or the very young? Or is it just the social habits and sports attire that warrant "physics" as a solution?

There is a problem on the roads. It is the lack of enforcement of laws regarding speeding, running red lights, using mobile phones and a plethora of other dangerous activities. Some are specific to motorists, some are common to motorists and cyclists. I would rather not have physics take care of the problem of motorists using mobile phones while driving past a cyclist; I would certainly not advocate the use of a motor vehicle against anybody simply because the driver is offended by their taste in beverage and dress. Alison Brookes, Kensington

Remember - Cycling Is FunWhere to Now......?
I posted out a request on the CM-Melb list yesterday for info, ie: tips, advice & keeping events in perspective. There's already a dedicated blog Bicycle Justice and WoJ email group. If you have further links or handy tips, email moi & I'll post them here. I really don't see a point duplicating another group over the Wheels of Justice stuff we did a couple of months ago. Despite the different events, it's all the same issue. Well, to me anyway.

A couple of us usually meet up down at Mountain Goat Brewery on Fridays (ie: PubBUG) So, if your free, in Melbourne and wanna informally discuss stuff, media strategies, beer....then rock up post-6pm right here: Friday 5th August, Warehouse 1, 18 River Street Richmond. (entrance is on North Street just by the corner of Clarke St) Goat Management allows your trusty bike to be parked inside the premises & the doorbloke is very nice. Lets gets the Melbourne Wheels of Justice rolling. Weather permitting.

A gentle reminder
For Cyclists - Advice and Nifty Tips
Here's several links and useful tips to counter the recent negativity and pointless fear factor. Even if you're not a cyclist, read on and increase your awareness of what we have to encounter. If you're a cyclist, brush up on your knowledge.

Victorian Road Laws For Cyclists: Part 15 - Victorian road laws for cyclists

Bicycle Victoria - Harassment and road rage – What you can do

It can be a frightening and intimidating experience to be harassed while riding your bike. Most bike riders are shaken and angry after an incident but feel powerless to do anything about it. Depending on the exact nature of the behaviour there are a number of steps you can take.

Bicycle Institute of South Australia: Road Rage and Road Abuse
Road rage, in which one road user aggressively injures another, is extremely rare. Injuries due to other causes are much, much commoner. Road Abuse, which is where cyclists experience abuse or rude behaviour but not injury, is more common. It's unpleasant, but very very seldom escalates to road rage. Nevertheless, we need to know good ways to handle Road Abuse.

How to Not Get Hit by Cars by Michael Bluejay
This page is reproduced from BicycleSafe with modifications for Australia. This page shows you real ways you can get hit and real ways to avoid them. This is a far cry from normal bike safety guides, which usually tell you little more than to wear your helmet and to follow the law.

St Kilda Road
From the urbanbicyclist project :: top tricks 'n hints for RIDING IN TRAFFIC :: Melbourne City Rider Guide, text reproduced here by permission (ta!) Urbanbicyclists quickly learn to beat city traffic to get around safely & quickly. When riding in traffic be confident & visible but prepare for evasive action!

Use the Street Space

· Use sightlines to find gaps in the traffic and look ahead and around corners.
Changing Traffic Lights
· Ride over black circular traffic light sensors at intersections to change the lights.
Take the Lane / Share the Lane
· Depending on lane width and traffic speed use the remaining space or take the whole lane.
Positioning In the Traffic Flow
· Be aware of drivers' blind spots next to rear doors. Use vehicles for cover at intersections (cross tram tracks at wide angles). Be aware of what’s behind you. Look for any gaps in the traffic pattern and immediate street environment such as spaces between parked cars, kerbs and buildings.

top tricks 'n hints for WET WEATHER URBANBICYCLING
Preparing Your Bike
· Make your own mudguards using drink bottles or plastic folders. Keep a plastic bag stuffed under your seat for waterproofing when parking in the rain. Clean your brakes & rims after rain.
What to Carry
· Get a good waterproof jacket, don’t compromise on style!
· Spray your shoes & bag with waterproof sealant.
· Carry a spare pair o socks in a plastic bag.
· Keep a change of clothes at work/uni. Get a good bag. Use plastic bags inside for your books etc.
Riding In the Wet
· Watch out for slippery metal grates and covers, especially when turning.
· Beware! Puddles may be deeper than they seem.
· Remember you and others will have a longer braking distance.

redredredredtop tricks 'n hints for RIDING AT NIGHT
Bikes can get you home long after the trams 'n trains have gone to sleep.
· Don't be afraid to go out in the early hours of the morning. There are few cars and the streets are empty!
· Use front beam lights to see and flashing lights to be seen. Lights on your helmet are more visible.
· Buy lights that take standard battery types. (AA or AAA)
· Carry spare batteries in your puncture kit.
Being Reflective
· Add reflective material, tape and stickers to your helmet, clothing, shoes, bike and bags.
· Reflective tape, fabric and stickers can be sourced from hardware stores, boating and cycle shops and road construction sites.
Riding Behaviour
· Watch out for drunk pedestrians who may lunge at you.
· Look for car headlights at side streets and from behind.
· Riding at night can be LIBERATING!

top tricks 'n hints for LOCKING YOUR BIKE
Which Lock To Use
· Cable locks are easily cut.
· Get a good d-lock, the more you spend, the better the lock.
· Use a cable as well for extra security.
Where 'N How to Lock
· Don't lock to poles that can be lifted out of the ground.
· Lock in visible areas with lots of light and pedestrian traffic.
· Check your lock before leaving.
What Does Your Bike Look Like?
· Remove your lights etc or secure with super glue or cable ties.
· Disguise your bike with stickers; wrap the frame with electrical tape or old inner tubes.
· Replace quick releases with bolts or secure with hose clamps.
· Get your bike engraved (free) by the Bicycle Police 9247 5517
If Your Bike Is Stolen!
· Report it to the police visit pawn shops with a photo/description of your bike. E-mail the urbanbicyclist project

top tricks 'n hints for DODGING DOORS
Scoring the Door Prize
· Parked cars can be more dangerous than moving ones.
· Car doors are the number one cause of bike accidents in the city.
It's Illegal to Open Doors into Traffic
To avoid doors look:
· through CAR windows for heads
· in mirrors of trucks and vans
· at cars that have just parked
· at cars' tail lights
Riding In the Door Zone
· If you can't see into cars, ride slower or move out of the door zone.
· Be aware of what's behind you if you have to swerve out.

Be seenDon’t be afraid to take a lane if you're being forced into the door zone
If A Door Opens In Front Of You!
· Don't waste your time fiddling with a horn or bell, go for your brakes and scream!
· Move out but don't swing into traffic.
If You Get Hit
· If you get doored and injured or damage results, it is a traffic accident and details must be exchanged. Report uncooperative motorists to the police.

You will go into shock
· Although it is difficult to prepare for this, understand you and others involved will not behave rationally after an accident.
Ensure the scene is safe before taking further action.
· You must give assistance to any injured person. Call for police and an ambulance if required. Dial 000 on any phone. Record the number Plate, Model and colour of all cars involved in the accident. Include a description of the drivers. Before people leave Collect names and phone numbers of as many witnesses as practically possible.
Exchange details
Names, addresses, vehicle registration and vehicle owner details should be exchanged with all involved. Collect insurance details from all motorists involved.
Record All This on Paper Keep a Copy for Yourself

© 2002 The Urbanbicyclist Project
This material may not be used by private or public organisations without permission; we will happily and promptly arrange permission for non profit use!