cfsmtb in low earth orbit

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Vale Deborah

Flowers for DeborahFrom The Age: Floral tribute: relatives placed flowers beside the Murray Valley Highway near where Mrs Gray died on Monday
Flowers and feelings follow biking tragedy
A bunch of flowers and a few spray paint markings on the Murray Valley Highway in northern Victoria were the only reminders yesterday of an accident that killed a mother of five on the Great Victorian Bike Ride on Monday. Deborah Gray, 53, of Mount Moriac, near Geelong, was on what has been described as her "one special holiday for the year" when a gust of wind blew her onto the wrong side of the road and into the path of a four wheel drive.

Relatives yesterday left a bouquet of yellow carnations and lilies tied to an old letterbox post where she died. The country policeman who will prepare a report for the coroner said Mother Nature was all that could be blamed for the accident.
Deborah is one of us, and Victoria's big bicycle community together feel the pain and grief of this terrible incident. Our thoughts are with her family and friends, may they find peace in the days to come.

From Bicycle Victoria: Update: Fatality on 2005 VicRoads Great Victorian Bike Ride :: a.b discussions: Cyclist killed on GVBR :: Sad News - death on the GVBR

I will not link to yesterdays Age article - the photo published on the front page and online is simply too upsetting. This morning on ABC 774 I heard Andrew Jaspen, The Age's editor-in chief, respond to complaints made about the use of this photo. His remarks were along the lines of reporting the incident truthfully so the public can comprehend what occured. I strongly disagree.

Bicycle shadowSay, heart, is there aught like this
In a world that is full of bliss?
'Tis more than skating, bound
Steel-shod to the level ground.

Speed slackens now, I float
Awhile in my airy boat;
Till, when the wheels scarce crawl,
My feet to the treadles fall.

Alas, that the longest hill
Must end in a vale; but still,
Who climbs with toil, wheresoe'er,
Shall find wings waiting there

Extract from "Going down Hill on a Bicycle, A Boy's Song" By Henry Charles Beeching

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

There's a cat up there

HarryBarry & his good mate RussAs seen on a T.V

Here's a glamour pic of Mr HarryBarry chillin' with his good mate Russ. With additional wicker curly lamp and a delightful pair of
stylish windup dinosaurs, thus reflecting Beer Can Hill Café's sophisticated approach to cutting edge interior decor. We do pay attention to details around here. Ahem. Witty caption? Can one possibly exist?

Another Big Bike Weekend coming up!
Kicking off a Big Bike Weekend - first up we have the lovely Bikesoiler flying the PubBUG flag up at Redesdale in the 2005 Kona24. Wish him luck & hope the snakes & leppins still taste just as nice on Sunday morning. He's still looking for another rider for a six man team - give him a hoy at frm125_steve[AT] if you can help out.

Goatage Friday
Again, we'll be dealing with those pesky blow ins from Melbourne Wheels of Justice. Hang on, aren't they/we the same folks ... ? um. Oh well, this might be the second last Goatage for 2005.

Saturday - MooooooCOW

The 2005 Melb Cup on Wheels is on this Saturday 3 Dec 2005 7:00pm at Vodafone. Tickets: Adult Price: $25.00 $20.00, Concession Price $20.00 $15.00, Child Price $15.00 $10.00, Family of Four Price $65.00 $50.00

Who's up for impersonating a family of four? ie: Someone as Dad, I can be Mum and have two bratty kids in tow. Any better ideas?

Sunday - National BBQ Day
The 4th Annual Triple R BBQ Day Sunday 4th of December, 2005 Midday till 4pm at CERES Community Environment Park 8 Lee Street, Brunswick East. C'mon mate, grab a plate, lets have a BBQ. Woof woof woof woof woof. Yeah, you're probably too young to remember that horrid toon from the early 80's. And that's a good thing too.

Speaking of woof woofs, meow meows, strange noises and even stranger behaviour from party animals - peruse the
pix of last weekends Australian SingleSpeed Champs. Odd chap that Willsy.

Best in ShowMr Wills goes furry

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Welcome to Relaxed and Comfortable Australia!

SalamSalam dear friends - is it a bird, is it a plane? No, she's Super Hijab!

Social experiment, with yours truly as the 'guinea pig'. Ingredients for this social experiment included:

- Purchase from Kmart - Size 22 Blue Kaftan Top - $15
- Blue Ladies Sleep Pants - $13
- Mauve Embroidered Hair Band - $2
- From Discount outlet -
Reading Glasses - $4 pair
- From local Op Shop - purchase $10 length of white chiffon
- Add to mix - 2 safety pins, cotton thread, needle & a Critical Mass 10th Birthday badge.

Purchase from NQR - $6 of heart-shaped strawberry flavoured lollies. (But I'm getting ahead of myself mentioning them). Now - the plan. Duly attire yourself on the theme as a demure Muslim lady. Plan the rest of your personal items, set up the commuter bike, add slip on Blundstone shoes & Crumpler bag. On the bike, and set off for Critical Mass's 10th Birthday ride, hoping to arrive at 5.30pm or a tad earlier.

Result: Insults hurled galore as I rode from the inner northern suburbs to the State Library. Choice extracts: WHATERFECKAREYER - GOBACKTOYERCOUNTERY - GETTHEFECKOFFTERBIKE and the rather common garden variety FECKOFF. Utterly charming. And I'll add these insults came predominately from nice young men driving cars. I will admit the sight of a woman dressed in a hijab-style headdress riding a bicycle (or possibly confused as a nun, refer comments in last post) will some members of the public in conniptions. But, why the insults? Mixed signals? Possible
Michelle Leslie reference? Was my small 'social experiment' outside most peoples field of reference? Or is delightful Melbourne similiar to rest of John Howards "relaxed and comfortable" Australia or bitterly divided? You tell me. My 'social experiment' lasted less than four hours and was in no way meant to demean or insult Islam. I have the utmost respect for other peoples faiths. Now back to last nights entertainment. It was the BIGGEST ride I've ever participated in. It rocked. Big ones.

fun fun fun for everyone!
Brunswick Street - fun fun fun for everyone!

Melbourne Indy Media: Thousands of cyclists celebrate Critical Mass
An estimated 1500 cyclists converged on the State Library to participate in the Critical Mass 10th birthday ride. The city had its normal peak hour gridlock of single occupant motor vehices, belching greenhouse gases and contributing to global warming.

Saturdays Herald Sun: Ross Thornton has a brainfart
Acting Supt Stephen Dennis said aside from lengthy delays in the CBD and surrounding suburbs the riders were well behaved. Truck driver Ross Thornton, who heads up a group called Critical Smash, called media outlets to pass on a warning to the cyclists -- stay out of the way. "If any one of those idiots illegally impedes me I'll run straight over them," he said.

:: Anti cyclists threats in the media ::
Critical Mass 10 photos :: More Critical Mass 10 photos :: Yet more Critical Mass 10 pix :: And here too! :: Meanwhile, up north: Critical Mass ride the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Namecalling and obvious spaz remarks aside, yeah, whatever - but actual incitement? Impeding or inadvertenly hindering
a vehicle, ever upsetting the poor little dears slightly will lead to DEATH. Shouldn't be suprised at all about that - just have a gander at the TAC stats and the latest 46 campaign. These sadly, only confirm the current levels of acceptable stupidity out there amongst the proles. Further reminders of John Howards "relaxed and comfortable" Australia? We're watching you, Ross. I will be following this issue further. I'll add links to further stuff on Fridays marvellous ride as they come to hand. tootle-pips for now.

Stick this in your pipe and smoke it, Mr Thornton:

Thursday, November 24, 2005

BREAKING NEWS - The inside goss on Critical Mass 10!

Bent SantaSix white boomers, snow white boomers, Racing Santa Claus through the blazing sun, Six white boomers, snow white boomers .. On his Aus-tra-lian run

We return our viewers to that breaking newsflash

Critical Mass are going nowhere near CityLink. Repeat. They are going nowhere near CityLink.

Now - r e l a x

Cease hyperventilating. Go and have that well deserved jam donut.

Never fear though, on Tuesday, Santa was seen doing a early recce over the Bolte. Hopefully he'll bring me that custom Merlin Cielo or ABC's new Aunty Jack DVD box set. Style tips for tomorrows ride. Dress to impress, light garb with wet weather gear stowed in the crumpler or panniers. You just never can tell. Was going to attempt a Salute to Aunty Jack costume, but as one is 1. female 2. barely over five foot, I thought the joke would be lost on the younger folk. I shall be attiring myself in apparel of a more demure nature. Sure to provoke discussion though ... Why TF was she wearing THAT?

Further goss :: Melb IndyMedia: Excellent wrap on
Cycling Issues in Melbourne :: Taking Melb CMass10 Photos? Upload them here & remember to tag them CriticalMassMelb. Or something similiar :: Sad News from Russia: Anarchist & Critical Masser Timur Kacharava Murdered by Neo-Nazis

Remember Timur, and honour his memory by riding with Critical Mass, regardless of what city you're in!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Stick it up yer jumper, er, tunick

Bottoms Up The original inspiration behind the Malvern Star ad, refer handy link below

Rather cheeky, eh? Viewer tip: click on the link, select a free account & wait for the download ticket.

In other news, I finally wound up that long running blog poll saga (refer to dodgy jpeg below) Any keen social researchers who wish to partake in hard data analysis of these results are most welcome. You're all old raving barmpots. Seriously.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

It's ON...for young and old....

Run! Run! Run! I'm gonna get youABC 774: Bicycle vs. Car Commuter Race


Yes, obviously

Wouldn't you be too, if your cycling skills were gonna be broadcast to all and sundry?

May The Force Be With Us

pretty please

Thursday UPDATE: Ride Report: We Are The Champions, My Friends! Refer to above aus.bicycle link for more idle chatter & check the ABC for a podcast. Bicycles ROCK!

Yes, I am a presently a tad overexcitable. Off to have another coffee. If you're around Friday evening, pop down to Goat to hear Jason and I regale our wonderful Salute to Sustainable Transport. Repeatively. Also, we plan to be autographing bikes & kissing babies in the foyer (Does Goat have a foyer? um) Ok, off to brew that coffee and indulge in bit of a silly dance around the place loudly singing "Everyone's a Winner Baby" outta tune et al. Thought you'll enjoy that visual. Or possibly not.

Another Update: Courtesy of MitH, now have a mp3 of the entire shenanigans - Faine & Symons chatting away prior to 7.30am, the 7.45am start with Jeremy & I, the interviews with the *now legendary* FD and cfsmtb. Listen to the mp3 audio file here.

Scary observation...I'm starting to talk eerily like me mum, always tried to avoid radio stuff as I previously tended to squeak like Minnie Mouse. Maybe one is finally (belatedly) maturing in one's late thirties....perish that thought ...

Monday, November 14, 2005

A word or two from our overlords

Image hosted by Photobucket.comMeanwhile, upstairs at the Melbournian, slowly, but surely, they drew their plans against the smogboxes

The people shut inside those cocoons (autos) with the artificial air fanned on them and rigidly subject to traffic controls are to be pitied. They have access to so little of the outdoors, even though such access may have once been the impetus for owning an auto.

Fluffy: This makes me think of one of the more bizarre excuses people come up with for not commuting to work by bike instead of car, "What about all the car exhaust? I wouldn't want to be out there in the open with all those fumes." As if the air in cars is somehow magically purified by the act of being sucked in somewhere up near the front grille (near the exhaust of the car in front of them) and run through the air conditioning or heating system.

Tiddles: Strewth, that twunt in the red Dunnydoor nearly pinballed those cyclists off the frog & toad!

Fluffy: SHITTEEE - the fuggin Dunnydoor's now busted the redlight camera.

Tiddles: Thats a cool $200 plus possible demerits...

Fluffy: Rightio, I'm dobbing this arseclown onto idiotdriver

Tiddles: Top marks there Fluffster, we must take care of our well-trained human staff. I'm off to pull in a few favours from D24.

With apologies to the kitten motherlode and the much missed genius of Ken Kifer

Sunday, November 13, 2005

From little things

Bike lift on Harbour BridgeCritical Mass Sydney. Image courtesy of Moz
From little things
One day in May 1975, 20 cyclists set out from Hyde Park, Sydney bound for Canberra. The cyclists had the appearance of sixties flower children and Vietnam moratorium demonstrators. It was the Friends of the Earth protest against uranium mining. At Yass we were to join a larger group who had set out from Melbourne. After camping outside Australia's nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights, myself and the other cyclists freewheeled down the F6 tollway before it opened to motor traffic - waving at road workers. As we passed Clifton pubs, overlooking the scenic cliff faces near Wollongong, a supportive local offered us a beer. (more in article)
Further background+ pics: Cycling for a Nuclear free future

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Todays lesson: Compare & contrast

Do as you're toldNow - do as you're told

First up we have Flutey on the money concerning stoushs with Rightwing Death Beasts ("RWDB"). Then peruse a predictable Critical Mass tantie on teh interwebbie. Somehow, in the Land of the Free a US Senator sees the light. Alas though, I see this level of intellectual discourse continuing on in the lead up to CM10.

Ok then, prove me wrong. I challenge you.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Kittyzilla vs. Dunny Budgie

Kapow! Kerplunk! Splat! Howzat?

Need more jumping cat action? Venture here for all your jumping cat requirements.

Monday, November 07, 2005

To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice

Sunday, Palm Beach in Sydney, a young woman and man were riding their bicycles. For what specific reasons I don't know. Maybe they were returning home, visiting family or friends or on a training ride. But somewhere along Barrenjoey Road at 4.45am the young woman was struck by a 4WD towing a boat. The driver failed to stop and render assistance.

She died at the scene. Her cycling companion escaped injury. God only knows the terrible emotions he experienced as his friend was mortally hit and lost her young life in front of him. There may of been mitigating circumstances to this fatal incident. These I will not speculate upon. But ostensively this driver showed a utter callous disregard for humanity. Even though he did later turn himself into police. But this question remains - how could ANYONE strike another human being, and then brutally leave them to die?
Victoria has recently experienced a cluster of hit-run deaths, news article from October 31:
A 44-year old woman is fighting for her life after the sixth hit-and-run in Victoria this month, acts which have appalled Victoria Police. Major collisions investigation unit officer Steve Ashley said the number of incidents this month, three of which were fatalities, was unbelievable. "I'm really quite ashamed that we're living in a society like that at the moment," Sergeant Ashley said. "To find that number in a month is terrible."
Queensland: Driver jailed for maiming triathlete Kellie Moule
A Triathlete hit while training last year by an unlicensed motorist affected by a sleep disorder has urged road users to show more respect for cyclists to avoid more families being torn apart in similar tragic circumstances.
Quote from Kellie Moule: "The laws are fairly tough . . . but I think if the attitude of people changes and there's a lot of pressure put on them to have respect for cyclists, then we have really won," Moule said. "Even if, as a motorist, you are angered at a cyclist you think has done the wrong thing, just remember how big and how powerful your car is and how small, fragile and unprotected the cyclist is," she said. "The cyclist is always going to come off second-best, and you don't just impact the cyclist, you impact their friends, their family, everyone."
Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. - Martin Luther King Jr.

a.b discussion: Sydney: Driver charged over cyclist's death

Melbourne is STILL choking

Image from The AgeThe changing face of Melbourne transport: crowded roads today, crowded trains in the 1950s
Road to... where?
For decades, the choice between investing in roads or public transport has been an easy one for state governments - the roads invariably win. Royce Millar examines how the car came to be king. Back in May, the State Government announced a plan that startled many of Melbourne's motorists: in what was sold as a bold initiative to deal with traffic congestion and encourage a shift away from cars, a parking levy would be imposed on the city centre. Most observers assumed that the tens of millions of dollars generated each year would go to promoting the alternatives, such as public transport and bike paths. But they were wrong. (more in article)
Those of us with long memories, (or Critical Mass sticker collections) would recall the 1995 CM stickers enblazened with the slogan 'Melbourne is choking' and words to the effect of "time for some fresh air'. Well, where are we all ten years on?!? Anyone not hiding under a rock would realise THE issue in Melbourne is transport. So has sustainable transport a chance of gaining ground? Or will Melbourne simply grind to a halt via the processes of attrition and economic stupidity?

Friday, November 04, 2005

The subconscious is a funny place

KittyzillaImage courtesy of Dalliance

A couple of days ago, like many others, I awoke to ABC Radio with news of a Sydney apartment block partially collapsing, apparently due to work on the Lane Cove Tunnel. Interesting thing was, *one* was still adrift in sleepy mode. The first function my erstwhile subconscious did was to randomly shuffle throught it's mossy memory circuits and sample the
'heugh' David Byrne vocal bit from Talking Heads "Road to Nowhere". Quickly followed by an arresting visual of Melbourne General Cemetery as Peter Lalors grave & associated marble mausoleums disappeared from view with startling cartoon POP sound effects. As I said, the subconscious is a funny place. Was it passing political comment upon the proposed tunnel linking the Eastern and Tullamarine freeways? Ahem. Other news - I have a pair of Salsa crosslevers. Spiffing! And, this is up. Finally. That was a very long website gestation. Must train properly now & eat more bananas. Or imbibe more fine Goat beer.

Why why why
Now here's a heap of stray ephemera:: Want to attend Bicycle Victoria's 2005 AGM? Then please RSPV by CoB today (Friday) and get those Proxy Votes faxed in by 8pm Saturday.
:: Melbourne: Protest against new freeways: Join the Coalition for People’s Transport protest outside the VECCI summit, when proposals for new freeway projects will be released.
:: Critical Mass 10: Purely self explanatory for Melbourne folk.
:: Alice Anti-Nuke Critical Mass
:: Castlemaine Fat Tyre Festival and 2005 Australian Single Speed Nationals. Be there.

A right pair of familiar sillybillys at Oct's CM-Melb. Arrrrrr me hearties! Meow! Arrrgggg!

:: International Critical Mass round-up
:: Scotland Yard plans to treat Critical Mass a organised crime. Until now, the ride has enjoyed benign policing designed to minimize its impact on other traffic. But last month, officers - themselves on bikes - handed out leaflets explaining that, in future, if the Metropolitan police was not informed in advance about the ride, then it would be deemed an "unlawful demonstration" and participants "liable to arrest". This Friday will be the first test of the "get tough" stance. . .
:: Massive Critical Mass Defies SOCPA Exclusion Zone:
"'s a friday night, it's like a fucking party, it's like an RTS on bikes!" Cyclist from Birmingham

Me want purdee Hello Kitty bike
Hello Kitty bike
:: UK: Homes builder's bike incentive. A Bristol homes developer is offering residents the use of a pool of electric bicycles with a top speed of 15mph to help them beat traffic problems.
:: Best Photoshopped Picture Ever: Major bitie session followed by the Simultaneous Hind Leg Kick of Death!!!
:: From weez: Bike blingbling :: More fun! :: Yet more fun!

a.b stuff
The Cats that ate Cars :: CF admin has a bingle :: Huge C#@p!!! :: Cycling is not dangerous :: My first ride back from road rage incident :: Shock horror! a.b is really a Lefty clique! :: A new ride :-) :: Smogbox Colloquisms

Another appearance lined up for this month.....Eugene, where are you Eugene, we're waiting for court..

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Race 7: Picking a winner

Woah!1887 Melbourne Cup: Dunlop takes on race favourite Penny Farling by a neck

Ok, ok, the race that possibly stops the nation. Whatever. So, have you got any tips? Like you've got a surefire hot tip from a bloke who met another bloke down the pub who may know another little bloke who overheard something in passing from another bloke who might be a strapper? The Diva? Well, the tracks rated dead. Storms forecast for this arvo? Know of any mudlarks in the 24-strong field? Vinnie? Eye Popper? Why don't I spent the arvo constructively by fiddling around with one of the Fleet? Yeah, finish off
yet another configuration of the road bike. Oh bugger haven't got the tektro levers yet. Might go fer a ride before heading off to the Dirt Crits. Might not. Decisions, decisions...