cfsmtb in low earth orbit

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Rattle & hum

In response to Saturdays Daily Telegraph Critical Mass-flavoured article, here's a comment I sent. Please note, italics denotes text that was deleted.

NSW Greens MP Lee Rhiannon has also issued a press release demanding a retraction of Anita Quigley's opinion piece. More updates and news as I either get time/receive them.

Chain gang chokes city
A biased divisive piece that does nothing to inform the public, as usual the Daily Telegraph is pushing a "us vs them" debate that is totally obsolete.

In case this information has slipped by the DT researchers, Critical Mass has been a worldwide social movement for over 14 years.
Try using Google, just like everyone else is capable of!

As for the "selfish" tag, try removing your blinkers for a moment and consider these points.

Who creates Sydney traffic gridlock on a daily basis?

Who is the most overrepresented group in road user injuries and deaths?

Then ponder this: two weeks ago it was reported that "THREE times as many people die of air pollution in New South Wales than in traffic accidents".

Who creates that? Surely not a relatively tiny road user group such as pedestrains or cyclists.

Sydney is literally breaking apart under the pressure of it's traffic problems and lazy articles such as this are only acting as a petty diversion away from the real issues.

Printing a individuals phone number is extremely spiteful and pointless.

Why not surely print the phone numbers and postal addresses of the lazy incompentent penpushers in the RTA, who's inaction have caused Sydneys ongoing traffic gridlock and pollution?

Australian society has recently experienced a "tipping point" in public consciousness towards global warming, water use, transport opinions etc.

There's a state election in NSW in 2007, the Daily Telegraph should be pushing for ANSWERS to Sydneys transport crisis, not shifting the blame out of all proportion onto a relatively tiny road user group.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

N + 1 gone wrong

A bad dream? Nightmare on Elm Street? Untreated kleptomaniac? The final resting place for unloved kiddies bikes? Though the pool completely mystifies me. Click here for larger pic. Click here for idle musings about the image.
Hey mum, can you move the huffy so Dad can move the speedwell so Bill can move his Raleigh so John can move the malvern star, so I can move the repco, then the dunlop so I can get to my surly???

Monday, November 20, 2006

G20 thoughts

Image courtesy of disarray, via the G20 Melbourne flickr tag

According to media reports, a part of the Melbourne G20 protests developed into something decidedly unpleasant. I type "according to" since I wasn't present and seriously had no plans to attend. It may sound like wussing out, but instead I choose to spend Saturday seeing to several delightful gardening chores and tending to writing submissions, website updates and general research.

Choosing not to attend wasn't a political decision, it's a personal choice. Protests, social dysfunction and general mayhem aside, I've had enough of dealing with the effects and aftermath of pointless aggro and sooner prefer to constructively project my efforts elsewhere. For an alternative to the is that the truth or is your News Limited take on the events in Collins Street, and the party at Parliament House, check the newswire at Melbourne Indymedia.


Saturday, November 18, 2006

I don't mind this 80's revival thing after all

Seriously I despised the 80's. Actually, the first half. The second half, I was all of five years older and decided I would attire ones self in pretty much what I damn well pleased. I WORE BLACK. ALL THE TIME. As a proto yob-goth this perfectly suited my surly adolescent personality and matching miserable outlook to perfection.

Now this 80's thing at the mo. No. I don't appreciate it one iota. Why? Simply, I was present the first time round and hate being reminded of what (apparently) was fashionable to the proles. Like hideous 80's fashion. Frigging tapered trousers (sorry ladies, brainless yobs previously wore these), enough hair product to drown the wearer (been there), pointy boots (still have these, purchased from Emporio on Swanston) and on and on the list of horrors goes. Anyone care for a round of Fluffy Ducks or Black Russians?

Now imagine the wry bemusement when sifting through RSS feeds for cycling-themed news for Wheels of Justice, when I stumble across reference to Limahl. Yes "Never Ending Story" Limahl. According to the recent Letters section in the Hampstead and Highgate Express, he's a cycling advocate now. Hallelujah Brother! Praise teh Lord! There's hope for the human race yet!

Staying on the theme of redemption, in the aftermath of the US Democrats election victory, things could indeed be looking up for cyclists:
Election turns wheels of power in favor of bikes: Cyclists are pumped as advocates move into key House transportation roles. Andy Clarke, who heads the League of American Cyclists, says he won't advocate that interstates become bike paths after last Tuesday's elections. But cycling enthusiasts are dreaming big after their three biggest supporters in Congress - including two from Oregon - were swept into powerful new transportation positions after the Democrats took control of the U.S. House.

Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., who helped author the 1991 law that opened the door to federal funding for bike projects, is in line to become chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
In Australia, there's three election campaigns on the horizon. The Victorian state elections next weekend, which in all honesty, the campaign trail has been as boring as bugfuck. Then NSW in early 2007 and the Federal Election in late 2007. These two could be a major factor in providing a long overdue change towards cycling attitudes and funding. The NSW government has seriously neglected cycling infrastructure, as has the Federal Government. Actually the Fed's have been maintaining a safe distance from those pesky and problematic cycling issues and simply churn out nice meanless motherhood statements to keep the populace happy. Funny that.

In local chatter, the G20 mothership has landed in Melbourne and by all accounts, the most effective way to transport yourself around the CBD is either Shanks Pony or the pedally. And lol and behold, Mick Wiggums is spouting crap again,

Superintendent Mick Williams said he believed "splinter groups" of protesters planned to occupy the lobbies of the buildings but that police did not know which ones. "In the past they'll go into the foyer of a building, perhaps even try and access the CEO's floor, and we're about trying to prevent that, and I know that most of the property managers have standard operating procedures to prevent that type of thing happening and we'd ask that they review their security," Mr Williams said.

I recall the WTO protests in Melbourne, September 2000. One included a reasonably polite protest in the Herald Sun foyer, where one A. Bolt was seen to be visably edging away from the grubby ferals and trying to make a break for the lifts. Oh you big tough man you. You have to admire the silly bugger though, as he's still holding steathfast to the fast crumbing belief that global warming is not based upon fact.

In closing, a word to Mick, you're warmly invited along to Critical Mass's 11th Birthday next week. But please this time, attempt to see sense and don't waste anymore tax payer money by rostering on staff for afterhours duties. Bring the bike instead. Ta.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Think you've got it tough?

Farren Bicycle CollectionClick to enlarge, ie: what the Germans were riding

Believe you've had a harsh commute this morning? 4WD twunt cut you off? Four-cylinder shitbox duly failed to note your presence? Hah! Read this! Although I reckon these blokes surely of had superb bike handling skills, finely-honed to perfection on those clunky water-pipe frames.

They pedalled behind enemy lines
Initially they were mocked — referred to as "the Gas Pipe Brigade," but they were some of the most valued Canadian soldiers. They were 1,200 men in the five battalions Canada sent into the war on bicycles. "These guys were amazing," says 63-year-old Dennis Thomassen of Ottawa. He began collecting bicycle infantry memorabilia about 20 years ago, when he first learned of their unsung military contribution.

Further hard edge cycling attitude, or is it simply pure NY snark, courtesy of the New Yorker:
Holy Rollers: The city’s bicycle zealots
Quote: Bill DiPaola, the founder of Time’s Up, an environmental organization that anchors the activist, theatrical wing of the cycling community, glanced around warily, sizing up the anti-insurgency forces. “We’re definitely seeing more cars with blacked-out windows,” he said. “We expect the usual hard-line unfriendliness.”
If you muse over the recent abrupt switch (tipping point?) in public consciousness towards global warming & related issues, could there could be a smaller yet equally opposite reaction from plebs feeling a tad threatened? Charming. Not.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

“We'll all be rooned"

"Two beers and a shandy for the Lady"

Ah shite, bugger global warming, Howard needs to take action on this looming national crisis RIGHT NOW and commence an immediate cloud seeding program over Australia's wheat belt.
The World Today: Drought tipped to reduce beer quality Reporter: Iskhandar Razak
Eleanor Hall: The drought is now set to affect even the quality of Australian beer. A key ingredient of beer, malt, is likely to be of an inferior quality if it's made from this season's grain crop. And Iskhandar Razak reports this could not only affect the taste, but the cost of beer as well. (sound of glasses clinking and burping)
Ok, that story isn't funny. Not remotely amusing at all. But this is frigging hysterical: State denies rego for bicycles. I quite inadvertently ignited a flamefest by posting said article to the Bike-QLD list, and the resulting discussion has gone completely askew with bets (promises?) of illicit sex in public places and the usual rabies like foaming-at-the-mouth tanties regarding cyclist rego. Ho hum.

Scary Coincidence #29504.29 - Compare and contrast the following:
The continuing Reva ballsup, and the Australian cinematic release of Who Killed the Electric Car? Completely dissimilar? Mildly similar? Or same shit, same vested interests shovel?

Now back to fighting the good fight.