Friday, August 31, 2007

Tips for Happy Riding

Learn right away that the front brake is the most effective one, and to never lock the front wheel in dirt.

Learn how far you can lean over without scraping a pedal.
Learn to keep the inside pedal UP when you corner, and learn to ride safely in all conditions.

Signal your approach to pedestrians, especially if they're old, and a bell is better than a shout. If no bell, try clacking your brake levers. If all you've got is your voice then that's fine.

At least one ride in 10, go without your sunglasses and gloves.

Sometime next month, put some double-sided cheap-style pedals on a good bike and ride in non-cycling garb.

Carry an extra tube you can donate to somebody with a flat tire and just a repair kit.

Don't try to be a mentor to every cyclist you meet.
Don't ride in shoes you can't walk through an antique shop in.
Don't wear clothing that makes your sweat stink even more.

Don't think you'll go faster in a significant way if you and your bike become more aerodynamic.
Put a $20 note inside your seat post or handlebar and hold it there, somehow.

Don't ride until you're confident you can fix a flat.
If you ride more than one bike, have a set of bring-along tools for each one. Learn how to remove your rear wheel (put the chain onto the small cog, etc.).
If you ride in a group, bring food for you and somebody who forgot to.
Go for a one-hour ride underdressed sometime, because it's good to be really cold on a bike every now and then.
Never blame your bike or your health or anything else if you're the last one up the hill or in to the rest stop.
If your brake hoods are black, wrap your bars with a different color tape.

Never let your chain squeak.
If you pass another rider going up a hill, say more than "Hi."
If you see another rider approaching you from the rear, trying to catch you, let it happen. Fun is more important than fast.

Sometimes, bring normal food on your ride.

Shoot photos on your rides and give them away.

Feel comfortable mixing high tech and low tech, old and new parts and technologies, and don't apologize to anybody for it.

Compliment other people's bikes, especially if they're new.

Buy the cheapest helmet that fits well.

Don't always shop by price and never ask for discounts at your local bike shop. Every time you go into a bike shop, spend at least $2, and if you ask a question and get good advice, spend $5 (get a cable).

If you buy a rack, don't ask for free installation.

Don't assume your bike shop is making money.

Ride only when you feel like it.

Have at least one bike you feel comfortable riding in a downpour.
Ride in weather that keeps other cyclists indoors.
Never keep track of your pedaling cadence.
If you have a normal loop or ride, count the number of times you shift on it; then the next time you ride it, cut that in half and see if it makes any difference.

Learn to ride no-hands and to hop over obstacles, but not simultaneously.
Never hit a pedestrian. In traffic, be visible and predictable.

If you have several bikes, set them up with different equipment but always ride the saddle you like best.
Don't try to keep up with faster descenders if you're not comfortable descending.
Never apologize for buying something that's not quite pro quality by saying, "I'm not going to race or anything."
If you buy a stock bike, do something to it that makes it the only one exactly like it in the world.
Don't think it's important to match front and rear hubs or rims.
If you borrow somebody else's bike, for a short test or a long ride, say something nice about it.
Always bring a pump.
Build at least one wheel.
Wear out something.
Don't ever describe any bike, no matter how inexpensive or dilapidated, as "a piece of crap."
If you get a fancy bike assembled by somebody else, allow them a scrape or two, especially if the bike is really expensive.

These tips (slightly edited) are from Rivendell Bicycle Works

And I would add "Love your Bike!"

APEC Critical Mass

After all the media hype and the threats from our Premier I was a little bit concerned that there might be some sort of confrontation at Mass tonight. Instead it was one of the friendliest rides I've been on.

The Police were going out of their way to be friendly and helpful. This guy told me how much he was enjoying the ride and the music. He'd come in from Burwood for it. At the end of the ride the Police hung around to chat and have their photos taken with the riders.

It seems to me that the media and the politicians are the only people who want to see violent protests at APEC. The media are hungry for a sensational story and the pollies get the chance to flex their muscles and strut about being strong men. The Police and the People just want a peaceful protest.

Compare this to what happened in Minneapolis where the Police attacked people with Tasers and Mace without any provocation.

APEC Police Powers

The Police have been siezing people's bicycles as potential weapons of dissent.
I took these photos in Glebe today
Bike confiscated.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Poetry in motion

The rain, the blur,

The world stands still

As I careen uncontrolled

On down the hill --

Don't wanna die,

Ain't ready to go,

Just another dent

In some yuppie's Volvo - Markus Cook

Bicycle Haiku

Wheels spin happily

Sudden hiss of punctured tube

The long walk homeward

Why are you still driving a car?

"Driving a car versus riding a bike is on par with watching 'reality' television rather than living your own life."

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Rebel Girl

That girl thinks shes the queen of the neighborhood

Shes got the hottest trike in town

That girl she holds her head up so high

I think I wanna be her bestfriend
Rebel girl, rebel girl
Rebel girl you are the queen of my world

Rebel girl, rebel girlI think I wanna take you home
I wanna try on your clothes too

When she talks, the revolutions coming

In her hips, theres revolution
When she talks, I hear the revolution
In her kiss, I taste the revolution

Rebel girl...That girl thinks shes the queen of the neighborhood
I got news for you, she is!
They say shes a slut, but I know
She is my bestfriend
Rebel girl, rebel girl, rebel girl
I really like you, I really love you

I really wanna be your bestfriend
Love you like a sister always
Soul sister, blood sister
Please be my rebel girl

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Bat For Lashes - Whats a Girl To Do

Creepy! But it does have bicycles and a burning car...

World's Largest Spoke Card

Long time coming

Yes it's been ages I know. Sorry...

I went off to New Zealand so here are some photos I took over there. Lots of crazy old vintage bikes in that country. Most of the riders seemed to be either long haul members of the lycra brigade or elderly middle class ladies. Not a lot of bike pirates around.

And of course the obligatory mud bath photo...
Ok so it's not much to show for such a long hiatus, if you want something funny to read check out "The Freedom Blog"
Where you can enjoy gems like this "You can tell a lot about a man by the kind of car he drives; What does the fact that I drive a hummer say about me? Powerful, strong, rugged and All-American." and further down the page "The way I see it is that by driving this truck, I’m making a statement that I will not let the Democrats high oil-prices defeat me. America’s gonna keep on truckin’ no matter what the terrorists do. Anybody who rides a cycle has already given in to the terrorists."
Coming soon I will be presenting Sarah's specially commissioned photos of European cycling in all it's glory and Chris's Cambridge cyclist photos. Stay tuned.