Monday, September 17, 2007

Jake's Bike Commuter Tips

  • Love your bike!
  • Get yourself a bike that's not so cheap that you have to keep fixing it all the time.

  • Get yourself a bike that's not so expensive that you can't leave it chained up outside the pub.

  • Where ever possible take your bike inside with you.

  • Add racks, panniers or a milk crate to your bike so that you can easily transport stuff. Milk crates are great because you can just throw your bag in and take off without strapping it down. Panniers are good too but they cost money.

  • Keep your bike inside at home so it doesn't get all rusty.

  • Invest in some steel pedals, they have less give in them than the usual plastic ones so every ounce of pushing power goes onto your chain.

  • Lube your chain every now and then.

  • If a motorist behind honks at you just smile and go a bit slower.

  • Buy some slick tires, they have better grip than the knobbly ones when you are riding on paved surfaces and you go faster!

  • Keep your tires pumped up nice and hard. If your bike feels a bit sluggish or harder to pedal you probably need to pump your tires.

  • Carry a plastic bag to put things in in case of rain.

  • Get yourself some flashing lights. Don't be stingy with the batteries.

  • Even if you have lights and a reflective vest, ride like you're invisible to motorists, they often don't look where they are going.

  • Ride free and assert yourself on the road but don't be reckless. If you do crash it will probably be your fault so choose not to.

  • If you meet a policeman while riding on the footpath, slow right down, smile and nod.

  • Don't ride fast on footpaths.

  • Don't wear headphones.

  • Try and pick a route that runs along a train line. Not only will it be flatter but if something goes wrong with your bike you can just jump on a train.

  • When you see another cyclist ring your bell or give them a wave.

  • Try to stay out of the door zone, ride about half a meter out from parked cars.

  • If the road is narrow, take the lane. It's much safer than letting cars try to squeeze past you.

  • Get yourself some bicycle gloves.

  • Mud guards are great when it rains, the full length metal ones are the best.

  • Don't get angry at motorists. They're not worth it. A tap on the window and a polite request for a little consideration is more than enough. That alone scares the pants off them when they are sitting there cocooned in their little cage.

  • Acknowledge the nice motorists, give them a wave and a smile.

  • When you see a cyclist in trouble stop and offer assistance.

  • Make sure your seat is properly positioned, you should be standing on your toes when you are sitting on the seat.

  • Keep some spare socks and undies at work in case you get really soaked.

  • Carry a water bottle and keep yourself hydrated.

  • Don't ride the same route every day.

  • Don't be scared of riding in the rain.

  • Don't be scared of riding in the dark.

  • Don't feel that you have to dress up in spandex tights to ride your bike, just wear your normal clothes.

  • In summer carry your work clothes on your bike and wear shorts and a T-shirt while you're riding. Have a quick splash in the sink on arrival and then change into your work gear.

  • Recruit more cyclists, every person not driving a car makes the road less dangerous. Every person cycling makes the road safer.

  • Let your friends and colleagues feel your muscular legs.

  • Go to Critical Mass and other community rides. Sydney Body Art Ride especially!

  • Form a relationship with a good bike shop. I like Cheeky Transport in Newtown.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

They Hate Freedom

They hate us because we are free.
They hate us because we question the beliefs they hold so fervently.
They hate us because they think we don't belong in their country.
Assuming that their way of life is the one true path, they deem us infidels, lesser beings who deserve to be destroyed.
They can't stand freedom. Having given it up themselves, it irks them to see anyone else have it and use it.
They create a whole value system based on the necessity to be like them and deprive ourselves as they do.
They don't really want to see anyone reduce their dependence on foreign oil. Real freedom is too much work. Slaving like a dog to pay car payments, insurance, upkeep and fuel costs is deemed freedom, worth the price of lives lost at home and abroad.

Putting forth one's own wholesome effort to get from place to place is subversive, annoying, despicable self-indulgence.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Political Poster Exhibition

Art plays a crucial role in social struggle - illustrating and inspiring the power of social movements.

While the APEC politicians discuss how best to silence dissent, prolong the oil wars and profit from environmental devastation, come and feast your eyes on the alternative Art that inspires and demands Action!

Some of the most stunning posters are from the artist collectives which operated in the 1980s out of the (then squatted) Sydney Uni Tin Sheds. Powerful, eloquent and moving, these full colour posters use silk screening craft and artistic techniques unique to Australia which have rarely been used since.

Let the walls speak!

The opening night is onWednesday 5th September from 6pm, with talks by some of the originalartists at 6.30pm, food and drinks available. After that it will be open 10am till 7pm weekdays, and 10am to 4pm weekends,except closed the 7th, 8th and 9th.

5th to 19th of September.

Sydney Uni, Holme Building, The Bevery. (Near the footbridge over Parramatta Rd)

Entry is by donation. And all proceeds will go to preserving the posters, which may not survive for another thirty years otherwise.