Monday, December 31, 2007

It's turning into a beach holiday.

More beaches.

Here's Hallet Cove. Catching up with old friends in old cars.

And Brighton Beach at sunset. It was 39 degrees in Adelaide and we cancelled previous plans in favour of a swim (and maybe a sleep) at the beach.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Clearwater, Green-Grass and Death-Wishes.

I've been making the most of the perfect weather photo opportunities over the last few days. Here are some shots around my old 'hood'.

Crystal clear water at Christies Beach.

Pt Noarlunga.

The Onkaparinga River mouth and Southport looking back toward Pt Noarlunga.

An intersting crossing, especially for a dog!

Moana, where cars are still allowed on the beach.

Wildlife inland on the Onkaparinga River.

Also got out for a hit at the Echunga Golf Course. Golf sucks, but beer and golf is great.

Brighton the next morning.

Riding home up the expressway with a hangover is not fun. There were stages on the climb where I wished a car would brake through the barriers and put me out of my misery.....

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Elroy and I have migrated to Adelaide for a couple of weeks. Elroy loves conveyor belt rides!!!

A trend to my trip started when I had breakfast beers at the Espy with Rach on Thursday. Followed by a ride to Tim’s house where I was introduced to the latest member of the Sando family, Erik, and had lots of beers.

Friday night saw eleventy thousand beers consumed at the Seacliff Pub, no sleep for me till sunrise........

but Dave can obviously sleep anywhere.

Saturday and a visit to the Royal Oak to meet Rach’s friends over some red wine and beers.

Then off to the Archer, where they make the greatest G&T, how do they get them so smooth? And they serve beer in 'large' or 'small' glasses?!?!?!?

Late night in Adelaide. Artwork or roadwork?

Brunch at The Edge was great, but riding back up cement hill with a full stomach while feeling a bit seedy is not fun.

Sunday session beers at the Emu with Naomi. One of those “let’s catch up for a beer” sessions that turns into “I think I’ll be walking home, the car’ll be right here overnight”.

Naomi quotes of the day: “Suck the f*cker out” and “Evil’s good”. Both quotes will remain out of context in order to protect the both of us.

Now Rach has left the state for a week and I have no one to organise my life!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

Pink Lemonade

It's been a couple of weeks since I picked up the Premier Cycles bike from the dump, looking worse for wear (whatever that means). I wasn't even sure if it would be salvagable but even if I only ended up with the old school bars for Betty Blue, I would have been happy. As it turns out the frame was in excellent condition with only surface rust. The cranks were Suntour SL and the ring was still good. The forks were goners and the rest I wasn't interested in anyhow.

So with a lot of TLC, Kill Rust and grease she turned out great, and rides like a demon.

I'm running the original 42 tooth ring as it was only a little hounds toothed on one side so I reversed it (which happened to be it's correct direction) and it's good as new. 42:15 is good with the 28mm tyres (the 40mm's as seen on Frankenbetty were a little too close for comfort in the front forks). I reached 47.92km/h comfortably today, flailing like a maniac I'll easily reach fifty and can sit on thirty five nicely.

The cranks were originally going to be polished up to a shine, but after going at them with a rough grit paper I liked the look. The bottom bracket was amazingly still quite smooth so I cleaned it up and re-installed, with lots of grease!!

The only thing left to do is strip the original head badge, which is pressed brass covered in silver paint, and mount it. The blue saddle has to go too. Then she'll be finished off nicely and will see many a day of commuting and bad weather training.

So what is it?
Frame - Premier Cycles Japan (Forks - from the basement)
Paint - Kill Rust - Woodland Grey
Wheels - Velocity Deep V (Velocity Hubs, Dura Ace 15t cog)
Tyres - Inertia Kevlar Armour Shield 28mm (Bike shop clearance $5 each!)
Cranks - Suntour SL (with 42t ring)
Chain - KMC Kool Chain Gold
Pedals - Crank Brothers Egg Beaters
Stem - Rithchey Comp 110mm
Headset - Shimano 105
Bars - Truvativ Team
Saddle - SDG Bel Air
Brakes - Legs like steel springs!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Rituals - Paluma ride

Riding at Paluma is always good, the difference in temperature from the city is a welcome relief and the trails are great for a long morning ride. So in an effort not to repeat myself, I'll take a different angle when writing about the ride I did yesterday.

While I was riding I got to thinking about the rituals of a ride, the things that have been evolving since the advent of the group ride that we all seem to take for granted but are the same the world over. Here are some of them.

The journey. A well planned group ride usually takes place somewhere distant from home. In this case we met up enjoyed a bacon and egg roll breakfast at a road house on the distant outskirts of town. Then we headed up the 28 kilometer ascent, into the clouds to the top of Paluma Range.

A fine mist and some light overnight rain had made the roads and trails wet, just enough to keep them nice and sticky.
A fun past time is to drive behind a car that has bikes mounted on the roof racks, then watch the trees get torn apart by the handle bars and seats of the bikes on top, always fun!!!!

Arrival. When you arrive you always faff around for a while, visiting the toilet, lubing up, dressing and packing your gear.

After the obligatory faffing, introductions, bike talk and route discussion, the ride begins. As promised I wont go into how good the ride was, because Paluma is always good, fire roads connected by some fun singletrack, tropical forest followed by dry iron bark bushland. Fast downhills and water bar jumps, blah, blah, blah!

Flats.If someone gets a flat you need to all stop, eat and watch them fix it. Ask technical questions about their tyre and pump choice.

Reward. A mid or end point needs to be incorparated into the ride as a reward. In our case we chose to stop at the Hidden Valley Cabins for a drink and snack.

Weakest Link. Always ensure there is someone who is sick or unfit in your group so that when you ask which route to take home from the mid point, they will always choose the shortest. In this case it was me, I chose the 'sickness' excuse. My broken rib would have been a backup as well as my lack of recovery since the 24 hr at Forrest.

Water obstacles.Although we are technically all grown ups, we still enjoy mud and puddles. It is important that if there is a water obstacle that can be entered at speed, someone is always at the ready with a camera. Water obstacles are usually navigated with caution, but once a rider sees a camera they almost always hit it with nil regard for personal safety, ensuring a good photo.

Showering. Following a ride, no one enjoys driving home stinking of sweat and covered in mud. Where possible a water-hole or shower should be incorporated into the journey. Find a white and emaciated member of the group and photograph them.

Laundering. Dirty and wet clothing should always be hung on the battle scared and weary bikes, I don't understand why, but a photo should be taken.

Food and beer. A BBQ and beer-fest should follow a ride where possible. In this case Jason organised and amazing spread of gourmet sausages, kababs and beer. If he was charging for his services I think he would have made a pretty penny, we were all starved and the beers went down so smoothly. Always try to incorporate a person with organisational skills into the ride. Although I am technically a logistician by trade, I am, when not prompted, pretty useless at these sorts of things.

It was another great ride at Paluma, following a few of the simple rules of mountain bike group riding.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sad news........sadder reaction.

A cyclist was hit and killed by a truck today whilst training in a bunch of 19 cyclists. Thanks to the Sydney Morning Herald, idiots now have a forum to spew forth the shit that was previously safely locked away in their tiny brains.

Bicycles on the road are like a man in shark infested waters - if something goes wrong they have no chance. They are always a hazard on the roads clogging up traffic and how more aren't killed I'll never know. When are we going to wake up, the road is for motorised vehicles (that are able to do speeds of 60kms or more - better say that or next we'll have motorised wheelchairs crawling down the highway) they're not for bicycles or skateboards or pedestrians or prams or children to play on. Posted by: David of Sydney 9:15am today

"Bikes glogging up roads". Cars hold up cars! Need I say more. And I don't call riding to work 'playing'.

Packs of cyclists are by far the most annoying thing on the road. Why do they ride side by side often 4 or 5 deep in a pack formation? Stupid. Posted by: Nate Silver of Canberra 10:24am today

It's called slipstreaming you arrogant f*ckwit. I bet you know lots about other sports, so I bet you can answer me this: Why do rugby/AFL players play with each other arses?

I have always said you have to be braindead to be a cyclist (and they really are too). They simply do not belong on the road mixing it up with cars and trucks. Here in Canberra you can get just about anywhere here on a bike path. But no that is not good enough for them, they had to get out on the roads and get killed. Our moronic politicians are even narrowing all the road lanes to make room for bike lanes, wasting millions they are with special green areas on off ramps where the cars have to give way to these idiots. The roads are poorly maintained enough without more money being wasted providing special lanes for moronic bike riders who don't even pay road taxes. If I was in a car doing 30km/h in a 100 zone I would get booked for holding up traffic so why is a bike rider different??? Get off the roads and back into the gyms. Posted by: tuffguy of Canberra 10:28am today

(1) You think you are a 'Tuffguy' , is that why you use a pseudonym and justify none of your comments with fact? (2) We "had to go out on the roads and get killed", did we? I must have missed the memo. (3) How dare the moronic politicians be concerned over the health and well being of the planet and the people under their geographic umbrella. (4) Road taxes? What f*cking 'road taxes'? Roads are paid for by a portion of everyday taxes that we all pay, not car rego. So even a 'moronic' cyclist pays your 'road tax'. Get your facts straight. (Oh, and I own a car and pay rego but choose to ride). (5) No you can't get booked for going 30km/h if that is all your vehicle can do. Since when do road rego'd tractors get booked for going slow? (6) "Back" to the gym, I've never chosen to go to a gym. I get out and see the world on a bike, slow and steady I see more than you staring at a brick wall like a lab rat on an elliptical machine or doing 100km/h in a car(cage?). It's called enjoying life every day, even on the way to work.

These contraptions are a hazard, especially when they ride in groups. The road is no place for toys, there are plenty of dedicated rate-payer funded cycleways and parks where these things can be ridden. If they insist on using the road then pay registration and obey the road rules - like everyone else has too. Posted by: Smithy of Sydney 10:15am today

"Toys?" I think billions of Chinese may disagree. And again with the taxes!!!!

Cyclists need to get off the bloody road, they deserve whatever comes to them i say. Posted by: teakle of tassie 9:30am today

So would you like to meet Dominic's wife Michelle and his two children, aged 3 and 5, and tell them that he deserved to die? Not even worth the air you breath.

Now we move to the so called 'braindead' cyclists.

Firstly, my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of those involved. Wow, there a LOT of self absorbed, narcissitic motorists posting here. The roads are NOT the sole domain of cars. As said, there are some idiots cyclists, but in my experience the proportion is a lot less than idiot drivers. I have 2 cars, both fully registered and insured. They are used on weekends. I use public transport during the week and ride my pushbike to visit family, friends and run errands. I do not take up parking space at my destination, and subsidise your full time runnings costs. Twice. No contribution- utter, utter garbage. We live in a society, its not all about how important you think you are, and how much the 15 secs delay a cyclist would normally cause (think about it) really impacts your precious life. Posted by: Pinchey 12:07pm today

teakle of Tassie you 6 fingered banjo player, cyclists are in fact forced by law to ride on the road after the age of 12 years in NSW. Enjoy the pulp mill. Posted by: cyclist of sydney 9:54am today

David of Sydney - are you serious? 2 people have tragically died and this is the sort of rubbish you feel inclined to write?. A truck could just as easily lose control and plow into a bus stop, or a house or whatever, unfortunately for the cyclists involved, it was a case of wrong place wrong time. I agree that there are some places / roads where people shouldnt ride particularly in big bunches etc and that there are a number of idiots that ride on roads. Do you suggest that cyclists riding 30 - 40kms per hour ride along paths only, the same place where mums with their prams, young children etc are going for a leisurely stroll. Pull your head in and think of the families involved losing a loved one so close to Xmas rather than standing on a soapbox. Posted by: Kevin Smith 9:40am today

Obviously some intelligent readers posting here, especially our little friend from across Bass Strait. But hey, I'm sure he is man enough to look Amy Gillet's parents in the face and tell them their daughter deserved to die... Are there bike riders that abuse the road rules, such as running lights etc just because they are on a bike - of course there are! In the same mould - do you tar all car drivers with the same brush as the 4 kids that were killed allegedly speeding in Melbourne on the weekend? Bike riders need to be properly educated on how to ride safely on the road just as we as car owners need to lose the arrogance that this is OUR road. From my experience, it is a minority on both sides that abuse the rules. Tarring all of one group with the same brush would be like me saying you must be married to your sister because you are Tasmanian. Posted by: Chris Barker of Sydney 10:22am today

I feel very sad for the family (wife and two young kids) of the man who lost his life while keeping fit with friends. I also feel very sad for the truck driver. It's not nice to be responsible for the taking of a human life, in any way. I am also very saddened by the comments of some people in this forum. This is not the time nor place for people to get on a soap box and berate cyclists for doing something that is completely legal. Freedom of speech unfortunately means that some people enjoy the opportunity to deepen the pain that is already being experienced by both parties here. One day we will all learn to RESPECT EACH OTHER and while accidents will still happen, we can at least work together to reduce their frequency and impact. Ce la vie. From: Andrew Cassie of Canberra via e-mail.

Who would you rather be? A cowardly, crude, self absorbed, arrogant, ignorant, poluting and pasty skinned lab rat of a motorist or a cyclist.

Rant over.

Monday, December 10, 2007

$10 could save a life.

Free dump weekend means lots of bikes at the dump shop. Every bike deserves a second chance, but the cheap mass produced models are barely worth the effort. Every now and then something comes along that catches the eye. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder I guess. I couldn't leave her there.

Old school.

Chrome legs and curvy bars.

Made in Japan, not China or Taiwan. Konnichiwa!

Lugged steel with all the bells and whistles.

Suntour SL.

Sliding drops, looks like fixie material to me.

Numbered and unique.

She's a bit rough around the edges, been around the block a few times. Nothing like a little bit of experience.

She came apart nicely and is 100% structurally sound. We'll see how she turns out.