Looking at circled dates on MMT’s Calendar…

Dear Rouleurs,

MMT is just back from the Emerald City. Team MMT took their adorable 21 month half pint daughter to visit her grandparents. She promptly charmed the socks off them. MMT guesses that she has now slipped into poll position as No.1 favourite grandchild ;-). MMT digresses. Whilst in Sydney, MMT did his usual morning ride in the eastern suburbs, cranking out laps around Centennial Park and avoiding potholes, divots, crevasses in the back streets of the inner west.

Honestly, Marrickville and Sydney City Councils, when will you spend some of your ratepayers money on roads?? Have any of your councillors ridden a bike down McEvoy St lately?? Its Australia’s own version of pave/stet/cobble.  Speaking of pave, MMT is waiting with abated breath for March 17 and the start of the Classics/Monuments. Here’s the list of key dates:




 1. 17/3  Milano-San Remo
 2.  22/3  Richmond vs Carlton at the MCG…opps… not cycling 😉
 3.  23/3  E3 Harelbeke Why name cycling race after a highway?? Honestly you would think the Belgians would have a more imaginative name by now.
 4.  25/3  Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders Fields
 5.  28/3  Dwars door Vlaanderen
 6.  1/4 Tour of Flanders
 7.  8/4 Paris-Roubaix
 8.  15/4  Amstel Gold – at least the Dutch have sense of humour, naming a race after a brand of beer. Looking at you E3 Race Organisers….
 9.  18/4  La Fleche Wallonne 
 10.  22/4  Leige-Bastone-Leige

One wonders how Michael Matthews at Team Sunweb will go this year. MMT can’t wait to see Messers Gibert, Van Avermaet and Valverde go round in the bergs and cobbles.

Change of topic, how good are the Yates boys riding for Mitchelton Scott. Here’s some copy stolen directly from SBS Cycling Central.

Double Trouble – Take 1 with Simon,  Paris-Nice Stage 7

Double Trouble – Take 2 with Adam, Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 5

I wonder when Team Sky will poach these guys? Mind you with the Gods of Anti-doping staring intently at Team Sky and the British Olympic Team, they may not be that keen 😉

Until next time, ride safe avoiding McEvoy St, if you can


Marv’s February Bike Log

Dear Rouelurs,

Of course, it could never last, a unbroken run of nearly 5 months without any illness related time off the bike.  Well, that run came to an end, abruptly in February with not one but two YAFFs kicking MMT’s proverbial butt.

MMT’s February 2018 log can be found here.

The first YAFF was minor cold and inconvenience.  The second YAFF was a proper flu, that meant 2 days off work and so far 5 days off the bike….booooo!!!!.  These absences can be clearly in MMT’s monthly worm and Strava hurt numbers.  Also the second YAFF meant missing a fairly entertaining, by all accounts, Greek Wedding. 

Considering that MMT had nearly 370km in the bag by the 12th Feb, only to total 652km, this was extremely disappointing. MMT is starting to feel the mental pressure of his weekly target of 145Km. This monthly total meant that he only accumulated an extra 26km on his overall ‘lead’.  MMT is now wondering whether 7500km in a year is possible, given he’s committed to 2 overseas holidays and Christmas in Sydney this year. Hmmmm…..

The Strava Suffer score graph is still showing that Thursday and Saturday are the days MMT is out doing hard work.

Probably the only thing of any note, was that MMT, managed to take his gorgeous 20 month old, half pint daughter out on his bubba carrier Cannondale. These short trips have only been a couple of km, but have been immensely enjoyable.

Until next time, ride safe.


Ode to the Strade Bianche not being streamed by SBS…grumble

Dear Rouleurs,

As a cycling tragic, its MMT’s favourite time of year, the brief lull in UCI calendar before all the spring time Monuments and one classics start.  MMT figures that these races are most like the sportive and charity rides he does, so there’s a bit to simpatico.  Also the riders tend to win these races are of the bigger variety, as opposed to the 50-55Kg jockeys that tend to dominate the mountain and general classifications.MMT is particularly enarmoured with the  Strade Bianche due to start on the 3rd March 2018.  Unfortunately SBS aren’t covering this modern day gem (…or for that matter the Giro..WTF!!!)

The Eroica Strade Bianche (“Heroic race of the gravel roads”) was created in 1997 as a granfondo, a recreational bike race for vintage bikes only, on the white gravel roads around Siena, an event that is still held annually the day after the professional race. In 2007, a professional race was spun off the event, inaugurally called Monte Paschi Eroica, won by Russian Alexandr Kolobnev. The race was held on 9 October; it started in Gaiole in Chianti and finished in Siena. Organizer RCS asked local cycling icons Fiorenzo Magni and Paolo Bettini to promote the maiden event.[8] Monte dei Paschi, the world’s oldest still-existing bank with its headquarters in Siena, served as the race’s title sponsor for the first four years. In 2008, the race was moved to early March on the calendar, closer to the heart of the spring classics season. At this point, professional cycling teams started competing more seriously.

There are roughly 63km of gravel roads, appearing in 11 sectors (eight of those shared with the Women Elite course). For the men that’s approximately 1/3 of the course.

Strade Bianche course for 2018

There are some nasty, nasty hills in this race ranging from 6% to 18%. But what makes it really special is the final 4 kilometres approaching the city centre of Siena.

Up, down, up down…looks like hard work.

Here’s a description pilfered from event’s web site.

“The demanding final kilometres, with gradients up to 16%, approach the city of Siena along broad, straight sections of road, connected by sweeping curves, first descending, and then climbing slightly. 2km from the finish line, the route joins Via Esterna di Fontebranda, where the gradient touches 9%. 900m from the finish line, the race route passes beneath Fontebranda Gate where the road surface becomes paving slabs. The gradient exceeds 10% until 500m from the finish line, reaching its highpoint of 16% in Via Santa Caterina. A sharp right hand turn leads to Via delle Terme, and then Via Banchi di Sotto. With 300m to go, the road continues to climb slightly then, 150m from the line, a right turn leads into Via Rinaldini. The route enters the Piazza del Campo just 70m from the finish line. The final 30m descends at a gradient of 7% and the finish line itself is flat.”

So this what the final 4km route through Siena, ending at Piazza del Campo.

WTF, that’s a really nasty finish.

Man that’s seriously leg burning and after 180km or so…ouch The other thing about the race, is that professional’s seem to take it very seriously.

  • The Palmares of the last ten years include:
  • Fabian Cancellara (3 wins),
  • Michał Kwiatkowski (2 wins), and
  • Philippe Gilbert, Zdeněk Štybar (1 win each)

and then a raft of minor placings to stars of the sport like:

  • Peter Sagan,
  • Greg Van Avermaet, and
  • Alejandro Valverde.

Australia’s own Michael Rogers finished 3rd in 2010 and is to this day the only Australian to make the podium. Luke Durbridge of Orica Greenedge/Scott/Bike Exchange/Mitchelton, finished 6th last year (2017). Cancellara has the most difficult section of strade named after him, following his third win in 2016. The 11.4km, 5 star section is 54km from the finish line and was previously known as ‘Monte Sante Marie Settore’

So speaking of the great man and Siena here’s a few pilfered happy snaps.

Whoa…how beautiful is this piazza?

The piazza from above. Spectacular!!!

Proof that the organisers named a strade section after Cancellara.

Cancellara winning the Strade Bianche for the first time.

OK that’s enough skiving off at work. Hopefully I can shake off this damn throat virus and go for a ride tomorrow morning. The weather outside looks awesome.

Until next time, ride safe.


Death of an OBike…Apologies to Arthur Miller

Dear Rouleurs,

MMT has devoted a number of blogs to sad fate of dockless hire bikes here in Melbourne.  MMT is still seeing greatly abused bikes either mangled or with various pieces missing.   Although there have been some pretty creative uses of OBikes most notably:


and, this homage to ET

The vast majority of locals aren’t too impressed by them.  In last Thursday’s age MMT reckons Peter Wells absolutely nailed the average Melburnian’s…hmm… ambivalence to the OBike Scheme.

MMT wonders how long these will continue to be allowed on the streets of Melbourne.  In some ways its a bit sad, that OBike can’t figure out how position these bikes in better locations and that Melburnians can’t show the bikes a little more respect.

Until next time, ride safe