Category Archives: Commuting

Ride a bike and save the planet. You can reduce your carbon footprint.

Off yer bike, Boris

Dear Rouleurs,

Team MMT has been having split brain conversations about that scion of UK Politics…Boris Johnson.  Whilst Boris has perfected the art of looking scruffy and speaking like someone who might be barking mad, he’s clearly not.  In his time as Lord Mayor of London Boris did big things for cyclists.  The “Boris” Hire Bike scheme and establishment dedicated bike lane ways has moved London from being one of the most dangerous places to ride a bike to one of the best. Chapeau Mr Johnson.  By the way, I think this dilemma about how to regard Boris is captured perfectly in this photo.

No... Boris Brexit is dumb idea.

No… Boris Brexit is dumb idea.

However, his entry into national politics has resulted many WTF moments, for example BREXIT. Educated Britons are wondering exactly how it was that Boris decided that siding with looney far right of Nigel Farrage’s UKIP was a good idea.  That coup etat resulted in both the Prime Minister David Cameron and some non-descript guy that was leading Labour, no longer leading their respective political parties.  Now Boris has the job of Foreign Secretary, presumably to salvage some kind of relationship with Europe and now has the added bonus of dealing with Trump foreign policy.  Also it seems that he’s now too important to be allowed to ride one of his own Boris bikes.

Today the Age syndicated an article called “Boris Johnson gives up his Boris Bike but London pedals on”,  where Boris bemoans the fact that he’s had to give up cycling –

“I used to cycle everywhere and I do miss it.” He said he had given up cycling more than 570 kilometres per year.  Mr Johnson said he had been banned from pedalling because “it involves a sort of convoy of police cyclists, plus cars, plus God knows what.”

Poor Boris, all those luxury armoured limousines, that must be really tough.  Oh and by the way, 570 km means he was doing about 12km a week.  MMT thinks this is pretty feeble effort anyway.

Dear God, who in their right mind would allow Boris to steer.

Dear God, who in their right mind would allow Boris to steer.

Do you really need your mother to dress you properly???

Do you really need your mother to dress you properly???

A simple post-Brexit message to Boris..perhaps.

A simple post-Brexit message to Boris..perhaps.

Opps...sorry about that send the complaint to my office. I'm sure that no one will look at it.

Opps…sorry about that. Send the complaint to my office. I’m sure that no one will look at it.

Any how to celebrate that MMT can ride his bike as much as he likes and Boris can’t, here’s a picture montage of Boris, cycling hero and dud politician on bike.  A sight that sadly we will no longer see, given its enormous entertainment value.

Until next blog, ride better than Boris

Marv

Name and shame part 2 – AJA 780

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Dear Rouleurs,
Its been a few weeks since I’ve had a rant about dickhead ute drivers. May be I’ve been lucky. However, yesterday I had another close call with a dickhead ute driver. The driver of a black ute, Victorian registration AJA 780, was talking to his mate and looking at Port Melbourne Oval as he sped through the pedestrian crossing on Williamstown Road in Port Melbourne at 08:50am.  As always, the red star marks the spot.

Yes the driver of a white ute, registration OUF213 tried to kill me here today.

Yes, the driver of a white ute, registration OUF213 tried to kill me here today.

The vehicle was a black modern ute either Ford or Holden with mag rims and low profile tires and it looked a lot like this one.

20161014-blackute

The driver looked to be in his thirties, wore sunglasses and a baseball cap. If by some co-incidence, you come across this driver, feel free to punch him in the head and then direct him to this blog.

As Italians say ”Vaffanculo!!!’ with the appropriate hand gesture to you for some truly idiotic driving.  May be you sir are a future Darwin Award Winner.

Until next time, ride safe

Marv

OMG….its time to name and shame, the driver of OUF 213

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Dear Rouleurs,

My morning commute to work traverses some very busy roads around Docklands, South Melbourne and Port Melbourne area.  I’m pretty damn careful.  However the one place that I’m utterly paranoid is the pedestrian crossing on Williamstown Road in Port Melbourne.  The red star marks the spot.

Yes the driver of a white ute, registration OUF213 tried to kill me here today.

Yes, the driver of a white ute, registration OUF213 tried to kill me here today.

Once again that paranoia acted as a survival instinct, as the driver of a white f#@king ute, Victorian registration, OUF 213, drove straight through the crossing, despite that the fact that the car travelling in the opposite direction had stopped. This flagrant breach of the law occurred at approximately 9.00 am.  The ute looked like a late model Ford and it’s load was tied down with a tarpaulin.  The driver looked to be in his fourties, wore glasses and had blonde hair.

If by some co-incidence, you come across this driver, feel free to punch him in the head and then direct him to this blog.  May be that will get his attention.  God knows being dressed in bright orange and seated on bike with no less than 4 bright flashing lights, didn’t.  Seriously, driver a pox on you and your house for some truly idiotic driving.

Until next time, ride safe

Marv

The Mean Streets of Melbourne

Dear Rouleurs,

As an adopted Melbournian and born again road cyclist, I always feel a bit twitchy when I read a heading on the front page of The Age that said something like “Melbourne’s worst streets for bike crashes”. This appeared in the Age on the 26th February, and immediately had me scratching my head and assessing this list.

20160229-DangerousRoads

But its this commentary that caught my eye:

“Five of the top 10 streets for crashes are in the City of Melbourne – St Kilda Road, Elizabeth Street, La Trobe Street, Collins Street and Swanston Street. Others in the top 10, including Chapel Street and Brunswick Street, mostly share the common trait of cyclists riding on busy streets beside parking spaces that have a high turnover of cars.”

The key common factor being the movement of motorists across where the bike riders are going, is creating these hazardous situations. That’s a fair point, it is a point that is also supported by the Strava Heat Map of Melbourne CBD.

20160229-StravaMelb

The bright blue ‘lanes’ of Swanston St, St Kilda Rd, Latrobe St, the top ‘end’ parts of Collins and Elizabeth St at clearly heavy use cycling areas. Elizabeth St just baffles me as there is no cycling path, the same is true for most of Collins St. Why any cyclist would use these streets is just beyond me. Same goes with Chapel St and Sydney Road. It seems to me that a cyclist’s best survival strategy is to avoid these corridors.

Of all these streets, Latrobe St is by far the biggest disappointment. It’s really clear that the ‘so-called’ Copenhagen lane, hasn’t worked. That’s probably no surprise to commuter cyclists who use. It simply doesn’t cover the entire street and offers no protection to cyclists to motorists turning left.

 

So what’s the answer?? It is the unthinkable – remove all non-public transport and non-commercial vehicles from the CBD in the hours of 7.00-9.30 am and 16.00-19:00 pm and implement a London-style congestion zone for the period in between. Then build car parks outside the CBD and next to tram ways to house cars driven by commuting motorists. It makes no sense to keep supporting the use of cars in CBD.

So that’s my 2016 leap year anti-car rant. Until next time, stay safe.

Marv