Category Archives: Road Manners

Good road manners is a important riding and social skill for roadcyclists.

The sad tale of Obikes in Melbourne

Dear Rouleurs,

What is it about OBikes that has Melbournians so worked up?? MMT rides past many of the bikes in his travels and has been amazed by the amount of vandalism that bikes have experienced. In fact MMT wonders how the operators of the scheme actually make a profit given the trail of carnage he’s seen. The plastic mud guards seem easy to break off. The wheels are frequently bent and doubled over. The latest form of vandalism involves stealing the entire seat post with saddle, rendering the bike useless. MMT really started to notice how much abuse the scheme was experiencing, when took this not-so happy snap taken in October this year.

MMT feels a bit a sympathy for this lost Obike. There have been regular newspaper articles about the large number of OBikes being fished out of the Yarra . One article really caught MMT’s eye. Back on the 19th November, the Herald Sun reported a brawl that occurred on the Metro, where some nut job took a swing at a guy who took his OBike on the train. In the interests of public safety, this is what the nut job looks like.  If you are out riding and see this guy behind the steering wheel of a ute, 4WD or van, get off the road immediately.

Whilst that’s an extreme case, MMT gets the frustration that some Melbournians are feeling about this visual clutter. MMT is amazed to see these bikes being left in the back streets of Port Melbourne. That’s pretty much asking for trouble in MMT’s opinion. It seems that OBikes have become the new shopping trolley, where customers can use and dump without, it appears any significant penalty.

On face value the business case of OBike doesn’t really make much sense. You can hire a bike for about $2 for 30 minutes on a deposit of $69. If each bike is used, 10 times a day, that’s $20 a bike. So the average daily usage will be critical generating cash flow. If the deposit is representative of how much else bike costs, then I guess each bike has a break even point of about 35 rides. So how on earth does this scheme make money?? The answer seems to be in the geo-location technology used to track the bikes.

To use the scheme, a wanna-be customer downloads the app. The app shows the locations of nearby bikes. So here’s the pay off. By data mining your personal information and linking it to your trip behaviour, Obike is on-selling this information to other punters eg marketing and consumer behaviour companies (oh great people are going to sell me more stuff;-). That all sounds very big brother/Google-ish, consequently I’ll be giving the scheme a big miss.

Until next time ride safe

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

Marv’s bogan ute revenge fantasy

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Dear Rouleurs,

Over the last couple of months I’ve been harbouring feelings of ill will towards tradies.  Presumably, they are all male, driving at breakneck speeds early in the morning in utes, vans and 4WDs along my local ride, early in the morning.  Whilst MMT realises that every working ‘person’…(let’s see if I’ve hit the right tone of political correctness ;-)…has an obligation to arrive at work on time, he wonders whether it is necessary to speed at 20 or 30 km/h above the speed limit to get there.  As there is  no police presence  at that time of the morning they get away with it, almost every single time.

So I’ve been harbouring feelings of ill which had started to develop into a full blown revenge fantasy.  It involves a bit of tweaking to a scene from ‘Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story’.  The scene involves the aging, wheelchair-bound Patches, who volunteers to coach the Average Joes dodgeball team.  Patches’ training regimen includes throwing wrenches at the team members (“If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball!”).

I imagine riding along, pulling a wrench out of my jersey pocket and throwing through the back window of a ute that has just illegally sped by.  The wrench shatters the back window and hits the bogan dickhead in the back of the head with a satisfying ‘thwok’.  Yes its a bit juvenile and cartoon-ish in a Super Mario way, but goddamnit it brings an evil smile to my face every time.

Revenge fantasies never come true, which is probably best for the continued existence of our society.  In reality, the chances of MMT throwing a spanner that accurately at a speeding ute is pretty much zero.  Its much more likely MMT would overbalance and donate a lot of skin and possibly bone to the ashpalt.   Then one day coming back from Truman on a coffee run, I saw this and laughed my ass off.

Somewhere near Albert Park a dickhead bogan is crying in his beer over his wheel clamped ute :-)

Somewhere near Albert Park a dickhead bogan is crying in his beer over his wheel clamped ute 🙂

This is poetry and karma  sweetly connected in the form of a wheel clamp.  I would have loved to have seen the face of the dickhead bogan ute owner, just after he discovered this.  Just to be clear the Sherrif’s Department has the right to do this, under the Infringements Act 2006, when a vehicle owner has an outstanding infringement warrant…possibly for something like not paying speeding fines 😉

So here’s to karma, ride safe in the knowledge that there is one less dickhead on the road.

Marv

Cycle Path Etiquette, Road Rage and Bogans in Utes – Take 2

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Dear Rouleurs,

MMT is not above pinching other people’s blogs, cartoons or infographics.  Particularly, if this means poking fun at the permanently attention challenged Gen Y/Millennials.  Last year I found a funny little cartoon in a Time Australia magazine.  I took a copy of it and had intended to “re-purpose” it here in this blog.  Up until last week, I had forgotten about it.  As per usual MMT was looking for something else, when I stumbled upon this little gem.  About 15 mins later I had my “re-purposed” marvtoon.  Volia….!!!

Reworked Cartoon from Time Magazine, July 2015

Reworked Cartoon from Time Magazine, July 2015

You can see the before and after versions.  Adding a little cyclist and ute driver were the missing pieces. So once again I dedicate this marvtoon to the dickhead bogan ute driver and offer  ‘Vaffanculo!!!’ with the appropriate hand gesture. Apologies to John Atkinson 😉

Until next time,

Marv