Category Archives: Road Survival

Time to build an Ark??

Dear Rouleurs,

MTT was walking past one his workplace’s TVs when he noticed Emergency Services putting out a state wide warning for Victoria, for the next three days.  A quick search of BOM revealed the following:

Significant and widespread flooding is likely across most of Victoria from Friday onwards.

A large high pressure system near New Zealand continues to direct a hot and humid northeasterly airstream over Victoria. A trough of low pressure crossing the Bight will reach western Victoria late today then become slow moving. A low pressure system will develop on the trough over northwestern Victoria on Friday then drift slowly southeastwards over the weekend.

Heavy rain and scattered thunderstorms are likely to develop in the far west during Thursday night into Friday before extending across the remaining parts of the State during Friday. The heavy rain and thunderstorm activity will continue on Saturday and Sunday.

Three day totals of around 100-200 mm are expected across most of northern and central regions of the State. Elsewhere totals are likely to be between 30 and 100 mm. The highest totals are expected over the northeast ranges, where three day totals may exceed 250 mm.

GOOD LORD…Is this really how summer is going to start?? The synoptic charts are spectacular.

I’m guessing that I won’t be doing too much riding on the weekend…boo 🙁

Until ride safe, avoiding ridiculous thunder storms and floods.

Marv

Sometimes there are things that you can’t unsee….

Dear Rouleurs,

I was out having a really enjoyable round trip ride to Mordialloc. Clear skies, almost no wind and crisp conditions, made ideal weather for riding. MMT has finally recovering from a 3 week bout of bronchitis that ruined his Easter riding plans and resulted a couple of visits to his GP. This morning’s ride was sans RCC MEL, mainly due to MMT’s lack of conditioning. Riding solo has its advantages, you listen to music, set your own pace and just enjoy the landscape you are journeying through.

So with that in mind, MMT was feeling fairly zen like until encountering heavy traffic through Brighton and Elwood. It is always tricky threading your way through slow moving or immobile traffic. Motorists tend to become a bit edgy and less observant. The reason the congestion became apparent near the Elwood Canal. There were numerous blue flashing lights. MMT’s initial thoughts were “That’s odd place to put an RBT station. No wonder traffic is banked up”. Crawling along through the traffic, it becomes apparent that it’s not just Police it’s also Paramedics. A small bunch of cyclists is on the footpath. The Police has blocked off half of a lane. I carefully move out of the cycle lane and eyeball the driver behind me.

As I pass the Police car, I see a horrific sight. A cyclist has had a tragic accident. I think the man is covered in blood. The paramedics are administering CPR. I can’t shake the feeling I’ve just witnessed a fatality. I feel the blood drain from my face and I am nauseous. One word appears in my mind…”how?”. How did that happened? It’s a flat piece of road with good visibility. Riding conditions were perfect. I’m shocked and saddened. This man’s loved ones are going to have a terrible morning. I think of my family, my wife, my 10 month old daughter. I’m very jittery and move onto the bike path at the first opportunity. I’m glad to arrive home safe.

I ride to work very carefully. I meet one of daughter’s carer’s on the way. She’s riding a fixie. We have a short chat. I let her and the lady behind her go through first. I’m in no hurry today. I arrive at work, have a long hot shower and try to clear my head. Eventually I walk to my desk and I log on to my PC. I check my email and then decide to Google the accident. Oh no… its exactly as I feared. The Sun Herald reports that the cyclist has crashed into a parked car. He was part of a small group riding along Marine Parade. He was only a few years older than me. I feel sad for the man’s family. I hope that he didn’t suffer.

Please, please, please ride safe.

Marv

Melbourne…the windy city

Dear Rouleurs,

Last blog, I made a couple of throwaway lines about how f%#king windy Melbourne has been over the last few months.  Of course, copping some serious wind on my first attempt at RTB 2016 100Km version was not fun.  So it was really very, very unsurprising to come across this article, in The Age, a few weeks ago.  Unfortunately the photo of this I took is completely rubbish, so I’ve added a link to the article.

20161119-melbournewind

One paragraph in this article stood out.  Here it is fully plagarised in all its beauty.

In a month which saw 50 severe weather warnings issued and gusts reaching 80-kilometres-an-hour in Melbourne and up to 100-kilometres-an-hour in the state’s north, the wind run data for October easily surpassed the figures for the same month last year.

Tullamarine managed 14,399 kilometres in October 2015, Laverton accumulated 12,155 kilometres and Moorabbin 12,068 kilometres. Enough to comfortably get you to Buenos Aires, Salvador and Santiago respectively.

Bureau of Meteorology climatologist Blair Trewin said these measurements were 20 to 30 per cent up on data from the same month in previous years. The last October with comparable winds was 2007.

All I can say is WTF….50 wind warnings…that’s almost 2 a day and 20 to 30% more than usual.  Now, if you clicked on the link in the ’50 severe weather warnings’ you would have seen an earlier Age article.  This one  had another memorable quote and graph that is just plain horrible to look at, if you are a cyclist.

Here’s the quote:

Senior climatologist Kevin Smith said all this gusty weather comes down to several factors – a perfect storm, if you will.  Mr Smith said there were seven major storm events across Victoria during October. “We normally average about three,” he said.

Again….WTF!!! here’s the Alan Kohler style money shot graph:

20161121-windgraph

May be I need to install a motor or a sail on my bike or move to another city.  I hope summer isn’t this f#%king windy.

Until next time, ride safe…in hopefully still conditions.

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