Category Archives: Road Survival

Marv’s Law of Punctures…revisited…again

Dear Rouleurs,

This is the first blog MMT has written on his shiny new IPad Pro.  MMT did the MS Cycle 2018 a few weekends ago. MMT has really enjoyed doing this ride over the last few years. It’s the only time a cyclist can legally cross the Westgate Bridge. As MMT rides almost exclusively an the south eastern side of Melbourne, the ride has enormous novelty value. MMT will write up a blog about the event, sometime soon.

No, the real reason MMT has drafted up this short blog is that his started to get punctures… again… sigh. In fact, he’s had 2 in 3 days.  Its been at least 18 months since MMT has had one. MMT was beginning to think that the Bontrager AW3 tyres were impervious to punctures.

The first occurred as MMT was furiously pedaling up Kensington Road in Flemington.  It is bloody annoying getting a flat halfway up a steep hill, in the bloody rain mind you. Judging by Strava, that hill is somewhere between 5% and 7%. MMT didn’t see what it was that caused the rear flat.  It probably was a piece of glass or metal, maybe a nail.

The second flat occurred this morning need Beacon Cove store. MMT had finished his morning ride and was… luckily… only about 3/4 of a kilometre from home. Another rear tyre flat, this one occurred with a spectacular bang. MMT had exactly nailed a small but sharp piece of bitumen, resulting in pinch flat. A nearby pedestrian asked MMT if he was ok. The tyre popping must have been very loud. As a nearby pedestrian asked if I was ok.

Sunday’s puncture took 20 minutes to fix, so MNT pushed his beloved Trek back home. This was going to be much quicker. Later that day MMT purchased a new tyre at Cycles Galleria.  Removal of the old tyre revealed a hole the size of a 10 cent piece.

So I feel like I’ve rediscovered Marv’s law of punctures, all over again.

Until next time, ride safe.

Marv

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:

#

Date

 Event

 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

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