Category Archives: Urban Cycling

The Stage 4 Lockdown Blues

Dear Rouleurs,

It’s the second week of August and MMT is, to quote Shaun Micallef, ‘mad as hell’. Apparently, the Victorian version of overseas passenger quarantine was run by a bunch of muppets who didn’t brief or prepare their staff. Now all of Melbourne is in stage 4 lockdown and all of country Victoria is in stage 3 lockdown. Bummer…. The pic below shows The Age headline for the 3rd of August. In the end, the State Government didn’t have choice. The mounting mystery case list and sadly, deathtoll simply couldn’t be ignored.

The impact of that has meant has a drastic reduction in MMT’s time on the bike outdoors. People living in Melbourne are only allowed one hour of exercise a day and aren’t allowed to travel outside of a 5 kilometre radius of their home. The combination of those 2 restrictions has meant a lot of short, and some what frustrating rides inside the Red Circle of Boredom….

And there it is in all of its glory. The Red Circle of Boredom has meant a number of rides around Albert Park Lake and Fisherman’s Bend. If MMT had more than 1hour, he could have ridden to Williamstown and back. Being so close to the Bay has meant a large reduction in ride variety. Fortunately, MMT still has St Ali’s and Brother Bubba Budan in that zone so at least he has access to decent coffee when needed.

Now before MMT forgets the Red Circle of Boredom, is based on a rather heplful website, https://2kmfromhome.com/. The author is a fellow called David Bolger in the Republic of Ireland. You can find him here on Twitter: https://twitter.com/davebolger. It looks like his website received some serious interest from Melbourians judging by this tweet.

If MMT hadn’t seen this website on Strava, he may resorted to using a Melways (…remember those?? ;-), a pin, a piece of string and a pencil, to achieve the same end. Very old school geometry vs a new snappy website…the website wins. If you feel so inclined you can buy Dave a coffee here at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/devhaus. BTW, Coffee in Ireland must be seriously expensive at 5 Euro ie $8.23 AUD…ouch.

Any how, ride safe and stay safe

MMT in Stage 4 Lockdown

Are MAMILs an endangered species?

Dear Rouleurs,

MMT has been overwhelmed by really crappy May. Knocked over by the early flu season, MMT has been struggling with illness and just juggling all the balls that life, work, a pregnant wife and three year old can throw in the air. So there has been no time for blogging and a lot less cycling happening. To top it all off, the Melbourne weather has turned nasty on the back of an old fashioned Antarctic blast…life moves on.

So on top of the early flu season and nasty weather, a recent article that appeared in the local Australian press, made MMT wonder whether his days as a cyclist are numbered. The primary factor in MMT’s growing sense of fragile morality and dread, lay in a report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

What did this report contain that so rattled MMT? The answer being statistics. That hardly sounds lethal but a recent study has shown conclusively that more MAMILs (ie male cyclists over the age of 45) are finding themselves in the back of an ambulance and in hospital, than ever. Check this out this direct steal from the Sydney Morning Herald on the 8th May 2019.

“The rise of the MAMIL — middle-aged men in Lycra — has led to soaring hospitalisations and a doubling in the number of deaths for cyclists aged over 45.”

“A new report from the AIHW looked at injury and death rates for cyclists from 1999/2000 to 2015/2016. It found that:

  1. there was an average of almost 10,000 cyclist hospitalisations a year, with the most recent figures showing three quarters were men.
  2. The number of cyclists aged 45 and over taken to hospital grew by nearly 500 per cent from 728 to 4120, more than a third of all cases.”

“The number of people aged 45 and over killed while riding a bike doubled from 41 to 81 deaths.”

FTW….MMT is wondering whether he needs to bump up his hospital and life insurance. MAMILs may not be a endangered species, it is certainly one that’s being threatened by injury.

Until next time, please take care out there in this horrendous weather

MMT

Anonymous steel frame single speed in Docklands

Dear Rouleurs,

When MMT isn’t living life on 2 wheels, he’s pretty keen on checking out what other cyclists are riding around on.  The other day, MMT was in Docklands waiting for his wife/doing evening childcare collection. MMT noticed a very unusual single speed locked up against a parking sign.  On first glance it looks like a ‘bog-standard’ polished steel frame beast, the kind ridden by someone who has beard and like craft beer. Looking at you Gen-Y hipster dude.

Closer inspection, made MMT wonder whether this was rare beast, a vintage hand-built racing frame.  MMT couldn’t see any discernible maker’s marks or logos.  Whilst the bike had modern Shimano brakes and rims, the frame had some peculiar features. 

The most immediate striking feature being the one-piece curved seat stays, that became top tubes that connected all the way to the head tube. The two top tubes where connected by a number of braces. 

The rear brake cable was threaded through the braces to the rear brake caliper.

What’s noticeable is the quality of welding on the frame joints, bottom bracket and on the lugs. MMT just wishes the owner would take better care of this beast and polish off the superficial rust on the welding. There’s no excuse, dude!!!

The primary reason that MMT thinks that this is vintage frame, is the very old school, short, stem that has a bolt to secure the steam to the head set. 

So the question is:  Is this recently restored vintage bike or a hand built project with seriously old components?

Until next time, ride safe

MMT

Cermanic Speed is the future of road bike drive trains….WTF??

Dear Rouleurs,

MMT is still grappling with time poverty and sleep deprivation. With Bubba Mark 2, only 3 months away, MMT is beginning to think this will be a tough year. As harbinger of things to come, MMT watched Richmond’s AFL premiership hopes for 2019 nose dive last week. Alex Rance hobbled off the MCG with a season ending ACL injury. So AFL may not be a source of solace for the coming winter either. MMT digresses.

When MMT feels this out of sorts, thinking about buying a new bike always cheers MMT up. In the deep contemplation of road vs commuter vs gravel bikes as alternate replacements for MMT’s Venerable Wilier Laverdo, He re-discovered last years announcement from Ceramic Speed, a Danish bike components company.

Sometime in September 2017, ceramic Speed released a prototype road bike that contained a radical new drive train. This drive train based on a drive shaft rather than a chain meant that its power efficiency could reach 99%. That’s damn impressive and could give a rider a very significant speed advantage over his chain equipped competitors.  According to Ceramic Speed, a standard chain based drive train, like Shimano Durace has a maximum efficiency of 97%.

All of this is achieved by a pinion style drive shaft system. A total of 21 bearings play a crucial role in the functionality and efficiency of Driven. The bearings transfer torque from the front ring through the drive shaft, then onto the 13-speed rear cog.

Engineering aside, it looks amazing, like something out of a science fiction movie. MMT …sooooo… wants a bike that has this. No doubt this will cost big bucks when its eventually productionised and available to mug punters like MMT.

MMT could imagine Dave Brailsford, Manager of the team formerly known as Sky, signing up for this. One wonders how Shimano, Campagnolo and SRAM will respond to this incredible looking piece of engineering. All of this speculation cheered up MMT no end.

Until Next time, Ride safe

MARV