Category Archives: Urban Cycling

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

Agile work practices are killing my blog…sob

<whinge mode>

Dear Rouleurs,

It’s been a while, since my last blog. Unfortunately the day to day drama of working in an agile workforce has become a sinkhole of wasted time. Oh well they pay me I turn up. C’est la vie…

Unfortunately, this has meant much less time to work on this blog. It’s also not helping that my adorable half pint daughter is not sleeping through the night…. Sigh. So this means much less available time and energy to do blogs and generally reflect on MMT’s experience of cycling. Happily, MMT’s weekly kilometres ridden has stayed fairly consistent since Christmas.

With the exception of a couple of minor colds and a deeply peculiar skin virus, MMT’s health has been very good. A quick glance at MMT’s Strava account reveals a steady average of 170 Kilometres a week. Hooray, MMT supposes, that for a near 50 year old man this should be cause for celebration.

</Whinge Mode>

Anyhow, enough wingeing and onto the subject of this blog. MMT spied this awesome piece of…. Street art or philosophy on the Gill’s Diner sign last week and thought it was worth putting pen to paper to publicize it.

MMT doesn’t know who chalked this memorable quote but they clearly have a strong grasp of theology. Hopefully MMT will be feeling more chipper and write a less self indulgent blog next time.

Until next time ride safe

MARV