Tag Archives: commuting

Peter Sagan vs Dog Walker or Why MMT needs to start commuting again

Dear Roulers,

Dear God where did the time go…………It is MMT’s third day back at work and he is wondering why, why, why did the summer go so quickly.  MMT has been humming Eddie Cochran’s Summertime Blues and generally feeling a bit lacklustre about the whole corporate warrior gig. Still, bills don’t pay themselves and paternity leave was wonderful while it lasted.

In the absence of a proper blog, MMT thought He would post this cycling infographic about the joys of commuting.  MMT is trying very, very hard to psych himself up to restart bicycle commuting again.  Unfortunately the midday summer rides have reduced MMT’s appetite for dodging abusive automobile operators and lunatic pedestrians with death wishes.

 

MMT get off your ass and commute.

Speaking of which I just had to steal…er…acquire this photo of Peter Sagan narrowly avoiding a dog and its wayward owner while competing in the individual time trial of 2017 Tirreno-Adriatico race.

Peter Sagan demonstrates a skillful swerve.

Sagan had to swerve abruptly onto the footpath to avoid a collision.  MMT recommends watching the youtube of this.  You can see Sagan pull up later and look around.  MMT guesses that the Czech equivalent of WTF was passing through his mind. Two observations: first the dog walker has correctly used a zebra crossing and second: where were the course marshals.  Given that its Italy, MMT is not sure what he is more amazed by.

MMT digresses.

Until next time, ride safe, particularly if there are thoughtless dog walkers about.

Marv

Off yer bike, Boris

Dear Rouleurs,

Team MMT has been having split brain conversations about that scion of UK Politics…Boris Johnson.  Whilst Boris has perfected the art of looking scruffy and speaking like someone who might be barking mad, he’s clearly not.  In his time as Lord Mayor of London Boris did big things for cyclists.  The “Boris” Hire Bike scheme and establishment dedicated bike lane ways has moved London from being one of the most dangerous places to ride a bike to one of the best. Chapeau Mr Johnson.  By the way, I think this dilemma about how to regard Boris is captured perfectly in this photo.

No... Boris Brexit is dumb idea.

No… Boris Brexit is dumb idea.

However, his entry into national politics has resulted many WTF moments, for example BREXIT. Educated Britons are wondering exactly how it was that Boris decided that siding with looney far right of Nigel Farrage’s UKIP was a good idea.  That coup etat resulted in both the Prime Minister David Cameron and some non-descript guy that was leading Labour, no longer leading their respective political parties.  Now Boris has the job of Foreign Secretary, presumably to salvage some kind of relationship with Europe and now has the added bonus of dealing with Trump foreign policy.  Also it seems that he’s now too important to be allowed to ride one of his own Boris bikes.

Today the Age syndicated an article called “Boris Johnson gives up his Boris Bike but London pedals on”,  where Boris bemoans the fact that he’s had to give up cycling –

“I used to cycle everywhere and I do miss it.” He said he had given up cycling more than 570 kilometres per year.  Mr Johnson said he had been banned from pedalling because “it involves a sort of convoy of police cyclists, plus cars, plus God knows what.”

Poor Boris, all those luxury armoured limousines, that must be really tough.  Oh and by the way, 570 km means he was doing about 12km a week.  MMT thinks this is pretty feeble effort anyway.

Dear God, who in their right mind would allow Boris to steer.

Dear God, who in their right mind would allow Boris to steer.

Do you really need your mother to dress you properly???

Do you really need your mother to dress you properly???

A simple post-Brexit message to Boris..perhaps.

A simple post-Brexit message to Boris..perhaps.

Opps...sorry about that send the complaint to my office. I'm sure that no one will look at it.

Opps…sorry about that. Send the complaint to my office. I’m sure that no one will look at it.

Any how to celebrate that MMT can ride his bike as much as he likes and Boris can’t, here’s a picture montage of Boris, cycling hero and dud politician on bike.  A sight that sadly we will no longer see, given its enormous entertainment value.

Until next blog, ride better than Boris

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

Product Review: 2XU Ignition Top & Proviz Reflect360 Gillet

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Dear Rouleurs,

MMT realised that the MarvMadeThis blog passed its second birthday.  Wow, who would have thought that something that started as a means to break up the monotony of work, would last this long.  I guess its fair representation of how much cycling has taken over MMT’s life.  Given the that the world wide web is littered with dead websites and blogs, its remarkable that MMT has survived this long.  Anyhow…enough ego stoking on with this blog entry.

MMT is back doing longer commutes.  Melbourne’s winter weather seems to have started its gradual move towards less windy and warmer days.  The days are noticeably longer with sunrise and sunset bookending increasing periods of daylight.  This has meant some reconsideration of suitable commuter gear.  The two pieces of kit that I have consistently used over the last 12 months have been 2XU’s long sleeve Ignition ¼  Zip Top in bright orange and Proviz’s cycling gillet.

 2XU Ignition Top

20160823-2XU-Ignition-Top MMT gives the 2XU Ignition Top 4 ½ Marvs 🙂 out of 5.  Its a very comfortable high visibility top if you can find the original orange version.

I bought my bright orange version mine from an outlet shop on Southbank about 18 months ago.  So readers you can treat this as a long term review.  I bought the top going into winter 2015, as I realised that I needed something warm and bright for my daily commute.  Most of the high visibility gear I owned left me shivering in the morning leg.  Happily this top fit my requirements by being relatively thick enough to keep out the wind and bright enough to really stand out in traffic.The Ignition top has a good quality ¼ zip, some reflective trim and thumb holes in the sleeves to enable them to be hitched over my riding gloves.

Unlike most of 2XU’s gear which is designed for ridiculously skinny tri-athletes, this top was a regular fit.  I purchased the XL version and it fits comfortably and is stretchy enough to fit over other undershirts.  At $65 dollars, heavily reduced, I suspect, it was fantastic value. The good news is that it’s been cold-washed repeatedly and not lost its brightness.  The bad news is that I suspect that 2XU don’t make/stock them anymore.  The closest match I can find is this in the outlet section of 2XU’s website.

http://www.2xu.com/au/p/ignition-1%2F4-zip-top/MR3465a-cto.html?dwvar_MR3465a-cto_color=INK_INK&lang=en_AU

 Proviz Reflect360 Gillet20160823-Proviz-Relect360-Gillet

MMT gives the Proviz Reflect360 5 Marvs 🙂 out of 5 – its an outstanding piece of commuter kit.

The other piece of kit I’ve made extensive use of when commuting and for the occasional early morning ride has been Proviz’s ultra-reflective gillet.  I bought mine about 12 months ago in Clarence Street Cyclery for $90.  They are more expensive now but is worth the increased price.  It wasn’t until a few months ago when I started noticing other riders with Proviz gear on that I realised how effective the clothing is at reflecting light.  Riders wearing this kit are literally a bright shining light when ever car or truck lights are directed at them.  My initial reaction was ‘whoa…that’s bright’.  The Youtube adverts don’t the reflective properties, of the clothing, justice.

However, its not like other gillets.  It isn’t cut as a ‘racing fit’ and it doesn’t have pockets.  The reflective fabric is very weather proof, able to keep out all but the heaviest downpour.  But the waterproofing comes at a cost, it’s not particularly breathable.  It has a ‘mesh’ of small holes cut through on the fabric on the lower back to encourage air flow.    As an aside MMT has been too scared to put the gillet in the washing machine and preferred to give the top a quick rinse under basin taps.

Final commentary, Proviz have released a couple of new variations on this top that, I suspect, address the feedback back about the original gillet that MMT has. These a dedicated cycling gillet, presumably with a tighter fit and the new 360+ which has a improved fabric.

http://www.provizsports.com/en_au/reflect360/gilets-vests/reflect360-gilet-reflective-gilet

Until next blog, ride safe

Marv