Tag Archives: Sydney

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:




 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


Product Review: Livelo Bicycle Hire Sydney and the Swift Ultravox


Dear Rouleurs,

A few weeks ago MMT hired a roadbike through Livelo in Sydney.  MMT has been threatening to hire a bike in Sydney for years.  He last attempted this at Easter time this year, but had his cunning plan foiled by YAFF.  MMT tried, at short notice and in vain, to book a zippy Canyon via RCC in Sydney.  So rather than give up on the idea, MMT tried Livelo.  Here’s their pretty logo.

Livelo have been around awhile.  MMT can first remember seeing a flyer for this company a few years ago.  The service seems to have experienced impressive growth, as its now possible to to hire a road bike in Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Perth, Sydney and Gold Coast. They also hire bikes out overseas, in London, Singapore, Geneva and Auckland. Its interesting how their booking site is now listed with a .co.uk domain now.

The company encourages prospective clients to sign up and create profile.  The profile contains your personal details, but more usefully, your fitting measurements for the bike.  The company also has an app.  MMT downloaded and installed it.  The app is basically a container for presenting the website and honestly seemed pretty slow to render pages.  However, Livelo get lots of credit for at least making the effort.

The great thing about Livelo is that they deliver and collect from your door.  As MMT was staying close the CBD in Sydney, there wasn’t a delivery charge.  The delivery guy turned up in van with the bike right on time. And when MMT writes ‘the delivery guy’, he means the company owner/founder Peter Barnes. Unfortunately MMT’s Sydney address was literally just the wrong side of Camperdown, which meant a small $20 fee.  MMT rented the bike for the weekend, which meant a Friday evening drop-off and Sunday afternoon collection.

Unfortunately, MMT didn’t get to ride a top of the line Colnago, but rather a zippy SWIFT.  Now stupidly, MMT managed not to take a photo of the bike…epic fail to quote a nearby Gen-Y co-worker. However it looked a lot this one. Apparently this bike is called a Swift Carbon Di2 Ultravox.  Which makes me wonder how SWIFT didn’t get sued by the management company of 1980’s glam-pop band Ultravox.

After riding on a Trek Domane for nearly 8 months, the Swift was an absolute bone rattler by comparison.  It had a super stiff frame, accelerated very quickly and cornered beautifully, but MMT felt every bump through the saddle, from his Coccyx to up to his jaw bone. This wasn’t helped by bike being fitted with some rather worn 23 mm tyres.  MMT would have have preferred 25 mm or 28 mm.

MMT learned later that these could have been fitted, on request….D’oh.  Oh well, next rental  MMT will remember to request them.  Also the handlebar tape was the really thin stuff that the pros prefer, rather than some spongy 2.5 mm tape.  This would have kept some of the road vibration out of MMT’s hands.

This aside, it was super quick.  OMG, MMT was drafting triathletes doing circle work in Centennial Park.  MMT loves the look of shock one of these guys has, when they realise a) they have wheelsucker and b) they can’t shake MMT off.  Superb 🙂  On MMT’s second ride, the route took in some hills around Clovelly.  The Swift loves hills, it felt so much more responsive and easier to pedal than the Domane.

The other big positive experience from this rental experience was the shifting.  MMT has and is very ‘old school’ about drive trains.  MMT’s Domane is fitted with cable driven Shimano Ultegra shifters and these work just fine thanks very much.  However, the same group set with Di2 technology is so ridiculously smooth.  The only catch being that the shifting is the opposite way round and takes a little neuro-rewiring in your brain to get used to it.

So what’s MMT’s score?  Well for Livelo MMT awards 4 and 1/2 happy Marvs out of 5 and for the Swift Carbon Ultravox 4 happy Marvs out of 5.

Until next time, ride safe


Bollards to that…apologies to Attilla the Stockbroker

Dear Rouleurs,

I just had to post this one.  Post – that luntatic ice addict driving his car down Bourke St Mall and all the terrible, terrible acts of religious fanatics in London, Melbourne has received its own fleet of hideous concrete bollards.  They are scattered all over the CBD. Whilst these things seem to be unfortunately necessary, they are unspeakably ugly.  The picture below is sufficient proof of that.

A row of concrete eyesores near Fed Square.

So much to MMT’s surprise, an interesting article, documenting a wonderful public spirited response to these eyesores, appeared in the Age a few days ago.  I assume for reasons of cost cutting, after all its Fairfax print, the online version appeared only in the Sydney Morning Herald…WTF.

I’m surprised that anyone in the emerald city of Sydney would give 2 proverbial Shi#ts about these things in Melbourne???’

Another row of concrete eyesores near Southern Cross Station. One of them is just a little prettier, thanks to David Gray, the infamous Bollard Bandit.

Nevertheless, MMT feels compelled offer a polite and heartfelt ‘chapeau’ to Melbourne’s very own Bollard Bandit, David Gray for improving the city scape of Melbourne just a little bit.

Chapeau Monsieur Gray 🙂

Until next time, ride safe, avoiding bollards,