Tag Archives: WTF

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

Melbourne…the windy city

Dear Rouleurs,

Last blog, I made a couple of throwaway lines about how f%#king windy Melbourne has been over the last few months.  Of course, copping some serious wind on my first attempt at RTB 2016 100Km version was not fun.  So it was really very, very unsurprising to come across this article, in The Age, a few weeks ago.  Unfortunately the photo of this I took is completely rubbish, so I’ve added a link to the article.

20161119-melbournewind

One paragraph in this article stood out.  Here it is fully plagarised in all its beauty.

In a month which saw 50 severe weather warnings issued and gusts reaching 80-kilometres-an-hour in Melbourne and up to 100-kilometres-an-hour in the state’s north, the wind run data for October easily surpassed the figures for the same month last year.

Tullamarine managed 14,399 kilometres in October 2015, Laverton accumulated 12,155 kilometres and Moorabbin 12,068 kilometres. Enough to comfortably get you to Buenos Aires, Salvador and Santiago respectively.

Bureau of Meteorology climatologist Blair Trewin said these measurements were 20 to 30 per cent up on data from the same month in previous years. The last October with comparable winds was 2007.

All I can say is WTF….50 wind warnings…that’s almost 2 a day and 20 to 30% more than usual.  Now, if you clicked on the link in the ’50 severe weather warnings’ you would have seen an earlier Age article.  This one  had another memorable quote and graph that is just plain horrible to look at, if you are a cyclist.

Here’s the quote:

Senior climatologist Kevin Smith said all this gusty weather comes down to several factors – a perfect storm, if you will.  Mr Smith said there were seven major storm events across Victoria during October. “We normally average about three,” he said.

Again….WTF!!! here’s the Alan Kohler style money shot graph:

20161121-windgraph

May be I need to install a motor or a sail on my bike or move to another city.  I hope summer isn’t this f#%king windy.

Until next time, ride safe…in hopefully still conditions.

Marv

Round the Bay 2016 – 100km Frankston Return

Dear Rouleurs,

Last Sunday,Team MMT completed the 100km version of Melbourne’s annual love letter to cycling, Round the Bay.  What a day…more like WTF?!!  The weather was atrocious.  The weatherman’s forecasts for extreme winds was unfortunately correct.  MMT has long extolled the virtues of the Bureau of Meteorology’s wind forecast map http://www.bom.gov.au/marine/wind.shtml.  The night before the ride this is what the BOM forecast, for 5am to 11am.

20161009-Wind-Forecast

In fact it is was much worse with wind gusts of up to 100km/h.  I saw a young lady flip her road bike over the curb and land on the grass at Katani Gardens in StKilda.  The wind blew sideways, her front wheel contacted the curb and the rest was history.  Fortunately, she received no injuries other than a really good fright.

At the Back of the queue.....

At the Back of the queue…..

Ta da.....here's my RBT kit at long last.

Ta da…..here’s my RBT kit at long last.

So just a quick recap MMT entered the 2016 Round the Bay (RTB) in August after having one of those days at work.  Unfortunately, the job that pays for this blog and just about everything else that team MMT needs, has more frequently occurring moments of lunacy.  Cycling is an excellent antidote.  MMT did have some issues with the registration process for RTB.  The Jersey arrived as XXS as opposed to the XXL ordered and the entry kit never arrived.  A couple of frustrating calls later, MMT was queuing on the Friday before the event to change his jersey and collect a replacement kit.  This took over an hour.  It’s hard to be angry with volunteers doing a tricky job on behalf of a charity.  MMT’s sense of frustration was short lived.

C'est Moi..at the Starting Line

C’est Moi..at the Starting Line

The 2016 RBT Starting Line

The 2016 RBT Starting Line

You're riding a tricycle, how far??

You’re riding a tricycle, how far??

I'm not even sure what kind of bike this is..

I’m not even sure what kind of bike this is…

Unlike registration, everything else the event organisers arranged was excellent, the start was well managed as thousands of entrants slowly made their way out of Alexandria Gardens towards Beach Road.   Volunteers were cheerful and numerous.  Even as the wind approached gale force, many were still at the finish line cheering cyclists as they came through.

Ammenities at Mordialloc rest stop

Ammenities at Mordialloc rest stop

Bike parking at Mordialloc

Bike parking at Mordialloc

The rest stops at Mordialloc and Frankston were very well organised with a good mixture of sweet and savoury treats available.  Interestingly, no refreshment other than water was available.  Whilst both rest stops were located next to cafes but the queues for coffee put me off.  I skipped he Mordialloc rest stop on the return leg in the, proven to be false, hope that I would beat the arriving gale force winds.

WRT to the ride itself, without wind its an enjoyable, bar a couple hills, flat ride.  At various points such as St Kilda, Brighton, Sandringham, Blackrock,Parkdale and Mordialloc,its very scenic.  Coming in and out of Frankston was a little boring and in parts the road surface was fairly rough.  I tailed a bunch from Lend Lease as far as Sandringham.  Their kit was reminiscent of Team Sky, but happily their speed was not.  My personal highlight was the pair of girls riding unicycles dressed in read white.  I’m not sure how they made it the finishing line given the wind.  I was surprised by the number of mountain bike and commuter/flat handle bar bike riders amongst the participants.

RTB amenities at Frankston

RTB amenities at Frankston

My trusty Wlier leaning up against a wall in Frankston

My Wilier leaning up against a wall

Frankston Beach from the Visitor Centre

Frankston Beach from the Visitor Centre

Another shot of the Frankston Village

Another shot of the Frankston Village

The finishing line and village were a welcome sight nearly 5 hours later.  The village had numerous tasty food options.  Alas the end of ride lunch provided by the organisers was excellent, so I didn’t try any of their wares.  There were many bike vendors with bikes, cycling kit accessories for sale.  I bought a discounted pair of Roeckl gloves to replace the much older and worn pair I have.

The RTB Village in Alexandria Gardens

The RTB Village in Alexandria Gardens

Bike Parking in the RTB Village

Bike Parking in the RTB Village

These guys made a pretty decent latte

These guys made a pretty decent latte

Another shot of the Village

Another shot of the Village

So onto the stats, like most semi-serious cyclists keeping track of kilometres, cadence, speed and calories burned becomes an obsession.  So here’s my Garmin record.  Much to my surprise I now rank just inside the top 200 for one of the segments.  Overall, about 95Km in less than 5 hours was a reasonable effort, given that I had never attempted that distance before.

201009-garmin-rtb

On reflection, I should have skipped the Mordialloc rest stop on the way down and kept my stop at Frankston to 15 mins.  That would’ve kept the round trip closer to 4 hours.  Also given the slow rolling start, I think next time, I’ll elbow my way to the front.  All things considered, I’ll do this ride again next year.

Until next time, ride safe

Marv