Monthly Archives: December 2014

More reasons why Melbourne should be like Copenhagen

Occasionally, I read articles in the mainstream press about relative merits of cars vs bicycles as a means of commuting.  Inevitably cars win regardless of the merits of short range bicycle commuting or mixed mode using public transport.  Then I find something like this on the Internet  that convinces me that we really aren’t trying hard enough 🙂


Copenhagen bikes rule

Marv’s Law of Bicycle Punctures

Carrying on from previous posts about irritating punctures, I’ve compiled a list of clauses which I’m now proposing as my law describing the likelihood of getting a puncture.  Some people may think I’m getting a head of myself here but, sad to say I’m basing this on empirical observations of my own stupidity.

Clause (i) If you are going to get a puncture, it will be at most inconvenient time, when you are late for work, a dinner date or an important and you will not have brought a spare tube or puncture kit.

Clause (ii) It is inevitable that you will have more punctures on your back wheel, as this carries your weight.  Consequently, if you are like me, heavier you will have more punctures.

Clause (iii) It more likely that you will have rear puncture when you haven’t cleaned your rear running gear and/or are wearing new clothing.  Grease will find its way into places and clothing that can’t be easily cleaned.

Clause (iv) It is more likely that you will get a puncture when it rains as more debris is washed onto the roads and wet tyres are more susceptible to damage.

Clause (v) It is more likely that you will get a puncture and then have the weather turn bad with heavy showers making your machine’s parts that much harder to handle.

Clause (vi) It is more likely that you will get a puncture when you are riding alone when there is no one to help you.

Clause (vii) It is more likely that you will get a puncture, if you are stupid enough to boast about never getting one.  This is hubris which greatly angers your fellow cyclists and Velos the Greek god of bicycling. You will be smited by his wrath 🙂


The gloves are off…well not quite :-)

The Breakaway

When you think of bike gear, the first piece of equipment that comes to mind isn’t typically what you’d wear on your hands. But gloves protect your hands from cold, vibrations, blisters, and, in the case of a fall, gravel and bitumen rash.

The Leadout

Why Gloves? One of the biggest benefits of wearing biking gloves is the added grip and control you’ll achieve. Everything from sweat to rainy conditions can make your handlebars slippery, and without gloves, you’re much more likely to make an avoidable mistake while riding.

By wearing gloves, you’ll also get more protection from the constant friction between your hands and the handlebars. This rubbing can cause blisters or chafing that will quickly make your cycling a much less pleasurable experience. The padding in most bike gloves helps ward off chronic conditions that have been linked with biking, too, such as numbness or carpal tunnel syndrome.

The Peloton

Road cycling gloves have three key features that make your life as a cyclist a lot more enjoyable.

Padding – Padded road biking gloves absorb shock to keep you more comfortable on a long ride. How thick the padding is matter of personal taste, thick padding can feel cumbersome and reduce handlebar feel.

Finger-pulls – are small pieces of material located on the ends of the glove fingers to assist in removing the glove. The tighter the fit the harder it sis pull them off. I have pair which has small straps sown into the underlying of the index and ring fingers. This seems to work well.

Nose wipe – Another feature of many road biking gloves is a fleece or cloth patch on the thumb, which comes in handy if you’ve got a runny nose or sweaty brow and need to wipe it down while riding.


When looking for gloves, you’ll come across three basic styles.

 Finger-less gloves


These are great when you want to feel the brakes and shifters, and they also allow more breath-ability when biking in hot temperatures. They’re more commonly used by cyclists.
 Full-finger gloves20141205-Fullfinger-Cycling-Gloves-sml

These are preferred by mountain bikers as they provide greater grip and protection. They provide extra coverage of the fingers which makes them a crucial part of cold-weather bike clothing, as slow-moving or even numb fingers can certainly put a damper on your braking and shifting abilities.
Lobster claw gloves20141205-Lobster-Cycling-Gloves-sml

These are ideal for winter commutes, as these gloves group your pinkie and ring fingers together for warmth, and your index and middle fingers together for freedom to work handlebar controls.