Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Mean Streets of Melbourne

Dear Rouleurs,

As an adopted Melbournian and born again road cyclist, I always feel a bit twitchy when I read a heading on the front page of The Age that said something like “Melbourne’s worst streets for bike crashes”. This appeared in the Age on the 26th February, and immediately had me scratching my head and assessing this list.


But its this commentary that caught my eye:

“Five of the top 10 streets for crashes are in the City of Melbourne – St Kilda Road, Elizabeth Street, La Trobe Street, Collins Street and Swanston Street. Others in the top 10, including Chapel Street and Brunswick Street, mostly share the common trait of cyclists riding on busy streets beside parking spaces that have a high turnover of cars.”

The key common factor being the movement of motorists across where the bike riders are going, is creating these hazardous situations. That’s a fair point, it is a point that is also supported by the Strava Heat Map of Melbourne CBD.


The bright blue ‘lanes’ of Swanston St, St Kilda Rd, Latrobe St, the top ‘end’ parts of Collins and Elizabeth St at clearly heavy use cycling areas. Elizabeth St just baffles me as there is no cycling path, the same is true for most of Collins St. Why any cyclist would use these streets is just beyond me. Same goes with Chapel St and Sydney Road. It seems to me that a cyclist’s best survival strategy is to avoid these corridors.

Of all these streets, Latrobe St is by far the biggest disappointment. It’s really clear that the ‘so-called’ Copenhagen lane, hasn’t worked. That’s probably no surprise to commuter cyclists who use. It simply doesn’t cover the entire street and offers no protection to cyclists to motorists turning left.


So what’s the answer?? It is the unthinkable – remove all non-public transport and non-commercial vehicles from the CBD in the hours of 7.00-9.30 am and 16.00-19:00 pm and implement a London-style congestion zone for the period in between. Then build car parks outside the CBD and next to tram ways to house cars driven by commuting motorists. It makes no sense to keep supporting the use of cars in CBD.

So that’s my 2016 leap year anti-car rant. Until next time, stay safe.


Marv does the Ballarat Classic 2016

Dear Rouleurs,

It has been a couple of weeks since I’ve had a chance to look at this blog.  Unfortunately the job I do to fund my cycling addiction was actually interfering with my cycling addiction.  Needless to say this was making me a bit cranky.  I digress.

However, I was very lucky to participate in the Ballarat Cycle Classic, a well organised charity ride  that supports cancer research, last weekend.  The day was superb with good, sunny weather in the morning, before warming up in the afternoon.  I did the 60 km version of the event as I a bit scared by some of the course stats I was reading. The 85 km and 100 km versions looked pretty difficult.  The course profile is shown below.

What I can say is that the first climb isn’t too bad provided you are in the right gear, something I managed to stuff up.  The second climb is just really hard work. About 2/3rds of the way up Mt Buninyong Road I really thought I might not make the top.  A gradient of 5.3% might not sound like much but the average hides a few tough sections.  I was very glad that I had swapped over my bike’s crankset set and cassette.  After passing over the summit, the next 25 km or so aren’t too bad.  The overall course looks like this.

Ballarat Classic 60 Km Course

So onto the some photos, MMT had a team photographer taking some happy snaps, so for once I actually have some decent non-selfie photos.

Marv looking cool on his Wilier ;-)

Marv looking cool on his Wilier 😉

At the starting line

At the starting line, with all riders.

Having a break, Mt Buninyong in the distance

Having a break, Mt Buninyong in the distance.

Even my bike's tired...some idiot put it chain ring side down...d'oh.

Some idiot put it chain ring side down…d’oh.

I have to say I really enjoyed the day and was glad MMT made the trip up to Ballarat. Over the next few months, I’ll also be doing the MS Cycle and Ride the Bellerine.

Until next blog, ride safe


Zoom, Zoom, Froome…Apologies to Mazda


Dear Roulers,

Alas work and other parts of my life have been interfering with New Year’s resolution to blog weekly.  Rats………

However, MMT was very excited to watch the recent Herald Sun Prolog held last Wednesday 3rd February.  For some reason MMT has managed to miss this event in previous years, but not this time.  Located between 50m to go marker and the finish line, I managed to take a few reasonable photos as the riders zipped by.

The 2 km course, was very technical and had a mix of surfaces, acute corners and proximity to the crowd that some of the riders would have found disconcerting.  Nevertheless, last year’s winner Will Clarke and and runner up Caleb Ewan were again first and second over the same course.


However, my favourite moment was watching Chris Froome sprint past, which I managed to capture in this sequence of photos.  I’m guessing that this is about as close as I will ever get to a Tour de France winner, without being tackled by a security guard.


MMT is relived that no blatant breach of copyright will occur in this latest blog, for a change.

Until next time, ride safe on the roads