Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Warning: Dishevelled cyclists attacking in Inner North.

Hot on the heals of the report that bicycles are flying out of the tennis parking area quicker than one of those tennis stars hitting a ball rather quickly, is a report that a tanned dishevelled looking man riding a dark coloured bicycle is snatching bags from ladies in Melbourne. As these attacks are happening in the Brunswick and Fitzroy areas, the thief sounds like he has picked the right disguise to blend right in with the cycling population of these suburbs.

Bag-snatching is pretty nasty, and this thief has been targeting older ladies in particular and injuring them as he attacks them. This is pretty shit. So if you happen to see any dishevelled cyclists in the Brunswick/North Fitzroy/Fitzroy area, feel free to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

In China, where the population is nearly 15 gazillion times what it is in Australia bag-snatching is also a problem, although it seems to be often done from a motor scotter, not a bike. Check this video for one cyclists response to a cry for help after a scooterist snatched a bag.

Enjoy your weekend and ride safe.

Sporty losers and loser sports

Welcome to the first post of the new year here at Bike Lanes. Last week in the local rag I spotted an article about bicycle thieves targeting bikes locked up at the Australian Open tennis thing that is going on at the moment.

“A gang of bicycle thieves is believed to be targeting patrons at the Australian Open, with reports that up to 10 bikes were stolen from outside the grand slam tournament in just one day last week.”

Now, firstly, bike thieves suck. They really do. And it sucks having a bike nicked. It really does. Over the last week or so I have noticed a few amazing examples of how not to lock your bike up.

In this first example, spotted at the local train station near my place of employment, we see a nice towny-style Schwinn locked up to a sturdy looking post. But wait, where is that lock attached? Oh, its looped around the seatpost…. I’m not sure whether there was a quick release involved here, but regardless, this type of locking should take your average 13 year old bored kid about 10 seconds to unloop from the the seatpost. On a scale from secure to free-for-all I’d give this a free-for-all.

As an extra deterrent for anyone thinking of locking their bike to a pole by the seatpost alone, one could glance around the area to see if there is any evidence of bicycle tomfoolery to be seen. If you were to do this, you would notice that no more than 10 metres away was this example of how not to lock your bike up.

While this obviously isn’t your high end weekend Beach Road mean machine, it is obviously a beater A-to-B kinda bike. Using two locks on your bike is pretty wise, especially with a quick-release front wheel. Now, if you carry two locks but couldn’t be bothered to use both, them you may well return to your bike to find this. This bike has been discarded at the train station for a good month or so now, and over time the seatpost and saddle have disappeared too. It sucks for someone to nick your front wheel, but you are a bit of a doofus if you carry and extra cable lock but neglectfully forget to use it, you could feel a bit silly.

So until next time here at the ‘Lanes, keep on riding, and use a lock – or two, and think about how you lock your bike.

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack

OK, so I know you have missed me, but never fear I am back on the blog. “Why have you neglected this blog for a year?” I hear you moan. Well, let’s just say that many things have happened in that time, and I won’t bore you with the details, but here are a few highlights. I have been to Yogyakarta, Indonesia twice to do bicycle related projects. You can find information about that over here. I also had my bike stolen, but am now up and running again on a sweet old Carlton Cobra that is doing me well. Bastards that steal bikes huh…. bastards.

Anyway, things are still the same as always on the bike lanes of Melbourne. A couple of days ago I witnessed a near altercation between a fixie rider and a film production guy. The peak hour afternoon traffic was particularly mental this day, and as we approached an intersection, there were some production trucks parked in the bike lane with a stream of witches hats taking up the remainder of the bike lane that was free. The fixie dude, who was just ahead of me, started to kick over the witches hats. He even stopped to throw one. Then the production dude popped out from behind a truck to yell at the fixie dude. He called him a “Douche” and told the guy to call the council if he had a problem. It was kinda funny. Even the fixie dude had a chuckle with me when we got to the lights.

I will be back more regularly now, but in the meantime, here is a video from the Roda Roda project in Jogja from October. Enjoy.

Private school, public bike.

Being Friday, and feeling a little on the sleepy side, I decided to take a stroll down the road and see what I could see. The first cycling site I sighted was a ghost rider, well, a ghost bike rider. A young chap riding an all white fixie, brakeless and helmetless, it seemed like he was aiming for the ghost bike style to carry him across the divide between life and death. Seconds later in the peloton came a fully decked out semi-pro riding some obscenely expensive road bike who zipped past the ghost fixie rider with disdain. Unfortunately this happened all too quickly for me to snap any pictures of them, which is a shame as I went out to see if I could get any good bike-related photos. But before I was able to abandon all hope, I spotted a couple spotty private school kids, one of them locking up what looked to be a good old fixie conversion.
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As you can see from this revealing image, the young man is rocking the bike-messenger style, as well as he can in his exclusive school uniform. Crumpler bags go with anything though. As these two lads went off to do whatever private school boys do on a Friday afternoon, I sneakily creeped over the road to have a closer look at the machine. Disappointingly, the bike was only some crappy old steel frame conversion, yet another example of a bike with a single component being of considerably higher value than the rest of the bike combined. of course I am speaking of the electric blue Velocity Deep V on the rear. The frame was shoddily painted black, but the also shoddily applied bar tape beautifully matched the electric blue Deep V. I was a little disappointed he hadn’t carried out his blinged out colourway any further, the chain and the saddle could have helped to take this bike to the next level.
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When you start adding expensive components to crappy bikes, it makes the bike look even crappier. I guess he is just a kid, but surely private school boys can just ask their parents for a fancy track bike, or at least a shop bought one. I suppose it is actually a good thing that he has converted an old steel frame instead of buying one off the rack at where the hell ever you buy these bikes. I should also draw attention to the fashionable brake lever mounting style that adorned this beast. It was a good old fashioned right side mounted left brake lever, designed to be just that little bit awkward to use. This seemed a little silly, seeing as he was riding a flip flop hub which was flip flopped to the free wheel side. I am always amazed at non-fixed gear cyclists who only use the front brake. I completely understand that the majority of braking power is in the front brake, and I use my front brake 90% of the time, but it is those occasions when something unforeseen happens that I tend to use BOTH brakes in order to stop quickly without flying over the handlebars. Anyway, I don’t mean to be a grumpy old man, and all the best to everyone out there riding whatever configurations that work for you. As I said at the start of the post, I’m sleepy.

Until next time, ride safe.

Bike Lanes

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