Finding The Ghost In The Machine

As I mentioned previously, my aging back has the been giving me grief over the last little while which means the amount of riding I’ve been doing is precisely zero. That situation is driving be batty beyond words but on the upside it has given me the chance to do some maintenance on my extensive (some would say excessive) fleet of velocipedes.

Today, I’m going to talk about a couple of specific issues relating to the Brompton – finding and stopping creaking noises and the Brompton sinking seat post syndrome. Although the Brompton is extremely well engineered, like anything, it isn’t completely impervious to a few niggles every so often and those two can be particularly frustrating. Water, dirt and aging will eventually catch up with any machine that has moving parts – which means all machines – and because the Brompton has a few more moving parts (at least in the frame) than your average, garden variety bike, there’s a few more issues that may pop up from time to time. It should be noted that I am not a professional bike mechanic and readily seek the assistance of a bike shop when it all gets too hard. I do, however, at least try and have a go at fixing stuff myself where I can and, in doing so, have accumulated a little experience I can share. Continue reading “Finding The Ghost In The Machine”

Down But On The Way Up

Brisbane Bike Film Festival review

It’s been a while between posts because my age seems to be catching up with me. My back has been giving me grief for the last little while so instead of riding, I’ve been attending physio and catching the bus to get places.

While I really hoped that by Friday I’d be healed up enough to get my Brompton back out and ride to the Brisbane Bicycle Film Festival, unfortunately it was not to be and I ended up walking there instead. Despite my ironic method of arrival, I had a great time and the event was a roaring success. Continue reading “Down But On The Way Up”

Movie Stars, Fancy Garb And Bicycles

Looking for something fun to do on a Friday night? Specifically, Friday 16th March? Come along to the Brisbane Bicycle Film Festival organised by the good folks at Space for Cycling including the screening of the fabulous documentary Why We Cycle. It’ll be the first one of these for me so I’m excited to see what it’s like but if it’s anything like the other events that Space for Cycling organises, it should be a blast. Not only that, but by attending, you will be helping Space for Cycling to fund all the fantastic campaigning work they do around Brisbane. Check it out: Continue reading “Movie Stars, Fancy Garb And Bicycles”

Into The Fog – Climbing Mt Mee

Dawn. The air is cool and a light fog hovers in the distance as I pilot my road bike through the first few kilometres of my ride trying to keep up a reasonable speed to counter my lateness while simultaneously trying not to push my cold muscles too hard. The roads are quiet with patches of last night’s rain mostly soaked into the tarmac and, aside from the birds, the only sound to be heard is my tyres whooshing along the road surface.

(Budos flavoured theme music for your aural pleasure)

My first stop will be a rendezvous point in Brisbane’s far northern suburbs where my accomplices and I will set off for the little town of Dayboro and onward to climb Mt Mee. The climb is about 7km long with a gradient of about 5% which can be done at quite a relaxed pace to help you enjoy the stunning scenery of the rolling hills to the west. Continue reading “Into The Fog – Climbing Mt Mee”

Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Taste Test

Brisbane Valley Rail Trail start at Fernvale Queensland

There’s something about country towns that puts a spell on you. They wind you down a few notches and put you in a different frame of mind. They run at a different speed to the city – a better speed in my opinion. It’s a speed that’s closer to that which human beings run at. Fernvale in South East Queensland is no exception. But Fernvale also has something extra special to offer bicycle obsessives like me. It’s located upon one of the jewels of country South East Queensland – the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail. Continue reading “Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Taste Test”

Life Is The Art Of Cycling

Yayoi Kusama Gallery of Modern Art Brisbane Queensland

I’m sure as eggs not an art aficionado much less an artist. The fact that I spend most of my time using the opposite side of my brain required to create art is testament to that. Try as I did to draw and paint when I was a younger human, life and other interests took over and my artistic aspirations along with my meager skills shriveled and died like an abandoned pot plant.

Still, none of that should stop me or anyone else immersing themselves in art. Even if you haven’t been trained what to look for, making your own sense of the art in front of you is one of the most profound, calming, inspiring, escapist, perspective adding and enriching things you can do almost any day. And maybe not knowing what you’re really looking at is the best way to appreciate art anyway. Continue reading “Life Is The Art Of Cycling”

Culture And Politics

Car centric urban planning is bad for our cities including Brisbane

This post is called Culture And Politics because I want to allude to one simple fact: the low mode share and abysmal attitude to cycling and cyclists in some parts of the Australian community has nothing to do with using a bike to get around being impractical, inherently dangerous, unfeasible or because cyclists are somehow better or worse that other people. It has everything to do with the current state of our culture and poorly informed attitudes which are fuelled by the reprehensible policies and decisions of some of our politicians as well as the vested interests of corporations in and around the domain of selling oil and cars. Continue reading “Culture And Politics”

Why You Need A Brompton

Brompton folding bike Brisbane Queensland

So maybe you decided that riding bikes isn’t just about getting up really early on a weekend morning, putting on some special clothes and trying to beat some personal bests or competing with your peers. Sure, doing that stuff is fun but maybe you’ve decided that bikes can be used for everyday transport too. Maybe you decided that sitting in a car for every bread and milk run, work commute and local errand isn’t as necessary and “right for the times” as every auto affiliated corporate troglodyte and politician has been drumming into us for the last hundred years – that, in fact, using cars to the degree we’re currently doing is not good for the economy, the environment, urban planning or your health and is actually completely insane. Good for you.

But there’s a few problems. Whilst bike infrastructure is slowly improving, it’s still quite likely that your workplace has nowhere to park your bike and lacks showers. Maybe there’s a nasty and unavoidable stretch of road on the way to work and maybe the shop/theatre/restaurant you want to get to after work is waaaay down on the other side of town and a good few kilometres from the nearest train station. Australian cities are nowhere near Velotopia, that’s for sure. If only you could combine your bike rides with a few segments of public transportation. Continue reading “Why You Need A Brompton”

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Noosa North Shore on the way to Rainbow Beach by bicycle

I awoke frantically to find that my alarm had not gone off and there was no way I’d make to the early train I had planned to catch. Bleary eyed, I got out of bed, regained my thoughts and realised that on the upside at least breakfast and the morning’s other preparations would be a less hurried affair as I waited for the next train.

Today, after much anticipation, I was heading to Nambour from Brisbane to begin a bike journey which would ultimately end at the town of Rainbow Beach at the very northern part of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. I would pass through arguably some of the most picturesque hinterland, state forest beaches in Queensland along the way and cover about 120km on this single day journey. Continue reading “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”