Sometimes life keeps you guessing about exactly what you should do next and you just have to be a little inventive, dive in and maybe sometimes even take a little risk. With that in mind, today I decided that my recent back problems had taken up enough of my time and that I would start easing myself back into riding. So, I dusted off the squishiest, most forgiving mountain bike I own to cushion my flip side lumbar regions, packed a few essentials into a small canvas satchel and took off for one of the slowest, most non-mountain bike urban mountain bike trips ever embarked upon. And despite photos that may give the impression of the contrary, suburbia was never more than a literal stone’s throw away. Continue reading “Just Making It Up As I Go”
Brisbane’s weather and constantly improving bike infrastructure lends itself well to shopping trips by bike but Brisbane shopping centres also need to do their bit to attract more cyclists and save themselves money while they’re at it.
Food is great. It titillates your palate, keeps chefs employed and gives you an excuse to stop work in the middle of the day. Best of all though, is that it prevents you from dying. Humans have used various methods throughout evolution to acquire food from hunting and gathering through to the advent of agriculture and eventually to urbanisation and the rise of the supermarket.
But with supermarkets coming about in the context of car-centric urbanisation, a raft of problems came with them. For one, the amount of space required to park all the cars being used for grocery getting at a supermarket often equals or exceeds the space required for the supermarket itself. For all the touting of convenience they use to market themselves, supermarkets (and large retail complexes more generally) are made all the more inconvenient by the need to park a considerable distance from the entrance and then lug all the groceries back the same way prior to exiting while inhaling other shoppers’ exhaust fumes and putting yourself in danger by mingling on foot with cars which are reversing, scrambling for free parks and drivers often losing their shit due to the stress of the whole experience. Continue reading “Civilized Food Gathering”
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”
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.
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.
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”
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”
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”
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”