Sunday, 30 August 2009

(Previous) Preston Peak ride

These shots of a cold Preston Peak ride were supplied by Andrew.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

TBUG shirts design and size chart

Readers: we are trying to get a bigger shot of the shirt posted here, but the detail is still there to be seen- long sleeves, in unisex and 'female' fit, 3/4 'invisible' zip, 3 pockets to rear, highly visible, and the purple is a reflection of our Toowoomba colours.

Readers would be aware that TBUG has been trying to organise a shirt for the BUG rides.

While we had received a number of expressions of interest there were not enough to fill the initial order with our first shirt makers, so we had a further look into the industry.

We found Pinnacle Shirts, and a very helpful Rob who owns the business.

We now have an approved shirt design and are taking the next step, collecting orders for it, and deposit monies.

When you are looking at the design, please remember that we are actually ordering long-sleeved shirts, not the design model on display with short sleeves.

We can, however, order either a 'female fit' or a unisex fit, as the chart below shows.

So, the process is this:

Check the chart size and be clear about what you want.

Send TBUG an email with your name, address, contact phone number and size and 'fit' clearly marked, as well as the number of shirts you want if it is more than one per size:

Then you need to get your money to the TBUG.

Once Rob has the shirt order he will issue us with an invoice and his bank account details. We will email these details to each rider with a shirt order and you will have to deposit the money direct into the Pinnacle account.

TBUG has no bank account, so the only alternative is to hand your cash or cheque over to Hugh, who will then pay Rob.

Either way, Pinnacle wants the money before it can ship our shirts.

Pinnacle Size Chart

Cycle Jersey and Wind Vest

To fit measurements (not garment measurements):

Unisex sizes:
Size: 4XS = Chest 70, 3XS = 75, 2XS = 80, XS = 85, S = 90, M = 95, L = 100, XL = 105, 2XL = 110, 3XL = 115, 4XL = 120
Note: These sizes are a guide only.

Ladies sizes:

Size: 8, Chest 80 Hips 87

Size 10, Chest 85 Hips 92

Size 12, Chest 90 Hips 97

Size 14, Chest 95 Hips 102

Size 16, Chest 100 Hips 107

Size 18, Chest 105 Hips 112

Please note that the polyester cycle jerseys are a close fitting garment as preferred by most cyclists and the actual chest size will measure just 5-7cm larger than the ‘to fit’ size above.

As an example, the approximate ‘actual chest size’ of some sizes are:
M/14 – 101cm
L/16 – 106cm
XL/18 – 110cm

As a guide for hip measurements, the jerseys are elasticated at the bottom, and will stretch to approximately the same size as the chest (i.e. the bottom of a medium/size 14 jersey will fit up to 102cm hip).

Wind vests are designed to be worn over the top of a cycle jersey of the same size.

Cycling, education and school students

Here is an interesting document a researcher has put together on cycling and educating school students. An interesting resource if there are any school teachers, principals or P&C members reading this blog:

Any readers with other useful research on this topic, please send any and all links to the TBUG.

This is the sort of information we need as the Active Transport Reference Group takes off later in September.

Cycling gets safer the more cyclists there are

If the UK can organise this, surely we in Toowoomba can manage it too?

Cycling gets safer the more cyclists there are.

That's the message of the UK Cycle Touring Club (CTC), which explains that when more people cycle, more often, the safer it is for each individual cyclist.

Possible reasons for the "Safety in numbers" effect are:

* Drivers are more aware of cyclists
* Drivers are more likely to be cyclists themselves
* There is greater political will to improve cycling conditions

CTC want to halve the risk of cycling by doubling their numbers.

The UK Government has already adopted a target to halve the risks of cycling in its draft Road Safety Strategy, A Safer Way.

This is exactly what CTC proposed in their "New Vision for Cycling".

However, apart from some welcome proposals to introduce more 20mph (approx 30 kph) zones and limits, the draft Strategy says little about how they will achieve this target.

CTC believe the best way is to double the levels of cycling. This will benefit the streets, the health of UK citizens, communities and the environment, as well as improving safety for all road users.

How will this be achieved?

By tackling the fears which prevent people from cycling more:

* Improving driver behaviour
* Making the road environment more welcoming for cyclists
* Funding schemes that promote cycling positively and improve confidence

See here for the CTC 'Safety in Numbers document:

Unicycle madness

This story came from the USA but shows a clear Australian link between universities and uni cycles. Is it student poverty that forces Australian uni' students to economise with only one wheel?

Bike Bits heard recently from Gideon Erkenswick, who wrote

"There is an amazing cycling expedition in progress by an
Indian citizen and graduate student in Australia, named Sid Rajan.

He is attempting to ride his unicycle, self-supported, across the
southern coast of Australia from Perth to Sydney (about 6000km).

He is doing it in part for himself, to complete his Master's thesis, and
to raise money for NGOs that support children in need of healthcare
and education.

When complete, Rajan will be the first person ever to
ride a unicycle from the West Coast to the East Coast."

Rajan has already completed the Perth to Adelaide leg, and plans to begin the
Adelaide to Sydney stretch in November.

Click here to visit his website:

At this link you can view a video of him:

And to read about more of this unicycle-adventure madness, check out
"One-Track Minds" here:

Overseas security for bags

Even if you are not taking your bike overseas, the question of what goes into your luggage when you are not looking, or what comes out of it for that matter, is always an issue.

Particularly of you are carrying a boogie-board!

And, so we hear, all bags going into the USA get opened, whatever you use as a lock.

In response to this, S&S sell these natty US approved luggage locks.

S&S are the people who invented the clever mechanism for breaking bikes in two, or three, or four, making it as easy as a blink-of-an-eye to pack a tandem into a suitcase:

The luggage locks are probably worth investing in even if you are only going to Tasmania, which is, after all 'overseas' too.

UK and European bike maps and information

This is a good resource for cycling information in the UK and Europe.

Of course, all books are available via Amazon these days but it is still worth checking out these smaller businesses who specialise in cycling.

Rannerdale can be found here:

But maybe one of the best places to start is at the UKs Cycle Touring Club here:

See also:

Bike riders do do the wrong thing too

BICYCLE riders in Maryborough are more of a problem than skateboarders, says Maryborough Chamber of Commerce president Alan Wetton.

Mr Wetton said bike riders had been causing problems in the Heritage City for the past few years but the issue had become worse in the last six months.

His comments came after Maryborough MP Chris Foley highlighted the actions of a “minority of rogue skateboarders” who had been seen “playing chicken” with cars and had threatened drivers.

Bike riders had also been spotted running red traffic lights and Mr Wetton said he had been hit by a bike rider travelling too fast around a blind corner.

Driver hits cyclists: wrist slap from Courts

This story shows just how much toleration extends to car drivers who ignore the rules. The only defence missing seems to have been that the driver was drunk as well as 'late for work'.

Author: Peter Hardwick from The Chronicle

LATE for work and frustrated at being held-up by slow moving traffic, Michael John Green had tried to speed past the vehicles in front only to leave a group of cyclists sprawled on Bridge Street, Toowoomba Magistrates Court heard.

Green, 36, had pulled in behind three cars travelling slowly on Bridge Street about 6am, June 10, the court heard.

Late for work, he had pulled out to overtake the three cars only to discover a group of cyclists leading the traffic approaching the West Street intersection, prosecutor Sergeant Greg Lewis said.

Trying to speed around the cyclists, Green’s car clipped one cyclist sending about six sprawling.

He had then driven off through a red light and sped through Newtown backstreets followed by an off-duty policeman who had seen the incident.

Read the whole story here:

Friday, 7 August 2009

Next TBUG ride - TBUG shirt update

The next ride is on 16 August 2009. Usual start at 7.30 a.m. at the Art Gallery Gardens. Destination, a 'yet to be determined' but about 50kms.

Don't forget the usual: pump, spare tube/repair kit, tools, water, suncream, phone, money, helmet, two abreast maximum, no speeding over the road limit.

The last ride was about 45 kms and attracted 23 riders. The TBUG shirt was discussed, viewed and handled and 16 people decided they would like to wear one.

Not quite enough for the minimum order, so back to the drawing board. We are in contact with another manufacturer who has marginally lower prices but significantly smaller minimum order numbers. We await a sample shirt and hope to bring it to the next ride.

The Scody shirt has been reduced to entice us from about $121 to about $106 but the minimum order remains at 25.

The alternative shirt could be in the $96 region, but with a minimum order that will accommodate the current expressions of interest, about 15-18 shirts.

We did but see him passing through

From the Toowoomba Chronicle
Mr Collins began his 160,000 km expedition from a relatives farm in Goulburn, New South Wales.

He will cycle, for the most part on his own, around Australia to raise money and awareness for Oxfam Australia’s indigenous programs and their close the gap campaign.

It was after speaking to his cousin and doing some research that Mr Collins decided to try and help indigenous Australians.

“I found out just how real poverty is in Australia,” Mr Collins said.

Read about this intrepid cyclist as he passed through Toowoomba:

Lands End to John O'Groats

This ride, known as LEJOG going from Lands End to oop norf, is also called JOGLE when going from oop norf, or John O'Groats, to Lands End. Either way, it is a few miles.

This is a newspaper account of a half completed ride, abandoned due to wonky knees, but still an interesting tale and some good introduction sections from the riders:

And next year you can join in a ride from Scotland to Cornwall, the JOGLE version of LEJOG. This is just like our Cycle Queensland event, but a bit longer over the same nine days.

If anyone decides to go, do contact the TBUG and we'll post an interview with you to make sure there is no backing out:

Road users congestion tax

There will come a time when planners will realise that building more and 'better' roads just costs money with diminishing returns.

Hey presto!, the congestion tax comes to life.

This is an interesting paper that is worth a read, and then a letter to your local MLA, MHR and Senator, if not the Henry Tax Enquiry:

West Australia: ahead of Qld and Toowoomba

The WA citizens are ahead of us. Not only the local cycling citizens but also the government at state and local levels.

Bike West:

Perth planning to lift cycling by 11.5% This is a "Must Read" doco:

A real Hazard Reporting system that TRC, QT and MRD need to look at:

End of journey/trip facilities in WA Govt buildings:

Members of parliament and mayors can cycle in WA:

Isn't this a familiar scene?

Ah yes, the car obsessed maniacs who exist to drive cars badly. But everyone needs a purpose in life, so is it fair to be cruel?

This RTA video is very good, and depicts a rather sad but all too frequently encountered scene.

You really will have to watch it, and if cyclists and the responsible 'other' road users adopted the sign universally it would be quite an effective example of road-user solidarity.

Judge for yourself and watch this little beauty:

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Two useful bike 'bits'

There are a number of bike indicators on the market these days. This one is from the UK, and looks as if it might work (for a change).

Not just an indicator, but a mirror too, and a front and rear light.

Check it out:

This bike bit comes from the USA and may be useful for mountain bikers as well as the tandemists amongst us who need some quite small inner cogs due to the sometimes lost chains that go down where they don't belong.

Even if it had to be posted here, this device would not break the bank, for a change:

A few video links to visit

This is a London safety video that shows how to ride with 'lorries', better known here as trucks. It's worth watching, although the Toowoomba situation hardly compares. The essential awareness of how a truck operates is just as valid though:

Theses are a mixed bag of bike related videos:

RTA 'Slow down' TV ad':

UK road safety inattention kills:

USA 1950: safety:

USA 1960:

USA 1948:

Going fast (80mph) by pedal power:

Jet bike- is this person mad?:

This fellow is returning home after cycling around the world in about three days (what kept him?):

School bans cycling to school

This short video is amusing, or it would be if it was not quite so sad.

Not an Australian school, we are pleased to report, but a UK one. Having sold off all their sports fields, with children not aware what a vegetable is any more while refusing to eat Jamie Oliver school dinners, the ban on cycling to school should really come as no shock.

You will have to tolerate the advertisement for superannuation before the real story comes on.

Watch and laugh/cry at the superiority of the British, well, the English anyway:

Bike gadgets

Front wheel dynamo

Need a front wheel bike dynamo? Look no further than PedalPower+.

This front wheel dynamo can charge your batteries as you pedal along on the next TBUG world tour of the Darling Downs, or even beyond.

Products and prices here:

From the web site:

PedalPower+ is an innovation that allows bike riders to recharge their mobile phones, GPS and other small devices in a safe and regulated process from a bicycle hub or bottle dynamo.

In the ‘old’ days, a bicycle dynamo was only used for one thing, bicycle lighting, which was the only electronic application that a rider needed. If you needed a telephone, you found a public phone box, if you needed to find your way you looked at a map

While the application for lighting still exists today, far more is needed, modern riders use mobile phones, GPS and need to have easy electronic answers to recharging, small devices that require 5v up to 600mA, DC input to recharge them. Appliances like GPS, mobile phones, AA and AAA batteries, digital cameras, MP3, iPod and iPhone, to name a few.

At PedalPower+ we provide the solution. Our range of products gives you a complete system by generating energy while on your bike, using that energy to recharge your device while riding, collecting and storing all or part of the energy and using the collected energy to charge devices while not riding. How easy.

By using our patented, small, modern technology, we have solved several major issues that enable a bicycle dynamo to be used to recharge small electronic devices safely. Issues such as creating DC output, current regulation, stability, efficiency and reliability.

Our patented technology is used in two ways, firstly by incorporating our patented technology inside our hub dynamo, making it the world’s first DC Output Bicycle Hub Dynamo, effectively making the charging process exactly the same as from a mains wall charger giving up to DC 5v 600mA. This allows direct charging of any small device requiring 5v and up to 600mA, to recharge its internal batteries without using a special regulating cable from an AC dynamo

Secondly by being incorporated into our PP+ Universal Hub Dynamo Cable. This allows our standard AC hub dynamo or third party AC hub dynamos, rated at 6v3w or 2.4w to be safely used as the source of energy. Perfectly suited to AC dynamo hubs from Sram, Shimano, Schmidt, Suntour, Novatec and other manufacturers, great to use as a simple retrofit for those riders who already have hub generators.

Today’s society’s demands for green, environmentally friendly, health promoting products, combined with the needs and wishes of modern bike riders, are perfectly answered with the PedalPower+ system. The whole range completes a clean, green and free solution to the energy requirements of the rider, whether that rider is a commuter, trekker, long distance rider or holiday maker. PedalPower+ encompasses all.

American bike e-newspaper

It's another world, cycling in the USA. What an amazing place it must be compared to how cycling is treated heer in Toowoomba, and Australia.

The pace of change, even acceptance of a sort, does seem to be accelerating here, if somewhat glacially, and we are only 20 million compared to nearly 300 million, but still...

Have a read and see how our cousins are dealing with 'the bike':

Australian bespoke bike builder

Velosmith is an Australian handmade bike builder. We found this on the web, so have not seen any or met anyone with one, but they certainly look and sound like quality.

Worth a look if you are about to buy an expensive bike anyway, so at least you can spec it to your needs:

Velosmith tourers are hand-built for a lifetime of cycling. The combination of steel tubing and careful component choice ensures that your Velosmith bicycle is made for the long haul.

All frame tubes (except seat and head tubes, which are rust proofed) are sealed, no moisture can get in so no rust to shorten the life of your frame. Components such as a Rohloff hub gears provide tens of thousands of virtually maintenance and adjustment free kilometres. Rohloff chains too have a reputation for being the best quality available today.

Tim has two bikes riding through South America here:

And another pair riding the Australian wide-brown-rim here:

The photo is from the Velosmith site


This is an interesting web site:

It's a bike blog but it's full of interesting stories and worth a bookmark for revisiting every now and then.

Tandem braking article

This article about braking on tandems is interesting in itself, particularly if you ride a tandem, but Thorn, a UK bike building company, is well worth a look at for rugged solos and tandems they build.

And for the keen tandemists, Thorn are the world's supplier of 48 spoke Rohloff hubs, which they do sell to Australia, as with their bikes, if you ask nicely and send a few dollars over too.

Take a look at this article and at the Thorn site:

Tandem braking:

Thorn home page:

A new school bus

For Queensland Transport, or the larger family, comes a new Dutch bike for carrying 'a few' children around.

This should be the next P&C fund raiser objective at every Queensland school. Parents can take it in turns to garage the bike and pick up their fares.

Take a peek at the latest transport revolution: