Archive for July, 2011
This is Brian Dunlap who heads up DVS and Podium Distribution empire in the US. Him and his family have been purveyors and supporters of cycling for a long time. These are some nice shots from a recent tour. You can check out more on the DVS Cycling blog which is super good to bookmark, I added it to the blogroll links too for you to link off.
The cycle lanes introduced over the last few years in Sydney are an issue of lots of ongoing debate in the media. The Sydney Morning Herald reports on this regularly – and seems to favour the plan despite it’s (many) critics. Basically they plan to have 200km of cycle ways in place by 2014 and are focusing on the dedicated cycle paths like the one in the photo. The plan is to have 55km of these in the city in the next year. From talking to people over in Sydney I get the gist that many motorists hate them and consequently the Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore who spearheaded the support for the program. The main point for all the anger is the fact that hundreds of roads immediately lost a whole traffic lane permanently and at all times. So overnight the traffic congestion (apparently) increased considerably. This is because the green lane has a curb closing it off to traffic.
This is logically designed for the safety of the cyclists. However as you will likely understand; riding a brakeless fixed gear bike in a closed single lane a couple of feet wide poses some ‘issues’. Now I’m only just getting my head around how they all work, and there are bizarre sections that loop around trees and bisect driveways etc so I’m a rookie and I’ve only commuted a litle bit on them. The great part about all this is that there are lots of people from all walks of life and cycling persuasions commuting. You see girls on cruisers, Kids on BMX’s, Cadel Evans wannabe’s sprinting and weaving their way through the other bikes, tourers with duffel sized panniers, dads with kids in bike seats or those weird kid-trailer units that make them about 30 feet long, old dottery ladies with handlebar-baskets full of groceries wobbling and jerking in and out of lane…..the list goes on.
Now, I’m not hating on all these factors, but I’m sure you can appreciate that negotiating this on a fixed gear is a tad ‘challenging’. I’ve not been riding a whole lot over a winter of much work travel, so I expect my heart rate to be pretty high when I ride any kind of distance, but the adrenalin spike and machine gun pulse I experienced maneuvering through this mechanical mine field had me crapping my pants.
The thing that is most scary is the big fat square edged curb that stops you being able to cut out of the cycle path onto the road, you are locked in there for better or worse. So when you are getting some speed up down a hill and come across a slow spacially compromised rider you are at the mercy of them and what is coming at you in the other 2 foot wide lane. Speed checks have to be straight skids, sideways washes take you into the other lane. Hopping the curb is a mission because it’s quite big, the only saving grace is that it’s wide enough to almost manny across but it’s a bit harrowing. So I decided I’m much more at home taking my chances on the road, I’m way more comfortable negotiating cars in lanes. MISTAKE: as you may know Aussies can be quite vocal and it’s clear they believe that bikes belong in the cycle lanes, so they can become a tad hostile. More here: http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/AboutSydney/ParkingAndTransport/Cycling/
I’m staying in Surry Hills a bit and the commute is pretty much straight all the way down Bourke St to the Red Bull office in Alexandria. There is a new Deus Ex Machina store and cafe right at the top of bourke – it’s great – the people are super cool. The cats in the Deus CycleWorks store are unpretentious, and the girl who makes my coffee in the morning is nice. They had 6 MASH Cinelli frames on the rack and a grip of NJS frames including a dope Wattanabe, most of them teeny weeny but nice to look at.
I now understand why I see so few brakeless fixed gear bikes on the roads after experiencing commuting. Most bikes I see are conversions and/or track frames with freewheels and brakes. But I’ve also not spent enough time actually riding around or hooking up with other riders yet.
I’m back in NZ now for a few weeks which is great, hoping to get a ride in on Sunday if the rain stays away.
G Bolts has been hanging out with Mike Davies from Zombie and doing some touring over there. Some sick shots coming back from Mike. More on Zombie BMX. George won a comp in Vancouver and is generally tearing it up over there. Big tranny parks and good weather; awesome.
I just got back from a couple of days in Melbourne, had some meetings for Formula 1. But I also got some time to do a little site check in Federal Square for a dope city pump track event idea we are working on and I ran into Alister Paine totally out of the blue, Al appeared out of a doorway under the square and is doing some carpentry work, was cool to see him – he’s racing track this season. Poor bastard broke his back 3 months ago in a collision riding on the street but has sprung back. I saw lots of bikes on the Melbourne streets – waaaay more than in Sydney.
As part of the day job, we have been doing a bunch of cycling projects over the last few months. To start with we have been doing some shoots with George and Louis Bolter who are twins, and Jaden Leeming. All Auckland based rippers in all disciplines of BMX we did some cool stuff with them in the South Island – got them off the streets of AK and flew them to session Gorge Road Dirt Park in Queenstown. I’m super happy with the way this one turned out, check how dope the park is!
Also – here are clips introducing the Bolters and Jaden:
Lester travelled down to Queenstown to rep at the Cyclocross last weekend- how rad is this shot? Lester ended up 10th – does he never stop riding some kind of bicycle?
I love this shot of animal. Sounds like there was a huge turnout. Lester just tweeded a link to some more shots:
The guy manning the BBQ in the photo above is Nathan Greenwood or Mr Dirtfarmer as he’s known. Nath is an old buddy, we used to skate together a bunch when we were teenagers. Nath pretty much runs anything to do with cycling in Queenstown, he made the Gorge Road Dirt Jump Park (clip in the next post coming up) single handledly made Dream Track and Mini Dream, and also cut the trails for Coronet peak, and all the new trails for the Skyline Gondola MTB park. Legend!
Hey you all know her already but we made this clip to let the world know Jenna is coming! She’s off to London this week to get some touring done with Max and hopefully hook up with some of the local crew through the Red Bull team there. I’m waiting for some shots as she just got her nice new Leader Bike setup which is pretty much all Leader components (thanks Terrence!). Full spec run down when I get some shots.
I’ve been pretty busy with work, but managed to get a ride in on Saturday which was awesome, I went on a loner ride to Mission Bay but ran into Justin and Darryll who were out on the tail end of a roadie but I got to spin around downtown a bit with them.
I took my Leader in my bike bag over to Sydney last week and left it in the office over there. I’ve been doing lots of work in Aussie recently and I’m going to get some riding time over there and do the commute from the apartment to the office. I’m back there at the end of this week for a week so hopefully I’ll get some ride time with Chris who funnily enough has his new Leader too, same frameset as Jenna’s.
There are all these new dope bike lanes in Sydney which are actually curbed off from the traffic lanes, I’ll take some photos. Last week I noticed lots of people commuting and quite a few ‘feexy boikes’ among them.