Feature – Bicycles Network Australia http://www.bicycles.net.au The Top Australian Cycling Portal Sun, 18 Feb 2018 19:42:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Frequent flyer: Art of the travelling cyclist http://www.bicycles.net.au/2011/12/frequent-flyer-art-of-the-travelling-cyclist/ http://www.bicycles.net.au/2011/12/frequent-flyer-art-of-the-travelling-cyclist/#comments Thu, 22 Dec 2011 22:46:27 +0000 http://www.bicycles.net.au/2011/12/frequent-flyer-art-of-the-travelling-cyclist/ Serious cyclist? Is your passion all-consuming? Frequent travel, especially work-related, can easily destabilize a cyclist's routine and potentially wreak havoc on cycling fitness.]]>

Serious cyclist? Is your passion all-consuming? You’ll already know that an optimal cycling lifestyle is achieved when the support system and environment around it is stable. Frequent travel, especially work-related, can easily destabilize a cyclist’s routine and potentially wreak havoc on cycling fitness.

Early in my cycling journey, I was a voracious consumer of performance-related books, journals and magazines. Amongst the volumes of advice, one statement – I think it might have been from Dr Michael Colgan’s ‘Optimum Sports Nutrition’ – stays with me: “consistency is the single-biggest contributor to athletic improvement”. [I’ve still got the book at home; will double-check post-vacation].

My last job involved travelling outside of my home country for five to six months per year. When not overseas, I worked out of a home office halfway around the globe from HQ. During the first 18 months, cycling time was squeezed out regularly by (in hindsight) over-zealous commitment to “zero lag” service and communications with customers in Asia and my team in Europe. Prior to this new venture, I cycled almost every day. It didn’t take long for the lack of consistency to eat away at a fitness base built up over many years.

I maintained this travel load for a little over three years before curiosity got the better of me, and Cycling iQ was born. Towards the end of that period, packing my bike for work trips became as natural as packing my passport. Now the pace of life has slowed somewhat, I’d like to offer some advice to frequent travellers that may be struggling to incorporate cycling time into their busy schedules.

 

ESSENTIALS

The Travel Bike
If you’re not lucky enough to have a spare bike waiting for you when you land, you’ll need to take your own bike. Road cycling is inherently more efficient than mountain biking (reduced equipment, transit time to trails, cleaning, etc), so I’m assuming you will have a road bike.  The most critical traits of a good travel bike are:

– reliability
– gears (singlespeed road bikes are conceptually perfect for travel; after a while, you will yearn for gears)
– comfort and fit (at 4:30am, jetlagged and sleepless, a bike you enjoy riding is essential)
– light weight; preferably less than 8kg (more on this later)

Over the years, I graduated through four different bikes before settling on my ideal travel bike – a BMC teammachine SLR01, which was my everyday bike at home. It’s embarrassing to realise how obvious a choice this should have been.

Before this, I used a Surly Pacer single-speed, which had been fitted with S&S couplings and folded into a airline-friendly travel-specific case. It took ten minutes to assemble/disassemble, and served me well for a few months. I could never find the right gear though. Next, came a MY2008 BMC teammachine SLT01; an iconic bike whose form language all future BMC road bikes would reference. Unfortunately, this model was discontinued in 2009 after a five-year lifecycle; I couldn’t bear the thought of it being damaged in transit and potentially irreplaceable. (In my eyes, it is amongst the most exquisite road frames ever produced; making the harsh ride almost forgivable.)

An aluminium/carbon MY2008 BMC roadracer SL01 was the next bike recruited. It was almost perfect, with two exceptions: its reach was 5mm longer than the SLT01, and customers (who I always tried to arrange rides with when travelling) were surprised a BMC employee would be riding a three-year old bike with four-year old Campagnolo Veloce. Not an ideal look.

The SLR01 ticked all the boxes for a travel bike; light, perfect fit, very comfortable, latest model and I simply loved riding it.

The Travel Bike bag
A hard case’s main benefit is clear: ultimate protection for your bike. The main downsides are:

– weight of the case alone can easily wipe out almost half a baggage limit
– won’t always fit in a regular taxi
– takes up valuable space in a hotel room (especially the tiny business hotel rooms in metropolitan Japan)
– identifiably a bike case; leniency is less likely at check-in
– cost, relative to soft bags; hard cases can exceed $1,000

I picked up a great soft case from Japanese maker ‘Ostrich’ in 2009. It is fairly basic, but is well padded, has internal wheel compartments, small velcro-closed pockets, external luggage label sleeve and a robust, oversized, external zip to keep everything enclosed. It has a large shoulder strap, making walking with an additional wheeled suitcase relatively easy.

Naturally, soft cases don’t provide the same level of protection as hard cases, but (in my experience) their extreme versatility – when empty and flattened, they can even be used as a stretching mat on wooden floors -light weight and transportability (two bikes in soft cases can fit in the back seat of a regular taxi, plus they’re easier to carry up stairs when using public transport) makes them unbeatable for regular travel.

Bike bag protection and useful accessories
For better protection, wheels should be individually placed in padded wheel bags before being inserted into the internal compartments. I flat-pack two double-layered cardboard boxes and place one between each wheel and the bike, which sits in the middle. Inevitably the bike bag will be side-loaded onto the airport conveyor, so dropout protectors/chain tension device (similar to this one from PRO) are needed at each end to protect against compression damage.

Though I’m meticulous with other people’s bikes, mine is ultimately neglected for months on end. Oil-covered hands are not advised for meetings later in the day so latex gloves are indispensible for the small amount of assembly that is required. The disassembly procedure – thanks to practice – is minimal:

– remove pedals, put in zip-lock bag inside shoe bag
– remove wheels, remove skewers, place in wheelbags, place in bike bag
– insert dropout protectors into frame
– loosen stem faceplate bolts, rotate handlebars around and under top tube, tighten faceplate bolts
– tie protective sleeve around top tube
– unscrew rear derailleur from hanger
– bike goes into bag, with cardboard inserts either side
– helmet (in bag with sunglasses), shoes and clothes placed in gaps around frame

On a good day, this process – and the reverse – takes 5-6 minutes. Also highly useful are a frame-mounted tool canister (I use this one from PRO) for tubes and mini-tool and a spare quick release skewer with round head (for use with indoor trainer*).

 

NON-ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT, BUT NICE TO HAVE

Indoor trainer* or rollers
It takes another level of dedication, but a lightweight (7-8kg) indoor trainer is invaluable for 1-2 week trips during NE Asia or European winters. I’ve done this on a handful of occasions. Even though high volumes of indoor cycling in formative years has all but killed my desire to train inside, it has always been worthwhile when faced with the alternative of poorly-equipped, or non-existent, hotel gyms.

Frequent flyer status
Asia-Pacific region travellers are pretty lucky. Carriers in this part of the world are highly accommodating, reasonable and relatively flexible when compared to American or European carriers.

Still – and stating the obvious – it’s beneficial to have status with the major alliances; One World and/or Star Alliance. My bike bag, fully loaded with everything (including clothes) weighs 17 kilograms. I normally pack very light elsewhere, so standard economy baggage limits are usually sufficient. However, having the option to pack extras (and avoid check-in anxiety) is a bonus.

Smartphone with navigation
Self-explanatory. As international data roaming is prohibitively expensive, I normally carried a hard-copy map and only briefly used Google maps when unsure about a street name or turn.

 

PRE-TRIP PLANNING

Hotel
If you’re fortunate enough to have influence on where you stay, try to book a hotel with proximity to water (lake, river, sea) or parkland; especially in major urban centres. These public spaces are normally bordered by well-serviced roads or even dedicated cycling paths. Though ill-suited for serious training, cycling paths can be a serviceable warm-up before heading out onto the main roads, and they may even help cyclists avoid peak traffic on the way out to more suitable roads.

Water
This could easily be listed under the “essential” category. Safe drinking water is vital. Hotel tap-water in some Asian countries is OK (Singapore, Japan) but definitely not OK in others (emphasis on China).  Bottled water is readily available almost everywhere, but it costs alot and I personally hate the externalities. Luckily, there is an alternative that won’t cost more than two bottles of water – and it may even be entirely free. Hotels in Asia often (I experience this 90% of the time) include one or two “complimentary” bottles of water for guests. Even if they are not replenished daily, hang on to these.

If the hotel offers a gym, spa, sauna, or other recreational facility, it almost certainly will have a filtered water machine nearby. This is your ticket to free, continuous and safe drinking water for the duration of your stay. If you don’t get complimentary bottled water, just buy two bottles from a nearby 7-Eleven, Family Mart, etc, and reuse.

Local bunch rides
I’ve been incredibly fortunate; it has been (and continues to be) my job to know where road cyclists live, where they ride, their favourite hangouts (online and offline) and what infrastructure exists to support their cycling. Local cycling forums and expat community pages are great starting points for business travellers that are planning to ride.  I’ve found the following really helpful:

SOUTH KOREA (Seoul): Dossa forums

CHINA (Shanghai): Flying Hairy Legs Yahoo Group (link to related article here)

CHINA (Beijing): Smarter Than Car (start-point only; example of local riding here)

JAPAN (Tokyo): Tokyo Cycling Club

PHILIPPINES: Pinoy MTBer (don’t let the name fool you)

INDIA: Bikes Zone

MALAYSIA: Togoparts forum (also excellent for Indonesia and Singapore)

SINGAPORE: ANZA Cycling (link to forum off home page)

AUSTRALIA: Bicycles Network Australia

NEW ZEALAND: Vorb

A surprising number of expats roam these forums. It’s highly likely they arrived in their new home-city with little or no knowledge of the local cycling scene. As a result of their own experiences, they are normally very happy to share their local knowledge with visiting cyclists. Before my first visit to Shanghai, I registered with the FHL group. Shortly after posting a message enquiring about local riding, I received two emails with offers to escort me from my hotel to the local morning bunch ride. These acts of kindness are not uncommon throughout the global cycling community. It’s pretty cool.

Before your flight, go riding
It’s a great feeling to board a long-haul flight having ridden beforehand.  If you can, get out for a decent early morning ride on the day of your flight. If your flight departs very early, plan a solid ride the day prior. Even if you intend to ride on the same day you disembark, things don’t always go as planned. Psychologically, it’s easier to skip the first post-flight ride if you already had an intense workout before you boarded. Plan to have an early night and a great ride tomorrow instead.

AFTER LANDING
Depending on the duration of your flight, time of arrival and schedule that day, you may only have time to get to your hotel and go to work. However, there are two important cycling-related tasks that every travelling cyclists should be able to achieve before bed.

Prepare for your ride
Regardless of how tired I am on arrival day, I always assemble my bike and lay out my riding clothes before bedtime. Ignoring the first early-morning alarm after a long, and possibly sleepless, flight is more likely if you haven’t made a meaningful prior commitment to riding.  Make it easier on yourself by having everything ready to go as soon as you wake up.

Confirm your attendance
If you’ve been lucky enough to find a bunch ride to join, SMS (if you have a mobile contact) or message (on the forum) your riding buddies with a message that makes you accountable.

 

OTHER TIPS
Ride early
This will be a given for most business travellers with back-to-back meetings all day and inevitable work-related social commitments in the evenings. In most major cities, traffic density really escalates after 07:00. Ideally, your ride will be coming to an end by this time. Admittedly, my cycling obsession is more chronic than most – I’ve often ridden at 04:00 just so I can benefit from the post-ride clarity, endorphins and physical catharsis that endures the entire day after.

Local currency
ALWAYS carry local currency. If you get hopelessly lost, shelve your pride and get a taxi back to your hotel.

Laundry
Most of my cycling clothing is expensive; maybe because it fits so well and feels superb, maybe I’m just a sucker. Hotel laundry services are brutal on clothing, so I developed a simple solution: after your ride, jump into the shower fully-clothed. Use a facecloth (there are normally two facecloths and two towels in most hotel bathrooms) and soap (I use Dove, as it’s mild) to scrub your clothing like your own skin. Remove, rinse, gently wring, then drop onto a spare towel that you’ve laid out beside the shower. Do this layer by layer until everything is removed then – duh – wash yourself.

Post-shower, twist the spare towel around the clothes tightly to wring out excess water. Then hang your clothing from anything that’s going. It’s diligent to have two sets of cycling clothing on rotation.

FINAL WORDS
Individual physiologies respond differently to high travel loads. I’m not advocating falling out of bed after one hour’s sleep, then heading out into Gangnam-gu traffic in December – while it’s raining – following a multi-leg trip from east-coast USA. Safety and common sense come first.

Apart from the physical benefits of cycling while travelling, there is excellent potential to have an amazing riding experience and meet new friends. I hope some of the above tips come in useful for frequent travellers seeking to maintain cycling fitness in spite of the challenges.

About the Author
Cam Whiting, previously with BMC Racing, is a consultant for cycling brands and regularly reports as an industry insid
r on Cycling IQ

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Aussie Invention, Quad Lock iPhone Mount http://www.bicycles.net.au/2011/12/aussie-invention-quad-lock-iphone-mount/ http://www.bicycles.net.au/2011/12/aussie-invention-quad-lock-iphone-mount/#comments Fri, 09 Dec 2011 22:51:51 +0000 http://www.bicycles.net.au/2011/12/aussie-invention-quad-lock-iphone-mount/ The Quad Lock is destined to be an popular and affordable bike mount for the iPhone 4/S if funding through kickstarter is successful. The idea was conceived by the Melbourne entrepreneur duo Rob Ward and Chris Peters who saw the opportunity to create an iPhone case that could then be quickly and easily mounted, on the bike, car or in the office.

The Quad Lock however is not yet a reality, it has to be funded first and the team are turning to the popular US crowdfunding portal kickstarter.com to do this. The portal allows individuals and business to present their creative ideas in order to then attract funding. Each ‘backer’ is offered rewards depending on the value of their pledge, in this case the different versions of the Quad Lock mount and case are available.

Quad Lock Case and Bike Mount

On Kickstarter some projects don’t succeed, and the ones that do usually present an idea that appeals to a broad audience and features prototyping and solid planning to gain trust. On kickstarter you can find some videos that show the Quad Lock in action on a bike, and really interesting and topical, the iPhones video capabilities combined with the Quad Lock mount give you the option of a bike camera setup.

So this is an opportunity to support, and benefit from a good idea. Full details about the Quad Lock on Kickstarter >

Quad Lock Case and Bike Mount

Quad Lock Case and Bike Mount

Kickstarter.com also hosts a number of bicycle related projects, current active is the Fiks:Reflective Rim Stripes for Bicycles while two very successful projects (already funded and in production) are the TiGr: Titanium Lock and Revolights.

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Getting kids into cycling (Part 1): As easy as riding a bike? http://www.bicycles.net.au/2011/12/getting-kids-into-cycling-part-1-as-easy-as-riding-a-bike/ http://www.bicycles.net.au/2011/12/getting-kids-into-cycling-part-1-as-easy-as-riding-a-bike/#comments Thu, 01 Dec 2011 21:01:10 +0000 http://www.bicycles.net.au/2011/12/getting-kids-into-cycling-part-1-as-easy-as-riding-a-bike/ Being both a cyclist and the father of four young children, it’s my duty to encourage and teach my children how to ride a bike. This is not as easy as it sounds, however. I’ve successfully managed to get the two oldest ones onto two wheels, but number three still prefers her scooter and number four is still in nappies. I taught the eldest two the same way I was taught, which was by putting training wheels on their bike, letting them get used to pedalling, taking the training wheels off and then trying to get them to balance and ride independently.

Anyone who has been down this route knows that the tantrums, falls, blood and tears that accompany the process are lifelong traumatic memories, for the parents if not the children.

Given that we now have feather light carbon fibre bikes, electronic shifting and wireless heart rate, speed and GPS computers, something must have progressed in the way we teach kids how to ride. I went in search of an expert and found two  almost on my doorstep. Ian Watson and his partner Gay Chandler are passionate about cycling and getting kids into the recreation, transport and sport aspects of it. Ian is a deliverer in the Active After-school Communities program run by the Australian Sports Commission. This program aims to give kids in after school care programs access to a range of sporting activities in the hope of encouraging a more healthy lifestyle for these kids in the future. Gay is the junior development coach at Lidcombe Auburn Cycling Club (LACC) and is the driving force behind the club’s unique junior girls cycling team, the Pixies.

Ian and Gay have been teaching kids how to ride for years, so when I sat down with Ian and Gay for a discussion about all things related to kids and cycling, the first thing I asked them was how they teach kids to ride.

Ian: “Our number one technique is to get the child away from the parent. Our second technique is to get them in the presence of other kids who are just learning to ride or have just learnt to ride and use this peer group motivation.

When you think about it the fundamental elements of riding are really very easy: it’s simply learning to look, lean and turn and then to make the right corrections. That’s all there is. Once you’ve got that it happens instantly; they’re away and then the rest is just little things like how to start off, when to use the brakes and so on.”

They said “look, lean and turn” in unison, and they use it as a mantra when they teach. It’s a simple take away message that the kids can latch onto, repeat to themselves and then teach to their parents, who will then repeat it back to them to reinforce the message. I was surprised, however, that learning to ride a bike can now be outsourced – surely this is one of those parent/child bonding moments?

Childrens Bicycle School

Gay: “Honestly, we find it far easier to take them and teach them, as their coach, than it is to try to get a parent to teach them because a lot of the parents are afraid to let them fall; they’re afraid to let go. They’re simply exhausted by the experience of having to run along side them because they think they’ve got to literally hold them, and hold all of their weight, so therefore it’s not a pleasant experience for the parent to try to teach their children – so they simply don’t want to do it.”

Ian: “And all of the other psychological baggage that always exists between parent and child comes into play, so the parent gets in the way of their child learning”

For those of us who have taught our own kids, this will make a lot of sense. Other parents at my daughters’ school say how angelic they are when they go to their friends houses to play; I know the truth, however. Kids always seem to behave better for other people, so getting someone else to teach them riding in the same way we get school teachers to teach them maths or science is something I can get behind. So if Mum or Dad teaching the kids is an outdated notion, what about training wheels?

Gay: “Never, ever give a child a bike with training wheels because then you have to retrain them to ride properly”.

Ian: “These days there’s no excuse to have a bike with training wheels on it because you have scooters and you have balance bikes.”

Gay: “It makes the introduction of cycling much easier [when you don’t have training wheels] because you don’t have to retrain them, because they’re not leaning their weight onto the training wheels.”

Ian: “When kids arrive at the Kid’s on Bikes program at the after school care they come from a broad range of experience, some of them have never ridden a bike before, but they’re a minority. The majority of them have ridden a bike before, so we ask them how many wheels their bike has – to count them on their fingers- “Four!”; and then I know I’ve got to help them unlearn the dynamic of cycling with training wheels because they lean out and turn in, and worse than that they also lean back and the dynamics of balancing the forces of pedalling and holding the handlebars is quite often reversed.”

This makes sense as well and I’m starting to get excited with this conversation because I have experts telling me that it’s not my fault, rather it’s the traditional methods that aren’t as effective as they could be. More importantly, they’re telling me that there is a solution. What I need now is details; I have two more kids to get onto two wheels, how soon do they need to start learning?

Ian: “I’m teaching kids who are as young as 4, the younger the better. I realise that they’re very young people and the one thing unifies them all is their great sense of humour – you’ve always got ot work with humour, it’s the most powerful teaching force in the universe.

I sit down in front of them on the bike and tell them that the bike is always going to be leaning one way or the other and that if you want to keep going straight you have to turn the handlebars in the direction that the bike leans. If you want to initiate a turn, it’s LOOK, LEAN, TURN. I get them to call that back, and you often get a dozen of them in a chorus: LOOK, LEAN, TURN. In the few moments you have them saying that you’re installing a program.

Then I chuck them on a bike and I take over and firstly what I do is hold onto the back of the bike under the seat and I have my hand on top of their hand on the handlebars so that they can feel my input force on the handlebars. Then I swing them around in figures of eight, being absolutely disciplined about the dynamic so they feel the sensation of the turn. I’m reverse engineering what they’ll have to do in terms of the dynamic – and you’ve got to be absolutely strict to get it perfectly right.

Kids Bike School

Now with good kids, who haven’t been contaminated by training wheels, the learning can take five to ten seconds. I’ve seen it many times, you go like this and then this and when they feel the correct balance between looking, leaning and turning they’ll often laugh; you’ll hear them laughing because of the fear. They’ll often say to me “Ooh, this is so scary” and they want to put their foot down, so I say “I’ll nail your shoe to that pedal” and they’ll laugh again and then when they start to trust the dynamic of the turn, the speed, the lean and turn of the handlebars – when that all comes right, and they trust it and they feel it, then they’ll laugh at the simple joy of cycling.

Once you’ve got that, you know you’ve won and it’s only a matter of a short time. Once they’re at that stage you know then there’s an opening happening right before your eyes and then rather than keeping them doing that, you immediately push them into the next phase: a gentle grassy slope is the best thing, and once you can feel them getting the dynamics you can shift your hands up to say the shoulders, and then the next stage when they’re starting to get even better,just a hand in the middle of the back until it’s almost nothing and then they’re on their way.

It’s so overwhelmingly satisfying to take a kid and in minutes have them riding: it’s amazing.”

So is my 6 year old too old to learn?

Ian: “It’s common for 10 and 11 years olds in primary school to not know how to ride a bike. The closer you get to the heart of Sydney the worse these problems get; kids living in appt. buildings etc. They don’t even have the opportunity to have a bike.

The bigger kids who haven’t learned to ride are a lot more intellectual, but they’re getting to the age where they’re self-conscious about not being able to ride. So I take them to somewhere a bit more private, get them riding down a hill and walking the bike back up it and I tell them they can practice this on their own without anyone else watching.”

It’s clear from talking to this couple that they have a passion for what they do and the results they can achieve. I’m looking at my two non-cycling kids in a different way now and I know to stay away from training wheels. After this interview I took the pedals, cranks and bottom bracket off of the smallest bike I had at home to make a simple balance bike for my youngest daughter (if you don’t know how to do this yourself, your local bike shop can do it for you). I told her it was like a sit down scooter and she took to it instantly. Because there were no pedals on the bike, the back pedal brake was useless, so she had to rely on the hand brakes on the bike to stop herself. According to Gay, they also prefer the hand brakes: “the children right from the beginning learn two brakes and a philosophy of gently braking with both”. When she gets a bit better with her balance and stopping, I can put the pedals back on and she can get learn to pedal for propulsion. I think I’m on the right track.

first bicycle ride

When I was a boy (now that I’ve used that phrase I have officially become my father) every kid had a bike and used it daily to get to school or to their friends houses after school. My brother and I spent our holidays and weekends riding our yellow BMX bikes around our neighbourhood, setting out after breakfast, coming home only for some banana sandwiches at lunch time, then heading out again only to return just before the street lights came on. I bring this up to add contrast to the way kids cycle these days, or more to the point the way kids don’t cycle these days. No, this is not a rant about how life used to be better and how soft modern kids are; rather, it’s an acknowledgement that the current world is vastly different to the world of thirty years ago. When I was a kid I lived in a quite Sydney suburb among families with one working parent and one car per household. The roads didn’t get busy of an afternoon until after five, and even then they didn’t get that busy. While I am sure that suburbs like this still exist, I don’t live in one; my street runs off of Sydney’s busiest streets and that traffic is a literal stones throw from my driveway.

learning to ride a bicycle

While I may sound like an over-protective parent, I simply don’t want my kids to become accident statistics and the number of cars in the streets immediately around my house makes me more than a little hesitant to let my little ones ride their bikes around the way I used to. What I do want, however, is to imbue my children with enough road sense to be able cycle commuters in the future. I bought this up with Ian and Gay and they told me that in the community where they live, there are 3 kms worth of cycle ways that pass by the local primary school and no student would have to cycle more than 1km to get to school. In a school of 375 kids, however, only about 20 rode. Ian and Gay doubled that and that is only the start of what they want to do. They actively advocate to lower the boundaries to cycling for kids.

Ian: “They [local and state governments] need cycle education back in schools and they need to work with schools to provide bicycle lockup facilities. In many planned commnities around Sydney there is no reason not to ride to school. It’s the cars that are causing the problems”.

Gay: “I don’t think there’s a lack of desire in people to ride bikes, I think there’s a lack of places for people to ride bikes and I think there would be a lot more children out there riding bikes if we could provide safe places for them to ride. Councils need to bite the bullet and provide it, and they’ll come”.

In addition to delivering the active after schools program, Ian and Gay teach riding and racing sills through the Lidcombe Auburn Cycling Club – details of which will be provided in Part 2 of this article.

If you want your child to learn to ride (or indeed, if you’d like to learn to ride yourself), contact your state bicycling association (e.g. Bicycle NSW, Bicycle Network Victoria) or your local Austcycle provider.

Read Part 2 of Getting Kids into Cycling

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This is how the bike industry works http://www.bicycles.net.au/2011/11/this-is-how-the-bike-industry-works/ Mon, 14 Nov 2011 21:49:25 +0000 http://www.bicycles.net.au/2011/11/this-is-how-the-bike-industry-works/ Ever wondered about pricing and why something that costs $20 to make then retails for $400? What about the inner workings of OEMs, OBMs and ODMs and their supply chains plus the impact of internet shopping on the cycling industry?

Industry expert Cam Whiting (previous from BMC) is exploring the ins and outs of the bike industry with particular focus on Asia and Australia in the Vertical limit series published on Cycling iQ. The industry is changing and we are taken a journey through the modern era of "Made in Taiwan" bicycle manufacturing and how a bike or part gets from the factory to the cyclist.

Start with Part One: Vertical limit | blissful detachment: export utopia

(not to disappoint, an example pricing structure breakdown can be found is part two: bicycle industry supply chains)

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Finalists for Australian Cyclist of the Year http://www.bicycles.net.au/2011/11/finalists-for-australian-cyclist-of-the-year/ Tue, 01 Nov 2011 12:20:10 +0000 http://www.bicycles.net.au/2011/11/finalists-for-australian-cyclist-of-the-year/ For the November 12 presentation, Cycling Australia has published the finalists for the Australia Cyclist of the Year Awards. For all major sporting disciplines from Road Cycling and Track Cycling through to Mountain Bike, BMX and Para-Cycling, plus in Elite Mens, Elite Womens, Masters and Juniors categories, 2011 is a special year with Cadel Evans raising the profile of Australian sports cycling.

The finalists in each category are:

Scody 2011 People’s Choice Cyclist of the Year
Cadel Evans
Matthew Goss
Anna Meares OAM (triple 2011 world champion)
Stuart O’Grady
Mark Renshaw
Steele Von Hoff

Mavic Track Cyclist of the Year – Male
Jack Bobridge (dual 2011 world champion)
Michael Freiberg (2011 world champion)
Shane  Perkins (2011 world champion)

Mavic Elite Track Cyclist of the Year – Female
Katherine Bates
Kaarle McCulloch (2011 world champion)
Anna Meares OAM (triple 2011 world champion)

Cycling Central Elite Road Cyclist of the Year – Male
Luke  Durbridge (dual 2011 world champion)
Cadel Evans
Matthew Goss
Christopher Sutton

Cycling Central Elite Road Cyclist of the Year – Female

Shara Gillow
Rochelle Gilmore
Chloe  Hosking

SBS Television Elite Mountain Bike Cyclist of the Year – Male

Jared Graves
Michael Hannah
Chris Jongewaard

SBS Television Elite Mountain Bike Cyclist of the Year – Female
Rebecca Henderson
Katherine O’Shea
Leonie Picton

Singapore Airlines Elite BMX Cyclist of the Year – Male
Brian Kirkham
Sam Willoughby
Khalen Young

Singapore Airlines Elite BMX Cyclist of the Year – Female
Caroline Buchanan
Melinda McLeod  (dual 2011 world champion)
Lauren Reynolds

Jetset Glynde Elite Para-cyclist of the Year – Male
Michael Gallagher OAM (2011 world champion)
Kieran Modra OAM & pilot Scott McPhee (2011 world champion)
David Nicholas (2011 world champion)

Jetset Glynde Elite Para-cyclist of the Year – Female
Carole Cooke (2011 world champion)
Felicity Johnson & pilot Stephanie Morton (2011 world champion)
Susan Powell (triple 2011 world champion)

Jetset Glynde Masters Cyclist of the Year – Male
David Stevens (dual 2011 world champion)
Geoff Stoker (triple 2011 world champion)
Gavin White (triple 2011 world champion)

Jetset Glynde Masters Cyclist of the Year – Female
Lise Benjamin (2011 world champion)
Sandra Bletchly
Linda White

Junior Track Cyclist of the Year – Male
Alexander Edmondson (dual 2011 world champion)
Caleb Ewan (2011 world champion)
Jackson Law (dual 2011 world champion)

Junior Track Cyclist of the Year – Female
Georgia Baker (2011 world champion)
Taylah Jennings (dual 2011 world champion)
Emily Roper (2011 world champion)

Junior Road Cyclist of the Year – Male
David Edwards
Bradley Linfield
Calvin Watson

Junior Road Cyclist of the Year – Female
Jessica Allen (2011 world champion)
Jessica Mundy
Emily Roper (2011 world champion)

Junior Mountain Bike Cyclist of the Year – Male
Troy Brosnan (2011 world champion)
Connor Fearon
Billy Sewell

Junior BMX Cyclist of the Year – Male
Corey Frieswyk
Darryn Goodwin (2011 world champion)
Bodi Turner

Junior BMX Cyclist of the Year – Female
Madison Janssen
Melinda McLeod (dual 2011 world champion)
Molly Nichols – Pavy

Cycling Australia Coaching Award
Hilton Clarke
Andrew Jackson
Si?n  Mulholland

Coaching Program of the Year
Cycling Australia / Australian Institute of Sport High Performance – Men’s Track Endurance
Cycling Australia / Australian Institute of Sport High Performance – Para-cycling
Cycling Australia / Australian Institute of Sport High Performance – Sprint
The following awards & trophies will also be presented on the night.

Other Awards
Cycling Australia Media Award
Keith Esson Award
Cycling Australia National Road Series Champions (individuals and teams)
Australian Club Premiership
Norm Gailey Trophy – Champion State
Australian Sports Commission Volunteers of the Year Awards

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GreenUps Sustainability drinks in Sydney http://www.bicycles.net.au/2011/10/greenups-sustainability-drinks-in-sydney/ Sun, 02 Oct 2011 22:27:25 +0000 http://www.bicycles.net.au/2011/10/greenups-sustainability-drinks-in-sydney/ In the unofficial prelude to the Ride Sydney and Bicycle Film Festivals, the GreenUps Sustainability drinks invites you to The Beresford Hotel on Tuesday October 4.

400 guests are expected to pack out The Beresford Hotel in Darlinghurst, Sydney with guest speakers including:

– Latest research from Dr Ros Poulos, Bike Risk Researcher UNSW
– Gracious Cycling from Patrick Jones Bike Wise Director
– BFF highlight from Josh Capelin, Director Bicycle Film Festival
– Some ‘pot-stirring’, by FBi Presenter Mickie Quick
– Why Two Wheels Turning Is Good For Your Body and Brain from Dr Julie – Hatfield, Transport & Road Safety Research Centre, UNSW 

There is also a bike valet service, Gold Sprints, giveaways, prizes, sustainable food and local beer and wine.

Cost: Gold coin donation

Info: www.facebook.com/GreenUps

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Cadel 24/7 Photography Exhibition in Sydney http://www.bicycles.net.au/2011/09/cadel-247-photography-exhibition-in-sydney/ Wed, 07 Sep 2011 22:48:03 +0000 http://www.bicycles.net.au/2011/09/cadel-247-photography-exhibition-in-sydney/ Award winning Aussie photographer Mark Gunter captured this years Tour de France on camera and presens the best moments in a photography exhibition in Sydney. As the most significant edition of the Tour de France with the first ever Australian overall victory by Cadel Evans, the Cadel 24/7 exhibition is an opportunity to relive the joy.

The exhibition is being hosted on Tuesday 20th September starting at 6:30pm by City Bike Depot who are located on 305 Kent Street in Sydney.

Visitors have a chance to win a lucky door prize which includes a Tour Down Under signed jersey and a full bike service valued at $270. You can also chat to the photographe Mark Gunter and photos are available for purchase.

Mark Gunter on Facebook

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Bike Futures 2011 Conference in October http://www.bicycles.net.au/2011/09/bike-futures-2011-conference-in-october/ Fri, 02 Sep 2011 21:34:25 +0000 http://www.bicycles.net.au/2011/09/bike-futures-2011-conference-in-october/ Bike Futures 2011 will bring together world leading experts as well as some of Australia’s leading practitioners on how to best respond to the issues confronting communities as they embrace the bicycle revolution.

The three day conference will be held at the Etihad Sadium in Melbourne from 12 – 14. October 2011. The event is now in it’s third year and targets national and local leaders, planners, designers and builders who can use bike transport and recreation to advance their communities.

Bicycle Victoria CEO, Harry Barber says "In towns and cities around the world business and civic leaders, questing for the secret to attracting talent and innovation, are reaching for the Bike Plan".
 
Bike Futures 2011 will discuss how to take the next steps from providing bike infrastructure – essential for mobility – to changing the ways cities work.
 
"When Bike Plans are done well, we know we will find a healthy social and economic ecology. There is little doubt that bikes subtly but powerfully transform the street, calming it, warming it, making it magnetic to people and their conversation and commerce," Mr Barber said.

The Keynote Speakers are:
Gil Penalosa is an internationally renowned liveable city advisor.
Gordon Price is the Director of The City Program at Simon Fraser University in Canada.

Other Speakers are:
Timothy Papandreou, San Francisco Sustainable & Active Mobility Strategy
Robyn Davies, Transport and Main Roads, Qld
Jim Betts, Secretary, Victorian Department of Transport
Sara Stace, Director, National Urban Policy, Major Cities Unit 
Rebecca Lehman, GTA Consultants
Cameron Munro, SKM Consulting
Nicholas Elliot, City of Moreland

Workshop themes for the three days will include: innovative and human design, linking local initiatives with the bigger picture, shared paths and shared spaces, cycle tourism and how Vancouver BC has become the world’s most livable city.

Bike Futures has been initiated by Bicycle Victoria and hosted through their Bicycle Network section. For more the program and registration visit: bikefutures.conferenceworks.net.au

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Survey Shows 4 Million Australians Cycle Weekly http://www.bicycles.net.au/2011/09/survey-shows-4-million-australians-cycle-weekly/ Thu, 01 Sep 2011 12:26:56 +0000 http://www.bicycles.net.au/2011/09/survey-shows-4-million-australians-cycle-weekly/ The Cycling Promotion Fund (CPF) has announced key findings from the National Cycling Participation Survey that was released by the Australian Bicycle Council yesterday as follows:

In the biggest study of its type ever undertaken in this country, the survey found around 3.6 million people ride for recreation and sport and 1.2 million make a least one transport trip each week.

The survey showed that more than 10% of Australian adults had ridden in the past week and almost 30% in the last year.

On average, those 10% riding in any week are achieving significant levels of physical activity at an average of 30 minutes a day to meet recommended levels for good health.

The Cycling Promotion Fund (CPF) believes this is great news for a healthier Australia. The results reinforce the findings of an earlier survey carried out by the CPF and the National Heart Foundation of Australia which showed similar participation figures, but importantly that up to 60% of Australians not riding would consider riding for transport if road conditions were safer.

‘This shows what a great opportunity cycling is for this country,’ said Cycling Promotion Fund spokesman, Stephen Hodge.

“Those riding now are making a serious contribution to their health and productivity and we have strong demand for better conditions that will encourage a lot more Australians to choose their bike for short trips.’

‘With physical inactivity costing our health budget an estimated $1.5bn a year and the economy $13bn a year, cycling appears to be one of the easiest ways to increase our physical activity and create a healthier Australia’.

‘This survey helps us to more objectively measure and understand what is going on, which is critical in helping us direct our efforts for cycling in the years ahead,’ said Hodge.

Main Points:

– The Survey is a key benchmarking tool for the National Cycling Strategy 2011‐2016, under which all State and Territory Ministers of Transport and the Federal Minister have committed to doubling the number of people cycling within 5 years.

– The bicycle industry is represented on the Australian Bicycle Council, which conducted the Survey

– 9,661 households and 24,858 individuals in both urban and regional areas in all states and territories responded via a phone survey in March and April.

– 18% of Australians ride in a typical week (10% of adults), and 40% have done so in the previous year.

– 63% of children aged 5‐9 ride in a typical week

– 22% of males and 14% of females ride in a typical week

– 4 million Australians ride in a typical week and 8,899,000 ride in a typical year

– 1,243,000 Australians ride for transport in a typical week

source: CPF

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South Australia, Melrose MTB Demo Day http://www.bicycles.net.au/2011/08/south-australia-melrose-mtb-demo-day/ Wed, 31 Aug 2011 23:25:55 +0000 http://www.bicycles.net.au/2011/08/south-australia-melrose-mtb-demo-day/ Everyone loves to try before they buy and in cycling, Demo Days give you the chance to try different bikes and enjoy yourself with other riders and experts. Melrose in SA has arguably Australia’s best singletracks and OTE will set you up on a MTB on the September 17 and 18 Demo Day(s).

The event caters for serious MTB brands and offers riders on the day the rare opportunity to ride a number of different brands with expert help to set up the suspension and position to suit you. On trial will be Ibis, Knolly, Spot, Turner, Liteville and Craftworks. The latter deserve an introduction:

Liteville are a German brand from Allg?u in south on the foothills of the Alps. A young team of passionate Mountain Bikers created the brand that scored top points with the insiders and started to be ranked among the favourites in MTB tests against bigger more established brands. This year Liteville made it’s way to Australia (c/o EightyOneSpices) and has been seen at MTB events around Australia and is becoming available through more local bike shops.

Craftworks on the otherhand are an Australian boutique brand out of South Australia who pride themself on refinement and improvement to provide a well thought through and reliable ‘tool’ for a Mountain Biker rather than an ‘experiment’ on wheels.

It is recommended to register for the Melrose Demo Day. Send an email to kerri@otesports.com.au to get the booking form, it will be on a first come first serve so get in quick. A shortened track will give everyone a good chance to test. Don’t forget to bring your ID on the day.

More info: otesports.com.au

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