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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Perth Cycling Infrastructure: Update, Maylands Station Lock n Ride (take 2)

I just got an email from Transperth stating that the smartrider reader on the Maylands Station Lock n Ride is now operational. I did spot some guys working on it earlier in the week – it looked like they had to pull up a bunch of pavers in order to lay the cables.

Anyway, here is the email:

Thankyou for registering to use Transperth’s new Lock n Ride Bike Shelter SmartRider access system.
 
The SmartRider access system for the Bike Shelter at Maylands Station will commence on Monday 24th October 2011.
 
Your SmartRider Card has been registered and will be your only means of access to the Bike Shelter from this date.  The gate to the shelter will be locked at all times, but you will be able to access the shelter throughout the day by following these steps:
 
  • Press the yellow button on the Bike Parking Machine
  • Tag your SmartRider on the card reader (illustrated below) 
  • Enter the Bike Shelter once the gate unlocks automatically
  • Park and lock your bike in the Bike Shelter using one of the u-rails – we recommend that you use a robust personal lock or chain to secure your bike to the u-rail
  • To exit the Bike Shelter, simply click the latch on the inside of the gate lock
  • Please ensure that the gate shuts and locks properly when you exit (a gate closer has been installed so this should happen automatically)
If you have any queries about this service, or about the use of bikes on Transperth services, please contact us by reply email, or visit…
 
I am looking forward to testing it out and seeing if it actually does work on the way home today. I saw a couple of bikes in it this morning – I wonder if the gate actually now being Smartrider enabled will mean more cyclists use it.
 
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Everyday cycling: Xtracycles carrying other bikes

I won an auction on ebay for three Chopper frames. The only problem – the car is many hundreds of kilometres away and not available for pick up duties. Turns out the choppers were not that far from my place – about a 10km round trip.

The answer?

Xtracycle loaded with chopper frames

My Xtracycle loaded with 3 chopper frames

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2011 in Everyday cycling, xtracycle

 

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No car, no money = bored?

Today on my lunch break I spotted some teenagers sitting in one of the city malls, skateboards in tow, each tucking into their plastic bottled energy drink of choice. I updated my Facebook status saying “oh to be a teenager on school holidays”. A friend replied saying “So you can complain how bored you are? 😛 Much better to be a Uni student (with a car and disposable income) on a break”.

I just realised how very different we are.

I may have had my share of the usual teenage problems, but I was never bored. I had a bike, which took me everywhere I wanted to go. It was what I would now call a BSO or Bicycle Shaped Object, but it did fine and it was never stolen. Maybe something to do with the colour?

Toyworld Bike

The bike my folks gave me for Christmas in 1992

I would go and shoot hoops with my mates for days on end. We went to State Basketball League games and collected vouchers for $2 burgers, then bought them all at once and pigged out on the couch watching TV (more basketball I think). I walked the family dog with another friend who was also walking his family dog, and we were usually gone for hours. I sat in my room and listed to music, and drew cartoons, and read and wrote.

In contrast, my Uni breaks often involved working as many hours as possible in order to finance my life. I did get to explore some more far-flung places, with the biggest Uni break trip being a short bike tour in Europe. I only sporadically owned cars and very rarely had spare money. One of the cars was a clapped out Holden Gemini wagon, in the background of the photo below. Yes, I had whacky hair. I was enjoying not having to be responsible-looking, as I was only doing night-fill work at the time.

Dizzy

Me and my first touring rig in 2001ish

The Malvern Star was about 20kg unloaded. I rode it to Uni about 3 times a week. I still have the bike frame in the shed.

Anyway, high school and uni days certainly had their charms – and they almost always involved a bicycle. A car and disposable income certainly weren’t required to have fun.

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2011 in Everyday cycling, Reasons to Ride

 

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Owner Review: Ebay Wireless Bike Speedometer

I bought this bike computer on ebay for $7.29 with free postage. I put it on my Giant TCR Advanced W, and so far have used it for two 60km rides. I bought it for the speed readout, average speed, trip distance and total distance functions. I had to do some McGuyvering in order to get the handlebar mount to go on my stem, but it wasn’t complicated.

Bike speedometer

Bike Speedo, going cheap!

The Good

Cheap, so cheap.

Accurate enough – it agreed with my GPS by 100m or so over a 60km ride.

It’s pretty straight forward to cycle through the display options.

The Bad

There’s something loose in it, and it rattles over bumps.

It does like telling me I am going 27.7kph.

In conclusion

If you want a bike computer but don’t have much cash then grab one of these. Odds are you will be sick of looking at it anyway by the time it dies.

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2011 in Reviews

 

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Car vs House: Drunk Driver plows into house in Gosnells, Perth

Since the 24 August  2011, I have been collecting Car vs House in Perth stories, this is the second one, the first one being in Tapping.

The original story is here

The roof of a carport collapsed onto a parked caravan and vehicle after another vehicle became airborne and crashed into a Gosnells home last night.

A 23-year-old man has been charged with driving with a blood alcohol level in excess of 0.08 after the Holden Commodore he was driving crashed into a house in Murchison Way in Gosnells.

At around 10.50pm, the driver allegedly failed to taken a right hand bend, causing the car to become airborne and striking the right side of the house.

The car struck the supporting brick pillars of the carport area and collapsed.

The driver attempted to run from the scene, but collapsed nearby due to minor injuries he received.

He was taken to Armadale Kelmscott Memorial Hospital .

The female owner of the house was home at the time, but in another part of the house and was uninjured.

The estimated damage to the house is around $120,000.

The driver is expected to face further charges.

Good to see the driver is going to have to face the consequences of his actions. Not only was he injured, but he will be charged. I hope the house and caravan were insured.

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2011 in Car vs House

 

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Perth Cycling Infrastructure: Roe Highway PSP & Armadale Train line PSP

I was looking for a 60km type loop ride which is mainly on separated cycling infrastructure. Sure, you can ride all the way down to Mandurah without stopping once you get past the city, but that’s about 85km from my house, and then you have to get back. I have been riding down there, catching the train back to the city, and then riding back to my place for a 95km day.

kwinana freeway psp

Kwinana Freeway Principle Shared path

Anyway, I realised that Roe Highway has a good quality PSP which heads South from Welshpool Road, so I decided to try out a freeway/highway loop. You ride the freeway south, until Roe Highway – the turn off is just past Murdoch where you turn left under a little underpass and turn left again for the Roe Highway Welshpool PSP. I then got off the Roe Highway PSP at Railway Parade, near Albany Highway and rode all the way up to Burswood/Great Eastern highway where I picked up the PSP that heads to East Perth Station/Claisebrook.

Here is the link on Bikely.

The pleasant surprise is that they have been working on adding a PSP to the Armadale train line. It currently runs from around Beckenham station to just past Welshpool station. I hope there are plans to continue it – there’s certainly space.

On the weekend when I usually ride down there, there isn’t much traffic on Railway Parade. It’s a very wide road, so I haven’t had any issues with cars, but that PSP will be a godsend for people who live down that way and who wish to commute into the city to work. This new bit of PSP wasn’t there when I bought my Giant TCR down in Cannington at the end of August, so I was pretty surprised to see it!

The new PSP along the Armadale rail line

The new PSP along the Armadale rail line - hopefully it gets extended all the way to the city

There are only a couple of drawbacks to the route – the first is that it takes in a particularly busy bit of the Kwinana Freeway bike path where it is sandwiched between the freeway and the Swan River. There are always dog walkers, fitness buffs jogging or powerwalking, and a wide ranging variety of cyclists. The 10kph pootlers and the 40kph roadies seem to share without too many issues, but it is busy and it can slow you down. The other issue is that the paths tend to suffer from sand and mulch wash outs when there is rain. It rained in the area last night, so we had to be a bit careful through some areas that had deep sand washed onto them.

Overall I enjoyed this ride. It is relaxing being separated from cars, and most of the route is not overcrowded with other cyclists. We really didn’t see many at all on the Roe Highway section, though I expect it will be more popular and well utilised as people realise it is there.

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2011 in Perth Cycling Infrastructure

 

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Everyday Cycling: More Xtracycle Adventures

Loaded Xtracycle Goodness

Loaded Xtracycle Goodness

I rode the Xtracycle to work this morning, in anticipation of picking up a Big Parcel from the post office on the way home. They left the parcel at the most annoying post office in my area, it is only open until 5pm on weekdays and is not open on Saturdays. I had to get out of work an hour early to get there with a decent buffer of time.

On the way back through the city I saw a guy who was walking his bike with a rather large box balanced precariously on his handlebars. He shouted over at me ‘I could do with one of those today’! I had a second look at his bike – it didn’t even have a rear rack. I figured if he had a rack he could at least have strapped the box to it. I think it was one of those ‘form over function’ bikes that look cool but fall down when expected to serve in unexpected ways. There is a reason why all my bikes (except the Giant TCR) have racks.

The post office wasn’t overly busy and I got my package from Bike 24. It contained my latest upgraded bits for my Surly Long Haul Trucker – a prebuilt Mavic 317-Shimano DH-3N72 26″ wheel (for a princely sum of 83,95 EUR), and a Busch & Muller Lumotech Cyo N Plus LED 175QNDi, and a Busch & Muller 4D’ Toplight Senso Multi LED Rear Light. When the woman behind the counter lifted the box I heard some rattling sounds. The box, while bulky, was pretty light and mainly empty.

I had to go grocery shopping after that, I got mainly fruit and vegetables as well as a fair few cans (baked beans and canned tomatos were on special).

When I loaded up the bike and got on I realised the groceries were significantly heavier than the Bike24 box, and I think I looked a bit silly riding leaned over to compensate for the weight.

I installed the new wheel and lights on the Surly this evening, and will start to test them out tomorrow. It was great to take the xtracycle out and haul things with it. There’s a certain sense of self-satisfaction (or smugness) that comes with cargo biking that is hard to beat!

The Lopsided Load

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2011 in Cargo bikes, Everyday cycling, xtracycle

 

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