Monthly Archives: November 2012

Random Bike Builds – Urban Singlespeed MTB Commuter

I wrote about this bike before, and before I get started on my next expensive project, I thought I better get this on-the-cheap one going.

About a month ago we had a nice, unseasonable, warm weekend and I took the opportunity to break out the spray cans.

My theory is that the best temperature to paint in is somewhere between 30 and 35 degrees Celsius. It’s also good to leave the cans outside in the sun just before you plan to use them so that they can warm up a bit. The paint will then come out in a more uniform way and it will minimise drips.

Multiple thin paint layers also minimise drips and drops. I laid down 2 coats of flat black on the frame and the fork, then some sparkly green highlights, and a couple of coats of clear. Due to the nice warm temperature outside the paint was drying quickly.

I let the frame cure for about a week before I decided to build it up. I put a set of steel square taper cranks on the bike, removed the outermost ring (with my handy dremel to cut the heads of the ‘bolts’ holding it on), and ran the chain from the granny to the 10t microdrive on the back.

It has fat tyres on it at the moment as they were what I had lying around. The fat tyres and the 28T – 10T gear ratio makes the thing a bit tall in terms of gear inches, but with some nice thin tyres on it it should be a great ratio.

The front wheel needs truing as well, so there’s a bit of work to do. This is going to be a cool little commuter.


Posted by on November 30, 2012 in Bike Builds & Upgrades


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Training for the Timid

This is a summary post of the training rides that I have been doing in order to get me ready for the Perth Ride to Conquer Cancer. Mostly I have done these rides solo, sometimes with a buddy. They are not routes for big groups as they mostly involve Principle Shared Paths.

South Perth/Freeway/Roe Highway/Railway Parade – LOOP

The map on Bikely is here, this variation includes the Tony Discerni pathway through Maylands.

I do this one fairly frequently if I am by myself as it is 90% principal shared path.

The diversions around Fiona Stanley Hospital are constantly in flux, so all of my Freeway South rides will have slightly different wiggly bits around that area.

My Bike at Bells

Bayswater/Bells Rapids via Middle Swan Road – OUT AND BACK

Middle Swan Road has a poorly maintained Principal Shared Path along it’s length. It has a lot of root damage, narrow parts, and power poles in the middle of it. Sometimes large groups of cyclists riding together to the wineries get in the way. This is the way to ride if you want to take your time and be as separated as possible from traffic.

Bayswater/Bells Rapids/Bells Lookout via Reid Highway & GREAT NORTHERN HIGHWAY – OUT AND BACK

Click for the GPS generated map of a ride I did out along Middle Swan Road/Railway Parade and then back via Great Northern Highway, crossing the river at Reid Highway.

I now prefer to ride Great Northern Highway, as it has a great, smooth, wide bike lane. There are multiple large trucks using the route so this can be off putting as they try to suck you in as they go past. The Reid Highway part is not actually on Reid Highway, there are a series of back roads with connecting bike paths running parallel to the highway which go past the Prison.

If you combine these two rides you can make a loop instead of an out and back ride. Obviously there are more climbs that you can ride around Campersic Road but I was battling a fierce headwind the time I went up there and so wasn’t up to much more than one climb!

Bayswater/City/Freeway North/Scarborough/North Fremantle/Bayswater – LOOP

This is an excellent summer ride. I ride down the Midland rail line Principle Shared Path, through the city, up the Freeway North path, then get off at Cedric Street and work through the back streets to the beach. Then you can follow the coast to Fremantle, then ride back via the Fremantle rail line.

Freeway South to Singleton – OUT AND BACK

My GPS generated map is here.

Patagoni Road has a wide sealed shoulder, the section of Mandurah Road has a rather rough sealed shoulder, and Singleton Beach Road is narrow and full of hoons, so I used the shared path.

Freeway South to Rockingham/Safety Bay Road and Wellard Road – OUT AND BACK/SMALL LOOP

GPS-generated map here on Bikely.

I found this loop on a Department of Transport website, but the Wellard Road route is by far the most pleasant way in to Rockingham. Safety Bay Road has a disappearing sealed shoulder and a couple of two lane and very busy roundabouts to negotiate. I want to try riding down the coast, as the area in between the Freeway and the coast in the vicinity of Rockingham is not very scenic!


I hope that these rides give you some ideas. After you’ve done all these you might want to spend more time on the road or doing hills, or whatever else you want to do. The greatest thing about riding in Perth is that the number of cyclists on the road is constantly growing, and there is safety in numbers.


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New York & Hurricane Sandy, what now?

Fuelling their Rage: Violence breaks out over Sandy Gas Shortages.

Forget the warm, fuzzy sense of neighbourliness that came after the disaster. That was sooooo Wednesday afternoon. Frustration is now boiling over as desperate locals queue up to six hours for petrol.

Across New York and New Jersey, up to 80 per cent of gas stations remain closed after the storm. The stations are closed not only because of a supply shortage, but because power is still out, and power is required to pump petrol.

Oh how I was hoping these kinds of reports didn’t eventuate. With public transport crippled by flooding, a lot of people have had to walk everywhere. Many, many people are without power, so not only are they looking for fuel to power their cars, they want it for their generators.

There are some problem solvers left in NY though, they thought, how can we get around effectively without adding to the current fuel shortage problem or cramming up the public transport services that are running? Well the NY Times has published an article on just that.

One Way Around the Traffic Muddle in Brooklyn: Riding a Bicycle.

Thomas Jarrels, 46, who biked home to Crown Heights from his job as a sous-chef at a Midtown law firm, said he was glad to have had an impetus to bike to work. He said he was a bike messenger in the 1980s and loved biking, but had never commuted by bike until the storm disabled the subway. Though it took slightly longer than the train, he said, he thought he would keep biking even after the subway started running again.

Note to all Doomsday Preppers – a bicycle is an essential piece of equipment in the aftermath of a disaster. It is not reliant on fuel supplies, can be manoeuvred around downed trees and damaged roads, and can get you where you need to go.

Maybe even better if it’s a fat-bike. A fat-bike is probably overkill, but it is a cool excuse to buy a Salsa Mukluk!

Salsa Mukluk


Posted by on November 2, 2012 in Offbeat


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