Thursday, March 29, 2007

Hell Ride

This sad case has finally made its way to the coroners court, and it's nice to see a bit of prejudice already creaping in to the Coroners findings. I'm sure all the negative media has nothing to do with this. Just thought I'd pick out some of the quotes from Mr Johnstone that have been reported thus far.

“The pack doesn’t give evidence. Those who run the pack don’t give evidence. They’re not game enough.'’

Nobody runs 'the pack' you idiot, there is no directing mind or will of the group, they are just a group of people who like riding. Trying to paint bunch rides as in some way equivalent to a rioting mob is just ridiculous, and shows a complete lack of understanding of the sport of cycling. and talk about hypocrisy, the coroner has clearly been swayed by the lynch mob like behaviour of the police and motorists giving evidence, and the tabloid media in Melbourne. How many inquests have there been into the 15 or so deaths of cyclists this year in Melbourne- none.

Prejudice: “This group, this bunch, this pack needs to modify its behaviour.'’ Referring to his 18 years on the bench, Mr Johnstone said it was “very rare'’ for him to make comments midway through an inquest.

Trying to make out you aren't actually prejudiced: During his outburst the coroner noted more and more cyclists were to be seen on Victorian roads which, he said, was a “good thing'’.

Isn't it nice to see justice being done- nothing like jumping to conclusions about something you don't really understand based on a jaundiced view of what happened combined with a touch of utter pre-judgement.

And now the papers can say 'look we were right all along, we told you so'.

The other lamentable thing is that the Age ran with a headline that stated that cyclists were travelling at 'excessive speeds' which was apparently 10 kilometres an hour below the legal limit.

This coroner should clearly be removed from the inquest due to bias. The least we can do in the interests of justice is to wait for all the evidence to be presented, and then make a conclusion as to whether the death was wrongful, or an accident however preventable.

Presently the inquest just seems to be a media incited lynching. I have to also question the necessity of running a coroners inquest at this point in time which cannot hear evidence from the accused, who rightfully has declined to give evidence until trial.

'When you wake up to the fact that your paper is Tory, just remember there are two sides to every story'

Saturday, March 17, 2007

My week on wheels

Saturday: Hell ride + easy km's- 185km. good to be back on the hell ride, although it really slows down once all the pros have gone home. ah well.
Sunday: St Kilda crit. A nice roll around, was still feeling it a bit in the legs after me first long ride for long time. 70kms.
Monday: Study
Tuesday: Commuting to work. Damn it studying has killed my cycling yet again. As Ian Curtis once said: 'when will it end, when will it end' 30kms
Wednesday: Commuting again: 30kms
Thursday: Study
Friday: Study

Study study study!

315kms- Can't wait for the CA to finish so I can hit the open road like a Triffid.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Couldn't have put it better myself

'Keating lost. He failed to capture the imagination of blue-collar Australia because blue-collar Australia has no imagination. And you can put that on my headstone.'

Catherine Deveny, Sydney Morning Herald 14/3/07

Monday, March 12, 2007

Monday Politics

Rudd, Character and Judgment

The polls continue to look golden for Heavy Kevvy, suggesting a rebound from the Coalitions mudslinging effort over the last week.

Queensland is looking interesting after three sitting members have been implicated in a corruption inquiry concerning printing allowances.

The last week has been consumed by allegation and counter allegation. The Qld situations was uncovered, then in a pre-emptive strike Kelvin Thompson was forced to resign from the shadow ministry over providing a reference to Tony Mokbel in a liquor licence application.

You would have thought the community would be better off with that bloke selling beer rather than cocaine- but anyhow.

I loved the coalitions take on the Rudd-Burke affair. It's about Rudd's judgement cry Howard and Ruddock.

OK so having lunch with a colourful character shows a lack of judgment, whereas

a) getting tangled up in Iraq (Howard); and
b) Deporting Australian citizens (Ruddock)

are examples of superior judgment.

I don't think the public is really buying it at the moment, and the polls indicate that.

Copenhagen Bikelanes

I got the chance to ride the new bike lanes in Swanston Street and almost got killed by a car flying out of an apartment car park.

Not what you'd call a good first impression.

I’m not sure how safe these new bike lanes are. You have people getting out of the passenger side of cars to contend with. Pedestrians in general floating around. Cars sitting across the bikelanes before they turn and treating the outermost edge of the bikelane as the edge of the street.

Just like the new tram stops where the bikelanes cut around off the road and onto the footpath- I seriously doubt that the new bike lanes are safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

I think the main problem concerns driver familiarity. If the bikelanes only exist on one street in Melbourne, drivers will may not be aware of how riders use these facilities.

I'm not sure they're a good use of scarce resources either. The North end of swanston street is pretty safe for cycling anyway- the reason why is that thousands of people ride to Melbourne Uni- and as a result, drivers know that they will be likely to encounter riders in the Carlton, north carlton area.

As a matter of principle, I don’t think removing cyclists from the road is the best option for enhancing safety.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

My Week on Wheels

Saturday: 100kms: Lorne to Apollo Bay + a bit. Good fast tempo ride to knock the cobwebs out. Lorne was full of riders when I got back due to the Otway classic.
Sunday: 80kms. A slow ride followed by a time trial effort from Lorne to Benwerrin. A nice 10km climb.
Monday: restin.
Tuesday: 4 min intervals: 60kms
Wednesday: Interval work with Nick again- 60kms.
Thursday: Track racing- more stunning fifth place finishes, tactical errors and stuff ups down at the track. 30kms. Stuart Vaughan commented to me after the motor pace that it is truly amazing how I can manage to be last wheel with 3 laps to go in the motorpace week in week out. Some serious tactical changes are necessary!
Friday: Nought


Tomorrow I return to the Hell ride- so it's time to get back into road mode and knock up some more chamois time.

Time to get back in the gym also.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Monday Politics

Australia’s greatest hand grenade merchant is back in business this week riding shotgun for Heavy Kevvy and describing Peter Costello as ‘all tip and no ice-berg’ and John Howard as a ‘desiccated coconut’.

Paul Keating is a master of the English language- He is better than any politician going around at the moment in terms of knowing how to cut through, and get the message out.

Pretty funny ways to describe people as having no substance methinks.

He sure puts the Brian Burke controversy into perspective likening Burke and Grills to the dodgy brothers type characters from Minder. Very amusing stuff.

Howard sure is desperate at the moment. He insinuates that Rudd was in WA to do deals with Burke over the leadership- this despite the fact that Burke and Beazley are long time friends, and the WA caucus threw their vote behind Beazley in the leadership battle! If he was there to do deals, he was clearly pushing shit uphill. Rudd clearly received no political benefit from meeting with Burke at all.

Sacking a minister is a pretty extreme length to go to when all you are doing is throwing mud in the hope that some sticks.

In other news, manufacturing in Australia takes another step towards death with Holden set to cut 600 jobs from its Adelaide factory due to poor sales for the medium sized gas guzzling Conformodore.

Also, in a bid to prevent reproduction of its material on other websites, the Australian and Daily Telegraph now copy protect their blogs.

This comes from an organisation that already destroys archieved news stories.

These actions amount to censorship, but I think they have a more practical purpose- That is the removal of opinion pieces that are proven to be inaccurate. It is as much about protecting journalistic egos as proprietary material.

Glen Milne's articles appear to be burned up the fastest because they are so frequently based on hearsay and bullshit. His piece on the Rudd-Burke affair has already gone up in a puff of smoke never to be seen again!

Clearly News Corporation is not concerned about fostering public debate. The mission is to get the line out, unleash the hounds, and then hide behind the disposability of the internet.

My week on wheels

Saturday: The Austral

Scratch Race: Got knocked off by some old bloke rushing up the inside (illegally). Did some hard stuff on the front though which earned plaudits from the trackside commentators! But yet another bloody crash. Still sore even today (over a week later), got my first splinters which made me feel like a real trackie!

I also got a picture in cyclingnews in the la lucciola gear (Which has been destroyed after one outing). Me in third wheel and upright!

Handicap Heat 1: Road well at the start to be in the lead group with 2 laps to go, then two riders went down in front of me and I lost 20 metres going up the track around them. I did manage to help get my team mate Stuart Vaughan into the leading group though, and he won the heat.


Sunday: Club teams championships. Fifth in the team sprint and fifth in the team pursuit. 20kms
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Kew Crit. 60kms
Thursday: track- fifth place all night a la Stuey O’Grady: 20kms
Friday: rest

120 kms- A week of multiple fifth places, a sore bum and far too few kms (for my liking anyway)

Now it's road and study :( time!