Thursday, 30 June 2011

Tip 6: Change your tire with a knife (multiple tubes necessary)

Those bike shops are always reaching deeper into your pockets. You go in to buy a handful of spokey-dokes, and you come out with a french-made, full carbon bottle cage that costs as much as your bike.
The worst is the things they put on the counter to tempt you: Patch repair kits that cost more per gram than truffles, and those tyre levers - which are just bits of moulded plastic - for $29.  You won't fall into that trap!
And then it's time to change that tube, so you go into the kitchen and find the bluntest looking butter knife. The risks here, as you put the tyre back on over that virgin tube, are evident, so you exercise extreme caution.
Pump it up, and listen.
BONUS TIP: When you go to the shop to buy a half-dozen replacement tubes, accept that your pride won't let you spring for the tyre levers just yet. 

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Tip 5: Hang onto a tram

Public transport is taxpayer funded.  Even if you've cleverly engineered your financial circumstances to minimise income tax - by, say, becoming a video installation artist - you still pay tax. All those daily transactions involve a greasy government middle-man taking his GST.
Every pair of Vans includes $10 that goes straight to the government. Every soy latte is another 35 cents jangling in the taxman's pockets.
Don't imagine you've lost those precious pennies just because you are a cyclist.  Public transport is there for you.  Hang on tight as the number 96 ascends Bourke St. You deserve it.
The newer trams are more of a struggle for hand holds as The Man tries to shut the humble cyclist out, but anyone with rock climbing experience will be able to stick a digit in a crack, stop pedalling and benefit from propulsion they already paid for.

BONUS TIP: Wanna prove you've got the juice in your caboose? Take your mountain bike onto the train tracks and hang onto the 9.15 running express to Richmond.

Tip 4: Run a Red

Colour blindness afflicts men more than women.  Keep that factlet in your back pocket.  Cause if you cycle properly eventually you'll be having a little chat about the rule of law with some uniformed  protozoa with father issues.
He won't appreciate your perspective on the way the nanny state oppresses, so get all sciencey on his arse. How can you have known what colour that light was with your debilitating disability?
Even if it doesn't stop you getting the old baton to the back of the knees, you'll be able to crumple to the ground aware you've given him the sort of knowledge that distinguishes him from his peers and all but locks in his next promotion.

BONUS TIP: A lady cop just needs a wink from an outlaw and it'll be her going all weak at the knees.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Tip 3: Get a Crumpler

Crumpler is hot. Crumpler is now. Crumpler is function. Crumpler is form. Crumpler is debonaire. Crumpler is devil may care.  Crumpler is nylon. Crumpler is style.  Crumpler is sex. Crumpler is love. Crumpler is the night. Crumpler is Soho. Crumpler is John Lennon. Crumpler is Yoko Ono. Crumpler is next summer's teenage anthem. Crumpler is a black and white show reel. Crumpler is the sky above. Crumpler is the road beneath.
Other bag brands make baby jesus cry.

BONUS TIP: Crumpler make back sweat real bad

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Tip 2: Move through stopped cars at intersections

Cycling is a healthy pursuit, and nothing ruins it like sucking on the exhaust of a queue of cheap cars from a time before emissions standards.
The only place to be at an intersection is at the very front, where (if you don't glance in your helment mirror) the cars are hidden from your hawkish gaze.
There may be times you are discouraged. There may be times the traffic is packed tighter than a pannier on the way home from the farmers market.  There may be times you are riding a Dutch bike with handlebars like the wing span of a Hercules C-130.  Do not back down.
The car drivers won't mind.  They are in their warmth capsules only because they crave to be cradled and swaddled as they never were by their mothers.  If, in making your way to a front-of-grid position, you are visible, at their wing mirror, pressed bodily against their tinted window, they will appreciate the human presence they are so starved of, however fleeting it may appear.

BONUS TIP: Pros can take on this mini-labyrinth even as the lights on the cross street turn yellow.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Tip 1. Ride on the white line

Like Steven Spielberg's cameo in the Blue's Brothers, sometimes little things count.  You might not know the friction coefficient of asphalt, you might not even know what a friction coefficient is, but when you hear your Vittorias rolling on the white line, you'll know you're in heaven.  Sweet silence. But - like a snort of pure columbian - the white line won't last forever.  You'll fall off the straight and narrow and it will be the roughest of come-downs.  But reclaim that white line fever!  Practice pays, and over time that energy saved can be reinvested in other things, like plotting revenge on the dealer who -anyone would agree - is cutting your stuff with too much talc.

Shut your eyes while riding the white line and feel the difference come through the saddle.