Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Tip 56: iPhone and ride

When the phone pings in the pocket of your Rapha shants, you can try to let it sit.
But the amount of time that messages sits unread, the more its potential importance grows. 
A callback on that audition?
An article published in that zine?
A game of dungeons and dragons about to start?
While you've got your phone out, well, you could easily check your tweets on this long straight stretch.  And look, your nemesis has taken their turn in Words With Friends.
BONUS TIP: Of course, you are aware of the tremendous risk inherent in doing this:  You could drop your phone on the road and end up with spider-web screen. 

Monday, 29 August 2011

Tip 55: Overtake someone who is trying their heart out

They are on the road in front of you. They are getting closer quickly, but it's obvious they're trying. They are out of the saddle and their bottom is wobbling side to side like a dog wagging its tail.
Before long you're right on their wheel and you have to throw their feelings onto the train tracks and run over them like the locomotive you are. Make an excuse for them - maybe they're at the end of a very long ride?
Eyes straight ahead, you do it.

BONUS TIP: Shut your mouth as you pass to make it look like you're not even breathing hard.

Tip 54: Sample marginalisation

White, educated, politically enfranchised, able-bodied, heterosexual male seeks:
Opportunity to be hated without reason, heckled and assaulted by those more powerful, treated with contempt by law-makers and picked on by law enforcement.

BONUS TIP: Shed your downtrodden status along with your bib shorts each morning when you arrive at the beautifully appointed cycling facilities at your law firm / IT company.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Tip 53: Increase your cadence

It should feel like your feet are comets bending space time with an unbelievably fast orbit of the planet Crank. Your legs will warm up from air friction rather than effort.

BONUS TIP: If you're going to spin so fast you bounce in the saddle, you may want to remove any genital piercings. Or not - up to you!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Tip 52: Go by car

All good cross training involves something that will stress different muscles while putting pressure on your cardio-vascular system.
I recommend Punt Rd traffic.
Your heart rate will soar like a 12 per cent climb, and your fellow traffic-makers will see you engage in serious verbal gymnastics as you seek out the one foulest word that encapsulates your feelings for them.
Deploy a variety of obscenities to work on your lip and tongue muscles - if everyone in your way is just a "fuck-wit", you're not going to get that all-over-toned look that really shows off your mouth.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Tip 51: Tangle with the law

You'll be neat and tidy as a pin,
helmet strap snug beneath your chin.
Cruising along the bicycle lane,
reflecting on Miguel Indurain.
When out of traffic shall arrive,
A police car to make you swerve and dive.
they'll clip your wheel, sirens wailing,
while you go flying with limbs flailing.

BONUS TIP: Pick yourself up, red and sore
Don't feel frightened to reproach the law.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Tip 50: Ride after your lights fail

Darkness is a primal fear of any animal who a) does not sit at the top of the food chain like a hungry Californian sits at the business end of a sushi train; b) is not nocturnal, eyeless, a mole or deep-sea creature.
When the double-As in your LEDs fail, you will be forced to confront that fear.
Ride on? Risking bunyip attack, accidental cross-country sections and the insouciant violence of those big, blind, mole-like creatures, the cars?
Or abandon all hope, dismount, and transform into a humble pedestrian?

BONUS TIP: There are those who do not fear the dark, do not shrink or cower, but use it for their own nefarious purposes - bike ninjas!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Tip 49: Go Somewhere!

Sometimes you're riding to keep your quads toned. Sometimes you want to make the air rush across your face-skin.  Sometimes you're burning off a half pack of caramel Tim Tams that you DID NOT EVEN enjoy eating.
Sometimes you're burning through the hilpster ghetto trying to make the girls with tattoos notice you. (Maybe they'll get your name tattooed on them?)  {RDNG TIPS}
But sometimes you're after spatial displacement; sometimes the things and people you need are far from here; sometimes you have to surrender to the geographical economics of your city and just fucking eat up the miles. Revel in it.

 BONUS TIP: Don't lie to yourself about the Tim Tams.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Tip 48: Try mountain biking

Trees are the cars of mountain biking, but if one collides with you, it's harder to get your buddies to back you up that it wasn't your fault.

BONUS TIP: squirrels are the pedestrians of mountain biking - constantly emerging from nowhere and risking their skinny mammalian necks. Big jumps are the police cars of the forest - audacious riding will be punished and meekness rewarded. Swallow your pride, rookie. Dismount and walk past, if you have to.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Tip 47: Grow fat

Spend plenty of time wondering why cycling doesn't make you thin.
Chew over that question while slathering four slices of toast with peanut butter before you roll 25 minutes into the office.
Stew on the dilemma while loading your bidons with powerade.
Ruminate on the paradox while rewarding yourself with a big pasta lunch. Add parmesan - it's high in protein!

BONUS TIP: Want a good way to know if your pedalling technique has a sufficiently powerful upstroke? You're doing it right if your quadricep makes contact with your spare tire with sufficient force to make an audible "blubbery-jubbery" noise.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Tip 46: Panniers

Get the leather ones with tassels. Wear spurs and a large-brimmed hat that can trail behind you when you go fast.
Refer to your bike as a steed, chew tobacco and carry a revolver. Cars won't mess with you. No-one will.

BONUS TIP: Ride a tall bike, and measure its height in "hands". Refer to the guys you ride with as a posse. Start a brawl in a saloon. Fill your panniers with beef jerky. Yee-hah!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Tip 45: Struggle to get in your pedals

When there is nobody behind you, your pedal is the right way up and you clip in first time.
The number of full loop-the-loops your pedal will do before you get your foot in is directly proportional to the number of intimidating looking people behind you at the light.

BONUS TIP: You laugh at those on platform pedals, and they laugh right back, knowing any efficiency you thought you might gain through these devices is officially lost at every traffic light.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Tip 44: Get yelled at by a limo driver

"Get out of my lane, you dumb effing racial epithet!"  That's the line that will cut you like hot wire, and leave you composing stinging comebacks in your head for three days. Starting, of course, at the exact time the limo goes out of earshot.

BONUS TIP: In a million twisted revenge scenarios you will never consider this: that limo driver is stuck in traffic while you roam the city free.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Tip 43: Get lied to in a bikeshop

Because the bikeshop has worked its vaporising magic on your critical capacity, it will feel fine - better than fine.
It will feel like you are garnering essential truths from a grease-stained guru.

Bikeshop Guy tells you that small bottle of chain lube is cheap at $24.99, it is cheap.
Bikeshop Guy tells you the new year's models of Treks are no good,  they are no good.
Bikeshop Guy tells you you are mad to run Ultegra, you are mad to run Ultegra.
Bikeshop Guy is a thin, earnest, bearded version of Big Brother.

BONUS TIP: Try not to make important life decisions in a bike shop.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Tip 42: Get mud up your back

It's the tramp stamp of 2011.

BONUS TIP: But it washes off in time for 2012.  Fenders are going to rock 2012 so hard 2012 will be in a rocking chair by the time 2013 comes around.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Tip 41: Accept a compliment

Cycling's not all muscular agony and festering, road silt-infested wounds.
One day you'll show someone how to use their bell, or how to stop that brake from rubbing, or even something as tricky as where a good bike path is, and they will fawn all over you, touch your on the arm, take your photo, tweet how awesome you are, facebook-friend you and nominate you to the local paper in their Suburban Heroes section.

BONUS TIP: Do not try to say it was nothing. Tomorrow at work your boss will probably fire you for coming up with an efficiency improvement that could make the company millions.  Take the good while you can.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Tip 40: Drop your chain

The most common time to drop a chain is when overtaking someone only marginally slower.  Things feel awesome, for a moment.  The feeling Wile E. Coyote gets when he runs off a cliff.
You look down. You realise your feet are spinning not because you're suddenly Cadel Evans below the hip following the world's swiftest leg transplant, but because you are no longer connected. The rider you just overtook will not acknowledge you standing there as they pass.

BONUS TIP: Grasp that chain like it is a king cobra, fix it, then boldly wipe your hands on your linens.
And the rest of your day. Can just go to hell.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Tip 39: Put up your seat

Proof weight goes straight to your behind?  The mass there is stretching the space-time continuum so that the longest one centimetre in the world is that one centimetre too far you put your seat up.

Your taint is screaming for mercy, your pedal stroke is as efficient as a burger-flipper on Oxycontin, and if that truck pulls left you will turn to strawberry jam, because you damn sure can't reach them brakes.

BONUS TIP: At that altitude, air is thin, and you may have a vision of the vast Allen key forest.  Climb down.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Tip 38: Make a show of obeying the law

You're gonna stop at a light? Own it. 
Acceptable flourishes include the super-slow stop, the look-around, the impeccable posture, and the excessively careful acceleration. Don't waste this chance to show the world cyclists are citizens, upright and true.

BONUS TIP: *Tsk*ing at anyone else you see bombing that intersection is acceptable, but yelling has greater effect.  

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Tip 37: Keep your old bike

An old steel bike can outrun a planned-obselesence avalanche.  While all others are leaping from 105 to Ultegra and Di2 like rock climbers on a pitch of loose shale, you (and your bank account) are still and solid.

BONUS TIP: Do you see Luke Skywalker upgrading his light sabre between Star Wars and Return of the Jedi? No. (although, that's probably only because it wasn't an Apple product.)

Friday, 5 August 2011

Tip 36: Obsess over your route.

Optimise Y

where Y 

= a*(smooth surfaces + efficient hypotenuses)


 b*(bikepaths)*(sneaky shortcuts)

c*(drunk pedestrians + slippery tramtracks)

d*(long fast downhills / steep sweaty uphills)


e*(taxis + cops + beer can-throwing SUV drivers + holier-than-thou vehicular cyclists)^2

f*(people to admire your style / avoiding that cafe where the cute waitress saw you fall off that time) 


h*(Red lights + puddles)

BONUS TIP: If maths is not your thing:  Optimal route-finding is a personal expression of the discourse between the cultural, politico-infrastructural and the physical. Discuss.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Tip 35: Pop a yoghurt

When that taxi changes lane and forces you into the gutter, your lunch, prepared this morning before dawn and stowed in your back basket, suffers from the rumbles of the cobbles.

Your apple bruises, your banana splits and your yoghurt explodes like Mt Vesuvius, spreading through your neatly folded work-wear, a fact to which you are none the wiser as you give the taxi driver a complete sign language alphabet full of gesticulations.

BONUS TIP: You will be cranky from having no lunch and are sporting dubious proteiny stains on your clothes. It goes without saying - avoid your boss.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Tip 34: Ride with flat tires

Top track athletes train with tractor tires tied around their waists. Top archers shoot with their eyes closed. Top swimmers do laps with a brick in their speedos. You ride with flat tires.

BONUS TIP:  Refuse offers of pumps. Smile when they say you're crazy - it will make veins stand out in their foreheads.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Monday, 1 August 2011

Tip 32: See some colleagues naked

Capitalism's hidden heart is a reliance on humans' love for one another.
It is non-market transactions, internal to the firm, that dominate the economy.
This is where cycling fits into capitalism's cunning plan. When you get a daily eyeful of your colleagues' junk in the change rooms at work, a certain bond is forged. 
As it revulses, it creates a lattice of understanding and teamwork that strengthens the corporate behemoths.

BONUS TIP: When getting dressed, for the love of god, put your underpants on first. Why fuss over your windsor knot before you've even clad your nuts?