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Entries For: March 2008


Match sprint reality time

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Alan Dorin was too strong ...

First up, I'm running my Bonty wheels, 91.8" (it's not very windy and I want the extra speed).  I win the toss and lead, keeping Alan behind me, so when he jumps I can control the gap, he gets about 10 metres on me with around 1.5 laps to go, but I chase on and almost get him on the line, but not close enough - I ran out of puff with about 50m to go.  1 to Alan.  I didn't box him on the fence well enough early and had to use a lot to bridge the gap.

Second up, and I'm still cooked from round 1, it's hardly a race, Alan jumps about 1 lap in and I'm never even close .. he wins at a canter.  2 to Alan and I have a lot of homework to do before next season.

Dino rode very well, Mick Thomas will be disapointed with an accidental hook he put onto Dino that cost him his ride for 1v2, and he ended up going down to Alan Barnes in a best of three, and Dino raced Richard Hurley for 1st in MMAS3, Dino took the first one with a last lap gap on the start of the bank, Richard returned the favour in the second round, and in the third it ends up a drag race and Richard is just too fast for Dino today.  Dino gets a silver, Mick's out of the game for the club champs sprint.

Anna Meares can still go to Beijing

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She needed a lucky break ...

anna meares at vodaphone revolution 2 2008 Anna Meares has still got a chance to go to race the sprints at Beijing after the results of the Manchester worlds didn't let a couple of her close-on-points-to-qualify riders get enough points to bump her down out of the list.  After Anna's crash and injury in a keirin at the LA world cup round earlier this year, she needed a bit of luck.  It's great news for Anna.

Her work will be cut out for her, and for anyone who thinks female trackies are slow, the current F200 record is held by Russian Olga Slioussareva, set in 1993, 10.831s (66.476 km/h), and Victoria Pendleton from the UK has just ridden a 10.904 (66.031 km/h).  There's a lot of female elite trackes doing very low 11s flying 200's.  The boys are doing low 10's and high 9s (72 km/h), it's not much difference.  The power required for another 5km/h is quite a bit (remember that air resistance is a quadratic function), but there's only a second betwen the top female and top male riders in flying 200's.  Go, Anna!

Some maths from analytic cycling :

To ride at 72km/h (20m/s) on a board velodrome with an 'average' rider's frontal area etc requires ~1250 watts, 66km/h (18.33m/s) requires ~960 watts.  This seems a little low, but remember that the riders have to get up to speed under their own power in 2 and a bit laps, a flying 200 is three laps of a 250m velodrome.  Peak powers are much higher as the riders accelerate.

You can play with numbers here : and to convert km/h to metres/second divide by 3.6. (km x 1000 = m/h, / 3600 to get that in seconds)



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An incomplete day's racing

Day 1 of the Blackburn club championships - sprints and pursuits on the program.

Masters are split up into M2, M3, M4 etc (good!) but this means small fields, in M2 there's Nick Bird, Alan Dorin and I.  Nick's a no-show, so Alan and I are into a straight final.  I want to do a F200, and I think Alan does too, so we manage to get one in at the end of the qualifying rounds for the other divisions.  I do a 14.44 (49.9km/h urgh!  dog-slow! I think I wanted a bigger gear, 86.4" was too little, even with that headwind) and Alan does the same time!  Ok ... that'll make the actual match sprint interesting.  Everyone's slow, it's blowing a gale from the north west and swirling around the clubrooms, but it's pretty-much the same for everyone.

Along the way Dino and Mick Thomas qualify for the M3 finals, Mick with the fastest time and Dino the 4th fastest, so Mick's racing Richard Hurley for 1st, and Dino's racing Alan Barnes for 3rd.  Emily sets a great time (16.50 43.6km/h) which stands for some time as the fastest time of the day. J13, J15 ... elite, masters is the order.  Emily's set a faster time than all the J15 girls and some of the J15 boys.  Rob Montheath misses out on qualifying this time.  It's no TSSS round,  so one chance to get through and that's it. Nath's been sick all week and we're glad to just see him up and about, there's no question of him racing today.  He'll save it up for the last TSSS round.

The kids start racing, and get through all their rounds, but when the 1v4 elite race starts it starts to rain, and that's it for the day.  We all hang around hoping it will clear but a few checks with the BoM radar and it's going to rain all afternoon, so the decision is made to call it a day.  We're rescheduled for the masters sprints tomorrow (Sunday) at 1pm, so I race Alan Dorin, and Dino and Mick get to try and take 3rd and 1st place for themselves tomorrow at (a little past) high noon!  Alan has much better endurance than I do, I have to win the toss and keep him pinned to the fence on my hip for 2 laps and make the sprint as short as I can if I'm to beat him. He's going to want to go from the start and gap me early and try and burn me off the back for 3 laps, I have to not let him do it! He'll thrash me in the pursuit and the ITT, but I want the sprint.

The elite riders are going to do their sprints at 11 on the 6th of April (TSSS round 6 day!) so hopefully The Wizard and Jamie will stay and race the TSSS as well.

I started handing out TSSS promo cards for the 2008-2009 series today, Trek's involvement isn't guaranteed yet, but I'm hoping they'll come on board for next season.  The series can only grow I think, and with Trek's help I think it'll be excellent.  We've got some momentum over the last two rounds and I want to carry that through the winter to keep the organising team enthusiastic and get riders looking forward to the first round in October.


Cross training

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A swim?!

It's been years (I think 3?) since I've had a swim in a pool.  This morning Vanders & I jumped in for a splash in the Nunawading pool.  I don't want to be doing much in the way of long rides at the moment (it'll undo the strength work ... not permitted!) but I do need to do some aerobic exercise to try and keep my weight under control, swimming may be a good option as part of the mix.  So we had a swim...

Being quite rusty I didn't string too many laps together, and mainly did easy 50's and then some 25m sprint, 25m cruise, 30s recovery intervals and a couple of 50m 'sprints' (I wasn't really sprinting, but just going faster than a cruising pace).  I used to race at school (I think I still hold the u12 25m backstroke record! I still held it when I left school) and was coached by my dad's coach for a year or three (he was my dad's coach when he was training for the Mexico olympics! Bob Watson was his name, from memory) but apart from two years playing waterpolo when at uni (we won IV twice! and the drinking ... urghhhh, messy times), I haven't really done much swimming training since I was 16 or so.  So this was a rude shock to the body!

Vanders is doing one of those swim, ride, r*n things in a week or so so he was keen to do longer swims, but it's a baby-tri, I think the swim is 300m or something?  So he won't have any difficulty completing the swim.

And what's with being up at 5:45am?  It's -so- un-necessary!  I'm going back to sleep for a few hours ...

Blackburn club championship sprints tomorrow morning.  Will be interesting, there's some quick boys racing - and it's not like the TSSS where you get round robins, it's F200's to qualify then the top 4 are through to the finals for each age group.  My first (and last!) chance to do some match sprinting for the season, if I get into the top 4 anyway.

Sleep, yeah ...


Bling wheels

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I stumbled onto these pretty wheels today

FFWD (Fast Forward) track wheels.  They look pretty snazzy.  No-one seems to be bringing them into Australia (there's a Kiwi agent though .. go figure!).  Maybe good value competitors for Mavic's IO and Commete etc?

Black with red goes well with a Trek T1 ... hrm ... got a spare $toomuch for these babies?  drool ....


Flying 200 records

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We found the Blackburn velodrome F200 record

Andrew Steele, 11.97 (60.2km/h).

Prior to that it was David Haase, 12.00
Russel Poole may have a fast time also.

Kilo : Metros were run around 2000-2002 - Sean Collins in 1.09.50-ish
Andrew Steele rode a 1.09.76

This is according to Steely, who we're hoping will come to the last round of the TSSS for this season.



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I need to ...

This morning's velodrome session got skipped.  A combination of overall fatigue, a bit of a cold, swollen knee and an injured left elbow means I took the lazy option and slept in today.  HTFU!  Yeah ... I'm off to see the quack on Friday to get a niggling elbow injury checked out and also get the knee looked at.  I had a reconstruction 11 or so years ago and it may be that it's starting to deteriorate.

Funny thing, the doc is less than 100m from home, so I just dropped in to make a booking, and my medicare card is two years out of date.   Shows how much I see doctors I guess!

I've got a few backed up training programs to write, so I'd best get a wriggle on, and if I feel ok, will do some weight training with Vanders this evening and maybe jump on the ergo for some HCLR and/or sprints.  Suck it up and see what happens ...  Club championships are this weekend, and I'd like to get a sprint result worth writing about.

I still haven't ordered the extra weights for the Power House, got to find a spare $250 for 80kg of ballast. 


Solar power for the powerhouse

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We're going to have a solar powered light in the shed!

Yesterday I splashed out on a Jaycar solar lighting system for the aboc PowerHouse.  It'll be dark in there in winter (very soon, daylight savings ends in a few weeks) and we want to train in the evenings.  The kit is a little 5 watt solar panel, a 7AH sealed lead acid battery and a little regulator, switch and a pair of 5 watt 12 volt fluro lights.  Enough light for doing weights I think.  The problem we have to solve is how and where to put the panel, and also we need to make the cables longer without too much power loss.

Once we get this sorted, the rest of aboc HQ will get more solar power. 


Watts? W00t!

A new PB on the powertap

I did 6 x 10s sprints on the 2 minute today, after weights yesterday.  Wasn't expecting all that much, knee is swollen and legs generally flat after the weight session.  The course is up a slight hill in a 39x17 or so.

A new Pmax : 1362 watts.  My previous best was in June last year, 1337, and more recently, 1314 racing the Llama at the last climbing camp (and he got the sprint! I was rolled by a climber .. pox!).  Torque's not all that high, but it was a rolling start, not a standing start, so that's to be expected.

Something's starting to work ...

Still a long way to go to get my medium term target (1500 watts), but it's progress.  I want to get a power meter on the track bike, that's where I've been doing most of my high intensity work, and I've got no power data from it.

The relevant data from Cycling Peaks :

Entire workout (123 watts):
    Duration:      17:37 (25:34)
    Work:          123 kJ
    TSS:           32.3 (intensity factor 1.077)
    Norm Power:    237
    VI:            1.93
    Pw:HR:          -1.04%
    Pa:HR:          25.46%
    Distance:      5.682 km
                          Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    1362    123     watts
    Heart Rate:      88    155    125     bpm
    Cadence:         31    215    75     rpm
    Speed:           3.6    49.8    20.2     kph
    Pace             1:12    16:40    2:58     min/km
    Hub Torque:      0    63.7    6.5     N-m
    Crank Torque:    0    201.1    14.1     N-m

Peak 5s (1237 watts):
    Duration:      0:05
    Work:          6 kJ
    TSS:           n/a
    Norm Power:    n/a
    VI:            n/a
    Pw:HR:          4.93%
    Pa:HR:          -27.67%
    Distance:      44 m
                           Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           1145    1339    1237     watts
    Heart Rate:      116    122    119     bpm
    Cadence:         59    114    90     rpm
    Speed:           24    37.6    31.3     kph
    Pace             1:36    2:30    1:55     min/km
    Hub Torque:      38.6    57.4    48.7     N-m
    Crank Torque:    101.3    185.2    138.7     N-m

Peak 10s (1086 watts):
    Duration:      0:10
    Work:          11 kJ
    TSS:           n/a
    Norm Power:    n/a
    VI:            n/a
    Pw:HR:          25.21%
    Pa:HR:          -32.01%
    Distance:      99 m
                          Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           660    1362    1086     watts
    Heart Rate:      117    125    121     bpm
    Cadence:         54    128    104     rpm
    Speed:           21.5    42    34.7     kph
    Pace             1:26    2:47    1:44     min/km
    Hub Torque:      18.9    63.7    40.1     N-m
    Crank Torque:    49.2    201.1    110.5     N-m



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I'm mucking around with the site colours

A new Plone product was released a few days ago, CSS Manager.  Dangerous .. Plone (the backend of this website) does make some customisations quite hard (the learning curve is steep ..), but this new product makes many skin changes easy.  Maybe too easy!  I'm having fun playing with the site colours.  Please don't be alarmed, hopefully the novelty will wear off soon and I'll settle on something not too unpleasant, and roughly aboc-ish (yellow, blue and silver/grey).


Roast Sprinter!

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Hot, damn hot ...

27 degrees overnight (it's March! and as Dino pointed out, it's not early March ...).  Not much sleep.  6:30am, alarm, gak.  Feel flat, tired, legs heavy.  Consider skipping training .. No.  Must .Train.

Pack gear into backpack, grab drinks from fridge, ride to BBN velodrome. Passed enroute by a commuter with panniers etc.  Ok, slow!  Gusty northerly, hot and dry.  A malevolent sort of a day.

Take ages getting bike sorted.  Finally get gears changed, wheels on, tires inflated.  Hop on Pat's motorbike, pace Dino & Pat for a 15 lap warmup - 35-50km/h.  Pat comes over the top with 200 to go.  Good.

Dino gives Pat a present for helping us over the season with our weekly motorpace sessions.

Time for my first effort.  55km/h please, feeling weak and lethargic.  Do the 2 lap windup, then Pat drops me into the lane at 55, and oddly I feel strong, and come past the motorbike.  Ok, that wasn't expected ...

Pace Pat again, then Dino does a leadout F200 (towed behind the bike for the windup, then unassisted for the F200).  60km/h we think he hits.  Dino!  On FIRE!

My turn, 60 behind the bike and it feels easy.  No complaints.  Knee feeling ok. 

Pat again, a 10 lap motorpace.  The wind is making it very hard, and it's so hot ...

My last run, 62 please Pat, and I get it, the bike gaps me as we drop into the lane, but I hold the distance (~3m) for the run.  That's ok ... I'm happy with that.  153rpm under load (51:16, 86.4").  That'll do.

Dinos' last run, he gets 58 unassisted into a huge gust as he comes around the bend (the wind blew our bikes around and gloves and helmets went flying).  Dino, you've got to be happy with that.  We talk about the TSSS and how he's a chance for the series prize.  Will Barry Woods come down and challenge Fast Eddie and Big J?

Pat & Dino roll around for a cooldown, I sit down for mine.  Will do my weight training once the change comes through tonight, the powerhouse is a sauna at the moment.  It can wait.  Cadge a lift home with Dino (aircondioned car, luxury!), the BoM reports it's the hottest night on record for March.  Some relief is due today, but little chance of rain.



One lap, no wonder!

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A quick summary of my weekend's racing

In reverse order, because that's how I remember it ...

Sunday, yours trully teamed up with Dino and Ben Schofield to ride in the team sprint at the vic club championships as the Blackburn B team.  We did a 58.something.  Not very good!  It was an interesting experience, and I'm waiting to see how Dino writes up the day (and the weekend, Dino ... you have a 'proud father' tale to tell as well as a ripper ride in the B grade scratch race on Saturday! If you don't tell it I will ...).  It was stinking hot (38 degrees?  Something mental for March anyway), everything was running hours late ... but it was still a bit of fun.  Some of the other aboc'ers did well, Cam Woolcock reports that the Hawthorn team won the masters team sprint, so they'll be pretty happy.  Mick Thomas rode well, Emily Apolito (who is an aboc'er by default) had a rather good weekend also, as did Will Thomas and Mason Austen had his first go at the team pursuit. It was good to see Adam King and some of the other TSSS riders there (Big J, Megs, Leah, Nicole, Karen, Cam and Fast Eddie) and Lisa was there to 'enjoy' the heat as well, and thanks to Bev for the ride home afterwards (mmm, air conditioned car .. luxury!).  I got a lift out to DISC with Claire, who had come over for an enduro power profile test in the morning.  The test is bloody hard, and she's improved!  Good!

Saturday ... and my knee (reconstructed in 1996) is swollen and inflexible.  I think I hurt it hyperextending it while in at the Alfred on Friday night resting it on a bed.  A good excuse!  C grade scratch, reasonably sedate, I offer to keep the pace up for Leah Patterson's benefit, and with about 5 to go I surge off the front and string the bunch out for a lap to keep it a bit safer, then that's enough and I roll out of the way.  Next up, points, I'll take the Nathan approach, and win the first sprint, and then pull the pin.  Mission accomplished.  They weren't going all that fast and I won the sprint pretty easily without really having to use full power.  Finally the motorpace, and 2 laps in my knee is saying 'no', and so do I.  Doug Reith has been making the bike go very fast for all grades, to the point where I think not a single grade (A-F) finished without 90% of the field (in some cases 100%!) being ejected.  There's some comment on this, but it's the same for everyone.  I'm hurting too much to do the all-in, which I feel bad about, but some days it just can't happen.

So that was the weekend.  Hot ... plenty of riding, or at least, plenty of being around bikes and riding and that will do! 


Committee Capers

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A very brief update on the Blackburn club meeting last night

Winter road races - yes!  Blackburn's going to be running a few this year, which is good, and should also make some of the other clubs in the Eastern Combine happy. A new road course out at Eildon.  Hilly, urgh .. but good for roadies, which I don't think I am anymore.

Yarra Boule ITTs are on again.

The club needs members to help - it's an ongoing issue, of course.  Rosters. Carrots and sticks ... but the bottom line is that anyone who wants to race bikes has to be involved in running the races.  It's not good enough just to show up on race day and ride.  Give and take, not just take.  Every club struggles with this.  I'm always amazed at how some people react when they're asked to help.  The club is a collection of volunteers, not a paid organisation, 'we' all give our time to run races, and it's simply not good enough to always be busy, always have an excuse not to help run races sometimes.  I know most of the aboc people are good club people (helping all the time!) and this is something that I've tried to foster (to some success, I think, the TSSS is an example of that, you all know who you are, and thankyou!), but sometimes I wonder if some of the other coaches are encouraging more than just 'train and race'?  I think they should if they're not already.  It's not enough to show up, use the club's facilities, ride the races and then just go home and expect it all to be done.  The 'club' looks after the people that help at races etc, as much as possible we've (Bev and I) been trying to drive the club towards a more prominant recognition and reward program for volunteers, and as an example the TSSS has never been short of helpers.  It can be done. Help us and we will look after you.

The aboc Tuesday night winter spin sessions have been approved.

The Trek Summer Sprint Series for '08-'09 has in principle approval.  I want to see if I can get someone else to run it on race day so I can compete in it, but if not, I'll run it again.

There was some discussion about club championships, how the races will be split up (maybe we'll have M1, M2, M3 etc, not all the masters grades lumped together?), fitting in the kids races with other clubs.

There was some talk about a 'jets' program for the kids, which will be run by Simon Quick from Quickcycle.   I didn't pay much attention, I don't 'do' juniors much so it wasn't something I had any real interest in.

There was some rigourous discussion about the Blackburn elite team and how it fits in to the club.

I made sure the club was aware that the post round 6 of the TSSS BBQ/party was for everyone who's helped at any Blackburn track races this season, not just the TSSS volunteers.

I cooked hot dogs etc to feed the attendees and offered to sponsor a little towards the next lot of club jerseys, aboc's far from rich, but it's the right thing to do.

Prior to the meeting there was a final practice session for the club teams track championships this Sunday, the masters 'B' team sprint team is myself, Dino and Alan Dorin, in that order.  I don't think we'll medal, but it should be good fun, and that's what it's all about.  We had a couple of practice runs, and slotted Rob Monteath in as our emergency rider also for a practice run.  I'll be doing one lap!  250m.  Heh ... lazy huh? You bet!




High petrol taxes are good

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In the USA, not everyone's keen on low petrol prices

The article. Good stuff.  Oil today?  $108.45 per barrel.

On yer bike ...


On my birthday, Vanders and I went BMXing

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Sorta BMX anyway .. neither of us have a BMX ...

Not long ago, when dropping off a DVD or 5 at the local DVDory, I noticed a little BMX track, and noted it for future reference.  Finally, Vanders and I had a chance to get down there to ride it.  We're both wusses on jumps, big time.  Scared, chicken etc ... You name the insult, it fits! We'd ride jumps in skirts if they made them big enough .. Anyway!

Hot day (37 degrees was the forecast, and I'd believe it), lazy afternoon, time to try the park out.  We drove(!) to Cycle Science to pick up the big Trek Fuel EX8, and Vanders had his Generalised Rumphumper or whatever it is, and down we go.  The park is about the size of a quarter acre block.  A mound, a few berms, some little jumps etc.  Nothing too drastic. Good for clueless gumbies. We had fun for about an hour and a half before getting tired and wanting dinner. Here's photos :

vanders jumps at the local bmx track

Vanders getting some early air

carl jumping at the local bmx park

The calves of a lazy sprinter

vanders almost falling over on the jump

Vanders almost came a cropper, tired, not concentrating ... almost ...

the big fuel ex8 can fly!


Yeah, I really should get around to taking off the reflectors, but it's still a demo bike at the shop, so they stay for a little longer.


Get well Mal

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Mal Sawford from CCCC was in a collision with a car

Mal Sawford, who is the president of Carnegie-Caulfield and an amazingly dedicated racer and race and club and regional/combine organiser, cycling journalist for Cycling News and more was involved in a collision with a car on a training ride this week.  He's got a few broken bones and will be off the bike for quite some time.  On behalf of everyone at aboc I wish Mal a speedy recovery.  Get well soon, Mal.


The arse-o-meter has arrived

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The Bontrager arse-o-meter is here

It has arrived at last!


It's good news week

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Darebin Council, go you good thing!

In today's Age the Darebin Council is getting smart about traffic management.  It seems the penny has dropped, and they've twigged that building more roads etc just makes traffic worse, so they're going the other way, and favouring people!

The strategy seeks to "decrease the attractiveness of the car through reduced priority and other travel demand management techniques".



Trek Summer Sprint Series round 5 done & dusted

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Another one done

Thankyou to everyone who helped (Bev, Ann, Rich, Merv, Lucie, Sue, Tyler, Will, Dino, Nathan, Emily, Pat, Andrew, Doug, Nicko etc), we had another great day's racing at round 5.

My writeup is here but that's just the racing roundup, the behind the scenes stuff is terrific.  Our system is working very well and everyone's giving me loads of positive feedback on how the races are run and the opportunity they're getting to take part in this unique series.  This isn't my doing, this is our team and the hard work and practice we all did leading up to the first rounds, Dino thrashing through the draw software, Bev and Nathan and Dino and Rob all getting together to do practice runs, Nath and I doing little things like timing how long it takes to walk a lap, to do a slow lap etc.  And of course Trek Australia for believing in us and providing some great prizes and the Blackburn Cycling Club for the trust and support with allowing us to run the series at the Blackburn track outside of the usual club race committee structure.

We've had good attendances over the last two rounds and I think we have enough momentum for this to be even better next summer.  Once a few more riders find out about it and how it runs I think it'll be something that riders consider training for and making a season goal, and that's a great result for our team.

Thanks everyone who was involved, it's a fantastic series and I'm very proud to be part of the team that's running it.


Car travel doomed?

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Yet another Age article, where it seems someone's finally doing the numbers

The article.

"People are going to have to fundamentally change the way they think about travel and make much more use of non-motorised travel such as cycling and walking."

"An overseas trip might become a once-in-a-lifetime experience rather than an annual event"

And the RACV, ever the advocate of 'keep on breaking the world' chimes in :

RACV public policy general manager Brian Negus said there needed to be a balanced approach to planning for future car use: "We need to improve the road system so you get more efficiency and less congestion."

And key roads still needed to be built, he said. The RACV has long argued that the Metropolitan Ring Road, which currently ends at Greensborough, should be linked with the Eastern Freeway.

No, Brian, we do not need more freeways, all that happens when you build more freeways is that people then decide to live further from their workplaces, because for a little while, they can.  It makes traffic worse, encourages people to drive more and in the long term, buggers us all.

On your bike!


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