Nov-Dec club rides & Brompton Maintenance Session report

End of Month Club Ride – Sunday, 26 Nov 2017

Apologies for the short notice, but the end of this month has really caught me by surprise. The plan is to do an easy, relaxed ride from Federation Square to Port Melbourne, then down to St Kilda for lunch.

It’s a very familiar route for many of us, but there are two reasons for this choice: we’ve had some adventurous rides recently, and we have more members joining the club all the time with differing level of ability so it’s nice to cater for as many people as possible. All our rides are social rides; no one is “dropped” or left behind on their own.

Start Location: Federation Square, opposite Flinders Street Station
Meeting Time: 10am, Sunday 26 Nov
Distance: ~5km to Port Melbourne, +~5km further to St Kilda (return trip from St Kilda ~20km)
Duration: 2hrs incl lunch break

Depending on the group (and weather), we might choose to go further. There are public transport options for anyone who decides they need a supported ride home (tram/train). The route to St Kilda is almost entirely on shared paths.

Melbourne Brompton Club with St Kilda Lighthouse in the background

End of year / Christmas / Brewery ride – Saturday, 9 December 2017

By popular vote (on our Facebook page), our last group ride for the year will be the second Saturday of December.

Start Location:  Velo Cycles (815 Nicholson St, Carlton North – right on the Capital City Trail)
Meeting Time: 5pm
Distance: 15-20km (but you can do as much or as little as you please)
Duration: ~4hrs

Starting from Velo Cycles, we’ll cruise

a largely off-road, on-cycle-path route to these to-be-confirmed inner north/inner west micro/nanobreweries :
-Temple Brewing
-Henry St Brewhouse
-Hop Nation
-Two Birds

The final destination is only 500m from Newport train station. Each venue also only a short walk from train stations, so we can responsibly fold up and take public transport home.

Come for the lot, for the start, for the end. We don’t mind.

Costumes completely optional, for yourself and/or your Brompton.

Report: Brompton Maintenance Session – 18 November 2017

This past Saturday, Velo Electric & Folding conducted a basic maintenance session for Brompton owners. There was plenty of interest from our community; all the places (and a couple more) were filled for the session.

Under Cory’s instruction we learnt how to remove and refit our wheels, adjust our gears and talked through some basic cleaning tips.

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As with any new skill, practice makes perfect. We do recommend that participants repeat what they learnt in the session again at home as soon as possible to embed that memory as much as possible. Don’t forget that there is always our previous blog post to refer to if you get stuck: Brompton bicycle 6-speed rear wheel removal & gear adjustment in pictures.

If you are interested in attending a maintenance session for hands-on practice under expert instruction, we have good news! We expect to hold the next maintenance session (likely to cover the same topics) sometime early in 2018. We will keep you updated as details are confirmed.

Happy New Year

As this is likely to be our last update for 2017, I’d like to extend a warm (if belated) “Welcome To The Fold” to all our new members who joined us this year, a big Thank You to everyone who came along on club rides, and give three cheers to the many members who contributed to the vibrant conversation on our facebook page.

2017 was a blast! I can’t wait to share 2018 with you all!

Happy Bromptoneering everyone!
😀

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Brompton Maintenance Session – Saturday 18 November 2017

Velo Cycles, in conjunction with Melbourne Brompton Club, will be running a hands-on 2 hour Brompton Maintenance Session on Saturday 18 November 2017. If you’re unsure about how to fix a flat tyre, or the best way to keep your beloved Brompton running smoothly, this is the course for you!

Topics  covered

  • Tube changing (inc remove and replace front and rear wheels)
  • Brake Adjustment
  • Gear Indexing
  • Basic clean and lube

Session Details

Time: 10am-12noon
Date: Saturday 18 Nov 2017
Location: Velo Electric & Folding, 753 Nicholson Street Carlton North (200m south of Velo Cycles)
Registration fee: $20pp (Includes free puncture repair kit)
Booking website: shop.velocycles.com.au/ (Or contact Velo Cycles during work hours to make payment over the phone)

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The session will be limited to 10 participants, ensuring everyone has the opportunity for hands-on practice and plenty of Q&A. Register now to ensure you don’t miss out!

Upcoming Events

Don’t forget our next EOM ride (The 1 in 20 ride at the Dandenongs) is THIS Sunday, 29th October. Find all the ride details here!

Happy Bromptoneering!  : )

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Dandenong’s 1 in 20 – 29 October 2017

Do you enjoy your usual rides, but feel like your Brompton has the potential for more? Are you a confident on-road rider? Do you want to challenge your Brompton and yourself?

We are rising to the challenge of “The 1 in 20” cycling route for our end of month ride. If you aren’t familiar with this ride, have a read of this website: http://theclimbingcyclist.com/climbs/mt-dandenong/the-1-in-20/

Things to note
There is no bike lane along this stretch of road, and at times there may be very little road shoulder. It is a public road; we will be sharing space with cars, motorcycles and other cyclists. We recommend joining this particular ride only if you already have a high level of confidence riding on open roads.

Should you choose to join this ride you do so at your own risk, and agree to conduct yourself in a manner that will not put at risk or endanger the welfare of others.

The ride will not be a race; each person is free to ride at their own pace.

We will regroup at a café at the top (Sassafras) for morning tea/brunch before heading back down the mountain.

Ride Details
Start location
: The Basin (3km/5min drive) east of Boronia, in the park opposite the shops
Start time: 10am
Ride distance: 6.8km for the actual “1 in 20” at an average of 4%
Elevation gain: 274m
Duration: Approx 2hrs

Getting there
I expect most people will drive to The Basin, however if this is not an option for you, Boronia Station is only 3km away.

From Richmond Station you may need to change trains at Ringwood. The journey will take around 55min.

From Boronia Station, follow Boronia Road east until it turns into Forest Road. The Basin is the next village along. Take the farthest right turn at the roundabout and meet in the park opposite the shops on Mountain Hwy.

PLEASE advise if you plan to join the ride, either by emailing me at melbournebromptonclub@gmail.com or indicating your interest if you are a member of our Facebook group.

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What’s on for MBC in September-October 2017

Recent rides and September end of month ride
We’ve had some great club rides recently; good group sizes, new friends joining the group, and lots of luck with the weather.

At this point, you may be expecting details of our traditional end of month ride to follow, but if so I must disappoint you. My partner (Stephen) and I will be riding the O’Keefe Rail Trail from Bendigo to Heathcote (and back) this Friday and Saturday – “Grand Final Weekend” to those who follow such sports. If you’re out that way and want to say “Hi” please send me a message via Facebook/Messenger or melbournebromptonclub@gmail.com

But don’t let our wanderings put you off doing your own ride this coming weekend! Get out and have fun! If want company and if you’re on Facebook, why not post your plans on our club page and see who would like to join you?

Mountain Goat Brewery’s 20th Birthday – Friday 6 October, 4:30pm – 7pm
Cory is leading the ride from Velo Electric and Folding (753 Nicholson St, Carlton North) to “Goat” (80 North St, Richmond) for those who wish to join the birthday celebrations.

It’s basically a catch-up over a quiet beer – or maybe not so quiet, given the anticipated crowd. It’s always busy there on a Friday, so it’ll likely be rockin’ for this one.

Accept your invitation on Facebook here, or meet us there. Don’t be too late or you might get crowded out.

Around The Bay – 8 October
No official club ride this weekend means the event on our calendar is for members who have registered for Around The Bay. We’re all hoping the weather is less of a factor this year than it was in 2016.

Most of us have signed up for the 50km route, but a few have been more adventurous. Stewart from Velo Cycles is riding the 210km route on a 2 speed Brompton! How’s that for a challenge!

Donations made to riders goes to supporting the efforts of The Smith Family. Click here to make your (tax deductible) donation.

Ride Daylesford – Saturday 28 October
As with Around the Bay, Ride Daylesford is a public ride. This is their inaugural event, but they expect to field about 2,000 riders. There are three routes to choose from (33km, 63km 146km).

Some of our members have registered to participate in the event this year. If you aren’t on Facebook and would like to find another Bromptoneer to ride with, please email me at melbournebromptonclub@gmail.com

October end of month club ride – Sunday, 29 October
More details will be posted closer to the date, but the plan is to do the ride known to Strava users as “The 1 in 20” in the Dandenong Ranges.

Brompton Maintenance Session
We intend to hold a maintenance session sometime in October/November for members to learn or brush-up their Brompton maintenance skills. The session is most likely to be held at Velo Electric and Folding (753 Nicholson St, Carlton North) on a Sunday.

Topics covered will include how to:

  • fix a puncture
  • change a tyre
  • adjust hub gears
  • clean your Brompton

Member Stories
Do you have a “My Brompton” story that you would like to share? What you love about your Brompton, where you love to ride it, or the best holiday you been with your Brompton?

If you live in Melbourne or Victoria, we’d love to hear your story.

If you have a story to share about a visit to Melbourne or Victoria with your Brompton, please also get in touch.

Member stories should be around 300-500 words and accompanied by a few photos. Please email me at melbournebromptonclub@gmail.com for further details.

Until next time, happy Bromptoneering everyone!  🙂

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Ride to Brimbank Park – Sunday, 17 September 2017

Around the Bay is now only a couple of weeks away (8th October), so it’s time to stretch ourselves a little.

In comparison to our last ride which was a bit hilly (but shorter), our second training ride is a lot flatter as it follows the Maribyrnong River, although there are one or two climbs thrown in to keep us from getting complacent.

 

Where: Cow Up A Tree, Docklands
When: 10:00am
Duration: 4+hrs (including a lunch stop at The Brownstone Cafe at Brimbank Park)
Distance: Approx 28km one way, 56km return

At this stage Sunday’s weather looks like it will be a good day for riding, but as always check the forecast on the day and come prepared.

Roughly half of the route will be on unsealed track. We have ridden it previously (read more here) and our Bromptons do fine on the dirt/fine gravel tracks so don’t let that put you off. The river views more than make up for any dirt or dust you may have to clean off your bike at the end of the day.

If you are intending to join us on the ride, please indicate so on our Facebook event or by contacting me at melbournebromptonclub@gmail.com 🙂

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Ringwood to Federation Square – Sunday, 27 August 2017

It’s nearly spring; time to get a little more adventurous! And with Around The Bay now only weeks away (8th Oct) a few of us might be looking for longer and slightly more challenging rides.

With this in mind, our end of month ride for the August will involve catching a train from Richmond Station to Ringwood Station (next to Eastland Shopping Centre) and then riding back to the city.

Where: The ride itself will depart from Ringwood Station (adjacent to Eastland Shopping Centre)
When: 11:00am from Ringwood Station
Duration: Approx 3hrs (including a lunch stop)
Distance: Approx 32km

Getting to Ringwood Station
If you plan to catch a train out to Ringwood Station, please note that you may need to change trains/platforms at Richmond Station if you’re entering the network from the city or a different line. There are two service options to get you to Ringwood on time:

  1. Lilydale service
    Departs Richmond Station (platform 9) at 9:59am
    Arrives Ringwood Station 10:38am
  2. Belgrave service
    Departs Richmond Station (platform 9) at 10:19am
    Arrives Ringwood 10:58am

Let’s aim to meet in the second carriage (from the front) of the train. 

If you aren’t planning to catch the train to Ringwood Station, we will meet you at the passenger drop off point at the front of the station on Railway Place.

The ride route
The ~32km route follows Eastlink Trail (along the M3) for much of the way. There are a couple of fairly steep hills at the start, but it’s mostly a gradual downhill ride back.

As usual, the pace will be determined by the group as a whole; nobody will get left behind.

We may stop for lunch at a cafe along the way, or at the FAIRFIELD boathouse again.

I would encourage everyone who has signed up for Around the Bay this year to start preparing for the event (if you haven’t already) – joining our next few rides between now and 8 October may help you feel more confident on the day.

In addition, I would also ask that anyone intending to join a ride please give me a heads-up by commenting below, or indicating your participation on the Facebook event. Request to join the Melbourne Brompton Club, and sign up for events once you’re a member.

Until then, happy Bromptoneering!  : )

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When the path forward is shared

It’s now four months since my commute has changed from wholly on-road riding to mostly off-road share paths. This has resulted in a decidedly more relaxed and pleasant ride now, but an inconsiderate pass (overtake) by someone the other day got me thinking…

When speed seemed to matter

Getting caught up in the race to the next red light used to be important. Riding to work used to be for exercise and fitness. Looking back I’ll admit now that I had small-wheel syndrome more often than what I would have admitted to then.

Avoiding being overtaken was not just a symptom of small-wheel syndrome though. Riding fast also meant I feel safer when merging with traffic, and I was over-taken by other cyclists less often. When you’ve got one eye watching for people in parked cars who might be about to open a door on you, an eye watching the path ahead for glass/obstacles/people in front signalling, an eye on the traffic to the right and an ear on the traffic over my right shoulder (yes, I can count, and no, I don’t have three eyes)… the last thing I felt I needed was another cyclist deciding to overtake me in the bike lane at an inopportune time.

Life in the slow lane

In April my employers relocated to a new office, which meant find a new route to ride to work. Slightly nervous about my first commute heading up Main Yarra Trail, my plan was simply to take it easy. Having heard first- and second-hand stories of crashes on this trail, my pessimistic prediction for my new route was that I’d be riding head-on into a peloton of cyclists coming into the city, each one intent on achieving as many Strava PB’s as possible.

Thankfully that wasn’t the case. Instead, two other factors really stood out; firstly, my need to adopt and adapt to a consistent paced ride from the stop-start one I was accustomed to (there aren’t any traffic lights along Main Yarra Trail!), and secondly, the need to both look out and slow down for pedestrians.

Role reversal – who’s the aggressor now?

Previously, despite a fair degree of confidence, I was often conscious of my vulnerability as a bicyclist when riding in traffic. All it would have taken was to be clipped in passing…

Now the shoe is definitely on the other foot. Pedestrians are the most vulnerable ‘road’ users and bicycle riders are the people whizzing by their right shoulders. Although I’m now on a shared path and not a street or road, the same rules and guidelines still apply.

For the number of times that I shook my head at an impatient driver and thought, “Couldn’t they have waited just 5 seconds?” I would be a complete hypocrite if I did not now extend the same courtesy to pedestrians on the path – regardless of the fact that, as a bicycle rider, I am also obliged to do so.

Overtaking safely

So how should you safely, and considerately, overtake a pedestrian or bicyclist on a shared path?

  1. Give way to pedestrians
    “Pedestrians” includes people on foot, as well as on wheeled devices such as skateboards, scooters, wheelchairs, and motorised mobility devices.
  2. Give adequate warning
    You cannot predict how people will react to the sound of a bicycle bell behind them, even if they’re on a well-used share path. I’ve seen people freeze, move to the left of the path, move to the right of the path, look around in panic, or continue on seemingly oblivious to my presence.
  3. Slow down
    After sounding your bell, the next most important thing to remember is you that you should “slow down when overtaking pedestrians” (ref) and also “manage your speed so you can slow or stop safely” (ref). If a person reacts unpredictably, the last thing you want is to crash or come off your bicycle when trying avoid running into the person.
    When approaching to overtake, I will usually ring my bell about 2 seconds in advance of when I will start to overtake the person, and also give a verbal warning (e.g. “passing on your right”) when nearly level with their right shoulder in case they haven’t heard my bell.
  4. Give adequate space
    Warning people that you’re about to overtake is one thing, being respectful of personal space while doing so is another. If the share path is divided into two lanes, overtake in the right-hand lane, as you would if you were driving on the road. If no lanes are marked, still use the right hand side of the path to overtake.
    If it is not practicable to use the righthand side of the path to overtake, either due oncoming bicycle riders, pedestrians, limited visibility, some other obstruction, or narrowness of the path, reconsider whether you should in fact be trying to overtake at this point.
  5. Make sure you have enough time to overtake
    The same rules apply on share paths as on roads: don’t start overtaking until the righthand lane is clear; ensure you have time to safely overtake the person in front of you before you become an obstruction to oncoming pedestrian/bicycle traffic; don’t overtake on bends or just before a crest of a hill where you can’t see oncoming pedestrian/bicycle traffic and they can’t see you.

Refresh your knowledge of the rules for road and share path use here.

Dogs

All the above applies doubly when overtaking people walking dogs, or even riding close by dogs off the leash. Although our furry friends are known for their superbly keen senses, it’s surprisingly easy to sneak up on them when you’re on a bicycle. They are also highly unpredictable! Slow down, use your bell, and be ready to stop.

Be Happy and Brompton on!

Being considerate and patient around pedestrians and slower riders will ensure a safer and more pleasant experience for all concerned. If you’re worried that this will make you late for work, try allowing more time for your commute.

I personally find the best way to enjoy my ride to work is simply this:

: )

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MBC ride to the Melbourne Tram Museum – 12 August 2017

Trams are synonymous with Melbourne; after all, they have been operating continuously around our city since the late 1800’s despite their rise and fall (and recent rise again) in popularity elsewhere. Where better than Melbourne to have a tram museum?

The Melbourne Tram Museum’s next Open Day is 12 August. As the museum in Hawthorn is just a relaxed 30min ride along Main Yarra Trail, this probably won’t be the ‘official’ August club ride, but a bonus ride. All friends are welcome to join.

Ride details
Starting location:  Federation Square
Starting time:  12:30pm (i.e. half-past midday)
Duration:  ~30min riding each way, about 1-2hrs at the tram museum
Cost:  Admission to the museum is a gold coin donation

Please bring a drink and a snack if you think you will need sustenance before we return to the city. There is no café attached to the museum. (There are bathroom facilities.)

If you’re not sure why to expect, why not also check out our previous visit to the Melbourne Tram Museum.

PLUS…

Bromptons to Beer  (Friday 4 August)
A bit of an impromptu thing, but it could become regular… a few of us are also catching up for a Friday night beer, to discuss life, Beer and all things Brompton.

First stop is Mountain Goat Beer at 80 North Street Richmond from about 5pm. After one beer, the conversation moves a few streets away to…

Moon Dog Craft Brewery at 17 Dukes Street Abbotsford for another beer. If you can’t meet up until about 6pm, you might be best to head directly to Moon Dog.

The aim is to have a quiet drink with friends, not to go on a boozer or pub crawl. However, if you find you’ve had one or two too many drinks at the end of your night out, the good news is that your Brompton will have no trouble riding with you in the cab/uber/tram/train on your way home.  : )

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Outer Circle Rail Trail – Sunday 30 July 2017

UPDATED! Change of starting location (due to Run Melbourne)!!

This month we’re re-visiting a ride that we did earlier in the year; Melbourne’s Outer Circle rail trail.

Not quite as well-known as the Capital City Trail (which is a full loop), only a small section remains of the Outer Circle train line. As the trail’s name implies, we’re going to have to travel out into the suburbs to get to it; but thankfully not too far.

Where: Meet at Federation Square now meeting at Melbourne Museum (Nicholson St side) or East Malvern Station.
When: ~10:00am Melbourne Museum, ~10:40am East Malvern Station
Duration: 3-3.5 hours
Distance: ~40km

From Federation Square the Melbourne Museum, we will follow Main Yarra Trail upriver to Burnley, then cross the river to Kooyong. From here we will follow Gardiner Creek Trail south-east to Malvern East. Gardiner Creek Trail is quite pleasant, pretty flat, and easy to follow.

Roughly opposite the East Malvern Train Station we will pick up the Outer Circle Rail Trail and turn north again. The trail leads us through the suburbs of Ashburton, Camberwell, Deepdene, and Kew East, passing several “ghost stations” along the way. There are a couple of hills on the route, but we will take them as they come!

A nice stop for lunch might be at the Fairfield Park Boathouse, on the Yarra River. From here we will take Merri Creek Trail back to Green Park, and Canning Street south back to the city.

Here’s also a link to the map on Google. I realise the Google estimate for the route is 2h 20m but while we average about 15kph, when you add a stop for brunch/lunch, photos… it’s better to allow for a longer duration than need to rush.

When we did the ride in January it was a stinking hot day, but if the weather is not delightfully warm and sunny this time around (it is winter now, after all) please bring appropriate attire. Kindly also ensure your tyres are adequately pumped and your chain is lubricated.

Hot and tired after riding the Outer Circle Rail Trail in mid summer! Phew!

: )

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MBC calendar of events – 2017 (updated)

It’s been a little while since our calendar of events was first posted – in we’ve done a LOT in that time! – so probably time for an update.

If you would like to offer some suggestions for new routes or change of dates, please do so in the comments below

– – –

JULY
Sun 30/07 – MBC Club Ride: Outer Circle Rail Trail (Starting Fed Square, 10am)

– – –

AUGUST
Sat 12/08Melbourne Tram Museum (Admission is a gold coin donation)
Sun 27/08 – MBC Club Ride: (Train to Eltham (TBC) and ride back to the city via Main Yarra Trail

– – –

SEPTEMBER
Sun 24/09 – MBC Club Ride: Castlemaine to Maldon (by VGR steam train) and return (by Brompton)
(Grand Final Friday 29/09)

– – –

OCTOBER
Sun 08/10Around The Bay  Most of our MBC members will probably do the 50km option, but a few riders may join some of the Velo Cycles team and complete a longer course option. Last year we had two ‘teams’ (fast vs social) who completed the “50km” route (which, due to the bad conditions on the date, turned into a 60km route).

Sun 29/10 – MBC Club Ride (details TBC)

– – –

NOVEMBER
Melbourne Cup Day (Tues) 07/11 – suggestions welcome

Sun 26/11 – MBC Club Ride (details TBC)

– – –

DECEMBER
Sun (TBC) – MBC Xmas/End of Year Party

– – –

Please note that the above is a draft only and any events organised by Melbourne Brompton Club (“MBC”) members are subject to change. I will do my best to advise in advance ride details on this blog, but for the most current information and conversation, please request to join our FaceBook group.

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