Friday, November 30, 2007

Dublin Cycling Xmas Party

Hopefully have the goldsprints up and running at this stage. Should be a good time, and finished in time for school the next day! Yay!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bike Jumble

Munyi has organised a bike jumble in Seomra Spraoi this Saturday.
1pm to 5pm.
Bring all your unwanted bike shizzle along and swap it for some wanted shizzle!



Yes indeed... polo.
Wherefore art thou gone, Dublin polo?
Anyone fancy trying to bring some life back into it?
For some inspiration NYC styleeeeeeeee... check out this nice wee documentary. You may recognise a lot of the faces on this from CMWC and St. Paddy's Day.

Sunday School from Luke Stiles on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ye Future Messenger?

Murata Boy Small

Created by the Japanese company Murata Manufacturing, Murata Boy is a 5kg, 20” (50cm) high robot whose sense of balance is so acute that he can even come to a complete standstill on his bike without even putting a foot down.

Developed to showcase the capabilities and achievements in current technology concerning balance (balance is a notoriously difficult concept to realise in robotics) Murata Boy can not only come to a complete standstill whilst remaining perfectly balanced he can even ride his bicycle backwards as well as forwards (at up to 30” per second) whilst navigating obstacles.

Murata Boy Sensors Diagram

Murata Boy’s means of balancing comes courtesy of two gyro sensors – one which detects position, the other detecting slant angle – as well as an ultrasonic sensor to detect obstacles. Further shock sensors detect the surface roughness. All of these sensors transmit their data to a computer that then offers the continuous stream of necessary control inputs to keep Murata Boy balanced regardless of whether he is moving or not.

To view Murata Boy in action you can either click on the image below to stream or click the download link to save to your own computer.

Murata Boy - The Bike Riding Robot
Click Picture to Play

You can gain a wealth of further information from Murata Boy’s official website which you can access via this link.

As well as further videos the site also a PDF down load of a papercraft kit that will enable you to to make your own Murata Boy model - just don’t expect it to perform quite as impressively as the real thing.

Article taken from

So what are the IFBMA rules regarding robot messenger entries to trackstand and backwards circles events? A blanket ban on internal gyroscopes? Yet that could be described by some as specist(this word shall be in the dictionary soon). I think this debate will rage...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Keirin Grand Prix 2006

Found a link on the Kalavinka website to a bunch of movies from previous Grand Prix held in Tokyo Oval Keiokaku Velodrome.
It's all in Japanese, but you'll figure out which buttons to click. Check it here.

Ye Olde Messenger

Found this print for sale on Ebay. Pretty sweet. They have multiple copies for sale and the shipping is next to nothing. Have a scroll through here and you'll find it.

They also have this print of an 11 year old bicycle messenger for Western Union from 1913. This was a photo taken for the National Child Labor Commission to highlight the explotation of children in the early 1900's. Looks like messengers had it shitty back then too.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I was in 2 minds about posting this...

...because the selfish git inside me wanted to keep it to myself and just come rolling up the street in a few months on this with a big dirty grin on my face.
'What's that?' I'd hear you ask.
'Oh, what, this?', I'd noncholantly reply.
'Yes Graham, that.' I can sense you getting a bit tetchy.
'Well this just happens to be the new Fuji limited edition OBEY track bike' Smugness dribbles from my chin.
'*gasp*' etc. etc...

Unfortunately my utopian/dystopian(if you're not me) vision of the future may not come to pass. Excessive probing, yes probing, of the interweb has led me to believe that there were only 300 of these little beauties crafted, and they are beauties. Lugged steel, decent Miche components, gold nipples! And, of course, the fact that you're riding around on a work of art.

If I see someone riding around Dublin in the near future on one of these, and it's not me looking at my reflection, I may quite possibly turn green... with the envy.

For more specs on this see the Fuji site here, and anyone that needs to catch up on their OBEY direct your attention hereward.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Messengers in music video shocker!

Not content with infiltrating t.v. news segments and slow newspaper days, messengers now seem to have taken the burgeoning business of b-rate house music videos by storm!
Actaully it's pretty well filmed, and if I was off my face I'd probably be dancing my ass off to the song...

And then someone pointed this out:

Slightly similar huh?
There's a bit more to that video but the original has embedding disabled for some pants reason so go here to watch it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Think you're tough?

Well check this out (cos you're not;))...
Coastweek Kenya, November 16, 2007
Dedan Ireri, From street beggar to paralympic aspirant
By Ingrid Munro,
A skilled and speedy cyclist rounds the corner of Enterprise Road and Funzi Road in Nairobi's industrial area.
His style, his speed and his pride on the bike show that he is a professional cyclist.
He enters the gate to the Jamii Bora headquarters and parks his bike.
With ease he detaches his crutches from the bike.
It is only then you will realize that Dedan Ireri only has one leg as his right leg was amputated at the hip.
"How can you bike with only one leg and with such elegance and speed?" you ask him. His story is like a fairy tale.
Dedan was a street beggar as a child and teenager.
But a car ran over him when he was still a young child begging in the streets and his right leg had to be amputated.
Dedan then had to learn to survive in the streets with only one leg.
I first met him in 1994 when he was 14 years old. I talked with Dedan and his friends every time I passed them at the Kenyatta Avenue roundabout downtown where they used to beg from motorists.
Dedan finally agreed to go to an informal school to learn how to read and write. However, Dedan was a difficult student and often ran back to the streets.
It took a lot of convincing and counseling to keep him in school even for a few weeks at a time.
When Jamii Bora started as a Micro Finance institution in 1999, Dedan and his friends formed a small credit group called the Uhuru Highway Self-Help Group.
They were all young beggars in the streets of Nairobi and, like Dedan, many had severe physical handicaps.
Dedan tried to start several small businesses with loans of Ksh 1,000, Ksh 1,500 and then Ksh 2,000 (about US$12-25).
Sadly, all his business attempts failed and Dedan kept slipping back to begging.
But the Jamii Bora staff never gave up on Dedan and kept encouraging him to try again.
They feared he would be one of the few Jamii Bora members who never worked themselves out of poverty.
Then one day Dedan came to the Jamii Bora office on a bike!
He wanted to see me and show me a prize he won in a recent small bicycle competition.
We were all stunned but happy to see him so proud and even organized a little ceremony to celebrate his success.
After that day Dedan came often to get help to buy bicycle spares or just to talk about his new dreams.
Then a few weeks later Dedan returned with his bicycle and proposed that Jamii Bora employ him as a messenger.
That would help us in Jamii Bora, he would have some income and at the same time he would spend his days biking and developing his strength and skills as a cyclist.
As Dedan was already so well known and so well liked in Jamii Bora, we agreed to his surprising and innovative proposal.
So Dedan became what is likely the only one-legged bicycle messenger in Nairobi and possibly worldwide.
Dedan is now a skilled, reliable and fast messenger as well as a proud and charming member of the Jamii Bora staff.

Today is another big day for Dedan and Jamii Bora.
This evening Dedan is leaving Kenya to fly to Colombia and participate in several international cycling competitions in order to qualify for the Paralympics in China next year.
Dedan and his friend Ibrahim Wafula aim to represent Kenya in this prestigious global competition.
So yet another Jamii Bora member has proven that not even the sky - or having only one leg - is the limit for what our members can achieve.
Dedan, you are already a hero among the youth in Jamii Bora. We are really proud of you.
Go for gold and then come home to inspire thousands of other youth throughout our country to leave the streets and instead use their talents to build a better life for themselves and their families.

Thanks to Joe Hendry for that.
If this got you thinking at all check out this link for a really nice interview with some paralympian track riders... they are fast.

Check out these clips from the Australian Paralymic team as well:

And then there's always Dexter, a very real inspiration to everyone who chooses to do this job:

Makes you feel a bit rubbish doesn't it? :) Moaning about the rain...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Birth of a bike

Perusing the interweb, as is my wont, I stumbled upon the Kalavinka website. They are another of the many fine Japanese Keirin frame builders. They have a really nice gallery section where, rather than the de rigeur pics of 'bike leaning against wall', 'guy in tight pants trackstanding on bike', they actually show each bike come to life, from a pile of lugs to a beautiful finished piece. You really get an appreciation for the fact that these bikes are works of art.
Check out more droolworthy builds here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

November Alleycat!!!

Well? Tell me about it! Then I can tell you back, right here.

And while I have your attention, anyone wanna start planning the mayhem for St. Patrick's Day, please get in touch. With our combined knowledge of what NOT to do from CMWC, we're going to put on a savage event. So start hitting me with ideas for races, logos, venues etc... I think we should change the format a little this year, bring to another level... well, anyway, lets talk.

If only Pat Kenny would do this...

From Mess magazine comes a juicy little clip straight from NYC. This is from the Conan O'Brien show. I think this guy is funny regardless, but this is great stuff. Uh... check it here, 'cos I don't know how to embed videos from Google... this is the level of computing skills I am at...

Well, I've also got one that I CAN embed! Go me! This is a clip from waaaaay back on the David Letterman show. A candid and hilarious interview with David Leopold, the founder of Cavalry Couriers, which you may remember from the clip above. Good to see them still going strong after all this time. again thanks to MessNYC for the clip.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

More Keirin

Another promo video for Keirin racing. Check it out just before the end. The racer blesses his bike with salt just the way Sumo wrestlers do before a fight. I'm going to start doing it every day before work...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Denver Messers

The Denver messengers have put together a kind of online zine thingy which shows some nice footage of them screwing aorund on their bikes and getting wasted... sound familiar? It's always nice to see how others do their thing, and everyone from Denver I've met has been great, so check it out here , and see their BMA website here.

Crash Videos

Here we have 2 examples of what happens when you tangle with bikes.
Video 1 shows why you should look before crossing the road (there may be a long skid contest in progress...)

You can see some nice still photos of the incident here.

Next is some instant karma. This asshole is trying to lean out a car door and slap some poor kid that's just riding his bike down the street. Well he certainly gets what he deserved, and then some... not for the faint of heart this one...


Saturday, November 3, 2007

Halloween Dublin: Results

Hot of the presses come the results of Dublin's Halloween alleycat.
About 30 riders set off from Tonehenge on a long course that suited the geared among the riders.

A couple of crashes and Ed and Kropa getting pulled by the cops were the only negatives to the race, but everyone seems ok and hopefully the lads won't end up with summonses.

So, results:
1st: Steve
2nd: Gyula (last years winner)
3rd: Tomas (Cyclone)
4th: Darragh
5th: Al (1st Fixie)
6th: Cliffy

And I believe that Doricea won a prize for most blood spilled, ambulance was called for her but she refused to get in, that's the spirit!

Well done to the organisers.

After this race, I do feel that questions need to be asked for future races, the main one being: why the hell do organisers continue to have race starts/finishes on the Green? It makes no sense. 30-50 messengers drinking and smoking and then barreling off to do a race, it's no wonder people are getting pulled by the cops, and it's a miracle that none of the races have been shut down, it's only a matter of time.

What's wrong with Wilton Place, Barrow Street, Grand Canal? All places out of the public eye where we can drink and hang out to our hearts content. Just a thought, but it has to be said that no matter how 'cool' it is to hang around the green like 'we don't give a fuck what you think'... the reality is that what we do is illegal and if we shove it in peoples faces for long enough there will surely be a reaction.