Neil Alexander
  • Male
  • North Shore NSW
  • Australia
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Neil Alexander's Discussions


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Neil Alexander replied to Michael O'Reilly's discussion Cyclist killed, Church Point area
"The problem with advisory signs is that some people try to see how much they can exceed that speed through the corner. When Andrew and I used to ride MCR on his tandem, we always rolled through that corner faster than the advisory sign states…"
4 hours ago
Neil Alexander replied to Michael O'Reilly's discussion Cyclist killed, Church Point area
"It's only in the last few years that traffic has become a problem on MCR on weekend mornings. I used to ride it almost every Sunday until about 2010 but go there only rarely now due to increased car traffic, greater incidence of impatient…"
21 hours ago
Neil Alexander replied to Michael O'Reilly's discussion Cyclist killed, Church Point area
"McCarrs Creek Rd is a nasty piece of work With respect, that is bullsh!t. Yes, McCarrs Ck Rd is narrow and winding but it is very popular with cyclists, a fact which cannot escape the notice of drivers, because it is not a busy road. If drivers want…"
Neil Alexander commented on Colin's group Helmetless riders
"Our laws treat bike riders very poorly. Definitely. Because they only take account of the lowest "common" denominator, car drivers. "Bicycles left turn on red with care after slowing and giving way to all crossing traffic including…"

Profile Information

What sort of riding do you do ?
Commuting, Road Cycling, Mountain Biking, Recreational, Touring, Whatever
Where in Sydney do you live ?
North Shore
Tell us about your bikes
Many, and mostly workhorses for towing the cargo trailer or transporting the kids, touring, commuting or occasionally going fast(er) on the weekend. Fleet now includes a garbage-collection-FS-MTB (emphasising the "garbage" part) and two hardtail MTBs. Newest addition to the stable is an Apollo Syncro 26 tandem for wife and daughter to tour on with me and Alexander riding the Kotzur tandem.
About Me:
Our household doesn't own a car (We never have; though I must admit that I had to get my late father's car registered in my name. But it is only used to transport my 92-y-o mother {at whose house it "lives"}, and to get to the Alpine Classic in Bright.) but we still pay income taxes, GST, stamp duties, licence fees, levies and council rates, all of which help subsidise motorists' use of freeways and tollways, prop up the car manufacturing industry and contribute to the building and upkeep of the roads and paths motorists drive on (and I do mean to include the paths) and we cycle on. We volunteer some of our spare time to the community via bushcare and the local school P&C.
I used to edit and produce cycling magazines then freelanced writing cycling guide books for Lonely Planet and Open Spaces ("Bike Rides Around Sydney").
My son, Alexander, now 17, has his own Trek MTB to ride to school or wherever (after growing out of an Avanti Black Thunder 24"-wheel MTB), and occasionally takes the rear saddle of our Kotzur touring tandem for personal travel. His sister, Laura, 13, now rides her brother's Avanti or the back of the Apollo Syncro tandem. Their mother has a green Jim Lemon touring bicycle (pictured below) which is the thing she says she likes best after me and the children. Our Kotzur tandem is a nice green, too.

Laura helps her mum climb Bust-Me-Gall Hill in eastern Tasmania

Heading north on the east coast of Tasmania

A touring cyclist passes poppy fields in north-eastern Tasmania

Riders and their rigs ready to roll from the Pub in the Paddock, Pyengana, Tas

Over the mountain to Ringarooma, Tas. This was even steeper, rougher, tougher and wetter than it looks.

Easier riding once on top; the road less travelled (esp by cyclists).

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Neil Alexander's Blog

Enigma in 21 Episodes

Posted on July 27, 2014 at 11:30am 1 Comment

Well, I don't know what you have been doing for the last three weeks but I have been dipping into a strange series on SBS, which airs rather late at night.

The show features quite a few Australians, despite being set in France.

If you haven't seen it, it may interest you as an SC member because there's often a lot of people riding bikes in it. But they are not the main characters.

Despite each episode running for four (yes, 4!) hours or more, in prime-sleeping-time, I…


North Sydney Cycling Strategy

Posted on May 6, 2014 at 4:21pm 2 Comments

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the bicycle strategy for North Sydney. I fully support the strategy's recommendations and proposed routes.

There is no doubt that access to the Sydney Harbour Bridge is the Number One problem for cyclists travelling through North Sydney. It is very exciting to think that cyclists could get a well-engineered bi-directional route on Pacific Hwy and I encourage Council to…


When you LEAST expect it

Posted on March 18, 2014 at 3:00pm 12 Comments

I don't know about you, but I am not feeling very comfortable on the roads or in traffic at the moment. Sunday's so-far-unexplained incident with multiple riders down on SCD has made me very nervous. I don't like to have anyone in a motor vehicle anywhere near me, especially behind.

Cycling is not relaxing anymore. If it ever was. I am coming to think that if you are relaxed while riding you are not paying enough…


A not-quite-so-lonely New Year's Day ride

Posted on January 1, 2014 at 11:00am 11 Comments

Here's another lament on low cyclist numbers on low-motor-traffic days written due to overwhelming popular demand. (Well, actually only from Mr O'Rwelly who I suspect just wanted to post another link to 10 hours of sad violin music or, perhaps, some Elvis song. But at least four of you "liked" my Christmas Day…


Another lonely Christmas Day ride

Posted on December 25, 2013 at 9:30am 4 Comments

Forty-one (41) other riders, in 65km between 0615 and 0845. That's all I saw out this morning on my Artarmon–Church Point–Artarmon loop. A ratio of less than 1 c/km, to use the official measure.

Now, we've been through this all before, in 2009, in…


TdF 2013: Great Moments in Commentary, Stages 15 to 21

Posted on July 15, 2013 at 1:00pm 5 Comments

Stage 15 - Ascent of Le Géant de Provence

For earlier stages: 1-7, click this link; 8-14, click…


TdF 2013: Great Moments in Commentary, Stages 8 to 14

Posted on July 7, 2013 at 5:00pm 4 Comments

Note: Stages 1 to 7 plus a Prologue are over here. It was getting a bit long to scroll through, so I am breaking the whole Tour up into three sections. Stages 15 to the finish are here.


Stage 8

What a great mash-up of…

TdF 2013: Great Moments in Commentary. A Prologue, plus Stages 1 to 7

Posted on June 29, 2013 at 2:30pm 7 Comments


For three weeks in July (usually), I love the Tour: There is France. There is scenery. There is drama. There's often some cows, and maybe a few dogs. There is also some cycling. And some cyclists. But mostly, for me, there is the commentary team.

The voices of cycling are where it's at. The stars, Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen, going…


A Winter Solstice Cycling Odyssey, Part 1

Posted on June 27, 2013 at 7:00pm 2 Comments

Les vaches du tour. Local residents are often a good source of cycle-touring-route advice, if you can understand their directions. These locals were a bit moo-nosyllabic but they were right about Cedar Party Rd being a good bicycle route to Wingham.…


A Winter Solstice Cycling Odyssey, Part 2

Posted on June 27, 2013 at 7:00pm 7 Comments

(NOTE: I recommend you read Part One first but it's your choice.)…


Comment Wall (105 comments)

At 6:29pm on June 19, 2008, noelbike said…
Hi. I have been in Kirribilli for 3 or 4 years but I get bagged out for it by my inner west mates so I don't advertise the fact.
I am often the thorntree website (lonly planet) but have increasingly noticed that this one is good.
Do you guys ride in bike north groups much or just with your friends?
At 7:13pm on June 19, 2008, noelbike said…
wots lct sup?
At 11:15pm on July 2, 2008, Phil said…
Yep, but off for July to do some editing work on the TdF site for SBS, back at the shop in August.
At 12:03pm on July 26, 2008, GW said…
Love the discussion about the number of cyclists! I ended up driving from Randwick to Redfern for work at peak hour this week (not something I"d normally do!), and was amazed at the sheer number of cyclists I saw.
At 9:12pm on August 11, 2008, KimR said…
Hi there. Thanks for posting the Times letter. Some people like Mr Herron just can't see there is more than one one to look at things. I still think that overall his extreme views help to raise the profile of cycling as people read and take in the more balanced replies to him.
At 12:09pm on August 12, 2008, Bob Moore said…
Hi Neil
Re those pics, I can save them off Sydneycyclist and then upload into my album, which seems a little roundabout. Not sure if there is a way to transfer them more directly - must ask Damian. Or you could start a photo gallery of your own and then I think its easy for me to drag and drop such pics into my album.
At 4:48pm on August 14, 2008, Dabba said…
Hmmm! I was a bit disappointed in Tassie. I found that the rewards weren't worth the effort required. Then again, I don't travel as far each day as you seem to, and certainly haven't climbed every mountain yet. Having done the trips there that are on my website, I doubt that I would go back again.

At this stage, I think that my Kosciuszko trip - which I hope to do in Mar/Apr next year is good, as are my planned 5 weeks away in Sep/Oct going from Lithgow to Cootamundra, West Wyalong, Dubbo, Muswellbrook, Manilla, down the Oxley Hwy to Wauchope and then back to Newcastle. I hope to do the beautiful areas of N NSW in spring of 2009. At some stage, I want to get to do the Flinders, but all of these plans hinge on my wife's health, so I can only dream at this stage, at least until I head off.

Good luck with your trip.
At 1:49pm on August 24, 2008, Kim said…
Neil, I'd love to cycle Tassy. Can you tell me what parts you would recommend? What time of year would you recommend?
At 6:09pm on August 24, 2008, Dabba said…
Seeing the photos of your tribe on tour reminded me of something that we did to make it easier to drag a laden tandem up the hill while we were touring. We made a "harness" for the stoker so that she could pull the bike up the hill while I balanced and pushed it. As you know, tandems aren't easy to balance and push up hill, and it is pretty near impossible for 2 people to push. We used our 3-4m clothesline and tied it to a shoulder strap that we had for carrying our handlebar bag. The strap formed a sash over the stoker's shoulder to spread the load and it all worked quite well for us. We got quite a few looks (especially from the tourist buses) and plenty of friendly toots.
At 6:48pm on August 24, 2008, Jamin said…
No suspension on the Mountain unicycle except for the legs being able to absorb all the impact. Legs do braking as well.

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