Neil Alexander's Blog (50)

20/20 Vision of a 2019 Christmas Day Ride

Can you guess where I went on December 25, 2019?

I can hardly believe this is the 11th iteration of this fairly pointless blog. I've been banging on about the same thing since 2009 and nothing has changed...

I'm not sure what I was expecting to happen but, you know, something…

Added by Neil Alexander on December 25, 2019 at 10:00am — 8 Comments

Riders rock Rule #9 at Bright

Riders ascend Mt Buffalo

It's been a few years since I've been to Bright, in the Victorian Alps, on the Australia Day weekend for the Audax Alpine Classic.

Increased motor traffic on the course, minimal motivation, too little training, and, if truth be known, advancing age has seen me retire from…


Added by Neil Alexander on January 30, 2019 at 7:00pm — 6 Comments


All right, short-attention-span millennials, you don't have to read any further. Forty-five (45) was the number of other cyclists I saw on this year's 72km December 25 ride.

Actually quite an improvement over last year's dismal 20 in 60km, but still well under my benchmark 1-cyclist/km, way down on any other holiday of the year, certainly far fewer than…


Added by Neil Alexander on December 25, 2018 at 8:00am — 5 Comments

Christmas in July

You didn't go for a ride this morning (Sunday), did you?

I know this because I would have noticed another rider, or two, on the road.

Uncharacteristically, I exaggerate slightly because there were other cyclists, just very few. In fact the roads were as devoid of my fellow pedallers as they seem to be every…


Added by Neil Alexander on July 15, 2018 at 1:30pm — 3 Comments

December 25 rider numbers plummet to new low

Not a sight you see on December 25 but, the next day, riders are out in force... On the Akuna Bay route

There are several traditions I observe each year on the morning of the December 25 public holiday (usually; last year…


Added by Neil Alexander on December 25, 2017 at 10:00am — 8 Comments

WITWIMB? And a December 25 whinge.

Eagle-eyed readers will have immediately noticed something unusual about the picture above.

Yes, those are "cycling" socks but those are not (proper) cycling shoes. Of course, they can be used for cycling, and even occasionally are on my commuter bike with toe clips, but their primary purpose is for walking, not pedalling. 

Really insightful readers,…


Added by Neil Alexander on December 25, 2016 at 12:00pm — 20 Comments

Another Christmas Day FAIL by Sydney cyclists

I'm over this, Sydney Cyclists. Every year I tell you what a great morning it is for cycling on Christmas Day and every year you all ignore me. Why should I tell you again? 

I'll just give you the stats: 73 cyclists in 76 km between 0615 and 0915 on an out-and-back run to scenic West Head. Hardly any car traffic and all of what there was failed to try to kill me. 

Like …


Added by Neil Alexander on December 25, 2015 at 9:24am — 6 Comments

NRCA calls for bike rego

PRESS RELEASE February 8, 2008

Following the call for a levy on bicycles by Pat Farmer, Alan Odds, the President of the National Roads and Cyclists Association, today endorsed the call for cyclists to contribute to the cost of maintaining the road network.

"Let's face it. The situation is untenable. Motorists are constantly calling me a tax cheat. I hear 'Get off the road! Pay your taxes!' all too often on my daily commute to my consulting contract in the CBD.

Tax cheat?…


Added by Neil Alexander on October 19, 2015 at 7:30am — No Comments

Barangaroo Headland Park

With great fanfare, the Barangaroo Headland Park was today opened by premier Baird in company with Paul Keating, former PM and prime mover for the restoration of the natural attributes of the area, and Malcolm Turnbull who tweeted that he came by Route 333 bus with his grandson (subtext: Not by helicopter, so not costing taxpayers very much).

When it was safe…


Added by Neil Alexander on August 22, 2015 at 8:30pm — 8 Comments

Worst. Turnout. Ever.

In a showing that would make a NSW Cup rugby crowd look huge, cyclists have again failed to take advantage of the best riding day of the year. Official figures, gathered by me, show cyclists riding in the lowest numbers on Christmas Day since records began in 2009, a mere 35 whom I saw on my ride. (I'll ignore…


Added by Neil Alexander on December 25, 2014 at 9:00am — 12 Comments

Enigma in 21 Episodes

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…


Added by Neil Alexander on July 27, 2014 at 11:30am — 1 Comment

North Sydney Cycling Strategy

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…


Added by Neil Alexander on May 6, 2014 at 4:21pm — 1 Comment

When you LEAST expect it

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…


Added by Neil Alexander on March 18, 2014 at 3:00pm — 11 Comments

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

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…


Added by Neil Alexander on January 1, 2014 at 11:00am — 11 Comments

Another lonely Christmas Day ride

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…


Added by Neil Alexander on December 25, 2013 at 9:30am — 4 Comments

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

Stage 15 - Ascent of Le Géant de Provence

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


Added by Neil Alexander on July 15, 2013 at 1:00pm — 5 Comments

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

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…

Added by Neil Alexander on July 7, 2013 at 5:00pm — 2 Comments

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


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…


Added by Neil Alexander on June 29, 2013 at 2:30pm — 6 Comments

A Winter Solstice Cycling Odyssey, Part 1

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.

With a leave pass, signed and sealed by the…


Added by Neil Alexander on June 27, 2013 at 7:00pm — 2 Comments

A Winter Solstice Cycling Odyssey, Part 2

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

Lots of advice is offered at the Bombah…


Added by Neil Alexander on June 27, 2013 at 7:00pm — 7 Comments

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