Audax Australia
This is the umbrella organisation running long distance cycling events in Australia Their website includes a calendar of events.

A place where cyclist can keep track of their mileage and any number of other statistics, as well as an attached forum.

A set of discussion forums covering almost every conceivable cycling related topic.

Cycling Adventurer
The Cycling Adventurer has tossed in the structured life of an urbanite to explore the world by bicycle. A well-written site detailing how he came to cycling, and what he learned along the way.

Crazy Guy on a Bike

Bicycle touring journals from all over the world, including a couple of my own.

Johns Cycles

This is my LBS on the Gold Coast. While they cater more to the racing market, their service, advice and workmanship is the best on the coast.

St Kilda Cycles

Importers of all manner of things hard to find in Australia, including the legendary Schmidt hub dynamo & E6 lights.


Wonderings and wanderings out and about in Portland, Oregon, US

The Journey
The journey begins in Perth, Western Australia.

Lance Notstrong
The "other" Lance!

Ms Mittens
The Wired Cat on-line

Iron Gambit

Aussie Writer and Cycletourist
A blog chronicling the writing and cycling of a seaside baby boomer.

Up in Alaska
Jill's subarctic journal about ice, bears and distant dreams of the midnight sun.

The Kin Chronicles
Taking mediocrity to a new level of ordinary.

Riding and running with a vengeance.

London Cycling Diary
Pedalling across the capital since August 2005.

CouchPilot-2-BikePilot (Zin's cycling blog)
Living an adventurous life with Type-2-Diabetes.

The adventures of Crazy Biker Chick
... Including cycling, adventuring, cooking, knitting and ranting.

Redneck Espanol
The two wheeled Spanish redneck.

Treadly and me
"Work is something I do between riding my bicycle".

Womanist philosophy and theology. Cycling, climbing, art, single-motherhood and fire-twirling.

Adrian Fitch's random rambling.
A bit about cycling, a bit about genealogy, a bit about radio but mostly a lot about nothing at all.

Geo's big adventure
The life and times of Geo.

It's about the bike
Musings on the cycling life.

Various cycling tidbits.

Industry Outsider
A blog about bikes and stuff.

Tweed Coast Treadly
An old man's bicycle riding diary.

A cyclist's life in Tenerife
(Canary Islands).

Bike to work to live to bike
It's never too late to get back on the bike

Stupid Hurts
Just the random scribblings of a guy with a bicycle

I'm not drunk enough for this
Really, I'm not.

What can I say? Just read it.

Mozam's cycling adventures
A random collection of the things I like to do most, and mostly that is to ride my bikes, bicycles that is... My musings from competitive riding, long distance endurance to puttering around the neighborhood..

More cycling blogs

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Friday, December 22, 2006

Hot air

Those who haven't actually been living under a rock for the last several months will, of course, be aware that global warming/climate change is finally starting to attract the media space worthy of it's importance. This will, of course, come as no surprise to anyone who has been following recent weather patters -- indeed the only surprise here will be why it's taken so long.

What definitely won't come as a surprise to anyone is that neither side of politics seems to have any real inclination to solve it. For several months there was a lot of the usual stuff. Finger-pointing from the left and denial from the right. Then in this country at least, the right decided to change tactics after it looked like denial might cost them a few votes. Now the focus seems to have shifted to talking up "solutions" that, by their own reasoning, aren't going to happen. While they're "investigating" nuclear power, it's unlikely to happen because of the economics of the situation (and it's highly questionable whether this is really a solution at all anyway). Of course, those on the left simply continue to point the finger without coming up with anything of their own.

So in the absence of anything of any substance from our elected "representatives", I'm going to throw open a few ideas here. It's ironic that successive governments have spent the best part of 15 years implementing policies like compulsory superannuation to encourage people to provide for themselves financially, yet far more basic requirements such as water, electricity and fuel have been ignored. Here in Australia we have no shortage of sunshine, which has prompted our government to plan to put a heap of solar panels in the middle of nowhere -- even if they admit that it won't generate enough power to make any real difference.

Instead of attempting to erect massive solar panels out in a desert somewhere, why not look into getting smaller ones a little closer to home? If houses can be fitted with water tanks (as some, although not nearly enough, are), why can't they be fitted with solar panels? This would be much more efficient than trying to resume a heap of land to build solar power stations in the middle of nowhere, not to mention being cheaper and cleaner than the nuclear model which everyone wants to talk about right now.

Storage seems to have been the weakness in the use of solar power in the past, however, the amount of energy that would need to be stored to power one home is considerably less than that required to power a whole community, making it less of a problem. Even if storage did become a problem, surely it's possible to install a switch somewhere that would allow a dwelling to operate on the more conventional power means until there was enough sunshine to replenish the solar power source. The long term advantage with such a system would be really borne out in the long term -- building dwellings with these sort of generators would be much cheaper than trying to stump up for extra power stations in the future (which seems to be all anyone can think of at the moment).

While I'm on the subject of using the sun, would it really be so bad to use it as a means of powering cars around cities? When I was a kid back in the '80s, solar powered cars used to race from Darwin to Adelaide -- a trip of well over 2,000km. Surely the technology exists for the same power to be used to transport someone from Nerang to their office in Southport each day. Of course, the old argument about wasting power while stuck in traffic comes up from time to time, but does a car engine actually need to be running while they're stuck at a red light?

Even without changing power sources, this would seem to be a fairly obvious flaw in the design of pretty much every car on the road today. Why does the engine need to be running, chewing through fuel and spitting out poisonous gases while it isn't actually doing anything? The most likely answer to this question is probably because it keeps lining the pocket of some oil mogul somewhere. It makes me even more glad to be a cyclist -- in fact, it's probably a good explanation for most of the vitriol directed at cyclists, but I digress.

The question here is whether any of the people charged with solving the problem are prepared to show some political courage and look at some innovative solutions, or whether they are, in fact, just contributing to the problem by talking a lot of hot air.


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