First full single speed around the world.

In the last couple of days, a German long-distance cyclist, completed a full circumnavigation of the world. This makes Markus Stitz,  the first to (unofficially) single speed around the world! He averaged 96.5kms per day, to complete the 33796 kms journey in 12 months. Many riders undertake cycling trips of varying durations, levels of difficulty, riskiness and fitness, but in the bike touring fraternity it is not often that all this is done with one gear. Although Markus has had a number of cycling adventures before, it was this unassisted, enduring trip across the globe that has recently gained attention.

Markus Stitz -Singlespeed around the world

Markus Stitz -Singlespeed around the world

Source: Road CC

More detail about his actual trip and experiences can be found elsewhere in cyberspace. His exploits have been making headlines lately especially considering that the local UK media were quite taken with his adventuring and have been active in following his final closing kilometres given his trip terminates in Scotland. Having lived in Scotland for 2.5 years myself, it makes me incredibly nostalgic to think of travelling through the landscape contemplating life, the universe and everything.

There is so much about Markus’ story that I find appealing; taking a year off to cycle through and across the world, doing it unassisted and completely under his own steam, finishing his 33796 km trip in Scotland, reading about some of the amazing experiences he has had and seeing some of the stunning photos he took along the way. It is a reminder that bicycles are a vehicle for freedom, and often the only limiting factor to that freedom is our inability to recognise and embrace it wholeheartedly.

Being an avid singlespeeder myself, I find the idea of riding one anywhere and everywhere is tantalising, and I certainly understand the attraction. However, practically it is something that I was interested to see how it worked on a daily basis. That is why I appreciated Markus keeping a blog (as best he could) during his time on the road. I like the fact also that he explained the most inspiring aspects, but equally the more challenging and difficult times as well. Not only does it have a slew of juicy travel tit-bits detailing the locations he visited and recollections of interactions with locals and the like, but interspersed throughout are some technical difficulties (so few) – he did the full 33,796 kms trip with ‘just one broken spoke and no punctures since Singapore’.

He has a Youtube Channel with some videos you can check out here.

Click here to see more of Markus’s blog.

Markus Stitz Instagram: @reizkultur

 

What do you take on a trip like this?

markus stitz

Source: Markus Stitz

One thing I was very interested to see from his blog were details of everything he took on his trip. With his gear and bike (which he speaks more of here) weighing in at about 32kg, here’s Markus’ list of what he took on his journey:

Bike:

Surly Ogre with Halo Vapour Rims, SP Dynamo Hub in front, Surly Ultra New Hub in back, Halo Clickster 18t freewheel, Schwalbe Marathon Mondial 2.0 tyres with tubes, Thomson seat post, Brooks Cambium C15 saddle, ESI silicone grips, ESI bar tape and silicone tape, Jones 710 Loop h-bar aluminium, Avid BB7 brakes, Shimano square taper bottom bracket, Middleburn RS7 cranks, Surly 32t chain ring, KMC chain

Mounted on bars and frame

  • Exposure MaXx-D Mk4 Front Light
  • Garmin eTrex20 with 16GB MicroSD and Energiser rechargeable batteries
  • GoPro Hero3 in casing with bar mount
  • CatEye Strada wireless cycle computer
  • Specialized Cage with Optimus 0.6l Fuel Bottle
  • MuckyNutz fender
  • Spot Gen3 Satellite Tracker

Salsa Anything Cage HD with Salsa Anything Bag 1:

  • Alpkit titanium pot and lid 800 ml
  • Primus Omni Fuel stove and fuel pump
  • Foldable cup
  • Matches & lighter
  • Tea and coffee in plastic bag
  • Windshield and ground shield for stove
  • Sea to Summit Ultra Sil Day pack
  • Olive oil in Nalgene container

Salsa Anything Cage HD with Salsa Anything Bag 2:

  • Cable and combination lock
  • 2 spare Schwalbe tubes
  • Brooks MT 21 multi tool
  • workshop gloves
  • Optimus tool for stove
  • Ice Tools chain checker
  • 1 tube of Schwalbe Latex for tubeless tyres
  • Freewheel tool
  • Purple Extreme Lube and 2 cloths
  • Diverse nuts and bolts, spare cleats, chain link, brake cable
  • Patches & tyre boot
  • ESI silicone tape
  • Electrical tape
  • 2 sets of Avid brake pads, sintered
  • Cable ties
  • 1 small tube of grease
  • Leatherman Wingman tool
  • Torx T25 key
  • Strapped outside on bag
    • Schwalbe Rocket Ron foldable tyre
    • Lezyne Micro Floor Drive Pump with pressure gauge
    • Oakley Racing Jacket glasses with black, yellow and clear lenses in Swiss Eye protective case

Apidura Handlebar Pack Compact (lined with Exped Dry Bag)

  • Nordisk Telemark 1 ULW tent (aluminium instead of carbon poles)
  • Yeti Purity Down Jacket
  • Exped Synmat Hyperlite M sleeping mat
  • Montane Extreme Mitts
  • Tineli Thermal Gloves
  • Tineli Thermal Booties

Apidura Accesory Pocket

  • Sea to Summit X-Pot expandable 2.8l pot
  • Sea to Summit X Bowl (fits into pot)
  • 1 tube alcohol gel
  • 2 tubes sunscreen
  • Opinel knife and Snowpeak titanium spork
  • Logitech Keys To Go portable keyboard (in Sea to Summit dry sack)

Spokwerks Jones Loop Bar Bag

  • Xtorn Powerbank Air 6000 (in Sea to Summit dry sack)
  • PDW Aether Demon USB backlight
  • USB cable for charging light
  • USB cable for charging Exposure light
  • Pepper spray
  • Citrus Squeezy (against dogs)
  • Sinewave Cycles Revolution (USB charger)

Spokwerks Cookie Jar 1 (lined with Sea to Summit Dry Sack)

  • 2 Duracell batteries for Canon S120 camera
  • 4 Energiser AAA batteries
  • 2 Energiser AA batteries
  • Charging cable for portable keyboard
  • Charging cable for GoPro & GPS
  • Shoulderpod mount for iPhone
  • Additional mount for GoPro
  • Tripod mount for GoPro
  • Apple USB charger
  • Apple iPhone cable
  • Petzl Tikka Plus head torch

Spokwerks Cookie Jar 2 (lined with Sea to Summit Dry Sack)

  • Canon S120 camera in Hama Case
  • Montane Featherlite Jacket

Apidura Frame Bag (Prototype)

  • 6 spare spokes and nipples
  • Camelbak 3l reservoir
  • Katadyn FIlter Mini
  • Manfrotto Pixi Mini Tripod

Apidura Top Tube Pack Extended

  • Used for food only

Apidura Saddle Pack Regular (lined with Exped Dry Bag) & everything I wear on my body

  • iPhone 6plus with Lifeproof NÜÜD case
  • Specialized BG Gel Wiretap gloves
  • Lifeventure wallet
  • Bottle opener (!)
  • Buff mobile phone cleaner
  • Pen
  • Nike Free 5.0 Shoes
  • Travel towel
  • Lake MX175 MTB shoes and 45NRTH Japanther Boot (Iceland)
  • Gore Bike Wear Element GT Paclite Jacket
  • Surly 5’’ wool socks
  • Halo Aireator socks
  • Defeet Woolie Boolie 6’’ socks
  • 2 boxer shorts
  • Tineli Knee Warmers
  • Tineli Aero Gloves
  • Tineli MTB Trail Shorts
  • Skins A200 compression tights
  • Tineli Thermal Bibtights
  • Tineli Lime Bibs x 2
  • Montane Bionic SS base layer
  • Montane Bionic LS base Layer
  • Short sleeve base layer
  • Tineli Lime Intermediate Jacket
  • Tineli Lime SS jersey
  • Tineli Sun Protectors
  • Defeet Merino Arm warmers
  • Insect and UV proof Buff
  • 45NRTH Greazy Merino Hat
  • Tineli Winter Cap
  • Tineli Team Cap
  • Specialized S3 Helmet
  • Yeti Passion 3 Sleeping Bag
  • Teeth Kit: Tooth brush, floss, interdental brushes, tooth paste
  • Wash Kit: Shower gel, soap, shaving water, ear plugs, hand cream
  • Pixo C-USB Charger
  • Moleskine Diary
  • Medical Kit with plaster, antibiotics, Ibuprofen, scissors, bandages, gloves and sewing kit.

markus stitz

Source: Markus Stitz

A massive congratulations to Jill Kintner – Queen of Crankworx World Tour!! I’ve been watching all her runs and rides this year and was very impressed watching her come back after some issues and injuries that ended in a 4th place overall last year. But this year she has been on fire! Smashing the competition and ripping at events like the dual salmon, BMX, downhill and her list of her achievements goes on and on … Awesome!!

Aside from loving riding and training hard, I really appreciate that Jill is also a consummate artist and actively integrates her artwork into her routine – an inspiration for being a well balanced, kick-ass role model for us up and comers!!

Jill Kintner – Queen of Crankworx 2016

Jill’s story is inspirational as it really exemplifies how diverse riders and their skills can be. Not only does Jill embody this, but she is also unusual in that she is not only an exceptional gifted and hard working rider. She has been very successful in a wide range of events and disciplines in riding – not just good at one – but in her case two, three, four and more!

Her story is great as it clearly shows that riding bikes can make positive change in your life. Obviously biking is not just for health, transport and happiness, but also, for a few select people with the opportunity and dedication like Jill, can also be an avenue to forge a career. With this comes travel, sponsors and exposure. However, all of that must be earned –  which Jill certainly has. I hope she is stoked and reaping the rewards of all her hard work over the Crankworx season this year!

People ride bikes at all kinds of level of confidence, skill and intensity. I am a big fan of her dedication, skill and tenacity for making it happen. It was great to se her husband Bryn (Cairns born and bred not less!) and her mates out in full support mode – including mocking up a photo of ‘Jill for Queen’ Posters – GOLD!

So, congrats on this year’s season Jill – your an inspiration!! Now I’m off to practice my pump track skills!!

Source: Bike mag Anthony Smith

Source: Bike mag Anthony Smith

 

After a very challenging two weeks of marking assessments for a new course I am teaching, I find myself more than a little tired and rough around the edges. This all consuming marking comes with associated moderation meetings, which were a lovely reprieve from solitary work, but also meant going back and checking many of the results and adjusting some accordingly – which nearly doubled the original workload – so be it! I understand it needs to be done, but it means I have not worked on my own bicycle research for 9 days straight now. I don’t want to loose my routine and ‘umphf’ that I had only just established…

So as a small elixir to keep me motivated and in touch with my bikey needs, (one more day marking to go – hang in there!!) I decided to find some realia that reflected my current state of mind – a little naughty bike inspired ‘get over it’ items to tide me over until I can get back to researching.

So, a quick look online brought up a few delectable ‘cycle ink’ projects (see below) that made me smile. I like the idea that all of these are on women, that they are all bicycle focused, and that they are ballsy, original and have healthy pinch of ‘grrr’ in them – which perfectly suits my current mental state! I really appreciate the whimsical, positive vibe of these particular tattoos – they will certainly see me through the next few days.

I cannot help but think: If you got a tattoo (of a bike) –  what and where you get? I’m still deliberating on it ….  Happy cycle ink!!!

Source: Nick Rearden @ Velodomcafe

Source: Nick Rearden @ Velodomcafe

Source: What_u_like Tumblr

Source: What_u_like Tumblr

Source: Viola 4 Tumblr

Source: Viola 4 Tumblr

Source: Viola 4 Tumblr

Source: Viola 4 Tumblr

Source: What_u_like Tubmlr

Source: What_u_like Tubmlr

Source: 1337 Tatoos Tumblr

Source: 1337 Tatoos Tumblr

Source: Reblogged by Cycleluv

Source: Reblogged by Cycleluv

Source: Viola 4 Tumblr

Source: Viola 4 Tumblr

 

This week I saw my supervisors for a meeting as it is my PhD 6-month review.  We were meeting to discuss my PhD Lit Review. I’ve not had a meeting with them for a while as we’ve all had things on – I’ve been working on my Lit Review, one had long service leave and the other has been working hard for the start of the Uni semester.

I’ve been keeping busy and trialling different productivity techniques and activities to varying degrees of success. I’ve missed not meeting my supervisors each month. I like the routine, and it gives me enough time to get some work done and work towards the next deadline.

I’ve been struggling the last month with my Lit Review as I’ve found myself summarising the issues to do with my topic and not fully critiquing the references as I’d like to be. I chatted to a few other full-time PhDer about getting their lit reviews done and it the consensus is that it is on ongoing progression that you keep coming back to. I asked my supervisor to see her original thesis she wrote in 1999, which she gave me a copy. I’m keen to see to what degree and how she critiqued her sources, synthesised content and expressed her analysis and critical thinking about the methodologies and theoretical frameworks – I know I have to work on these areas for my own lit review.

My primary supervisor suggested I look at the online RMIT Lit Review material as she thought it was helpful. However, I like the practicality and find having examples more instructive, so the UQ Reviews with examples is more my style – especially seeing as though there is extra downloadable info.

But to get me back on track – I’m going to first head to Randolph’s (2009) A Guide to Writing a Dissertation Literature Review, which is clear, informative and has some great info. I’ve extracted the following two tables from said article.

I find this first table useful to approach readings, and I like the idea of having questions to answer or a focus to draw out – it also helps hone key terms, methodologies and points for comparison that I would not otherwise necessarily have looked for – but most importantly I like the reminder, and I’ve found it invaluable in relation to looking for disruptions and gaps in some research aspects.

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 9.36.19 PM

This second table is a useful editing and content refinement checklist. It helps keep me honest, structured and stimulated content inclusion and points that I need to clarify, include or emphasize. I think ultimately, I will incorporate ideas from all these three sources. After a week of marking course work (this week) and having a little mental break from my Lit Review, I’ll use these resources as stimulus to get stuck back into it and refocus the themes and work on increasing the level of critical analysis – which is probably a good thing as this will be my main task at least up until November.

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 9.37.03 PM

This time last week I went for my first time to Brisbane’s Greazefest – and had way too much fun!

I love the rockabilly style, fashion, music, colour and aesthetic and it was all on show for two days this weekend. I went down just after lunch on the Saturday to check out the demonstrations, exhibits and stalls while the sun was out shining.

Stunning tattooed ladies were abound as were many denim-clad slick, cool guys. The stalls were bursting with dresses, clothes, accessories, moustache wax, headscarves, dancing shoes, homewares, art, Hawaiian shirts, stickers, cut throat barbers, tikis, memorabilia. I found a swatch of bicycle printed cloth (to make a bandanna later on) and headscarf with Vintage bicycles prints on it…. a full-length 1950s bicycle print dress was elusive on the day, though.

These stalls circled the outer perimeter of an oval, os you could literary ‘walk around’ to see everything. In the middle of the oval were where the vintage cars and motorbikes from across the 1950s (group into category) were on display – and they were a sight to behold in and of themselves.

Greazefest -1950s bicycles on display

Most thrilling for me to find in amongst these machines were three lonely and humble, but proud 1950s bicycles that stood in their own category. These three bicycles were resplendent in that they were unique – encapsulating a real snapshot in time as represented by their design, shape, colour and model. I was delighted to see bicycles being included this event. Greazefest and Grezers per say are well known for their American cars – but as the designs and styles of the 1950s were particularly memorable this style reached to bicycle models as well. Personally, I’ve always held a soft spot in my heart for the 1953/1954 Schwinn Panthers (see below).

After drooling over the bikes, I spent the rest of the afternoon and well into the evening enjoying the fantastically entertaining bands. I especially like the US band the Rhythm Shakers – wow!! It was awesome watching the crowd throw their dancing partners (and myself – thanks for taking a chance with me Terry!) across the floor in a happy rock ‘n’ roll boogie and jive style that was a memorable blur of colour, smiles, rocking tunes and fun.

Source: Van the bike man

Source: Van the bike man

 

I got a few photos on the day of the three bicycles mentioned, but I used a friend’s camera to get the shots, so I am waiting to get them back to upload. It could be a while! Until next year my Rockabilly brothers and sisters – stay cool!

 

47750147828946

See you @ Greazefest next year!!!

This post looks at Bekka Wright’s speech given at an independently organised community TEDx Event in Somerville 2015. She is the artist behind Bikeyface. In this talk, Bekka Wright recounts how her personal journey on two wheels was the literal vehicle for her changing her goals, her career and her overall life outcomes for the better.

Moving People – Bekka Wright

Bekka’s talk gives a human element and background to the immensely popular comic series she created called Bikeyface which perpetually showcases Bekka’s poetic drawings, keen observations and eternal love of life on a bicycle. I like how her talk is peppered with her comics, which add warmth and hour and always adding a little something extra to her narrative.

I find myself returning to Bikeyface, just to explore what musings are on offer. I find myself often smiling with the comic’s characters and thinking to myself, “Wow, how many time has that happened to me too”!

I appreciate Bekka’s eternal wrestle with her city, the street, the cars, the personalities and the weird and wonderful things that happen to us all when riding a bike in the city.

I find Bikeyface funny, affirming and altogether lovely – and it is delightful to see Bekka telling her story of how it all originated. Enjoy!

Source: Bikeyface

Source: Bikeyface

 

Source: Bikeyface

Source: Bikeyface

After spending a very interesting day working on editing the structure of a literature review outlining the cultural role of bicycles in Africa, I was delighted to take a break and find this tasty infographic offering ‘How bicycles can save us’ by Riley Hoonan.

Inside Riley Hoonan’s head

It caught my eye specifically because of the ‘The European Way’ content linking obesity and cycling rates in the US, Germany and Holland. I love looking at infographics and am constantly in awe of the ingenious ways designers present and organise (often) very complex and detailed content in such a cohesive and visually appealing way.

I like the consistent and understated colours used in this one. Also, the fact that it includes a variety of information ranging from the physical, social, environmental, political and health advantages to cycling. I’m impressed by the thought and detail that Riley has gone into producing this particular piece and appreciate the diversity of data represented. And kudos to Riley for making the infographic Common License too, so it is free to distribute!

Improvement please!

My only contention with infographics in general (certainly not a criticism of this one in particular) is that although I appreciate that references for the sources are given,  I’d like to know which source is for what data set – which is especially important if you want to follow up on info. I know that having footnotes or superscripts in the image could arguably detract from the overall aesthetic, but in a situation like this where the info is immediately useful, interesting, and potentially transferable into my bicycle research project I want to know which fact comes from which source! Given that there are 14 or so sources, I’d like to know what factual content is linked to which certain reference.

Perhaps this is another design challenge for those who produce infographics.

Regardless, congrats to Riley for his chic aesthetic, for promoting bike use and spreading the good word. Keep up the awesome work circulating the positive ways in which bikes can save us!

How Bikes Can Save Us

From Visually.

Calling all would be Guest Bloggers – here is your official invitation for submission!

If you know of a bicycle project that is contributing to positive social change, or if you are involved in an initiative where bicycles, people and positivity, big ideas and happiness converge – then I want to hear from you!!

Bicycle Create Change is inviting contributions and blog posts from anywhere in the world, in the form of stories, reflections, summaries of projects, research updates and insights into bicycle inspired projects that are working towards a better future for all.

This blog is an entrepreneurial-free zone, so we won’t publish blogs by companies, free paying marketing or advertising. Just genuine, interesting experiences that reflect the diversity, people  and pleasure that comes from a life on two wheels!

If you are interested contact Nina: nina@bicyclescreatechange.com.

Happy riding and happy writing!!

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