Archive for the "Bike Saftey" Category

Want a Strava KOM, get yourself the Strava Android app

I have long suspected this and I’m sure others have to, but have you ever noticed the high proportion of Strava KOM and course records that are held by people who have recorded their ride using the Strava Android app. Furthermore it seems to be more prevalent when it comes to short downhill segment. Then the next question begs, why are the Android riders so good and yet the IPhone riders barely rate?

So in an effort to satisfy my curiosity I decided to take a short ride with both my Garmin 500 and Android app running. What follows are the results of a number of segment in my local area.

The rides with the lock symbol are the rides recorded on the Android Device.

Rides marked with a # indicate the current record is held a ride recorded on an Android device

Firstly Toshka’s Track # and I’ll admit this one caught me by surprise, despite the downhill section the Android app was slower, go figure.


Memorial Dirt Sprint # 5 seconds over 300 metres, that’s a big discrepancy


Ainslie Wall Downhill # This one was a draw


Down we go to Antill # Another 14 second win the Android app


I have more examples but I think you get the point.

Now I love Strava and I think it is a great way to get motivated to ride harder but I would also like to see a level playing field.  When I have some more time I intend to pull apart some of the GPX files for these rides to see if there is anything strange occurring, I suspect the android device is not recording the data fast enough or accurately enough so it is possible the first data point captured for a segment is already a couple of seconds after the start and likewise the last data point captured is couple of seconds before the finish.

Besides making it impossible to beat some of these records, a real concern for Strava would be the posting the of erroneous data which could lead to a dangerous situation where riders start chasing down fake times in an effort to beat a record which really shouldn’t exist. Now I know riders need to take care  when pursuing course records but I also believe the Strava Android App needs to record these times accurately. Having erroneous lower course records surely is increasing the risk by making riders  think it is possible to ride faster than it really is.

So folks be safe out there, because that course record you are chasing, might not be possible.

I would also like to say, this only my opinion on this and I am happy to be corrected, so if anyone can explain why this happening I would like to hear from you.


Compulsory helmets

With the compulsory helmets law recently making the news again

I thought it would be interesting to set up a poll to capture people’s attitudes to helmets and if you think they should be compulsory

What is your view on the compulsory helmet law?

View Results

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And if you have any thoughts on the law please feel free to leave a comment


King of the Mountains

Updated 26/6/2010, all the information in this post has been superseded and has been updated here /?p=748

There is more information about the individual climbs below. Also note that the elevation charts are not completely accurate, they are a close representation of the climb in terms of elevation and distance.





Mt Pleasant

80 m



Coppin’s Crossing

84 m



Pierce’s Creek

104 m



Red Hill

110 m



Mt McDonald

128 m



Three Sisters

141 m



Old Fed Hwy

160 m



Mt Stromlo

168 m



Corin Pt 1




Mt Ainslie

208 m



Black Mountain




Mt Ainslie (AWM)

240 m



Mt Majura




Fitz’s Challenge


2.68 km


Corin Pt 2




Honeysuckle creek




Corin Dam




Mt Clyde (NSW)




Map of the Climbs –
Cat X – Over 400m represented by the dark blue markers
Cat A – 200 –400m represented by the red markers
Cat B – 100 –200m represented by the green markers
Cat C – 50 –100m represented by the light blue markers
The yellow markers are locations of climbs that I am aware of but are yet to be recorded

View Canberra Climbs in a larger map

KOM All the climbs listed together

Cat X– The rides that will really test you.


Mt Clyde – First up I’ll confess, I haven’t actually done this climb but it is on my to do list. This climb is situated on the Kings Hwy, the road from Canberra to Bateman’s Bay. The climb was measured from Nelligen Creek. The climb is undulating until it gets to Governor’s Bend at which point it really takes off.

Corin Dam – This climb has two distinct parts. The first starts at the turn off to Corin Dam on Paddy River road up to the gates at Woods Reserve. The first part of the ride is easy with fairly low gradient. From the gates to summit the ride gets harder as gradient increases and is what makes Corin a really good climb.

Honeysuckle Creek – Also known as Apollo Rd South of Tharwa. The start of this climb was measured from the bridge about 2km from the Nass rd / Apollo rd junction. This is one of hardest rides in Canberra in my opinion with some short sections hitting a 20% gradient.

Cat A – Represent some of the “bigger” challenges around Canberra, these are usually the ones with the killer gradients.


Black Mountain (Telstra Tower) – The climb was measured from the turn off to the very top of the summit, past the car park entry where a lot of riders usually stop their timers. Black Mountain in my opinion along with Fitz’s Hill represents one of harder climbs in Canberra. What makes it difficult is the first 400 metres, which has quite a hard gradient of around 15%.

Mount Ainslie – I measured this climb twice as it sits onto of a shorter climb and people measure it from different places. The first measurement was done from the pedestrian lights at the Australian War Memorial, this initial climb while only around 32 metres hits a gradient of around 8% making it a nice little warm up. The true climb starts from the turn off on Fairbairn Ave and that is where the second climb is measured from.

Mount Majura Our famous secret climb. This was measured from the turn off on Majura Road, not bad considering there is a quite a  climb to get there up Federal Hwy. One day when I have time I plan to measure the climb from the last roundabout on Antill street.

Fitz’s Challenge – measured from the half moon creek bridge to the KOM line at the summit. This is without a doubt a brute of a climb. While average gradient for this climbs is just over 10% in reality because of a dip in the climb most of the time you will be facing a gradient of 12 to 13%

Cat B – These represent good training climbs (well for me at least that aren’t going to leave your legs screaming when you reach to the summit.


Red Hill Measured from the turn off to Red Hill. Reported gradient on the chart above probably doesn’t do Red Hill justice. In measuring the distance I measured to the summit which is at the restaurant but you can see from the image above the climb plateaus at around 1.1 km where the main lookout is. If measure the gradient to this part of the climb it comes out at around 9%, on par with Black Mountain, just shorter. Maybe not one of the beginner hills.

The Three Sisters – This is the climb out of Uriarra crossing heading back to Mt Stromlo. Measured from the bridge crossing to the KOM marking on the road. So called because of the three distinctive sections to this ride. Always fun at the end of a race, which happens frequently.

Mt McDonald – Located on the other side of cotter and goes up around cotter dam. Measured from the turn off on Cotter Road to the KOM marking on the road. Good training ride, not difficult, just a good consistent gradient.

Old Federal Hwy – This climb is located in the Yass Valley just past Sutton. Instead of going up the Federal hwy there is a turn off at the nursery which is the old federal hwy. The climb was measured from the bridge crossing the Yass river to the summit. As shown it is on par with Mt Stromlo

Mt Stromlo – Measured from the turn off on Cotter Rd to very summit which means going up the small road which is in average condition near the new observatory.  What I like about Mt Stomlo is the even gradient for the climb. Nothing challenging but a can be a good workout if you choose to push yourself.

Pierce’s Creek – This is the first climb after Cotter Dam on Paddy River Road on the way out to the tracking station. At 9% it is a toughy but relatively short.

Cat C – I guess these can be classed as the beginner climbs but should not be underestimated.

Mt Pleasant -  Measured from the turn off on Fairbairn Ave into Duntroon. One of my favourite training rides. Starts of with a kick on the first section but then evens out to consistent climb.

Coppins Crossing - Measured from the crossing to the summit.

Other Climbs – So what’s next, what left to measure?

Smith’s Gap – Bungendore
Kings Hwy  – Queanbeyan
Mt Majura from the Antill Roundabout.
Hindmarsh Drive (perhaps)
Monaro Hwy – Theodore

Climbs that didn’t measure up – These are the climbs that will might seem to be substantial didn’t break the 50 metre mark that I consider the base for a good climb.

Ginninderra Drive – O’Conner – 43m

If there are any other climbs that should be included please let me know.


The Amy Gillet Foundation

Safety on the roads is always a concern for cyclists. Most cyclists whether they be elite professional or just your every day commuter has probably had the unenviable experience of having a run in with a “cager”. For the uninitiated a “cager” is one of those sometimes not so friendly motor vehicle drivers. Regardless of who is wrong or right it is usually the cyclist who comes off second best.

The Amy Gillett Foundation as part of one of its objectives is to help reduce the number of cyclist injured every year by promoting a harmonious relationships between cyclists and motorists through better awareness.

The foundation was named after Amy Gillett who was one of Australia’s leading female cyclist who was killed after an accident near Zeulenroda, Germany on 18 July 2005 when an 18 year old learner driver lost control of her car and ran into her training squad.