For Christmas, Santa brought me a clever rubbery handlebar iPhone holder and bottle opener in one. It is a new product funded on Kickstarter and is called the Handleband:
I also, not for Christmas, just got myself a pair of Copenhagen Parts magentic lights. They are just great and do exactly what they claim to do. The magnets are strong and stick to your bike frame without any problem. Bumps and potholes do not worry them. And once you put new batteries in, they are bright.
It is only a little thing but not having to mess around unclipping your bike lights and turning them off (often with multiple button presses) is a small bonus. You just pull them off and they stop flashing.
Plus they look kind of cool in their brushed metal casing:
I tried out the handleband. It opens bottles really well and holds on to your iPhone nice and tight. Problem is the weight of the phone pulls the Handleband down a bit. If you're filming your ride, it only takes a small bump and suddenly you're filming the road passing beneath you. I think for future models, the manufacturer might want to make the inside of it (the part that connects to the handlebars) a bit more grippy.
Not to worry though. Using my superior creativity and imagination, I cleverly fashioned a grippy bit for the handlebars by using a patch from a puncture repair kit.
And so here's the first attempt at filming my commute:
It's not the most direct route but one I have perfected over time to minimise exposure to busy roads. It seems I am not alone in that respect.
There are lots of places throughout the route where you will see scope of improvement and masses of potential for decent cycling infrastructure. I apologise for the bumpy picture. A lot of that is due I am afraid to a combination of smaller than usual wheels and shocking road surfaces. Ironically, once you get to about the 2:45 min mark, probably the worst surface is the separated shared walking and cycling path!
If you're coming to VeloCity 2014 in Adelaide, perhaps take notes and tell our decision makers what needs to be done.
And watch out for the lone schoolgirl riding her bike to school - a rare sight indeed.
See you in May.