Old Bone Machine

Life Cycle

Riding around in circles through smoke and mirrors

riding_in_circles jpg

Image snatched from LeContainer.


Green by name and Green by nature

I dream about crossing a continent on bicycle, a self-supported journey.

Rob Greenfield lived the dream and rode 4,700 miles across America on a bamboo framed bicycle. On the way he spread the word on sustainability and living the simple life.

Rob Greenfield

I realised that when you have less, you have more. I appreciated a small sip of water, a morsel of food, the last 3% of battery life on my Macbook Air, clean clothes, fresh air, smooth roads, and clean water to swim in. Now that I can find joy in the simple parts of life, I can find sources of happiness for free everywhere around me.

I learned the power of a bicycle. It is a relatively simple machine but it can take us great distances both figuratively and literally. Life is good when you are on a bike. Good for yourself, good for the earth, and good for the people around you.

Lastly, if you live simply, you can live free. The less complicated you make your life, the more time you have to spend doing what you love and what’s good for you.

Read more about the journey from Rob Greenfield and find out why he’s riding without a saddle here.

To vent one’s spleen

(image credit: Ian Walton/Getty Images)

In 2010.

I was so bad, I couldn’t stand for a long time because I felt so weak, I had problems with my stomach. It was awful. My spleen grew so big it pushed my intestine.

And when the spleen was removed.

It was like giving birth to a third child. It was 25cm long and weighed 1.8kg. It was a terrifying thing.

In 2013 , the 37-year-old Italian runner wins the marathon silver medal at the World Championships in Moscow.

Valeria has two children, Leonardo who was born in 2006 and Arianna who was born in 2007.

Read a little bit more about Valeria Straneo here.

Note, a healthy spleen weighs between 150 and 200 grams.

Cowboy Morton

Lachlan Morton (Garmin-Sharp) rode solo over Mount Nebo and then held off a stampeding group of chasers to win an exciting stage 3 of the Tour of Utah.

The young 21-year-old Australian rider also claimed the overall leader’s yellow jersey (and a black cowboy hat).


(image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)

The Garmin-Sharp team director, Jonathan Vaughters, was as excited as a new father with the win.

Screen shot 2013-08-10 at 7.56.08 PM

Great ride cowboy and a great moustache! Note, Lachlan Morton is a professional cyclist not a rodeo rider.

Read more about Morton from a 2011 Ride Cycling Review article here.

The disintegration of Marco Pantani

Pantani Rouleur Cover(image credit: https://twitter.com/TrueBS/)

No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.

– William Blake

The poignant image of Marco Pantani is for a forthcoming cover of Rouleur magazine.

Bikes I Like

The Labor Tour De France is oddly elegant. Take a second look and you’ll notice that a chainstay and a seatstay are missing. A blade on the fork is also amiss. This 1910 design though allows a tyre/tube change to be made without removing the wheel.

But is a fork with a single blade still called a fork? Cannondale adopted the idea many years later (around 1990) and called it the Lefty. Sadly, the unbalanced appearance of the Labor Tour De France was never popular with the public.

The bicycle weighs 13 kg.


Flea, the bassist with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and more recently with Thom Yorke’s band Atoms for Peace, is a long distance runner.

He was inspired to run by the Christopher McDougall book Born to Run.

While participating in organised marathons he also raises awareness and funds for his non-profit organisation the Silverlake Conservatory of Music.

In 2011 Flea finished the L.A Marathon in 3:53:00, in 2012 he finished in 3:41:49.

Scream when you run and feel the energy.



mercury(image credit: Oregon Project @OregonPJT)

Sometimes I run for joy. Today I ran with little concern for distance or time.  I just ran to nourish the spirit. My pace was fast and only because of the big hill was I made aware that I was human and not the messenger god, Mercury. After the run my lungs stung and I could taste a hint of blood at the back of my throat. I felt strong and filled with the energy of life.

And I felt some joy.

The image is of the American middle-distance runner Jordan Hasay.


August and the odometer reads 6,795 kilometres. My goal for the year is to ride (and run) 12,000 kilometres.

Late nights watching the Tour de France and early winter mornings riding to work left me feeling fragile and weak. Yet I could not deny myself of either of these joys.

tumblr_mpi6xq1m6I1rga258o1_1280(image credit: https://twitter.com/timepictures)

My favourite image of the Tour – a blessed Simon Gerrans in the golden fleece followed by his Orica GreenEDGE team mate Simon Clarke.

A Wave from the Train

Thor Hushovd sprinted to victory on Stage 3 of the Tour of Poland. A wave from the train came from his BMC team member Taylor Phinney as he crossed the finish line.

There is joy sometimes in giving someone a helping hand.


The next day Taylor Phinney again waved for joy. With a valiant solo escape, seven kilometres from the finish, he claimed his first road victory as a professional.


This is how I always dreamed of winning – foiling the sprinter’s plans at the end of the race. It was sort of a Fabian Cancellara-style, Milan-San Remo victory scenario. It’s really amazing to have it happen and it was a great feeling to finally put my hands up.


Great writers and their words.


Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky from The Brothers Karamazov

Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.
– Leo Tolstoy from A Confession

The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.
– David Foster Wallace from Infinite Jest

A confession and some truth. I hope the healing begins for all concerned.

Purpose and Meaning

Anton Nolan attempt(image credit: Matt Trappe)

On that hill, dying, gasping for breath, in mute lactic agony – at that precise moment in time, there was nothing in the world I would rather be doing. I ran that hill for one reason only: to run it. And that is the clue to the final cause of running. You and I may run for many reasons, but the purpose – the final cause – of running is always the same. At its best, and at its purest, the purpose of running is simply to run. Running is a member of the class of human activities that carry their purpose within themselves. The purpose of running is intrinsic to it. That, I would one day realize, is important.

Mark Rowlands from Running with the Pack.

The image shows Ultrarunner Anton Krupica during his failed attempt to traverse Nolan’s 14, a series of 14 summits, each over 14,000 feet  in Colarado’s Sawatch Range.

This accumulation of experience on the route, inevitably, shaped a vision and spawned a constellation of intentions and personal expectations for what I could accomplish in this unique mountain range. This is human nature.

Anton Krupica.

Read Anton’s personal account of the journey here.

I think the primary motivator for Tony is just being inspired by the mountain aesthetic. You develop into this new kind of species, where you are scrambling on all fours up the scree. Drinking from creeks. You feel very primal. Kind of alone and out there.

Joe Grant talking about Anton Krupica.

New Balance produced three short episodes on Nolan’s 14 and Anton Krupica’s attempt to race across the mountains.

Sometimes it seems there is as much greatness in failure as in success.

Taxi Driver

Le Tour de France 2013 - Stage Twenty(image credit: Bryn Lennon)

Tales abound.

Nairo Quintana Rojas was born in Combita, Columbia. He rode to school each day, 16 kilometres away from his home. His parents were poor peasants and at the age of 10 he and his brother drove taxis at night to earn money for the family.

Riding his first Tour de France, the 23 year old won Stage 20 and secured both the polka dot mountain jersey and the white best young rider jersey. In the General Classification he finished second overall. The best Tour result by a Columbian rider ever.

Chris Froome of Team Sky secured the yellow jersey on the same mountain top stage, yet the news seemed already hackneyed and tired. It was what was expected for so long.

Quintana’s success though brought joy to his family, friends, the country of Columbia and to all those who love cycle racing.

The taxi driver had taken us for a wonderful and exciting ride through the French Alps.

Colombia Cycling Tour de France(image credit: AP Photo/ Carlos Julio Martinez)

The above image shows the Quintana family watching a telecast of the Tour (stage 18 not 20) in their hometown of Combita, Columbia.


Now that another Tour is over and done, I’ll be able to focus on some home D.I.Y. My children are keen for me to build the wooden King of the Mountain rider in our backyard, as seen on Stage 19 of the Tour.

Wooden KOM TDF

The wooden rider (and legs often turn to wood when riding mountains) keeps pace with Tour favourites, Chris Froome and Nairo Quintana.


The soft and sticky tar of the road. Chasing seconds. Destiny is determined.

Oh, oh, Beloki has gone down! Armstrong has taken to the grass. Oh, I hope Beloki is not hurt. That was an awful crash.

Armstrong has gone … I have never seen anything like that in my life. Armstrong is now crossing the course. I have never seen that in my life … Lance Armstrong is back in the group.

Hamilton pats Armstrong. Memories are altered, diminished and erased. So much bad blood.

Eating in a way that damages cycling

gianni motta(Gianni Motta with his spaghetti beard)

In this year’s Tour de France both Andrew Talansky and Sylvain Chavanel were fined 100 Swiss Francs for eating in a way that damages the image of cycling.

Did they treat their musette like a horse’s chaff bag or did they chew with mouths wide open?


Chris Froome as Tintin having a comic book adventure at the 2013 Tour de France.

Tin Tin TdF