One Man's Web

What drivers wish cyclists knew12 March 2023

I drive, and ride more than I drive. I know what can go wrong.

Here’s a list of what drivers wish cyclists knew, plus a few comments from pedestrians

I can’t see you
I’ve been hit by a car twice. Both times, I was simply not seen in the traffic. One vehicle (more below) stopped at an intersection, and looked, and missed seeing me. We need to be as visible as possible.

I’m not too far off 70, which means my visual acuity is declining. When you wear black, especially at night or on dull days, it takes me a whole lot longer to see you. I write that as someone who is very attuned to keeping an eye out for bikes. I’m not sure what the thing is about black. Maybe people think it makes them look tough. I get that black knicks don’t show grease, but black jerseys and jackets magnify our risk of being hit. Wear something bright... Read on >>>>

Questions and Meanderings after Sunday Lunch12 March 2023

What happens if I read John Chapter 4 with a male gaze which sees a wicked ostracised woman forced to come to the well in the noon of the day?

Will I see a deeply symbolic dialogue between the Samaritan woman and Jesus at Jacob's Well, the well remembered as El-Elohe-Israel, the well at Shechem with the altar of "God, the God of Israel?i. Will I notice that John, however, says the well is at Sychar, which means "drunken," a serious joke about the power of living water; that water where "those who drink [it...] will never be thirstyii…" The woman asks Jesus "Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well…?"iii This question will be echoed later in John 8:53, "Are you greater than our father Abraham?"

Will I ponder all this or focus on the woman as illiterate and uneducated, an outsider, unclean, and shameless. The person sitting next to me in church this morning muttered, "All assumptions." She is correct. Yes, this woman would not have gone to school, but as a colleague remarked to me, "that doesn't mean she wasn't smart." Anyone who has spent time with "uneducated women," should know this. By amping up the stereotype of the ignorant, outcast woman, we unconsciously pander to masculine superiority and miss the startling literary depth of John.... Read on >>>>

Pine Hut Road (2023)11 March 2023
I frequently loop out through Sedan, and have noticed Pine Hut Road leading back into the hills from the road between Sedan and Cambrai. So last Thursday was the day for some exploration. I took my normal route up the Linear Park and the Gorge out to Mt. Pleasant, and then headed north to Eden Valley. At the Eden Valley caravan park, there is a right turn onto Rhine Park Road, which delivers us to Jutland Road. It's about 10 kilometres of good metal surface in easy riding undulating country... Read on >>>>


What cyclists wish drivers knew about bikes26 February 2023
Crashed bike

In the years I’ve been riding a bike, driver awareness has improved enormously. Most car drivers show a level of awareness and courtesy towards cyclists that was often unimaginable. That said, there are drivers, and cyclists, who are simply arseholes, and who are dangerous to all other road users. The trouble with an article called what I wish drivers knew about bikes is that it can be a long whinge about these dangerous people. That’s not what I’m about here. I’m writing to drivers who’d like to be better, and to drivers who are puzzled or even annoyed about the behaviour of cyclists. Sometimes, looking at a situation from the perspective of the rider can help those of us who drive understand things a little better. Here’s a list:

Why did that cyclist scream at/abuse me?
I hope you’ve never had this happen to you, but imagine someone going for you with a knife or pointing a gun at you.... Read on >>>>

Rides for hot days25 February 2023

There’s a great ride just waiting for me out near Sedan. Quite beautiful, but not what you want to take your good car over, according to my colleague Jill. And also not 200km to take on a high fire danger day with a forecast that's in the 40’s and windy. So, what to do if it’s ride day?

I decided on a day on the bike paths that criss-cross Adelaide. The fire danger is way lower, the traffic is nil, and there is a surprising amount of shade. We live about 3 minutes from the Linear Park, which is itself a 70km loop from beach to foothills along the River Torrens, so I began with the ten kilometres up to the Gorge. We are on what I will call the North Adelaide side of the Torrens, and I took that up to the top end... Read on >>>>

A Long Hot Ride17 February 2023
Since I no longer commute to work, keeping the kilometres up has been difficult. There's always something else to do, and the ten kilometres into my one day a week job doesn't cut it. So, I've tended to reserve Thursdays for a long ride, often a 200km loop up to Angaston and back. This can be varied with a side excursion to Sedan, for example, and I've gone south to Victor a couple of times. Yesterday was hot, forecast to be 39 here at Hillcrest, and 41 at Sedan. I was a bit dehydrated after my 400km day trip to Burra and back, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to test out a slightly different hydration scheme. Normally, I have my GPS set to remind me to drink every fifteen minutes. This is necessary, because by the time we feel thirsty we already have a water deficit, and it's not easy to correct... Read on >>>>
Led by Light14 February 2023

I occasionally ride past several farmhouses clustered together in a way that speaks of a large family of sons, some time in the past. They are surrounded by junk. These brothers not only have great grandpa's old mouldboard plough and grandpa's header; they go to clearing sales and buy junk. Many tons of it; acres worth of rubbish. The scene contrasts with the neatness of my childhood farm, and I find it so offensive that it is clear it is triggering some deep and distressing self-disgust. Recently, far into an all-night ride, I recognised the shape of a corner and the silhouette of a hill in the moonlight. Those farms.

There has been a change since my last visit.

Two of the brothers have discovered led lights... Read on >>>>

400km Burra Loop10 February 2023
I crafted a ride up and back from Burra to take in some of my favourite roads, to bring up 400km, and to stay away from traffic—riding the last tired 100km of 400 along the Sturt Highway and Main North Road to get back into Adelaide is not only risky, it's also really unpleasant.

I took the bike paths to Nuriootpa which meant only 11km out of 80 was spent on roads.'ll just park out the front! (West Avenue bike path at Edinburgh) 

Then I took the quiet route to Kapunda, guessing that after Kapunda there would be light traffic on the Thiele Highway to Eudunda, which was the case. From Eudunda I took the Julia Road out to Scenic Drive, which offers a spectacular viewing of the kind of country in which I grew up... Read on >>>>

The Written Word29 January 2023
Gum Trees
My friend posted a comment on Facebook, and from there we moved to Messenger, and then to email, as we reflected back and forth.  I noticed her latest email again this morning: "This reminds me of something Richard Rohr said about Jesus – that there on the cross, he models how to transform pain. He radically accepts the reality of his pain without blaming anyone or trying to dodge it, he forgives reality for what it is, and then he says 'Into your hands, I commit my spirit' which is such an act of trust and surrender." He forgives reality for what it is… I had not seen those words on my first reading, which is perhaps not a surprise, for I am not inclined to forgive reality for what it is... Read on >>>>
When is the Mirror True?28 January 2023

Our little dog found a sweet spot on the bed in the flat where we lived a while. She could look out the window and see if Barbara or Jan from next door were in the garden, but with barely a flicker of her eyes, she could also use the big mirror on the dressing table to keep watch on the kitchen (and the fridge) behind her. She knew it was a mirror. If we came to the bedroom door and spoke to her, she would watch us in the mirror, but if it was something important, she would turn around to face us. Annie Rose understood mirrors.

At our new house, there is a Murray Magpie who owns the back yard and picks the bugs off our vegies. This morning it landed on the clothesline by the shed and noticed there was another magpie looking at it. It jerked its head at it, telling it to shove off. But the other magpie, instead of flying away, simply jerked its head back at our magpie. So, our magpie launched itself at the intruder, crashed into the shed window, and fell down into the parsley patch. The Murray Magpie doesn't understand mirrors. It flapped back up to the clothesline and did the same thing, all over again. A couple of times it half flew, half scrabbled, straight up the shed wall, which meant it had the intruder scratching at its stomach all the way up the window. This went on for a while because, as you may have observed, Murray Magpies just don't understand mirrors. There was one at the church which spent futile years attacking the other magpie inside the lounge window.

I'd like you to follow me in a leap of imagination here: We human beings are rather a lot like Murray Magpies. We spend a lot of time looking in the mirror, thinking what we see is real, us, rather than a reflection of something else. And much less do we realise how much the mirror lies to us... Read on >>>>

Change16 January 2023

Why is it so hard to change some things about ourselves?

I think the answer is that some things are surface habits, and are only incidental bits of our lives. Other things we don't like about ourselves go deep into our foundations. They are a significant part of who we are, a part of our skeleton rather than something on the surface of our being.

When I was six years old, three big girls at the school bus stop began teasing me. Two things happened. I was devastated. My world caved in. I suspect they were gratified by my response, and I became a target for others, and spent the remainder of my school years always somewhat on the outer. Fifty and sixty years later, I have been able to recover other memories of school and see that it was not so bad as I remembered. There were good times, friends, and fun.

But my response very quickly deposited layers of being me that became bedrock as impenetrable as the sheet limestone our farmhouse stood upon.... Read on >>>>

Don't Leave Out the Dropsy16 January 2023

First Reactions to Luke 14:1-14

I re-read my post of 2019:

My first thought, then and now, is: Don’t leave out the dropsy. (vv2-6) It's part of the story. Dropsy was a disease of the rich. is about greed, self inflation, getting the best place at the table. Read more about it in my 2019 post.

Dropsy was common. Galen described Rome as, "This populous city, where daily ten thousand people can be discovered suffering from jaundice, and ten thousand from dropsy.

"Dropsy is used widely in the ancient Greek world, particularly in the writings of philosphers, and it is frequently a metaphor for greed and wealth."  (Chad Hartsock: Biblical Interpretation, Volume 21 (3): 341 – Jan 1, 2013. And see also here.)  In other words, dropsy was a well-known and proverbial disease.  We are meant to find meaning in this particular form of illness.

The reading from Luke ends up exhorting us away from the dropsy of  self-aggrandisement and self-promotion, because these are an idolatry. My idolatry is to pretend that I am a self-made person. If we seek to make ourselves—the name for this is social-climber, even for those of us who remain very realistic about how far we can climb—then we are inevitably based in a quid pro quo mindset.

The dangers of this mindset are clear from words by Karoline Lewis which I quoted at the end of my post:

Karoline Lewis:

The problem with a quid pro quo mentality is quantification. How do you measure or calculate repayment of love, of mercy? And the fact that we think we can is a rather striking theological problem.... Read on >>>>

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