You have no idea how lucky you are in the uk to have both forward thinking cycling organisations and a certain level of political will.
Here in australia we cyclists are demonised and blatantly discouraged from using the roads. We have been told in newsprint that the 'roads are for motorists', and we watch our political leaders slavishly affirm committments to the oil industry.
In a week where the papers have been full of tales about one ill-mannered cyclist accompanied by attendant 'Pollyanna scoldings' that if cyclists wish to use 'our roads' they will have to learn to behave, we have been complicit in not recognising the true horror of the oil spill that has spread over 4,220 square kilometres off the West Australian coast well into its 10th week. The large number of whales, dolphins, turtles and sea birds that have been and are being destroyed as a result of this environmental disaster have been conveniently re-positioned to the back of 'the Choir' as we are encouraged to concentrate on odd angry cyclists who apparently 'instil fear like jackbooted Soviets' (no kidding that was the copy ).
The rest of the world seems to have acknowledged a link between cycling and the environment - for us in Australia it's one of 2 'elephants-in-the-room'. The other elephant is the bicycle helmet - if we repealed mandatory helmet laws, cycling would boom and new initiatives would start to flow into our country that just cannot happen whilst we're so constrained by our 'nanny-state' rules.
I am so jealous of your brilliant plan to bring back 'bobbies on bicycles'- sigh!
...for us down-under the 'bobbies' are in highway patrol cars and combat gear, and you're required to move away from the vehicle when they're booking you for the crime of 'rider not wear helmet' - beware that law! don't ever let it in come in - it is basically living proof of a supremely successful marketing pitch - wouldn't we all love to get governments to mandate for our products!!!
Anyway i'm off to the District Court tomorrow to appeal my criminal conviction of 'rider not wear helmet whilst riding a bicycle' - wish me luck, i certainly need it!
ibikelondon's Christmas cycling gift directory
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