my refusal to wear a bicycle helmet

my refusal to wear a bicycle helmet
...is informed

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Eternal Holding Pattern



So the Hon. Dunk gave me a bell today - well, actually someone from his office did - and the long and the short of the conversation was that he can't meet me but his Parliamentary Secretary can!!!!

...sigh...but I've done that meeting already, and got the 't-shirt'!!!...

"What exactly would be the point?" (I asked his lovely young-sounding advisor)

"I want to change the law not chat about it interminably" I continued

"I feel fobbed off"

"You're just keeping me in a 'holding pattern'"

"How can his diary be so full that there's no flexibility to insert matters of importance?"

...big breath in by beleaguered diarist & I was politely informed that very important & key industry leaders meet Parliamentary Secretaries often...

"They obviously have too much time on their hands - I want this law changed in my lifetime"

AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"You've already won me over"





What is it with the Australian media and their utter commitment to whatever persuasion of helmets are on offer?

Fran, Fran, Fran, why did you let Dr Donovan off so lightly during brekkie this morning particularly when he sounded so shaky?...and exactly who are Sports Medicines Australia (SMA)? - why should we be impressed? - sounded like an industry group such as Big Pharma or even Big Helma, most likely both!!

But back to you, Fran & the ABC, why did you give us this blatant helmet advertisement with our croissants & coffee - you're supposed to be 'ad-free' (the ABC that is) - even Dr Donovan had to concede that head injuries were 'not really more'!!!

So what's the go? - & excuse me, since when have high profile deaths provided 'sufficient research and clinical evidence' to call for a law as opposed to...what...low profile deaths?...& whilst I'm asking this tonne of questions, what exactly does the 'protective effects of ski helmets have been more than proven' mean? - can something really be more than proven?

Oh & yawn! yawn! yawn! - we had this 'same old, same old commercial' in June 2009 - BORING!

Give us a break! - but anyway now that Fran & the ABC have given SMA a bit of airplay I'm guessing we all rushed off to check them out!...

...don't SMA's partners seem familiar? - faded family photo-album familiar!

My, doesn't the logo of DJO Global (formerly Donjoy Orthopaedics Pty Ltd) resemble that of SAI Global - are they related? - does anyone know?

...& me oh my, don't these SAI Global & DJO Global (formerly Donjoy Orthopaedics) companies get around? - fancy SAI, almost a rellie of our little bicycle helmet law, & DJO, obviously a rellie of SMA, being involved with so many important tenders - omnipresent one might say!!!!

But why are we barracking for more helmets when other countries around the world are recognising the potential catastrophic consequences of helmet wearing. In March this year, a bipartisan bill was introduced into Congress intending to prevent concussion and other serious brain injuries among high school and youth football players as well as increase penalties for promoting helmet sales using injury prevention claims.

Misleading marketing claims and the fact that helmet industry standards do not address concussion prevention or reduction have long been high-lighted by seasoned anti-helmet law campaigners here in Australia. But our government will not listen to our concerns about 'fraudulent safety claims' & wanton safety washing?

No way, they say - not on your nellie!

WAKE UP, AUSTRALIA! - why aren't we doing the same as the rest of the world?

...& WHEN WILL OUR MEDIA CEASE WITH IT'S FATUOUS PROVISION OF FREE AD-TIME FOR HELMET PROMOTERS?

...sigh

Monday, June 27, 2011

'Mention' today - 'Defended Hearing' in 2 weeks



Matter mentioned today in the Scone Local Court - set down for Defended Hearing (Monday 11 July)...which means 2 weeks to prepare 'killer' defence with 'Necessity' starring in the lead role

Academics continue to 'ping-pong' from one academic study to next...which only leaves me ready to ask a string of quezions.

$$$ If this new study is the most comprehensive analysis of hospital data yet, why did the authors omit data pertaining to age and gender of cyclists?

$$$ How is it that new schools and institutes 'pop-up' & 'close' when conveniently required (take for example the UNSW School of Risk & Safety Sciences which only recently claimed to be 'Australia's largest & most research intensive university school' yet by December 2010 had closed 'in response to realignment of strategic focus within the same faculty of science')???

The authors of this latest study concede findings are based largely on assumptions which just ain't good enough when you're dealing in curtailing folks' civil liberties...

In fact in the words of Australia's Chief Scientist there is:

'no place for deliberate misinterpretation of data either by expert or by commentator'

& it's ever so...

'easy to make a dollar or two being the instant expert on everything and substituting decibels for substance.'

in addition to the fact that...

'...most (scientists) would also say that it is extremely rare for the experimental sciences to prove something rather than to reach a view that is beyond reasoanable doubt'

Interesting article in New York Times today on Europe's approach to cars and their urban landscapes - talk about 'poles apart'! - if our own broadsheets did not so slavishly report across the media their self-interested acceptance of helmet proponents' media releases, perhaps our politicians might feel compelled to consider the actual law juxtaposed against the limited evidence available.

-----------------------------------

Notwithstanding missing t'other one immensely, getting used to new bike above!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

"I'm leaving on a jet-plane"



When did Baby no.4 get to be so grown-up & capable of organising her life without any assistance from her mother?

...it's only 20 years ago that she was the baby in the back-pack below...



...& now at almost 21 she tells me that she's plenty big enough to see the world all by herself!

Since when, & where did that time go?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"...in an Aussie Country Garden"

(Photos: annual visitors in our Scone garden last w/e)



Least our visiting King Parrot family who make a winter sojourn to our garden every year, are not afraid to show their true colours unlike some politicians who privately pretend that they sympathise with our position but publicly allow politics to take primacy.

Their political cowardice allows the excessively shrill voices of helmet proponents to drown out the valid concerns about the quality of the research that government uses to pin their legislation to.

Clearly, this blatant 'gate-keeping' has nothing to do with scientific study or safety but to protect vested interests.

------__o
----_`\<,_
---(_)/ (_)
* * * * * * * *
Bicycle helmet laws are big business & designed to marginalise their competitors (cyclists)

------__o
----_`\<,_
---(_)/ (_)
* * * * * * * *
Bicycle helmets laws are BAD LAW

------__o
----_`\<,_
---(_)/ (_)
* * * * * * * *
BAD LAWS are traditionally repealed by a new government at the start of their term in office


Notwithstanding, this government is a laggard one and continues to dance to the tune piped by 'Big Helma' like all preceeding governments!!!

...I refuse to despair!!!!

We'll dig, dig, dig, dig" trills the Hon. Dunk

(Photos: NYC bike path)


In a nutshell the RTA has indicated in their usual clear manner that:

'there are routes that would connect with the outside ones that are not the current ones that would be less of a problem with traffic congestion'.

Consequently with great gusto, the current NSW Liberal Government is planning a 'Dig' across the City of Sydney: rare 'cycle-ways' are the treasure in their sights!

Heigh ho! Heigh Ho! - it's off to work we go!!!


-------------------------------------------------------

But hey, Dunk, when are we talking about revocation of bicycle helmet laws like your reps promised at the Punk Commute?

How will you fit this all in?

You're not going to renege on me are you?

...oh & PS thanks for your letter - I note with interest the change of NSW governmental reliance to a new study in order to shore up your position for bicycle helmet laws.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Who are the RTA & NSW Government kidding?

Witness the unnecessary waste of our hard earned taxes:

BEWARE: "TRUE HELMET CAMPAIGN" PITCHING FAKE SAFETY INFORMATION

==========================================

Insist we slip into something a little more comfortable:

HEED: "FAKE HELMET CAMPAIGN" PITCHING TRUE SAFETY INFORMATION

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Somewhere over a rainbow...

(happier days: outside Campos after world cup final last year)


...way up high
There's a bike that I knew of
Once in a lullaby


------------------------

Why don't current bicycle police 'changing-the-guard' on Pyrmont Bridge peel themselves away just for once, and start looking for my bicycle?

There's got to be more constructive things for them to do other than book un-helmeted bicycle commuters who have no choice but to pass the 'blue corner' everyday on the ride to & from work...

"Book me a thief instead"

...soonish...

...pretty please!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

OUR BIKES STOLEN BY NEWTOWN BOLT-CUTTING TOSSER



This is all that's left of our 3 bikes!!!

Somewhere between the hours of 23:00hrs yesterday and 08:00hrs today some little bolt-cutting toe-rag snipped through our padlocks, and ferretted away our wheels into some grubby 'get-away' van - SCUMBAGS!!!!

♥ My beautiful Electra Amsterdam Tree of Life Serial Number: SG 902 437 - GONE


♥ Hubbie's 'uber' practical Breeza Uptown 8 - last year's treasured Christmas pressie from me - GONE


♥ Prodigal daughter's funky Giant Via - last year's treasured Christmas pressie from us - GONE


Naturally I've reported everything to the Police, and whilst we're all agreed it's somewhat of a long shot 'getting-them-back', a glimmer of hope is held that my bike may be retrieved given its outrageously 'out-there' showy nature...



...sniff...I miss it so much...sniff...

Far out, Sydney, we're getting bicycle culture!!!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dear Minister, can you meet us? Kind regards, 3 VIPs (aka voters)

Photos: Garry Weicks, NSW Parliament House)


REQUEST: meeting with the Hon. Duncan Gay MLC, Minister for Roads & Ports

ACTION: email written & despatched to the Office of Minister for Roads & Ports

FOR WHEN: ASAP


...tum-ti-tum...

So now we await anxiously for news (any) of promised meeting flagged to Punk Commuters by the Hon. John Ajaka MLC on the occasion of the Inaugural Punk Commute.

Once our 'delegation' is allocated an appointment for a ministerial meeting, we intend to persuade the NSW elected representatives that the time has finally come for Australian governments:

1. To finally quit throwing our good money after their bad research

...and...

2. To finally acknowledge that mandatory helmet laws have never been equipped to deliver a 'Magician's Mantle of Safety' for people who use bicycles, no matter how much they (politicians, helmet manufacturers, helmet promoters, SAI Global, & various medical practitioners) all wished (&/or prayed) that they (bicycle helmet laws) would.

...tum-ti-tum...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The graduate




Dee dee-dee-dee

Dee dee-dee-dee

Dee dee-dee-dee

Dee!

Yesterday saw our Baby no. 3 officially declared:

* 'done & dusted' & eligible for the 't-shirt'!!!

...so now it's on to the next adventure!!!

Sigh! - when did he get to be so big?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

'I've been 'working' on the railroad!'

(Photos: Greenpeace Australia, the Upper Hunter line)


Talk about putting your neck on the line for a cause!!!

GO, ERLAND!!!

The guy ensconced in yellow box (as train approaches - eek!) is my 'next-desk-neighbour' at Greenpeace - he's a mad keen recumbent cyclist!!

Clearly recumbent cycling skills transfer seemlessly to recumbent box-sitting!

Brilliantly brave - love it!!!

RESPECT, ERLAND!!!! GO, YOU!!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Antipodeans suffer from 'cycling phobia'



The anthem to cycling safety has been catchy in Australia but after 20 years of singing from the same old song-sheet, the edges have got extremely tatty.

Evidently it's time for Australian politicians to splash out & update the Australian hymnal.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world (bar New Zealand) remains baffled by our cycling phobia and our attendant dogged determination to remain helmeted in the face of...what?...no-one's sure...

...except us...

...because...

...deep down...

...we're the only ones that can see the true 'night-terror' of mind boggling, goblin-lurking, death-defying cycling danger - aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!...(& kiwis can too!)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The 'Washing' that happens in Australia masks corporate 'moving-on' powers

(Standard ineffectual 'safety-washing' on Sydney Harbour Bridge)


Trivial Pursuit: in 'washing', what do ‘Art-washing’, 'Safety-washing', 'Green-washing' & even 'Park-refurbishment-washing' have in common?

= they are the new chic in 'corporate' moving-on powers!

The current trending towards outdoor public art (revealed in last Friday's SMH article The inside story on outdoor galleries) or ‘art-washing’ as it ought to be defined is nothing more than a bid to develop sugar coated ‘moving-on powers’ ensuring the extinguishment of creative public spontaneity.

Arguably the littering of Sydney’s public spaces with such questionable ‘art-washing’ hides the view of our surrounding 'Sydney-scapes', kills our community perceptions, and then influences any existing perceptive remnants by the very nature of this cunning larceny.

It's impossible not to notice that ‘art-washing’ is most common where public spaces are freely utilised by the public for their own particular purposes. So whilst I'll grant you that Aspire at Ultimo does possess some form of eerie attraction I want to know exactly how its installation has impacted the people who have used that space as sleeping quarters since that public space became available with the completion of the Western Distributor?

Nowhere is safe - Newtown currently awaits a 2.8m electrically lit art tower to be plonked in the middle of the space currently used for the popular informal & unregulated Saturday markets – talk about ‘moving-on powers-extraordinaire' - sigh!- that space is so perfect now - why interfere? - isn't there a 'doggie-doo' bin that needs fixing or could even do with a spot of 'art-washing' itself?...

...although we need to be careful recommending that course of action because that can turn into 'park-refurbishment-washing' which effectively removes a park completely out of the public realm for months on end, maybe even years - people die whilst waiting for their local park to be returned to them, and inevitably when it does come back to them there's nearly always been a little bit shaved off for new exciting commercial ventures - sigh again!

...& before I leave this galling subject, all too often accompanying ‘art-washing’ is another insidious ‘washing’ tactic successfully employed for public-space creep...

...‘music-washing’...I know, I know, I've covered it already this week - still at the risk of appearing repetitive I'm going to bleat this once again:

Why does Central Station waste bucket-loads of money on ridiculous licences to broadcast woeful surround-sound station music when there are so many talented buskers in Sydney?

Where have they ‘moved-on’ our buskers to? & how much more public space can they steal?

Enough is enough - we know what you're up to...

Quit diminishing our Commons!!!

Give us back our buskers...& give us back our public spaces!

NOW!

==========================================

They hang the man and flog the woman,
Who steals the goose from off the common,
Yet let the greater villain loose,
That steals the common from off the goose.

(anonymous protest poem from 17th century summing up anti-enclosure sentiment of the day)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The' Great Australian Ugliness' done in our name



I am ashamed of current xenophobic trends that permeate our lives in Australia. The above advertisement was embedded in my local paper last week.

What has Australia come to?

Do I really want to live here anymore? - perhaps I should re-evaluate my 'much-sought-after' spot & actual needs for it. Clearly there are plenty of other folk who would cherish it - so maybe I should free it up & return to Europe!

...yet notwithstanding the outcome of my decision whether I stay or not stay, or who I vote for, or how many letters I write, or how many times I protest loudly, recent government discussions with Malaysian authorities indicate a perpetual disregard for human rights. This 'Great Australian Emptiness' continues to brutally align itself to the 'Great Australian Ugliness' clearly depicted in Patrick White's "Prodigal Son" essay written upon his return to Australia over 50 years ago...

...nothing has changed & it still continues to be done...

...in our name...

I'm so ashamed.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Affaire-de coeur: Australia & authority



#*! Why do railway staff have to dress like para-militaries?




#*! Why do railways have flags?






#*! Why are they flown alongside national & state ones?




#*! Why do railways waste money on licences to broadcast woeful surround-sound station music when there are so many talented buskers?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Operator! Operator!



One of the best things I've ever purchased is my black vinyl raincoat, which I bought one very damp Copenhagen day. For the past 2 weeks I haven't been out of it, and with it I have somehow managed to remain reasonably 'soggy-free' in this exceptionally wet end of Autumn.

Notwithstanding my fab mac, I must admit I'm so grateful that both the weather & police were so lovely on our Punk Commute Day!!!

...which reminds me: time is running out for the Office of Minster for Roads & Ports!

12 days ago at the end of the Punk Commute on the steps of our Parliament House, the Hon. John Ajaka MLC, and Mr Lance Northey, Senior Media Advisor, undertook in front of us Punk Commuters that they would call me over the next couple of weeks to arrange the logistics for a meeting with me & a small delegation & the minister in order for us to discuss the 'revocation' of mandatory helmet law...

...tick...tick......tick...

It was all so promising - we even touched upon whether I would be happy if the law was changed for adults but not for under 18s!!!

Of course I said I wanted it revoked for everyone given that Australian parents were more than capable of raising their own children without various governments & government bodies breathing down their necks, but I did concede that I understood their position, and it certainly was a step forward...

...so where are they now?...& where have they been for the past 2 weeks? - I've been clutching my little phone continuously...&...'rien'...

...tick...tick...tick...

Their self-stipulated time is nearly over...but I'm certainly not - so come Monday I'll be back on the blower in full incessant force!!!

Operator! Operator!!!!