my refusal to wear a bicycle helmet

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

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Memo to Bazza: cars are for fossils


Zanzibar arguably has the best rooftop garden in Sydney...


...and when I'm up there


...feeling all Mary Poppinsie & chim-chimeney-cheree-y


...I can't help feeling all gooey over Newtown


...and the Zanzibar lion


...hiccup...& the margueritas


...and that I never have to drive a car again!!!

Who knew I could be such a hipster at my tender age?!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

He had it coming!

(Images: Alan Moir, SMH 29/10/2012)


Well! Well! Well! - the best laid plans of mice and men, hey Bazza!

...& doesn't old Johnnie Donne spring to mind:

"No man is an island, entire of itself...each man's death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind. Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee."

Clover rocks and so does Alex

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fiats e Festas - party time in Norton Street





























La più grande festa di strada!!

Tutto brillante - gli gnocchi, la pasta, il caffè...

...ciò che è non amare?

Ok è ufficiale, I ♥ street parties as much as I ♥ festivals

Surry Hills Festival - Sydney


Peeps & sunshine in Prince Alfred Park


Keyim Ba - toe-tappingly fun


Picnic-blanket neighbours


All spruced up - Central Station Clock Tower


Open 'mike'


Open paintbrush


Open wallets


Versatility of bicycle wheels

I ♥ festivals!





Bicycle Film Festival - Sydney


Film of iconic Rás Tailteann (Ireland's number one cycling event) in front of St Mary's Cathedral


BFF Director checking out BFF


BFF-goers heading home in Newtown

Funtimes!!!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Falsely reassuring information

(Photos: Pip Abbott, Nepal)


In my opinion when we look into the claims made by bicycle helmet proponents, it is clear those claims have been overstated.

The emotional attachments Australian governments have to helmets are principally the upshot of over-investment in tax-payer funded repetitivie studies.

By insisting helmet laws are matters of necessity and public safety, helmet proponents have misled all of us, politicians included. But as less and less Australians take up driving, and more and more take up cycling, the need for helmet laws today is being questioned around Australia.

Notwithstanding the actual situation, helmet proponents still submit we need helmet laws to protect us, and still submit they need more money for their repetitive studies to prove their pre-ordered conclusions (good science starts with conclusions, right?!).

In behaviour somewhat analagous to the power industry, it appears to me that bicycle helmet law researchers are also 'gold-plating' by continuing to access research grants for 'same-old, same-old' projects arguably not required after 20 years of 'same-old, same-old' projects.

Surely at some stage a politician somewhere in Australia is going to realise the unassailabe fact that bicycle helmet laws do not provide the protection stated in helmet law represenations despite last ditch attempts to maintain they're still justified...

- they're not.

No, upon my reading of the facts, they're a costly tax-payer funded exercise, pedalling academic tenure and political regulation, simultaeously waving flags for dubious marketing spin.

Monday, October 22, 2012

UCI sucks - & so does USADA

(Images: Alan Moir, SMH, 22 October 2012)


RIP cycling

Erased from our memories now that the relationship has turned sour...

...so 'eternal-sunshine-of-the-spotless-mind-y'

PATHETIC

Fresh perspective needed

(Photos: 'Neri', Pip Abbott, Nepal)


Cycling is such a normal event in most parts of the world that it hardly features in the national psyche as something they do. Not so here...

No...here we've been known to fine cyclists or put them into paddy wagons, or even tackle persons of 'helmetless' interest (PO'H'I) to the ground or knock out a few teeth – in fact we’ve even been known to incarcerate PO'H'Is even when they're children.

So it was with interest that I read an email just recently from Jennifer Bacia, a Queensland author. Jennifer's correspondence to me concerned her husband’s brush with the strong arm of the law.

A Parkinson’s sufferer and the recipient of ‘Deep Brain Stimulus’ surgery, her husband is in possession of a medical exemption from helmet-wearing in order to protect the sub-dermal wires that lead to the electrodes in his brain, and also to avoid the likelihood of pain.

As her husband can no longer play tennis, surf or walk far, cycling has become his ticket to freedom. But local police are not impressed with his helmet exemption namely because, Jennifer wrote, '...it lacks an end date which is end of life in my husband’s case!'.

Ridiculously the situation escalated a few months ago when he was apprehended by police on his bike sans helmet and (on this particular occasion) sans exemption. At first he did not hear the command to stop, so when the policeman grabbed him from behind he was so startled he almost fell off his bicycle. In the ensuing melee, he lost his neuro-stimulator ($1,800) kept in his shirt pocket which he didn't realise till later. Anyway, severely reprimanded by police for his helmetless exemptionless behaviour, he was ordered to present himself and exemption to the Surfers Paradise Police Station the very next day.

This he did, but neither the reasonable grounds outlined in the exemption nor the formal complaint he and Jennifer then made about police treatment could stop the the relentless 'cog-in-motion' effect of fine-process, and before they knew it another one was reissued with a penalty for non-payment of first one.

Where is the sense in all this?

Are we really ok with it?

...done on our behalf & in our name - shame on us

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

Friday 26 October 2012
...and just in from Queensland:


"Hi Sue,
Got a call from the police prosecutor this Tuesday – we were due to appear in the Magistrate’s court on Wed - and were told the matter was “not in the public interest”. What a complete waste of time and public resources!! - I could have written a book in the months this saga of communication and phone calls has gone back and forth. Thanks SO much again for your interest and support!
Cheers, Jennifer"

Saturday, October 20, 2012

WOOP! WOOF!



Could there be a cuter delivery!

(Taylor Square & last weekend's funky opening of Sydney Rides Festival)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Have you seen Mez's bike?





Thieving tossers strike again.

It's blue, it's treasured and it's gone - stolen from outside bike shop near Redfern Station

Hopefully Police will notice it around, and apprehend robber...

...but until then, that very special bicycle is sorely missed

Anyone seen it?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

USADA - new world enforcer

(Photos: logo, www.usantidoping.org )


$$$ What's the point of drug testing if we don't believe the results?

$$$ Since when has hearsay been considered reliable evidence?

$$$ Did the two-year federal criminal investigation of Armstrong (which ended in February 2012 with no charges filed) get it wrong?

$$$ Why has USADA taken this 'win at any cost' approach?

$$$ Are Big Tobacco a party to USADA's scalping of Armstrong?

$$$ Haven't Americans got better things to spend their dollars on?

Monday, October 15, 2012

...& now for something completely different - "ho-mei"



"Delicious" & brand new - brilliant Asian tapas in Surry Hills...

- you have to check out this fabulous funky Waterloo Street kitchen, just up and round the corner from the Bourke Street Bakery & cycleway

Aaaahhh!!! 'ho-mei' - let Tom and Romi look after you too soon!!!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

"He doesn't need a motion, he needs a mirror"



"I will not be lectured...by this man. I will not"

...and the world applauds!!!

The Guardian

New Yorker

Huffington Post

Al Jazeera

Time

New Statesman

Jezebel


The Spectator (UK)

Ottawa Citizen

The Los Angeles Times

(Copy that, Red Leader, we're on your wing!!!!)




Thursday, October 11, 2012

Road Trolls



So today as I'm heading towards the CBD on my bicycle, stopping at red traffic lights where King Street crosses Missenden Road, a red hatchback with 2 female occupants drew alongside me.

"Lady, where's your fucking helmet? - you can't be on the fucking road without one - get off the fucking road! Are you fucking dumb or fucking what?!"

After delivering that charming exchange, the impossibly thin middle-aged-female-front-passenger ceased leaning out of the window and turned back to face the road, putting her legs up on the dashboard!!!!!

Needless to mention, I engaged in usual 'troll-management' practices, and ignored her completely.

But part of me couldn't help thinking, 'geez, lady, time you smelt the fucking roses!'

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I am entitled to be visible & heard



Here's what I said (& the comments are there again!):

"For us mere mortals who have tracked the 20 years worth of 'academic helmet ping-pong,' it seems a little bit rich when one side claims that the other is biased and their not.

As far as I can make out from a literature review that I have conducted, the only thing bicycle helmets protect you from are fines."


...notwithstanding the appalling grammatical error I made ('their not', as opposed to they're not - ouch, mea culpa) I am still smarting from his intimidating invective and his palpable anger towards me - but I refuse to be abused into silence.

There goes the 'rosy glow' I had about academics in their tax-payer funded ivory towers.

Talk about "Cranky Pants" on The Conversation



Well, it's been hastily removed by the powers-that-be now so I can't remember exactly what I did say earlier this evening on The Conversation but it was something along the lines of...

...when you look at the academic ping-pong (I love that phrase!!!) that's been happening over the last 20 years with regards to helmets, it's a bit rich when one side accuses the other side of bias

and then I went on to say something like...

...the only thing helmets protect you from are fines (because I love saying that)

...and oh boy did I make this guy mad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Raphael Grzebieta commented:

"And you are? You may have the right to an opinion but your opinion has no right to be treated as equal to the opinion of any expert who has published peer-reviewed research in the field. Scientifically, your opinion counts for naught. To paraphrase Patrick Stokes (http://theconversation.edu.au/no-youre-not-entitled-to-your-opinion-9978), you may be entitled to your opinion but that does not in any way give you any entitlement or equal right to be heard on the matter of helmet safety or the benefits of the Mandatory Helmet Law because you are not scientifically qualified. You have no peer-reviewed evidence nor have you ever carried out any peer-reviewed research or published in a peer-review journal on the matter. You simply ride a bike without a helmet and protest and read some literature from which you are not qualified to assess what is scientifically valid. You can have an opinion on it but it counts for naught when you express it. I really do get tired of protestors and bloggers like you who think they are doing some great service to the community when in fact all you are doing is provoking people to ride without a helmet which could result in them receiving a serious head injury. Have you ever seen a person, adult or child, suffer a serious brain injury (http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/3291518.htm). Probably not – you obviously don’t care. Just make sure you sign a waiver that when you get hit by a car or fall to the ground and receive a serious head injury that we tax payers don’t have to pay for your hospital and rehabilitation bills. "

To add your say go to http://theconversation.edu.au/helmets-wont-cure-footballs-concussion-headache-7483


What a spray!!! - who does he think he is? - and why has he removed both mine and his comments? Can't he handle open discussion with the community? What glorious qualification do you need to post on The Conversation anyway? - and how does he know that his premises are correct? Is he trying to intimidate me? Why is he so plagued by such aggression?

My respect for The Conversation has gone out of the window

Monday, October 8, 2012

Police blessing for unhelmeted bike protest

(Professor Chris Rissel, Faculty of Public Health, University of Sydney)


(Photos: '...& then the sheriff...', me by Peng)


(Alan Todd with doco-makers)


(Nik Dow & man's best friend)


('mum', 'dad' & 2 littlies on cargo bike)


('have oilskin will travel')


(Merrily we rode along the 'Merri')


We came, we saw, we conquered...

Well, we rode bicycles and made this plan:

We're bicycle users, we're here to stay, our roads are ours for the taking, and the law had better get used to us whether it likes it or not...

(I think that was the take home message!!!!)

Despite the freezing cold rain (Melbourne, it was summer in Sydney when I left!), a bunch of us cycled along the Merri before we joined the rest of our group for the launch on Saturday afternoon.

Somewhat bizarrely despite 30 would-be-criminals informing them beforehand of their intended criminal behaviour, Melbourne police were cool with state laws being broken on this particular occasion, and were as laid back as anything - in fact pretty much along the lines of...no worries, the bicycle path's all yours!

Does this make a mockery of helmet laws or what???

When you consider the usual Victorian Law Enforcement approach is to serve you with a massive fine ($170+) and dollops of patronising hyperbole that helmet laws are there to protect us blah blah blah, it's glaringly obvious that they're really there for revenue raising purposes and to keep us off the roads. This sudden 'do as you like' approach fools no-one and is blatant proof that helmets only protect us from one thing: fines...period!

Anyway once the cycling contingency had made it to CERES, we were joined by fellow activists from far and wide, basically from across Australia.

With Canberra's Bill Curnow, Brisbane's Geoff McLeod, Sydney's Chris Rissel and Melbourne's Jackie Fristacky, we shared our stories at length, delivered & listened to each other's presentations, and ultimately launched the National Campaign for Freestyle Cycling. Tales of dire public health predictions, unnecessary use of police handcuffs, seizure of property, actual biomechanics of helmets & brain injury, as well as visionary council initiatives from the City of Yarra kept us riveted, appalled, and inspired.

But best of all, the National Campaign Launch of freestyle cycling allowed us to entertain the uplifting notion that we're not only making headway but we're rattling the bars on the million dollar helmet lobby's hold on the laws too...(AND...they also gave us an amazing afternoon tea starring a stunning chocolate cake - thank god we cycle!)

So three cheers for the Freestyle Cycling Campaign!!!

&...

Be afraid, helmet promoters, be very afraid...we're on bikes, we're on our roads, and we're coming to a place near you very soon!!!!!!

Ha! Ha! Ha!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

...and after all of that there was still time for me to partake in some obligatory Melbourne 'funtimes'!!!...

(Abbottsford Convent)


(The Bakery, Abbottsford)


(Degraves Street, nr Flinders Street Station)


(Lanes)


(& more lanes)


...what with friends, food, laneways (et bien sûr un peu de vin), you can never go wrong in Melbourne!!!