Monday, September 26, 2011

"The whole nation is irresponsible" (!!!)

(Photos: Amsterdamize, Flickr, October 2010)


...& so said a very irate bystander at the Canberra Punk Commute last Wednesday after I had explained what we're all about:

Gent: you're very irresponsible - everyone knows helmets save lives

Moi: many academics are divided on this issue

Gent: not the good ones! & anyway I know because I can see I would cycle more than you a week so I'm in a position to comment

Moi: hmmmn that could be debatable - how many kms do you cycle in your week?

Gent: 20km

Moi: I cycle at least 100km

Gent: well that's irrelevant

Moi: how's that irrelevant when you raised it as a matter in the first place to prove your expertise and therefore your right to comment so categorically?

Gent: well...anyway I've been cycling longer than you...and always with a helmet

Moi: no way - helmet laws were enacted only 20 years ago - why would you wear one before? & anyway I've been on a bike for more than 50 yrs

Gent: not possible! (I ♥ that 'gent')

Moi: yes - started off as a baby on the back of my parents bicycles in Holland

Gent: hope they put a helmet on you

Moi: no - no-one wore them!!

Gent: well your parents were really irresponsible!!!!! - luckily today parents are more careful and we don't see them on the roads anymore!!!!!!!

Moi: families of all ages cycle everywhere in the Netherlands & without helmets

Gent: the whole nation is irresponsible - they should be banned!!!!!!

Ha! Ha! Ha!...but OMG...really I feel like screaming & running...this country is unbelievable!...

What to do?


  1. Stand back and watch the trainwreck! This nation of Happy Motorists & Bubble-wrapped Citizens is in for a shock in the not too distant future. Can't wait... :)

  2. haha and don't they look good, those irresponsible lunatics! ;-)
    Thanks for standing up for us!

  3. Narrow minded people voicing their opinions. There'd be nothing wrong with it if they weren't so damn arrogant / blind.
    I guess that one guy thinks that the ENTIRE WORLD (besides Aus / NZ) is irresponsible due to their lack of helmet laws. BAN THE WORLD!
    To add some balance it should have been pointed out to him that he was totally irresponsible for walking around without a reflective vest on at all times.
    I guess we can see it as a positive thing though, in that anyone viewing this 'friendly' argument from a not so biased point of view can clearly see his weak argument is just an 'uniformed opinion' rather than actual facts and figures.
    Good work with the debate anyway Sue :) Love it. Also, I wonder if he was a helmet sales rep?? Food for thought.
    Kindest regards,
    Jason (formerly of Tas).

  4. Looking forward to it, Paul!! - can't come a minute too soon

    Amazing video, Mark!!! - (eat your heart out, 'very irate bystander'!!!!) - truly amazing!

    ...& maybe he was, Jason! - hadn't thought of that one!

  5. "Ha! Ha! Ha!...but OMG...really I feel like screaming & running...this country is unbelievable!..."

    I did (run) and now live in the Surrey, UK and ride my bike regularly sans helmet. Life's too short to have all the hassle, nanny state laws and poll driven politics. I have no plans to return (but love your blog). Matt

  6. Thanks for this conversation, Sue.

    I think it's a classic illustration of how the use of safety equipment makes an activity seem dangerous (whether it actually is or not). The gentleman is no doubt sincere.

  7. Matt! I'm seriously thinking about following your lead!!! - you're dead right about life being too short!!!!

    Richard - you're 'dead right' too with your referece to an automatice association of danger once safety equipment is required & / or recommended

    ...great to touch base with you both

  8. I took a heap of photos of the "irresponsible" citizens of the Netherlands just recently to show people what it is like there. Some of them are here-
    I am seeing more and more adult riders without helmets in my area all the time so bit by bit we are getting the message through.

  9. Wow! Peter! your photos are fabulous!!!!! - all we need now is revocation of our 'bad laws' - surely the time is nigh?!