So here are the last of my HelmetLawFreeLand pictures from earlier this month as I now settle back into this HelmetLawLand of police letters, and notification of cancellation of expiation notices, and court matters coming to a court in Adelaide soon should the prosectution decided to prosecute me ... sigh
Arguably helmet promotion in Australia is nothing more than blatantly advertised product placement, placed for vested groups and individuals with undisclosed vested interests in our transport industry ...
... and we the Australian people have been taken for a bunch of bunnies ...
... we are a bunch of bunnies!
Notwithstanding the incessant non-evidence based claims that helmet law has single-handedly saved dozens of Australian lives by upto 80% (Oh My!), helmet law in Australia has actually not prevented bicycle accidents, or head injuries or deaths - no it has only prevented logic and common sense.
For the last two decades, the potential for bias in favour of helmet laws has manifested itself perennially by way of countless studies and conference papers and other academic rent-seeking manoeuvres. Right from the start there was an 'official outcome' that had to be proved and then maintained ... and proved and maintained it was ... nothing was going to get in the way of those vested interests and their stooges.
Inter alia it's also worth remembering that hundreds and thousands of tax payers dollars have been spent on Australia's quest to prove the desired politico/commercial outcome (that helmet law provides bicycle safety), and along the way any adverse findings or data that simply refused to prove the required politico/commercial safety hypothesis were simply disregarded. In fact demonising the ever-growing body of dissenting evidence that helmet laws save lives has been an industry in itself.
BUT the wrappers are gradually peeling off, and Australia's passion for oil and 'New Imperial Clothes' is on display for all the world to see - or more correctly for the rest of Australia to see because let's face it, the world has always known we were bonkers about this helmet-shit.
Oh fuckety fuck, here I am back in Oz ... home again home again jiggedy jig ...sigh
Ahhh Paris, so far removed from this madness where daft Australian politicians ignore the advice of the their department and charge ahead anyway like bulls in china shops with nary a care in the world that they don't know what they're doing ...
I'm sorry, a bicycle licencing system for cyclists, for children, for lower-income families ... sigh
Only in Australia, and only with political parties brimming with entitlement, oil, bitumen, automobiles ...
At the risk of stating the bleeding obvious, when it comes to bicycles, we are so dumb Down Under.
(Screen capture: Alan Moir, SMH, Tuesday July 22 2014)
Thirty three years ago (July 24, 1981) my father's plane, RAF Jaguar T2 XX916 16, crashed into the Bristol Channel, twelve miles east off Hartland Point, Devon, after bird strike.
In Martin-Baker seats both he and his pilot ejected but sadly my father got caught up in his parachute harness and drowned.
When I look back I'm grateful that inevitable media mentions were small and discrete - a far cry from today's obsessive media handling of the tragic downing of MH17.
I am dumbfounded by my Australian country yet again.
Oh the irony when Australian journalists railed against 'tramplers' as they trampled through the MH17 crash site whilst they too, the Australian media, trampled through the MH17 crash site.
And the downright ignorance emmanating from Australian politicians when they laid immediate blame on certain parties without reliable evidence.
And the emotional torture as families and loved ones of MH17's passengers were endlessly invited to imagine last MH17 moments in an unsupported capacity over and over again.
Inter alia, the media have had 'unfettered access' to an aviation crash site which is something they do not normally get ...
... and consequently we have been dragged through gruesome media speculation and gruesome media hysteria - I can only imagine how this irresponsible dissemination of information may have heightened the abject misery of the grieving families day by day bulletin by bulletin.
And what about the people who live in the Donetsk area?
How are they?
How have their lives been affected by this added disaster to their lives?
What damage did they sustain when MH17 crashed onto their homes and their paddocks and their woodlands?
Considering their existing war-torn lives are we truly incapable of extending any thought as to what sort of impact this has had on them?
... and even the initial search and rescue operation - yes - we should remember there was one and that despite living in a war zone they started the process of gathering up our loved ones - it's summer, resources are limited and ...
... and we're just so critical and privileged and I feel so sad and wish that Australian politicians and their media acolytes would just butt out period.
They are insupportable.
And here's the thing, once and for all:
Australian mainstream media, you are history to me now just like Australian politicians.
And all underpinned by greedy corporations which realised early on that we'd be easy pickings in our 'petrol-head' nation devoted to our one and only right (the right to a daily road-trip) so fiercely championed by our political leaders who are notably sans political will and/or courage.
And as per normal when I'm anywhere else but Australia, I want to scream from the roof-tops:
When flying high, helmets abound but once back on terra firma helmets come off ... PDQ ...
Ordinary life needs to be got on with ... sans helmets ...
... a concept most Australian politicians cannot get their limited unimaginative, and for the most part male, heads around!
Yes, Australian politicians, people do lots of completely different things on bikes ... and yes, Australian politicians, even the same people do lots of completely different things on bikes sometimes even on the same bikes.
So my 'bring-home' message to you, Australian politicians, is that it is perfectly possible to allow people to make bike headwear choices for themselves in a grown-up 'horses-for-courses' manner without having to have a law defined and directed by limited men in an immensely limiting fashion giving endless free kicks to Big Helma and Big Corpa when prima facie Australian helmet law is utterly useless at providing the originally-intended goal - bicycle safety.
Crankworx at Les Deux Alpes was 'wicked' and I was completely hooked by the whole competition.
These guys are nuts and gorgeous.
So chilled, so friendly, so accessible, and so incredibly nice to chat to.
In between film crews and shots and interview manoeuvres, I enjoyed a quick yarn with Brett Rheeder from Ontario, Canada just before he and his fellow Crankworx competitors threw themmselves into the Slopestyle event. Perched like goats on the side of a pretty-steep Les2Alpes mountain, it was fun chatting with him and listening to his tales of biking, competitions, injuries, recuperation. I think I may have told him that I enjoy using a bike too qualifying primarily for shopping with the odd picnic thrown in for good measure!!!!
... fully sick!
Of course to date his side of Canada doesn't have helmet law so they get to make their own decisions as to when and where might be a good idea to put one on. Clearly mountainside and freestyle biking has competitors grabbing helmets on their way out of doors but once they're at the bottom of those hills helmets come off.
I resent the fact that here in Australia I am supposed to heed laws that dictate I must dress like these supremely athletic and young Grand-Prix cyclists at all times when all I'm doing is just popping out the door for milk.