Saturday, January 23, 2010

"The bright day is done and we are for the dark"!

OK I admit my title has been shamelessly influenced by the use of the "Anthony & Cleopatra" quotation in "The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society" - but it's how I feel - I don't want to leave Copenhagen and when I do I know I am going to feel that I have been to "heaven and back".

Nothing in Australia is going to match the cycling experiences we have had here in Copenhagen. By allowing the helmet manufacturers and marketers the stranglehold on our culture that they have, we have been robbed of the true cyclcing infrastructure that really matters - in fact the true cycling infrastructure that would have made a beneficial difference to our lives.

The bicycle organisations in Australia are kidding themselves (and us) if they bleat otherwise, and as the 'school prefects' of the Mandatory Helmet Law School, they have been poor advocates for us, perhaps enjoying too many cups of tea & too many buttered crumpets in the headmaster's parlour.

If I was in charge of Australia (!), I would provide:
1. Bicycle traffic lights

2. Bicycle train carriages

3. Bicycle parking for commuting & travelling

4. Bicycle parking for shopping

5. Bicycle parking with extra security

...naturally I would provide proper bicycle lanes too, you know the ones that don't disappear or finish in the middle of nowhere, and I would see to it that we had buses that loved bicycles, and of course every car would have bicycle racks too!...

...but in the meantime, hej, KĂžbenhavn, thank you for everything, thanks for the proof that cities can work seamlessly with hundreds of bicycles and pedestrians - we have been inspired and we will be back!


  1. Thank you for posting all of these photographs. It has been enjoyable watching your progress. Totally agree with what you would do if you were in charge of cycling in Australia and with the ingredients of your "bike pie".

    If nothing else, it seems your Copenhagen visit has given you new found energy and inspiration.

  2. thanks, edward, your support has been invaluable and extremely welcome! i do feel revitalised especially after meeting up with mikael colville -andersen tonight!!

  3. Dear Sue,

    Thank you for your blog. I originally arrived here via Mike Rubbo's blog story of your fight in the local Magistrate's Court.

    I am a 35 year-old Australian Doctor who also chooses to not wear a helmet. I am yet to be caught but when I do, I will fight it. However, if you already have a fight on your hands (are you appealing?) I was wondering if I could help in any way? Please feel free to contact me via email if you'd like to discuss this on your return to Australia.

    Kind regards,

    PS: We're planning a 3 week cycling holiday in the Netherlands in 2011 - can't wait!

  4. hey paul! brilliant to hear from! and many thanks for your offer of help - interestingly to date, i have found the medical community to be extremely committed to the notion of 'helmet-wearing' despite the paucity of evidence, although having said that, i must admit my partner (also a medico) is gradually coming round to the idea of relieving his helmet of its duties - very gratifying

    - but back to your offer, that could be really cool as society definitely associates what 'you' have to say as 'advisable' & 'worthwhile' listening to!!! - i will definitely email you!