(Shakespeare's fabulous cartoon illustration, page 3, Sydney Morning Herald, 16th March 2010)
I can hardly contain myself, I'm so excited!!!!! At last an article from the Australian media that actually addreses the issue of helmets and the possibility of a legislated 'lack thereof' that could be beneficial to our community.
After a somewhat predictable missive on the front page of last Saturday's SMH seemingly intent on scaring us all back into our cars, today's SMH sees Matthew Moore report further on some of Professor John Pucher's findings, such as the excellent notion 'of doing away with the helmet use law...'!!! YAY!!!...he also went on to explain that:
"...compulsory wearing of helmets
was a 'band-aid strategy'
adopted by governments shying away
from more difficult initiatives of
building separated cycle ways, calming
neighbourhoods and educating drivers
Well done you, Matthew Moore, on finally taking this 'bull' by the horns, and forcing our community to have this extremely necessary and overdue discussion!!! It should be music to all our ears! It was so reassuring to read that the social zeitgeist has actually been recognised and articulated by the press.
However I do feel we must avoid being prescriptive. It serves no purpose dictating what sort of bikes or wardrobe options people should choose. Whilst I adore my european ladies' bikes, strategically placed in Sydney and Scone, the men in my family would probably shove them down my proverbial throat if I started preaching on the merits of Electra Amsterdams & Giant Suedes, the simplicity of 3 gears & coaster brakes, underpinned by the freedom of long flowing dresses and pretty leather thongs.
It should be a matter of choice - we should be welcoming the diversity, which is actually what we are starting to do anyway!! I've had some great conversations at Sydney traffic lights with fellow cyclists who, whilst equipped in the latest of everything aero-dynamic & soufflé light, have kindly passed favourable judgment on my beautiful bicycle and how it suits me!!
...oh and for the record, Mr Birdsey of Bicycle NSW, you do sound sexist!