Sunday, October 31, 2010

"I still call Australia home!"

( fixie at our place - cherished by 'another')

I'm ba-ack! - and have cycled straight into the friendly street banter I've come to know and love (??)...

1. "where's your fucking helmet?"


2. "why don't you get a fucking car?"

...I just couldn't resist pitching the following reply to querulous young lads near Central Station last night, in answer to Q.1.,

- 'they're for sissies like you'

...boy! did they burr up!!!!!

Disappointingly, no chance to deliver an answer to Q.2. though, as that came from 'impossibly-young-driver' in 'impossibly-expensive-german-car' as he whizzed past my 'inside' in Macquarie Street!

Funtimes "Down Under"!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

'Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner...'

...that I love London so.

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner,
That I think of her,
Wherever I go...

I get a funny feeling inside of me,
When I'm walking up & down.

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner
That I love London Town
(Gerroff me barrow!)

...but you know something really, really weird??? - we saw more bicycle helmets & hi-vis vests than we've ever seen in Newtown - NUTS!!!!



("Sad we didn't 'rendez-vous', Mark! - but back in Feb so maybe coffee-date then? - might even qualify for the old 'boris-bikes' if I get my act together pronto!!! - au revoir x")

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Köln und das rad - lots!

A familiar lament - not enough time!

Köln, Germany's 4th largest city, and as 'hummy' as can be!

Lots of art, spires, bicycles...! What more could you want?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

BERLIN - never enough time!

One weekend = not enough = need a life-time!

Grey & wet, grungy & beautiful - loved! loved! loved Berlin!

...full of...

* museums & music ('b-flat acoustic & jazz club' - oh! the jazz!!!)

* bicycles & wine bars ('muret la barba', weinbar on Rosenthaler Strasse, directly oppostie 'b-flat' - you need to know this!! - plenty of room for your bicycle on either side of the street!)

...and that's just for starters - naturally lots more too!

Sad to say 'auf wiedersehen und tschüss!' but happy to say 'can't wait to return!!!'


Friday, October 15, 2010 stop...Hamburg!

Our cycling 'bliss' continues, which alternatively translates into explicit reiteration that Australia sucks as far as cycling goes!

We're now in Hamburg, the 2nd largest city in Germany, and notwithstanding the immensely busy city traffic, cyclists are fully incorporated into the transport climate!... more excuses, Australia!...this is a really 'busy' city, and the traffic flies past - it is evident to all that there is such a notion as safe intergration!

As with the Netherlands, strict liability continues to be the 'order of the day' for any hapless motorist who might 'bump' a cyclist.

Why is this not the case in Australia? It appears to be an inordinately useful measure, and is mentioned by many who use bicycles as they manoeuvre themselves around their European cities.

How about it, Aussie pollies? - could be a 'goodie' in terms of strategic traffic planning - in fact would change behaviour overnight.

Prima facie in a 'nutshell', and upon the facts as I understand them, we need:

* Strict liability for 'people using cars' who collect 'people using bicycles'

* Separate infrastructure as speed disparity grows between 'people using cars' & 'people using bicycles'


...why is my advice so rarely followed? sigh!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Gorgeous Groningen

Couple of days in this 'funky' town and we're hooked!

Brilliant student vibe, groovy cycling, sensational walking, fantastic 'eten en drinken', and live music everywhere...

...oh! and also, needless to mention, bucket loads of bicycles and people using them!!!

My bicycle bliss!!! My bicycle paradise!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Lazy Sunday Arvo with "Amsterdamize"

Sun / wine / beer / jaunts on bicycles...but most importantly...Marc (& Lauren) from "Amsterdamize" - bliss!!!

Totally brilliant to finally meet up with this most 'famous blogger of all time'! ...and while away a perfect Sunday afternoon over a few drinks overlooking one of the many beautiful Amsterdam canals...

...and of course chatting with Marc and Lauren only served to highlight the ridiculous situation we find ourselves in Australia today.

Despite the endless Aussie discourse on 'matters-cycling' we are so far removed from the everyday beauty of Amsterdam-cycling. If we want to achieve their transport karma, we need to cleanse our minds of unhelpful labels such as 'I'm a cyclist', or 'I'm going on a 2 hour cycle ride two weekends from now round Centennial Park' (whoop-de-doo!), because until we reach that parallel mental state we can never presume we're either cyclists or have cycling culture.

Here on the ground in Amsterdam, there is no equivalent australian 'cycling-hoop-la' because hopping on a bicycle is a 'non-event'! Seriously it's no 'big deal'; it's not 'clever', it's not 'dangerous', it's not 'cool' - it's 'just done' - and you 'just do it' because you 'just do it'...

...and what's more you 'just do it' from 'cradle-to-grave'!

Notwithstanding the above, it was so 'cool' meeting Marc and Lauren - it was an uber 'big deal' and I'm mighty glad we 'just did it'!!!

So until next time, a million thanks, Marc, Lauren, "Amsterdamize" & Amsterdam! - see you later :) x

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Windmills, Cafe Winkel & sunshine

1. How did Australians get the helmet equation so wrong?

2. What will it take to convince helmet law proponents they ruined Australian cycling?

3. Why are Australians so arrogantly wedded to the notion that they're right and everyone else is wrong (especially the 16 million Dutch)

4. What responsible government allows public health needs to be market driven and informed by promotion?

5. When are Australian bicycle helmet laws going to be binned?