Friday, September 30, 2011

Letter of 'safety-washing' complaint to ACCC - done & dusted

$ Printed x 1

$ Photo-copied x 29...

$ Posted in Yamba-bicycle-paradise

...& now holding my breath...because maybe it's going to be...

"Here's to the revocation of bicycle law - PRONTO!!!!"


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Gone fishing - Yamba-style

Bicycle helmets are regulated for safety BUT nothing guarantees that they work.

Nevertheless the ACCC's regulations are supposed to prevent any unsubstantiated claims or representations that bicycle helmets can offer any benefits in protection or prevention in serious injury.

After months of deliberating, I have finally completed my letter to the ACCC Chairman and will post it first thing tomorrow. Within my missive, I have highlighted the many complaints I have concerning the problematic nature of the mandatory bicycle helmet standard and accompanying product material in licences, print advertisements, bicycle helmet promotion campaigns, legislation and online material.

I am looking forward to a simple solution to our community 'pickle' - revocation of mandatory bicycle helmet wearing when riding a bicycle.

Meanwhile I continue to 'kick-back' in Yamba - bliss!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Helmet-free Yamba, North Coast, NSW

Just when I was planning an international 'runner', I arrive in Yamba to have my faith restored by gorgeous dads, kiddies & little surfies!!!

Way to go, cool dudes & dudettes - ♥ ♥ ♥!!!!

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?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


(Photos: Carolyn Curnow, Canberra, & yours truly)

Perfect! Perfect! Perfect!
The Canberra Punk Commute couldn't have been a more perfect boutique protest ...& the weather couldn't have been more clement...

...and who can ever resist 'tiptoeing through the tulips?' - certainly not us as we did a quick little detour prior to our Legislative Assembly rendez-vous

Always a pleasure to be with one of cycling's greats - Bill Curnow, the indefatigable president of the Cyclists Rights Action Group

...& wonderful opportunity for some of the far & wide CRAG members to meet face-to-face,...

...share campaign stories...

...& thoroughly enjoy each other's company

Good to meet The Hon. John Hargreaves (the 'yellow-enveloped-suited-guy') who made a supreme effort to do so despite back-to-back meetings - always useful to have 'a' moment with those who change the law!!!

And so the speeches began...

$$$ it's not lost on us that we're the 'counter-culture' ones, eschewing our cars when possible & using our bikes for transport instead
$$$ helmet safety claims are unsubstantiated, misleading, deceptive, inaccurate, non-specific, not in the public interest
$$$ twenty years on & the world continues to shy away from enacting equivalent catastrophic legislation now we had been joined by the Speaker of the House, The Hon. Shane Rattenbury

...who generously addressed us publicly with tales of:

* his 5 years in the Netherlands using a bicycle for transport in a typically unhelmeted Dutch manner
* the Greens commitment to sustainable transport
* their interest in the helmet law debate and their willingness to consider all arguments

...he then very generously made himself available for us to chat to individually, & at length - good stuff!!!

Bill's 'seasoned' campaign placard:


Australian Capital Territory (ACT) motor-bike police...

...just checking our intended route to the big PH

Getting there Ottawa style - coolly & stylishly

"Look, mum!!! We made it!!!!"

Australian Federal Bicycle Police just checking who we are - anybody????

And when the member for Hunter was a no-show, The Magnificent James Grieve delivered a most marvellous dissertation on Hunter Reds anyway!!

Adieu until next time! - dispersing by bicycle...

...& by bus!!!!

Next stop: ADELAIDE!!!! - funtimes!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Dear Australian Media & Darling Politicians


Bells, bicycles & peaceful transport!

Q. Why has the latter flopped in Australia? a nutshell...

A. Bicycle helmet law & promotion!

Ignore shrill protestations trotted out by bicycle helmet promoters, politicians, car & bicycle clubs!!! – bicycle helmet law & bicycle helmet promotion are the reasons...

...& Australians are not happy!

This Wednesday 21st September 2011, a small group of 'Punk Commuters' are taking to the Canberra streets to peacefully protest about our crippling helmet regulation.

Starting at Civic Square right next to the Statue of Ethos (12:30pm sharp) & close to ACT Legislative Assembly, the bicycle plan is to cycle in a peaceful 'protest-erly' manner along to Parliament House for the distance of roughly 3kms. There'll be megaphones & speeches, & of course there'll be plenty of 'ringing of bells,' peacefully – maybe there’ll even be a pollie or 2?!

Yes! on Wednesday, peaceful transport is going to get the love it deserves ♥ ♥ ♥

...& needless to mention, everyone will decide their hat-wear options!

Our democracy, our rules - let's urge Australian politicians to ‘once again’ recognise cyclists' right to choose whether to helmet or not!!

...& watch us as we briefly reclaim the Canberra Streets!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Keep it weird, Newtown ♥

Loving the fringe...

- bicycles & art everywhere

- helmets & sport nowhere


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

6 more sleeps to Canberra Punk Commute

(Photos: ACT Heritage Library, Canberra)

Note to everyone:

* Our meeting place, Tom Bass' 1961 copper Statue of Ethos, next Wednesday 21st September 2011 (12:30pm) - ✓

Note to self:

* need media / PM of the day / maybe Bob / definitely sunshine - ✓

* arrange 'needs' tomorrow - ✓

♥ o
(_)/ (_)
* * * * * * * *On our bikes!!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cable ties galore, magpie delight!

Same ride, same road, same maggie - BUT totally different outcomes!!!!!'d have to admit, it would be tempting to descend rapidly with your little banshee screeches onto this ugly contraption!!!!!

Most interestingly though, my darling's latest tactic to avoid the marauding Moobi maggie is to cycle excessively closely to me because then the discerning Moobi maggie remains on the telegraph wire above & just fixes his beady eye on my beloved 'numpty' in the sideways fashion of a scornful bird ...

'Good thinking, 99'

Sunday, September 11, 2011

When will we ever learn?

By refusing to really focus on what actually killed these children, we continue to ignore the 'proverbial bull,' frequently brought to our attention by Copenhagenize.

What is the message here when we immediately resort to Australia's standard 'go-to' position (more road-skills for cyclists) in times of such tragedies?


Friday, September 9, 2011

The ACCC & Product Safety Australia

Bicycle helmet injuries

Date commenced: 25th August 2010

* In 2009, a five year old boy from Tasmania died when his helmet got caught on the clothesline while he was bouncing on a trampoline.

* In 2007, a three year old boy from South Australia died when his helmet got caught while he was climbing through a window.

* In 2003, a two year old boy from Victoria died when his helmet got caught on his bunk bed.


From the ACCC's own website, Product Safety Australia clearly states that:

'where evidence shows a risk of serious injury or illness related to certain sporting and recreation products, these products must meet compulsory safety requirements known as mandatory safety standards. In some cases dangerous sporting and recreation goods are banned from supply in Australia.'

Therefore in light of this statement & the fact that bicycle helmets have been identified as products that may place us at a 'risk of serious injury', it appears that the reason a mandatory standard is required for bicycle helmets is to provide a regulated form of protection from the actual bicycle helmets themselves.

So what was our government thinking when it suddenly created laws to force us to wear bicycle helmets when the corporate watch-dog had identified them as potentially risky?

Why didn't they ever do this for vaccines?

Why is informed 'non-immunisation' a health issue rather than a criminal issue?

Why is informed 'non-bicycle-helmet-wearing' a criminal issue rather than a health issue?

Our bicycle helmet law sucks...sigh

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dear Prime Minister, time to hop off our 'helmet-law' bandwagon

Dear Prime Minister Gillard,

A small group of us intend to cycle to Parliament House on Wednesday 21st September 2011 in order to highlight the appalling consequences of our vexatious mandatory bicycle helmet laws.

Whilst Australian governments continue to support unnecessary bicycle laws, responsible sustainable transport strategies will continue to be impeded .

In your position as the Prime Minister of Australia, we urge you to persuade the State and Territory governments to revoke these draconian regulations. We believe that such 'persuasion' would not be unprecedented given that the Hawke government was instrumental in the enactment of the states' helmet legislation nigh on 20 years ago.

We do hope that you will be able to meet us at our Parliament House in order to hear our concerns face-to-face. We look forward to hearing from you very soon.

Yours sincerely,

Punk Commuters

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

'Where did you get those hats?' - fair dinkum protection!!!

Who gave our government the right to suspend our civil liberties on their ill-informed commercial whim while simultaneously exposing us to a major Australian health risk?

Aren't we all fed up with government departments who clearly have the resources to be well-informed, yet who expediently & deliberately elect not to heed their expert advisors' advice - poor show, our honorable elected reps!

Regulation 256 is a blatant sop to corporatocracy!

Why should paying bicycle passengers be exempt from the reg when the rest of us have to suffer helmets?...

...aiding & abetting the incessant drive to see competition thrive at all costs, no matter the true one, is obscene!

Not happy, pollies!!!!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Austroads & Australian road transport

(Photos: image, Sydney Morning Herald, Sept 2011)

The purpose of the latest study handed down by 'Big Oil', was to 'set a baseline' against which to evaluate performance' towards their target of 'doubling cycling participation in Australia between 2011 & 2016'...

...oh golly gosh!!!! surely we can be more ambitious than that??!!!! - doubling what we currently have here in Australia can hardly be considered an exciting, ground breaking, sustainable transporty goal from 'Austroads' - almost smacks of containment...

- as does lumping 'cycling participation' and 'cycling travel' all into one basket because cycling-participation-survey respondents would 'be unable to accurately recall all their cycling travel over a one week period' - tum-ti-tum!!! - what a bunch of numpties Big Oil seems to think we are!!!!

Notwithstanding any of the above, there's no hiding the result that partial revocation of helmet laws in the Northern Territory has drastically improved Territorians' 'cycling everything' (my italics!!)