Thursday, July 11, 2013

Australian cycling - so infantile can it ever grow up?

(Image: screen capture from ABC News, The Business)

Dear Ticky,

Good to see mainstream media at last having a look (well, half a look) at why our bike share projects have been such a failure here in Australia.

But disappointing that you left the last word with Bicycle Network Victoria which seems to be a bit of an 'astro-turf' front for infrastructure, energy and resources lobby groups (aka mines and oil). I note that the recent Bicycle Network's Bicycle Futures Seminar had as their principle sponsor the Department of infrastructure, Energy and Resources (Tasmania) and that the RACV plays a major role in many of their other activities.

Anyhoo I recently attended the Velo-City 2013 bicycle conference in Vienna in a 'media' capacity as a result of my blogging (apparently 10,000-12,000 unique hits a month is quite a lot - who knew!)...and just in case you're interested, I have inserted the following links to the posts that I did in my conference media capacity...

"Velo-City 2013: I'm going cycling"
"Velo-City 2013: The pre's and so far stunning"
"Velo-City 2013: It's all happening...and it hasn't even started!"
"Velo-City 2013: Let the conference happen"
"Velo-City 2013: Mikael Colville Andersen"
"Velo-City 2013: VIPs and their thoughts"
"Velo-City 2013: Philippe Crist, International transport forum"
"Velo-City 2013: Shut-up to all the safety nannies, best Mikael"
"Velo-City 2013: Dave Horton and the helmet question"
"Arrivederci Roma" (with a Velo-City mention at end of post)

...but I have to say it was disappointing that despite Velo City being one of the world's leading bicycle conferences (1,300 particiapants) so few journalists from Australia went along to have a peep how countries other than here do cycling.

I suppose it was only to be expected given the Australian mainstream media's penchant for PR and spin, and their resulting position on bicycle helmets, but nevertheless this uninformed position continues to intrigue me, and I completed an article on this matter whilst at the Velo City conference - "Australian media and helmet promotion - a toxic romance" (also published today on Megaphone Oz).

Still with regards to your 3 minutes on Monday night, at least you actually featured something on the bike share failure alongside a very brief glimpse of an Australian person cycling in circles without a helmet - it's a start I suppose.

Kind regards,
Freedom Cyclist Blog


  1. Hi Sue
    Good to see you trying to engage the Oz media circus on mandatory helmet law. It is not surprising that we come across Bicycle Victoria pushing helmet law whenever an opportunity arise. BV used to be a grassroots organisation but it has since been hijacked by the corporate-types.

    Operating now as a charity with many corporate bedfellows like the RACV, it is not surprising that looking after the interests of its corporate mates come before the interests of ordinary bicyclists who takes objection to BIG HELMET. Ordinary BV members who think the their interests are being looked after by BV should think again.

  2. Peng, it's really hard to imagine that Bicycle Victoria was ever a grass-roots organisation!

  3. Yeah, it is hard to believe that the ALP was the workers' party!