Thursday, October 31, 2013

Midlands peace & quiet masks Down Under curial flurry

Last Sunday as I gazed upon this family exploring the thousands of Clumber Park acres, I couldn't help but recall the dead-hand of Australian legislators and how it has killed off any such equivalent peaceful family time in our place ... courtesy of mandatory helmet compulsion.

A dismal failure now and for the past 20 years, our state politicians still refuse to acknowledge the error of their regulatory ways notwithstanding that the feds have quietly removed themselves from the equation.

Back in the day of 1989, 'Prime Minister Hawke announced compulsory helmet wearing as Federal policy' and that 'this was a condition of providing funds to the states and territories for eliminating so-called "black spots" in roads' ...

... well this is no longer the case, federally speaking, as they (the feds) have quietly exited the bicycle helmet stage by distancing themselves from our legislative nonsense...

Anyhoo, inter alia, the call-over for my appeal happened yesterday and an appeal date has been set down for next March 3, 2014.

And furthermore with regards to my subsequent helmet ticket (Pyrmont Bridge one, as opposed to Sydney Harbour Bridge one) that is to be mentioned in court on Armistice Day and I'm hoping that a hearing date for that matter will be set down around the same time as the appeal ...

... because basically I'm hanging out in the Midlands for a few more months ... with my mother, and our memories, and the pixies, and a tonne of 'pink unicorns' (thanks, Matt)!!!! ... and Australia seems far away, and irrelevant, and life is very simple, and right now love is at the front of all my queues, and mandatory bicycle helmet law has never seemed sillier.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Life is all beer & skittles in Southwell

Men at Bramley Apple Festival going into battle backwards ...

... for an all-out stick fight

... until a few of them chuck out surrender hankies

Now if these guys carried on like this in Australia, OH&S would have a field day and probably be tempted to issue immediate helmet orders...

... and maybe hi-vis vests too given it could be argued these men would be hard to see on your typical over-exposed Australian sort of a day.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Dear NSW subject - thanks but no thanks

(Photos: helmet-free Oxford where folk live unemcumbered by helmet laws)

Until today when I received an email from Barry O'Farrell's department, I had completely forgotten that I'd written to him sometime ago requesting a meeting!

"I refer to your request for a meeting with the Premier.
On this occasion the Premier is unable to accept your invitation.
Thank you for writing to the Premier"


So that started me musing on which occasion he would have been able to accept my invitation?

Perhaps if I'd been able to talk:

$$$ electricity?
$$$ roads?
$$$ mega-motorways?
$$$ tunnels?

Anyhoo notwithstanding any of that, it's fairly apparent I can't seem to pique his interest with matters bicycle at all ... he's just not grabbed by the fact that not only is NSW's 'not-fit-for-purpose' bicycle helmet law a global joke, it has also cost New South Wales dearly ... and will continue to do so until the wretched regulation is revoked.

So why won't he meet with me?

He's my premier as much as anybody else's.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Down-town in lovely Southwell

Minsters ...

Meadows ...

Outlaws ...

Country lanes ...

Rosehips ...

Pubs ...

& bicycles ... of course!

... now hanging out for famous Bramley Apple Festival next weekend!!!

It's all here in Southwell!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Cambridge - I want what they have

A couple of weeks ago with BN4 in tow, I headed to Cambridge to visit a Hunter Valley expat (now a Trinity Ph.D.c) ...

... and of course to surround myself with the delights of an English cycling city

... aaaah bliss

But, as per usual, whilst I gazed upon the cycling community in Cambridge, that old chestnut of a question popped into my head ...

Why oh why are we so stupid in Australia?

...which of course then led to other pointless queries:

Why are we so upside-down in our approach to cycling?

Why are we so obsessed with safety?

Why do we think helmets can provide us with it?

Why do we need laws to tell us to wear them?

And then I started thinking of my court cases and other legal matters that are starting to bank up, urgently requiring me to put them into some sort of holding pattern.

I've got the appeal call-over on October 30 followed by a brand new matter for mention on November 11 plus, note-to-self (new worn-out 50+ Bridget Jones currently peppers the British press!), must write to State Debt Recovery Office by October 17 to point out to them that I'm not required to pay any of the bills they've sent me until my appeal is completed (thanks, Edward).

Sigh! It's all so exhausting and so unnecessary and just highlights the fact that our mandatory bicycle helmet promotion is nothing more than a great big example of rampant systemic misselling.

Why can't we have what they have in Cambridge? ... now

Ok ... tomorrow then

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Why can't we be Oxford? - helmet-law free

Bicycles & lanes

Bicycles & flowers

Bicycles & peeps

& more peeps

Bicyles & buses

& buses

& more buses

Bicycles & no-hands

Bicycles & nonchalence

Bicycles & earphones

Bicycles & theatres

Bicycles & red jumpers

Bicycles & back-packs

& back packs

Bicycles & dapper gentlemen

Bicycles & Oxford blues

Bicycles & buns

& pony-tails

Bicycles & bags

Bicycles & belts

Bicycles & singlets

... basically everything except the interfering arm of government insisting upon helmet law.

Consequently you find a bustling town with emphasis on many modes of transport which unlike many towns in Australia has not witnessed the disappearance of the bicycle because in this instance the British government has not intruded on behalf of [insert name of commercial provider] to shore up bottom-line of [insert name of commercial provider] ...

... let's face it, Australia, it's the only reason we have mandatory helmet laws - MONEY.