Monday, May 26, 2014

Velo City Adelaide & Helmet Optional Ride

MEDIA RELEASE: 26 May 2014

Velo-City Global is a first for Australia and starts in Adelaide tomorrow - but it’s the protest ride to be held this Thursday (29th May) that has got many excited.

Facing this uniquely Australian dilemma of mandatory helmet laws, the Melbourne based Freestyle Cyclists have had enough of overstated cycling scaremongering and have organised a Helmet Optional Ride to run alongside the conference as a counter event.

The Helmet Optional Ride organisers think that the largest bicycle conference in the world is the perfect platform to highlight Australia’s debilitating helmet laws. By building on the rest of the world’s familiar tradition of strong cycling credentials, the organisers welcome this opportunity to showcase Australians’ logistical ability to make a choice about riding a bicycle without the necessity of laws dictating one way or the other.

“We do not support the promotion of helmet wearing for everyday cycling,” says Kathy Francis, founding member of Freestyle Cyclists and one of the ride’s organisers. “We categorically oppose laws requiring adults to wear helmets … bicycle helmets present a significant barrier to everyday cycling.”

Unlike the majority of countries in the world, Australia has a mandatory bicycle helmet requirement, and many cycling commentators today are wondering whether this legislative restriction may come as surprise to many of the international delegates arriving for the Velo-City Global 2014 Conference this week. Certainly the Dutch and the Danes will not be expecting helmets or fines as they hop on their conference bikes (always provided for delegates at Velo City conferences).

Yet an interesting ‘word-on-the-street’ has reached the Helmet Optional Ride organisers, informing them that police intend to allow their protest ride to proceed and to escort it too. Furthermore, the organisers have also heard that police do not intend to book conference delegates riding conference bikes without helmets during conference time-frame.

“Cycling must become the easy choice,” says Kathy Francis. “This needs changes to legislation, enforcement and community attitudes, and it needs changes to the way roads are designed.”


Media Contact - for more information, images or interviews please contact:

Alan Todd, Helmet Optional Ride organiser, 0400 502 325, or
Nik Dow, Helmet Optional Ride organiser, 0412 703 483, or

Media Images: contact Alan Todd or Nik Dow

What: Helmet Optional Ride
When: Thursday, 29th May 2014
Where: Adelaide Convention Centre, riverbank
Time: 3.30pm for 4pm start

Further Info: Visit the Freestyle Cyclists website for more information


  1. Thanks Sue for the great write-up. I hope you're having heaps of fun already, meeting up with other anti helmet law activists. Have a ride for me and looking forward to the photos.

  2. Wow... kind of amusing that the police will escort you. You know, keep you safe and all ;) But hopefully it is a happy day, mutual respect, no fines, smiles and waves etc and marks a day of progress in the right direction. Wish I were there!

  3. How did it go? I'd love to see some photos.

    Sue, I saw the cutest little bicycle lane sweeper on my street's lanes. A Nilfisk, yep, made in Denmark. And yep, it also clears snow. Seems like a wise investment up here.

    I must be a total nerd or geek if that sends my heart aflutter...

  4. It is this one!