Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Oz's sine qua non: bicycle helmet law

I am missing the bicycles in Milano, Italia, and wishing I was still there.

Far away from these snapshots' lovely cycling paradigm, I am enveloped in a shroud of Australian ignorance which can be largely attributed to failure ...

... on the part of the Australian media.

Yes the Australian media, which along with Australian politicians and Australian helmeteer-academics, has no idea what they are talking about when they pontificate on helmets and the law.

Neither are they too bothered by truth, and they seem to enjoy pillorying those who choose not to wear helmets or just plain avoid the big H-WORD full stop ... pathetic.

The Australian media operates as stenographers for helmet promoters ...

... paving the way for helmeteers to mould Australians to think that helmet laws made them (Australians) safer.

In a nutshell, legitimate scientific debate on mandatory helmet laws is stifled by corporate intimidation ...

... and a willing Australian media cheering them on.

Admittedly, some are trying to make amends now ...

... but maybe it's a bit late now, duckie!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Australian road-use pursuant to privilege and oppression

Duncan Gay, the NSW Roads minister, is at pains to limit the potential fun to be had from cycling.

We're still waiting for his demolition of the College Street cycleway but in the meantime,

... in his latest cycling treatise on how to remove cyclists from our roads,

... he has come up with a truly hare-brained idea.

Yes ... he is planning a proposal that insists people who use bicycles over a certain age carry identification papers/plastic.

Hands up who advised him!

Actually hands up who voted for him!

Or did he just get helicopted into his seat as a consequence of proportional representation in the upper house?

Whatever, it's such a shame we have him at the helm of our NSW road system.

It's flawed enough without adding Duncan to the mix.

He embodies the very concept of privilege and oppression on our roads and treats those of us who use bicycles as second class citizens.

He puts us in danger because he is not mindful of us road-users who don't require petrol to move through the street & roads of NSW.

The cycling world cannot get its head around our transport leaders' tilt at improving our cities ... take Carlton Reid, British author and historian, from Bike Biz for example, he was absolutely gob-smacked when we chatted (starts at 1:16:40) about Duncan at VeloCity15.

Sigh ... I wish I was still in France or Italy (ie Torbole, Lago di Garda, where these photos were shot) ... or anywhere else but here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Adelaide Court: Yes, you shall go to trial'

So I had my day in court and was heard by the Chief Magistrate!

She wasn't convinced by me raising self defence as a justification for the crime of unhelmeted bicycle riding, nor overly keen to permit me past this pre-trial stage ... legislators, she felt, were the ones I required not the judiciary, but she listened anyway...

She listened when I said that I have been dedicated to this issue for nearly six years and that I have corresponded with many politicians over that time in an effort to revoke this contradictory regulation to absolutely no avail.

She listened when I mentioned that I had not said to the police it was the second time that day that I had been booked for not wearing a helmet as they claimed in their 'facts' but that I had said it was the second time that day I had been in communication with police, the first being over a road rage incident on North Terrace (Adelaide) where a driver had used his vehicle to terrorise me so much so that another driver had come to my aid.

She listened and asked the police prosecutor to make a note of that fact.

She listened when I mentioned that bicycle helmet regulation is a law of privilege and oppression and that the entire transportation network 'privileges' automobiles over bicycles and allows drivers to drive without being mindful of me.

She listened when I pointed out that this is a 'privilege' I do not have notwithstanding that I have an equal right to be on the roads.

She listened when I said that I am on a bicycle in a world made for cars and that in my opinion this premise was neatly illustrated by the South Australia police prosecuting me for not wearing a bicycle helmet, and yet not prosecuting the road rage driver for his act of aggressive and dangerous intimidation towards me, even though I had pulled over after the 'attack' and put a call through to the South Australia (SA) Police to report the incident; even though I said to the policewoman taking my call concerning the road rage incident that I was prepared to come back to Adelaide and give evidence.

She listened when I mentioned that the SA police who booked me for the lack of a helmet didn't hear me tell them that I'd been the victim of road rage because all they could hear was an 'ingrained-anti-cycling-prejudice' informing them that I was a criminal and not a victim.

She listened again when I repeated again that bicycle helmet regulation was a law of privilege and oppression and ... she gave me a date for a trial!

Tuesday 25th August 2015 - thank you, your Honour!

So with three glorious fellow 'helmet-optional riders' who'd come to court to give me moral support, we headed off to the Markets for celebratory coffee and cakes !!!

I hadn't been shut down, I'd jumped through the next hoop, and now was on my way to the next level and another day in court - I had been listened to!

But this is Australia so the euphoria didn't last long!

As I dropped off my bicycle to Bicycle South Australia in Carrington Street, I was followed into the shop by two policemen and booked all over again.

'What's with the no helmet?

'Don't you know there's a law that says you must wear one?'

'You were at that helmet ride on Sunday, weren't you? ... recognise you from your picture!'

Oh boy, whoop-de-doo-dah, here we go again ...

... lucky I like Adelaide!!!!


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

BREAKING: Dutch-style cycling in Adelaide, everyone survives

Sun, cyclists

Police escort

Lights, camera ...

... (talking talking talking)

... action

... to music (by 'Legstricity')

Bike Kitchen

Beer, cider, pizzas

All round great day - well done, Sundance and Freestyle Cyclists!!!

... when's the next one?

Saturday, July 4, 2015

MEDIA RELEASE: Adelaide Helmet Optional Ride


“Helmet Optional Ride”
(helmets, a matter of choice … yours!)

Remember Velo-City Global last year? That great big bicycle conference with over 500 delegates? It was a first for Australia, and what, we may well ask, has been its legacy?

- The proposed digging up of Frome Street cycleway?
- Continued criminalisation of the non-helmet wearers?

After the successful Helmet Optional Ride organised by the Melbourne based Freestyle Cyclists last year as a counter event to Velo-City14, Sundance Bilson-Thompson has organised another one for this Sunday.

Sundance is keen to build upon the rest of the world’s familiar tradition of strong cycling credentials, and welcomes this coming Sunday’s opportunity to showcase Australians’ logistical ability to make a choice about riding a bicycle without the necessity of laws to that effect too.

“I attended last year’s Helmet Optional ride and now I want to make helmet optional rides a regular feature in Adelaide.”

Sundance has already given a talk at the Adelaide Bike Kitchen on the failure of helmet laws and he is building support in Adelaide for some reforms primarily for Northern Territory style reforms to allow helmet optional cycling on ‘off-road’ cycling lanes.

Permission from the Adelaide Police and the Minister for Transport has been sought to hold the ride, and Sundance is hoping to involve some of the State MPs in this event too.

Kathy Francis and Nik Dow from Freestyle Cyclists are travelling to Adelaide to be part of the ride as is Sue Abbott who is due in the Local Adelaide court next Tuesday to defend her ‘lack-of-a-helmet’crime incurred last year at the Adelaide Velo-City conference.

“We categorically oppose laws requiring adults to wear helmets … bicycle helmets present a significant barrier to everyday cycling,” says Kathy Francis.

“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:

Sundance Bilson-Thompson, Helmet Optional Rider organiser, 0412 254 511
Kathy Francis, Secretary, Freestyle Cyclists, 0481 372 956
Nik Dow, Treasurer, Freestyle Cyclists, 0412 703 483, or

Media Images: contact Sundance Bilson-Thompson or Nik Dow

What: Helmet Optional Protest Ride
When: Sunday, 5th July 2015
Where: Elder Park, just behind the Adelaide Convention Centre, riverbank
Time: 2.30pm start

Further Info: Visit the Adelaide Helmet Optional Ride facebook page for more information

Friday, July 3, 2015

Commuting à la Paris ... clearly NOT Sydney

I'm home and hating it ... sigh

Back to cousin Tony (joke ...I'm Sue 'no-relation-to-tony' Abbott)

Back to our shameful treatment of asylum seekers

Back to the government's new Border Force clowns & attempted muffling of whistleblowers

Back to Senator Abetz ... groan

Back to the Great Barrier Reef catastrophe

Back to my pending court cases ...

... one next week in Adelaide

... one next month in Scone

Back to dumb-arsed helmet law

... and back to the even dumber-arsed Bicycle Network

... which has the hide to pretend its in the business of 'bicycle advocacy' ... what a joke!

But I am looking forward to the 'Bicycle Protest Ride' in Adelaide on Sunday afternoon (July 5, 2015) starting at 2:30pm from Elder Park with my comrades in wheels and no helmets.

To the barricades!