Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Australia is getting its bicycle mojo back

Photo: @melbournecrank, Helmet Optional Ride
The inspiring protest ride in Melbourne last weekend has made me determined to get back on my bicycle again in the Upper Hunter.

Frankly, it makes no sense for me (or the planet for that matter) to stay off it for the next four years.

I've thought long and hard about the 'role model'/'law breaker' dichotomy and I have come to the conclusion that as a participant in a democracy I have a responsibility to challenge bad laws, and given the glacial response from most legislative councils/assemblies/senates/HouseOfRepresentatives regarding statutory amendments and/or changes, another avenue to effect legislative change is through peaceful protest and non-violent direct action.

So I am going to dust off my darling Giant Suede (which luckily for me didn't sell!), I am going to pump up my tyres and I am going to channel my inner Sally McManus!!!

On my bike, me!!!


  1. Sue

    I'm with you 100%. Unjust law has to be challenged. If it takes civil disobedience or direct action, so be it. Rosa Luxemburg and Rosa Parks did not effect progressive social change by writing polite letters to newspaper editors, their local councils or their local member for parliament.

    However at this point in time, I am not suggesting that you take up armed-struggle as Nelson Mandela did!

  2. I agree, but I wasn't going to decide for you. It is an unjust law (and like all such laws, has a disproportional effect on poor and/or racialised people) but also an ecocidal law, as it discourages cycling and encourages the use of private cars. Cycling also works in tandem with commuter trains, and they promote each other's development.

    And in Oz, in terms of safety, what you need is a sunhat, not a helmet! Looks still very warm there at summer's end.

  3. Good on you! Sally McManus may have awakened many sleepers in our community who have been waiting for the signal to stand again. Her recent interview on the ABC when she was asked about breaking the law reminded me of this quote: "When Injustice becomes Law, Resistance becomes Duty!"

  4. I'm pleased to hear Australia's advocates are pushing to have their mandatory helmet laws repealed. Some of Canada's provinces also require helmets for all age groups, though only children under 18 need to in Ontario.

    From one bike blogger to another, best of luck in the fight to repeal helmet laws. ;)