Jill's standards seemed to dropped awfully since leaving the 7.30 Report.Herald Sun: Lycra louts a law unto themselvesAs Lord of the Lycra Tony Abbott springs back on his bike for a nine-day ride for charity (and cameras) it's time to question the rights and responsibilities attached to our growing cycling culture.
Seriously, what provoked this load of turgid crap? And regardless of whatever opinion you may hold of Tony Abbott, why is his choice of attire so bloody important to some folks? You don't hear about other sporting codes or even suitable work clothing being lambasted like this. I could go on at length about probable subtexts and agendas but most of you could probably deduce that anyway.The Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry is running a poll asking Melburnians if cyclists should be licensed to ride on public roads and whether bikes should be registered.The suggestions have merit.Choosing your bike over your car has obvious benefits for both cyclists and the environment, but theunregulated growth in cycling is causing havoc on our roads and footpaths.
Dear Jill, I strongly suggest you listen to ABC Radio Nationals Background Briefing ep regarding On Road Cycling
. You used to be employee of the ABC and yes, we all realise they're a nasty little nest of groupthinking leftys, but they do excellent research into their topics. Maybe you should too.Organisations such as Bicycle Victoria have been at the forefront of trying to improve driver awareness of cyclists, but one of the major challenges they face is changing the culture of cycling itself. What started off as a healthy form of transport has morphed into an unhealthy culture of arrogance, self-righteousness and competition.
Care to give specific incidents rather than general observations? Let you in something Jill, I'm a 155cm female who likes to ride a bike now & again.
Sure, some riders may take themselves a mite too seriously whilst commuting, but in all my experience of commuting, no fellow rider has ever intimidated me as much as a motorised vehicle. Maybe shat me off, had a near miss, a bit of yelling to pull their head in, but nothing on the same level as an aggressive or ignorant driver who aimed their car at me. You see Jill, there's massive difference in intent and perspective right there, and somewhere along the way you seem to of lost perspective in writing this colourful little puff piece.Too many cyclists seem to think they don't have to stop at red lights or while trams are letting passengers on and off - and the speed some go at is extraordinary.
I don't like people who misbehave and do illegal activities either - regardless of whatever transport mode they use. Including shanks pony.Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton was rightly charged when he took his fancy car out for a bit of public hooning.
Seriously, there's no comparison here.
For example, Victoria's entire cycling community was roundly castigated (and still is) over the tragic death of James Gould in 2006, but in comparison, was the entire driving community of Victoria pilloried after the deaths of five young people in Mill Park earlier this year? Nope.While the cycling lobby is strong, community resentment about lycra louts is also steadily growing. I sure felt some fury over Easter when the lane-blocking louts were out in force. Why are cyclists allowed to ride three abreast and hold up other traffic? The aggressive element that is wrecking our cycling culture needs to be brought into line and if public outrage won't do it, then the only alternative is to consider licensing and registration.
Hang on there Jill, why this misplaced anger? I don't wear lycra & really don't give a toss if some else chooses to or not. Are you threatening something there other than the hitting us with tired old rego debate? Every rego debate I've ever seen in the Australian media reads more like appeasement rather than a honest attempt to improve awareness and compliance amongst cyclists. Besides, cyclist rego has never seriously worked anywhere in the world, so what makes Victoria so unique & special?
Holding up traffic maybe indeed annoying, but it's hardly a hanging offence. If you read the papers last week you may of picked up that almost 90,000 more people moved to Melbourne last year. There's more pressure on on roads, public transport and general infrastructure to cope with more people. Melbourne has about 3.3m people and we all need to negoitate our way around - and obviously responding in anger as your first reaction to changed conditions to every percieved little infraction will drive you insane and in turn create more dangerous conditions.
Here's something else for you to consider - everytime there's a ripple effect in the traffic, an accident, weather event etc, do we as a society react in such a inappropriate way?
Say hypothetically, there's a massive truck/car crash with injured people and resulting road damage, do you as a journalist then see fit to write a article castigating the unfortunate participants and then harangue emergency services for not clearing the carnage out of the way so you can take your kids to ballet lessons?
Sure, some peoples behaviour can be annoying as the road hierarchy changes as people use other transport options, but in reality it's not completely unlivable. I could reel off lots of other places in the world where traffic conditions are far more dangerous and the carnage is horrific. My observation after living in Melbourne for 20 years is that most of us get along on the roads just fine, although with most things, there's room for improvement. A certain percentage obviously have problems - and they're a threat to everyone.
And then there's another percentage who have forgotten to share - remember being taught to share as a kid? It's a good skill to have along with shared responsibility and respect. Please use it.