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  • choppy

    Sean Lake, what a champion! He will honour the legacy of the Grafton to Inverell when he enters the world tour. He made the best of the NRS look like lazy bums…..and as for the charter mason team’s effort..wtf? It was the last race of the NRS season, at least ride the race out and preserve some dignity.

    • The team suggests that several riders were sick: https://twitter.com/CMRacingTeam/status/657777316496408576

      • choppy

        Not so sure I believe that all were sick…..maybe 1 or 2. They raced aggressively (obviously too aggressively) before the climb and not like sick men. It really looked like they pulled all of them once they missed the break and couldn’t win season NRS teams title or figure on the race podium. They should have just ridden it out.

    • Sean

      It’s a shame the team is folding at the end of the year.

  • Simon

    Like that vid on Amsterdam….. “A cycling culture is created from more than bike lanes”. Amen to that! Boy do we in Oz have a looong ways to go.

    • velocite

      Yep, some good thinking behind that video. I recommend it to the Bicycle Victoria CEO/Committee, who seem to think it’s all about infrastructure and compulsory helmets. Of particular significance was the primacy of the bike, and the responsibility of the driver not to kill cyclists with his lethal weapon.

      • Bex

        yep was a good vid until his second last sentence, that cyclists start breaking the law when they feel comfortable and the system is working. anyone in authority hears that they’ll think we’re doing a great job.

        • velocite

          This was a serious reflection on what makes a successful cycling city in the context of an infrastructure which was not designed for bicycles. He was not saying ‘great, we cyclists can break the law with impunity’, he was saying maybe the fact that we can just hop on our bike without too much concern for rules is a sign that things are working. A bit of a contrast to the situation in Melbourne, for example. I know many people who don’t ride because they think it’s dangerous. And what about the ridiculous recent case of the girl fined for having her helmet strap too loose?

          • jules

            there’s a really good quote from an article on helmet laws by Newcastle academic Jai Cooper:

            “The laws exemplify the application of Hobbesian notions of human nature and the control of an unruly population by a Leviathan state,” he says. “Helmet laws are thus an easily visible means to panoptically control the cycling population.”


            while cyclists complain about laws unduly restricting cycing, we miss the point – that restricting cycling IS the point.

            • velocite

              No doubt there is an authoritarian tendency at work here, but I believe the original push for helmet use came from doctors, well known IMHO for self aggrandizing, self righteous prescriptive positions, even if well meaning on the surface. Governments caved because giving in was the line of least resistance, because it cost them nothing and made it look as though they were doing something.

              I always wear a helmet, even in Europe where it’s not compulsory – because it feels safer. Maybe I’ve been brainwashed. I found this interesting: http://crag.asn.au/history-of-helmet-law-in-australia/

              • jules

                That’s a good appraisal velocite. these decisions are often made using perverted criteria. govts often impose unnecessarily excessive regulations precisely as it makes them seem like they are ‘doing something’. I’m not a libertarian but I’ve grown to appreciate their position on these matters. so many people don’t though, they feel bound to align themselves with the ‘caring’ position – i.e. helmet laws in this case. that’s not how such rules should be deliberated on.

          • Bex

            hmm, true i just had a conversation this morning with someone who thought it was too dangerous to take up riding as a form of fitness. I just find that not condemning the law breakers because they’re cyclists is very double standards-ish and that urks me.

            in the case of the girl fined for having her helmet strap too loose; my sources tell me it was more a case of a fine for the abuse she dished out when they suggested she fit her helmet correctly; hence no reports of anyone else being fined (even those riding without helmets).

            • velocite

              That helmet strap story did sound a bit fantastic, I must say. It would be entertaining and maybe even edifying to hear the story from the point of view of the participants, both the police and the cyclist.

              In England some decades ago I was exceeding the speed limit on my motor bike by a fair margin when I saw the police Range Rover in my mirrors – so I rapidly slowed. They pulled me over and said “another half mile and we’d have had you”. They were very affable, and proceeded to give me some good advice about clothing – which I subsequently took. A memorable demonstration of friendly but effective police behaviour. I wonder about the demeanour of our bike police. Might have been perfect, might not? Personally I’ve never had any altercations with the police as a cyclist.

              • Karl

                I was fined for crawling up the side of a tram at 3kph after everyone had got on and off but before it closed it’s doors. It _is_ the law but stung a bit.

                • velocite

                  You failed to notice the policeman?

                  • Karl

                    Well, he wasn’t on the road or getting on/off the tram… Police Sargeant he was quick to point out.

                    • jules

                      well you haven’t had to attend the scene after a car driver has ploughed through passengers getting off. wait..

                    • Karl

                      Oh I do now, so I guess that worked. Just seems that a 3kph push bike is not likely to do a lot of damage from a standing start.

                    • jules

                      I was being sarcastic. what damage can a bike at 3km/h do? but… the law.

                    • Karl

                      Oh.. Well, usually I’m pretty much a stickler for the rules (must be the Swiss background), except for when I’m not (I blame the Ithacan background there) :-)

            • jules

              no, no… she was definitely fined for having her helmet strap too loose.

              • Bex

                i’m sure she was, just saying it’s easier to fine someone for an obvious infraction rather than being a prick.

      • Dave

        Bicycle Network likes compulsory helmets? Are they double agents?

        • velocite

          I’m a bit liverish about Bicycle Network because they’re entirely missing in action in relation to the 1/1.5 metre clearance idea – I suspect because another organization is taking the lead on it. They used to have just one document on their web site about it, making a weak point about enforcement difficulty, but I don’t know if it’s still up. Nor do I know if they have a position on mandatory helmets, so irresponsible reference on my part. Do they?

          • Ben Greeve

            I haven’t got a quote, but i’ve heard that they actually don’t support it, believing its not effective in making cycling safer.

      • Alex

        The old helmet chestnut. Always an interesting discussion. My frame of reference is personal safety, I feel safer wearing a helmet so wear one. Interesting case study might be skiing. No helmet laws on the mountain but last time I was at the snow those without helmets were the odd ones out. Lots of publicized cases of head injury has driven people to look out for their own safety and wear a helmet. It just makes sense. I don’t get the upside for not wearing one.

        • velocite

          I should not have mentioned helmets – the video did not, that was not what it was about, although the Dutch are clearly never, ever going to introduce them. As far as the upside goes, it’s not the upside of not wearing a helmet, it’s the upside of not making them mandatory. Which is supposedly that more people cycling results in a net health benefit.

    • Derek Maher

      Must say I enjoyed the vid as well. Okay running red lights is a gamble for the cyclist and could well cause injuries to both the cyclist and other road users not so much car drivers but motor cyclists could get a nasty injury colliding with a cyclist so I would not recommend that practice.
      Glad that helmets are still not compulsory in most of Europe although the usual vested interests still campaign on that score.
      All in all good to see the Dutch are laid back regarding the bicycle.


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