Monday, 27 June 2011

Melbourne - don't become NYC

Reading the news the other day I came accross an article in The Age that aggressively announced 'Cyclists face fines as police get tough'. I'm not going to weigh into the whole debate of cyclists vs. cars, it's been debated to death on various websites - maybe I'll post about it one day when I'm scraping the bottom of the barrell! But not today. No, what I was struck by was the focus on police dishing out fines to cyclists, even though the issue at the centre of the article was how many cyclists are being injured because of drivers swinging open car doors! Thats like coming down on homeowners who get burgled because they have nice stuff in their house! I haven't been caught in this 'crackdown' yet - maybe it's not as bad as what The Age suggests, afterall they are known for sensationalist drivel, but I couldn't help but think of the situation in New York in recent years.

I've been reading about New York cyclists being punished by the NYPD for doing what they love for a while now. Most recently there was the case of the general manager of Dutch bike brand 'Vanmoof', maker of bikes preferred by well-adjusted hipsters everywhere, who visited New York and was pulled over by cops for riding a bike with a short skirt, saying the danger was that she may distract drivers! A similar story was reported in Bicycling magazine, a jewish community in NYC successfully lobeyed to remove a bike lane from their area because it "introduced scantily clad females cycling through their area"! Isn't that a good thing?!

Then there was the case of Casey Neistat who got fined in NYC for not riding his bike in the bike lane, being a talented amateur video guy, he protested the only way he knew how and made this video showing it is just about impossible to stay in NYC's bike lanes, considering they are blocked by parked cars, delivery vehicles, rubbish bins, pedestrians and, worst of all, police cars!

I just hope that this 'crackdown' doesn't herald a new era in Melbourne where cycling is punished, rather than encouraged. We've come a long way since that pedestrian was killed in 2006 by a Hell Ride participant who failed to stop at a pedestrian crossing. It'd be a shame to undo the good that has been done since for cycling/driver relations.

and another thing...The Melburn Roobaix

After the weekend you'd expect me to do post on the great event that is the Melburn Roobaix. This is organised by fyxomatosis and was held on Sunday the 26th. Well - I would have loved to do a big write up and post some pics but I wasn't fast enough with my entry and missed out! It's a super popular ride, that takes you down some of the cobbled streets of Melbourne. I love that an event like this exists in Melbourne and it shows the popularity of all types of cycling in this city. Next year - I'm gonna get my registration in straight away - I couldn't stand missing out again!

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