Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thread)

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:58 pm

il padrone wrote:
ldrcycles wrote:Ok, this is something i see all the time and i just don't get it. My fiancee isn't interested in riding for various reasons, but she has never for a moment mentioned any kind of issue with wearing a helmet. They are available from Big W for $18 so cost and availability can hardly be an impediment.


Here we go again. The topic has been covered numerous times in this thread. Be aware - there was a significant drop-off in cycle use in 1990, about 30% for adults and in excess of 50% for teenagers. You may not see the helmet as a negative - you're an enthusiast, committed to your recreation/transport pursuit. It's all the average folk who don't ride that are put off by the need for a helmet (yes, amongst other things). Just take a look at some videos of European cities and see just who is riding.... and how.


As you can understand, reading through the whole 205 pages here is more than i have time for, so my apologies for not having read previous explanations. I have seen plenty of graphs etc showing the drop off in participation AT THE TIME MHL WAS INTRODUCED, but that was nearly a quarter of a century ago. There are a lot of people such as myself who have grown up knowing nothing else, it is just the way things are that if you are going to ride a bike you must have a helmet.

People don't ride because they are lazy, they consider it beneath them, because they are scared of cars, having to wear a helmet just doesn't enter into it.

I know if i was to ask the people i worked with why they don't commute by bike, the answer would be an almost universal "it's too far".
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:35 pm

ldrcycles wrote:
il padrone wrote:
ldrcycles wrote:Ok, this is something i see all the time and i just don't get it. My fiancee isn't interested in riding for various reasons, but she has never for a moment mentioned any kind of issue with wearing a helmet. They are available from Big W for $18 so cost and availability can hardly be an impediment.


Here we go again. The topic has been covered numerous times in this thread. Be aware - there was a significant drop-off in cycle use in 1990, about 30% for adults and in excess of 50% for teenagers. You may not see the helmet as a negative - you're an enthusiast, committed to your recreation/transport pursuit. It's all the average folk who don't ride that are put off by the need for a helmet (yes, amongst other things). Just take a look at some videos of European cities and see just who is riding.... and how.


As you can understand, reading through the whole 205 pages here is more than i have time for, so my apologies for not having read previous explanations. I have seen plenty of graphs etc showing the drop off in participation AT THE TIME MHL WAS INTRODUCED, but that was nearly a quarter of a century ago. There are a lot of people such as myself who have grown up knowing nothing else, it is just the way things are that if you are going to ride a bike you must have a helmet.

People don't ride because they are lazy, they consider it beneath them, because they are scared of cars, having to wear a helmet just doesn't enter into it.

I know if i was to ask the people i worked with why they don't commute by bike, the answer would be an almost universal "it's too far".

^^^ and every single one of those things you raise are cultural norms that have been reinforced by the decimation of the riding population. We live in an age where gym membership is skyrocketing... fitness is a goal, looking good has never been more important. The number of people willing to exercise is quite high... these people could ride a bike to get the milk.
The huge drop off in riding after the MHL was brought in managed to abnormalise bike use. A large chunk of people would ride a bit and after the MHL, they wouldn't. They are justified in their thoughts about riding - "well you need a lid, its too dangerous for me".
Lazy lifestyles are created by cultures that do not support or encourage active lifestyles. If you work your white collars so hard that they don't have the energy to exercise, then you are discouraging active lifestyles.
They consider it beneath them because riding was abnormalised by the MHL... or perhaps they are fat. They are probably prepared to pay someone to shout at them while they do situps... is riding really beneath such people?
Scared of cars? Idiots. You shouldn't go near a road. If they were afraid of cars, they wouldn't sit in a moving car either.
It's rarely too far... but most of the reason it IS too far is because we have so much urban sprawl, which was in turn encouraged by developers who saw cities without serious cycling and walking culture.

The helmet is key to it... I would be prepared to agree if we were forced to ride fixies everywhere with TT chainrings. But that's not the deal, is it?

Most of these deadbeats who claim it is too this, too that, are likely to be dead at 60 from something, because such resistance to physical activity isn't good for the human body. :idea:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:56 pm

ldrcycles wrote:People don't ride because they are lazy, they consider it beneath them, because they are scared of cars, having to wear a helmet just doesn't enter into it.

It would be naive to think that non cyclists are aware of the depth of the reasons why they don't cycle. It is also naive to suggest that since MHLs don't directly enter an individuals decision that MHLs therefore have no effect.

For most people in Australia it is not considered as a serious transport option. Forget helmets, forget bike paths, forget cars, the biggest the factor in whether an individual rides or not for short trips is whether it is considered normal and common. The knock on effects of the influence that MHL laws have made in making cycling abnormal is not to be underestimated. Nobody in Holland thinks riding is beneath them because it is considered NORMAL. Instead amongst most Australians cycling is a hobby that is dangerous and needs a helmet to protect your head. Getting rid of MHLs won't suddenly fix things. But it is a step in the right direction of removing barriers to cycling.


Amongst my peers of students, academics and young inner city workers 75% of them utility cycle. Cost and convenience are certainly can be some factors but the fact that it is considered NORMAL is certainly a big influence on people. Very few of these people are cycling enthusiasts.

ldrcycles wrote:I know if i was to ask the people i worked with why they don't commute by bike, the answer would be an almost universal "it's too far".

Whereas for myself, my sister and most of my friends travelling to work, the shops, the pub and social events it ISN'T too far. Life is full of choices and if you choose to you can live close to or far away from work. I and my peers choose to live in inner city rather that outer suburbs. (Until recently I was working 25km north of the city. It was too far to ride and besides I needed a car for work reasons. So yes I drove. But I still located myself so the drive time was short and I could still cycle for most of my other transport needs.)

It seems that most Australians are making work and living choices that rely on the car as transport, so in that case of course it is "too far" to ride. Of course if you survey the average Australia this is exactly what they want, big back yards and their own house. A different survey will also reveal the dozens of hours spent in traffic each week and the stress that it causes. But that is what is normal in Australia. :roll:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:22 pm

ldrcycles wrote:I know if i was to ask the people i worked with why they don't commute by bike, the answer would be an almost universal "it's too far".

Yes, but talk to the ones who drive 1.3kms to the railway station car park (at 6.30am so that they can get a park) :roll:

Talk to the ones who drive from work, 6 kms to stop off at their gym for that workout.

Talk to the ones who work part-time and race off at 3.00pm to pick up the kids from the school, 1km from their home.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby elantra » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:26 am

Bingo !
There is a place in Australia where helmet laws are ignored.
I was in Byron Bay for a few hours last weekend and i saw dozens of people riding bicycle sans helmet.
Most were casual cyclists, not enthuisiasts.
some were also without shoes.
As i came into town driving a minibus i gave way to a earnest looking young lady in "control" of a bike that was slightly too big for her.
She was not worried about helmets, not worried about my minibus on her right and not worried about the 2 police officers on the side of road.
I like her style. 8)
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:49 am

Evo6point5 wrote:You make some good points and we're never going to agree on everything. I do agree that there may be some tiny miniscule percentage that for them, MHL is the reason they don't ride. Is that your or my problem? I suppose that depends on your social consceince, and for me I think if it wasn't for MHL there'd be another reason they'd find not to work

And this is the big thing - we don't have to agree on all things - just realise that there is space for freedom of opinion and actions. I don't care if MHL is affecting a tiny portion of cyclists. It is a law that doesn't work with its aim of improving cyclist safety, and as such we could agree that on that basis it should be repealed because the balance is clearly against MHL. It is within everyone's interest to normalise and popularise cycling, because it improves everything else. Even if you won't cycle, you benefit from other people doing it! It's similar to paying tax in that respect. You benefit, even if you don't want to do it yourself.

We have to recognise that sliver of agreement is all that is needed. Me? I'm way too out of control to go without a lid for my commute, or at least all the road going parts of it. I rode in with a mate from church yesterday, and I was just powering up the hills, sprinting down the hills, I'm pretty quick... I am not representative of the people I want to see riding. And this is the big thing - it is not for me that I want MHL repealed. It is for the rest of Australia... because the bike is just too good to hold back.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:11 am

Xplora wrote:I am not representative of the people I want to see riding. And this is the big thing - it is not for me that I want MHL repealed. It is for the rest of Australia... because the bike is just too good to hold back.


Its is far too rare that people can see outside their own personal needs and experiences. Which is a big part of why so many cycling enthusiasts seem to be for MHLs. Britain has people like Wiggins advocating for MHLs. :(
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:21 am

human909 wrote:
Xplora wrote:I am not representative of the people I want to see riding. And this is the big thing - it is not for me that I want MHL repealed. It is for the rest of Australia... because the bike is just too good to hold back.


Its is far too rare that people can see outside their own personal needs and experiences. Which is a big part of why so many cycling enthusiasts seem to be for MHLs. Britain has people like Wiggins advocating for MHLs. :(

I'm still looking at scar tissue under my knee from the prang... I realise that I probably need that helmet on the road... but on the path... all the people I see riding there... they just don't NEED it. Want /= Need. They can wear a pink tutu for all I care... they don't need it. And they don't need a law to shake a naughty finger at them for considering that they don't need it either.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby simonn » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:13 am

human909 wrote:...Until recently I was working 25km north of the city. It was too far to ride...


No it's not. I, and plenty of others, do it everyday. You chose to drive just like everyone else does.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:44 am

simonn wrote:
human909 wrote:...Until recently I was working 25km north of the city. It was too far to ride...


No it's not. I, and plenty of others, do it everyday. You chose to drive just like everyone else does.


Was that comment necessary? Do you think that I am naive to the fact that I chose to drive? Of course it was my choice. I could have walked too if I chose to or taken public transport for 2hrs. But that's just getting the office, heading to site was another 40km which I did most days towards the end of the project. But of course my job was a choice and so is my car.

But all that said 25km is not a practical cycling commute distance for most people. I give genuine respect to yourself and others who have the commitment and the fitness to do it. However when it comes to promoting utilitarian cycling to the general public this is not a sensible and practical cycle commute distance.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Comedian » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:01 pm

Xplora wrote: I am not representative of the people I want to see riding. And this is the big thing - it is not for me that I want MHL repealed. It is for the rest of Australia... because the bike is just too good to hold back.


Oh yeah... bloody BINGO!!!! :mrgreen:
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:15 pm

simonn wrote:
human909 wrote:...Until recently I was working 25km north of the city. It was too far to ride...


No it's not. I, and plenty of others, do it everyday. You chose to drive just like everyone else does.

I don't imagine that you meant it to come out in a holier-than-thou fashion but I fear it human could easily construed it that way.

25km can be too much for a lot of reasons. People have different situations. Even the same persons situation changes from time to time. Most people here have not always ridden, something has changed even if it is just mid-life crisis. There is no way that 10 years ago I could put the hours into riding that I can now due to my domestic situation at that time. For some one else it may be particular time in their professional life. Or they may have some serious sports comp where the extra km can put them at a competitive disadvantage. Or they may be studying after work. Or...

Besides, you can be functionally perfectly fit and not be a drain on society and the health industry on a lot less than a lot less than 25km twice a day.

If human reckoned it was too far then it was too far.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:20 pm

Comedian wrote:
Ross wrote:If you crash at 10km/h and smack your head on the gutter you are most certainly going to sustain a major injury if not wearing a helmet. Sure you will probably be a lot worse off at 35km/h if the same thing happens, just saying you aren't immune from serious injury at low speed. It depends on how you fall and what you hit when you fall. Often in a crash situation you often have no time to react, one moment you are fine, the next moment you are on the ground bleeding and dazed (or worse).


The thing I just don't get with PRO-MHLers is how they always manage to ignore the parallels with so many activities in society.. Seriously.. mandating mandatory lifejackets would save far more people than MHL can ever save.


Or I could say the same thing about car seat belts. Did the introduction of mandatory seat belts give rise to a shift towards public transport? The thing I don't get with ANTI-MHLers is how they always manage to ignore the parallels with so many activities in society...

Re your claim about lifejackets I am not sure where that came from.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby human909 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:42 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:Or I could say the same thing about car seat belts. Did the introduction of mandatory seat belts give rise to a shift towards public transport?

No it didn't. It also significantly improved the safety of motorists. MHLs for bicycles hasn't (as far as we can tell) improved the safety of cyclists. There is evidence suggesting that it has made it LESS safe for cyclists.

Also it is interesting to note that most of the western world has moved toward seat belts. Most have stayed away from MHLs.

ColinOldnCranky wrote:Re your claim about lifejackets I am not sure where that came from.




ColinOldnCranky wrote:If human reckoned it was too far then it was too far.

But thanks for that support. :wink:

I like the cycling like most of us here. I'll use it as transport when it is sensible, practical and easy and I'll try to make it so. At one stage I was commuting Melbourne to Geelong for a couple of months. I found bike-train-bike very sensible and this was despite having a company car. But like many people I am lazy so if it isn't sufficiently easy then I'll look for other options. Some people aren't lazy when it comes to riding long distances daily, all respect to them but that is not me.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Ross » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:12 am

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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Biffidus » Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:56 pm

Ross wrote:For the anti-MHL people

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/b ... intcmp=122


I'm not familiar with how these things work... why was he required to pay a victims of crime levy when both his convictions were quashed?
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:07 pm

Because the law is an ass. :roll:
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby high_tea » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:16 pm

Biffidus wrote:
Ross wrote:For the anti-MHL people

<a class="vglnk" title="Link added by VigLink" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/bike-blog/2012/nov/13/helmets-australia?intcmp=122[/quote"><span>http</span><span>://</span><span>www</span><span>.</span><span>guardian</span><span>.</span><span>co</span><span>.</span><span>uk</span><span>/</span><span>environment</span><span>/</span><span>bike</span><span>-</span><span>blog</span><span>/</span><span>2012</span><span>/</span><span>nov</span><span>/</span><span>13</span><span>/</span><span>helmets</span><span>-</span><span>australia</span><span>?</span><span>intcmp</span><span>=</span><span>122</span><span>[/</span><span>quote</span></a>]

I'm not familiar with how these things work... why was he required to pay a victims of crime levy when both his convictions were quashed?


From what I gather, the convictions weren't quashed, rather she was absolutely discharged, ie the court decided that even though she committed the offence, the appropriate penalty was nothing at all.

Despite this, she was still required to pay the victims of crime levy. According to a blog post she made on the subject, the law has since been changed. Rightly so IMO, because the idea of having to compensate victims of crime when justice requires that no penalty at all be imposed make no sense at all.

She went to court, made her argument and got a result. Short of having the law struck out as invalid (she did blog about running some awesome Kable repugnancy argument or something at one stage) she couldn't have done better. Sucks that this stupid levy law then went and messed it all up. Make of it what you will, but I'm much more creeped out by this victims-of-crime levy thing that the way the MHL was applied here. I'm hazy on the details, but it sounds stupidly indiscriminate, and a lot like double punishment and blatant revenue-raising.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:21 pm

Biffidus wrote:
Ross wrote:For the anti-MHL people

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/b ... intcmp=122


I'm not familiar with how these things work... why was he required to pay a victims of crime levy when both his convictions were quashed?

She. Dr Sue Abbott has been in the news quite a bit about her objection to cycling helmet benefits. I thought her convictions were quashed in the NSW County Court, but evidently the legalocracy have found new ways to hammer her :roll:
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:33 am

il padrone wrote:
Biffidus wrote:
Ross wrote:For the anti-MHL people

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/b ... intcmp=122


I'm not familiar with how these things work... why was he required to pay a victims of crime levy when both his convictions were quashed?

She. Dr Sue Abbott has been in the news quite a bit about her objection to cycling helmet benefits. I thought her convictions were quashed in the NSW County Court, but evidently the legalocracy have found new ways to hammer her :roll:

It's absolutely fascinating that such a system is even in place. Court can't be bothered penalising her beyond the court fees, and it seems that they'll hit you up for money even if the court goes LOLBBQWOTEVABRO :roll:

Regarding mandatory lifejacket laws, I seriously laughed really hard at the public pool example. It's somewhat amusing that kids still drown in pools despite fence laws and CPR signage nearby, in fact the deaths are quite close to cyclist levels, but no one seems to recognise that there is a disparity in protection :(
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:19 pm

Interesting ... Adelaides new young and pro-cycling mayor is suggesting review of MHLs.
http://cyclingresourcecentre.org.au/news/yarwood_aims_to_loosen_strap_on_bike_helmets

THE compulsory wearing of bicycle helmets should be scrapped once city streets are made safer for cyclists, Adelaide’s Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood says.

He says that giving people the option to not wear helmets would boost the number of cyclists.

He goes on to suggest that reducing CBD to 40kph as well as improved infrastructure is needed however.

On removing MHL that is in place:
Bike SA CEO Christian Haag said that making helmets optional would be unlikely to significantly increase the number of riders in Adelaide, even though the helmet laws coincided with a 30 per cent drop in cycling rates.

(BISA chair Jeremy Miller said) “I think that it is a possibility that you may get more people cycling for transport [without helmets], but it’s difficult to know as there hasn’t been any studies looking at a revocation of legal requirements.”
though I gotta say that of all the many reluctant new-riders that quiz me over the years, almost zero ever mention helmets. The two biggies are end-of-trip facilities and traffic separation issues. Taking bikes on public transports is maybe a distant third. After that are helmets somewhere.

While it is quite possible to have head injuries at those speeds, indeed even without a car involved, it has always seemed that the odds are greatly reduced. (No, I don't have stats.) And MHL only makes sense as public policy if it is predicated on probabilities.

Hell, I'd even be happy if helmets were right now optional on existing PSPs. On the basis of those (im)probabilities.

Anyway, have a read of the full article. And as always with MHL, watch this space, so to speak.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Xplora » Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:03 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:MHL only makes sense as public policy if it is predicated on probabilities.

It's not... injury rates increase as rider rates decrease. Anything that discourages cyclists must be eliminated if public policy wants to reduce cyclist injuries. Cynic in me says "I think it might be more than injuries that they are interested in".

Do you get anyone asking about learning the road rules specific for bikes, Colin? Or if they need a speedo to ensure they don't break the speed limit?

MHL is not just about a requirement to wear a lid, it's about the subversion of cycling in general as a transport option, by moving the goalposts on community attitudes. Cyclist participation dropped, and STAYED LOW, because of more than just a law. The hyperpublicity around the change hurt cycling. It hurt the community. It hurt all of us, even those of us who weren't teenagers yet. :shock: It took Cadel Evans to really making cycling a somewhat normal activity again, and that wasn't a transport phenomenon, it was a fitness/hobbyist event.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby il padrone » Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:09 pm

Xplora wrote:It took Cadel Evans to really making cycling a somewhat normal activity again, and that wasn't a transport phenomenon, it was a fitness/hobbyist event.

Bicycle use for transport is currently about 1.5% in Australia. This is really no different to figures during the 80s. I don't regard "cycling as a somewhat normal activity" yet.

:roll: :(
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:16 pm

Xplora wrote:[Do you get anyone asking about learning the road rules specific for bikes, Colin? Or if they need a speedo to ensure they don't break the speed limit?

I dont' understand what this means. Over many years people have asked me a lot but mostl just on the two issues I mentioned.

I think I agree with most of what you say. I assume the first point is about driver awareness being raised as cycling is normalised at some critical mass of riders. And hence reduced risk.
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Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (Was One & ONLY Helmet Thr

Postby Comedian » Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:01 am

ColinOldnCranky wrote:
Xplora wrote:[Do you get anyone asking about learning the road rules specific for bikes, Colin? Or if they need a speedo to ensure they don't break the speed limit?

I dont' understand what this means. Over many years people have asked me a lot but mostl just on the two issues I mentioned.

I think I agree with most of what you say. I assume the first point is about driver awareness being raised as cycling is normalised at some critical mass of riders. And hence reduced risk.


In my opinion you're not being asked about helmets because they know it's not negotiable.

The people put off by the helmets wouldn't have even have gotten to asking.
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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