Thursday, February 22, 2018

Whiff of hope - am I delerious or something?

In relation to riding a bicycle in Australia for me personally things have been a touch wintery over the last 6 months.

Literally hounded by the police every time I get on my bicycle, I have parked my beautiful set of wheels in a shed at home, and now I drive into town interspersing that with occasional walking if it's not over 35 degrees celsius which it hardly ever isn't!!

But there is change in the air ... I can feel it.

It could be the usual butterflies I experience before pending court cases (Newcastle District Court next week!) but something else is making me feel jumpily hopeful.

There's a new type of doctor, a new type of journalist, and they're not so wedded to their own experience of using a bicycle. In fact they are listening to other people's stories about using bicycles, other people's narratives, hearing about the drop in cycling rates and appalling conditions, and if our politicians would only do the same things could only improve in the transport equation of sharing Australian roads.

But back to me and next week's court matter!

I shall be re-visiting section 41 BD of the Therapeutic Goods Act and how in my opinion bicycle helmets can be defined as medical devices. Consequently misguided politicians can not force me to plonk some ridiculous plastic hat on top of my head in an erroneous gesture of protection.

I am not confident but 'c'est la vie, on verra.'

Of course next week's matter is not the end of it ... I have two more matters for the Scone Local Court to be heard at some stage but they've been temporarily popped onto the backburner as the police had prior engagements - we're looking at April some time after Easter.

Looking ahead, for those matters I am thinking of acquiring a 'medical exemption' so I've been looking through the 'catalogue'!

I am dithering between either the 'skin cancer' option or the 'latex allergy' option - (surely that nasty mix of plastic, polystyrene and chemicals contains something I'm allergic to in it?!).

But could there even be a 'beyond plastic' option?

Could we object to the mandated pollution-consumerism we're obliged to sign up to if we wish to use bicycles for transport?

Could we object to the mandated purchasing of unrecyclable plastic objects which we know will end up in landfill every 2-5 years? ... War on Waste and all that?!

I think we possibly can ... self-defence, necessity, anyone?

But back to next week, must remember to stay in the framework of my argument from the court of first instance ... so Therapeutic Goods Act it is juxtaposed with the Therapeutic Goods (Excluded Goods) Order No. 1 of 2011.

Notwithstanding next week though, I will definitely be revisiting the exemption catalogue again once next week is out of the way!!!

Such a daft country ...

Saturday, December 2, 2017

London calling: postcard campaign draws to a close

Dear Melinda,
If I were in Australia I would be mentioning my latest helmet matter in Scone Court. So I'm sending "bicycle Love" to my lawyer (and you can have some too!)
Best,
Sue Abbott

 Dear Melinda,
Why do politicians have to make simple things so very difficult. 
It couldn't be that hard to grant me an exemption to  wearing a bicycle helmet effective immediately?!
Best,
Sue Abbott 

 Dear Melinda,
My time in the UK has drawn to a close. Much is wrong here as you know but their doctors prevented helmet law using Australia as a case in point.
Repeal helmet law - it would improve roads considerably.
Best,
Sue Abbott

Thursday, November 30, 2017

London calling: mail for Melinda Pavey MP

Dear Melinda,
There are bicycles everywhere! In with the traffic, on super blue highways, dinking, with toddlers in seats, baguettes in baskets. We could have this.
Best,
Sue Abbott

 Dear Melinda,
Here in London going to the shops on a bicycle is not a mission like it is in Australia - you just hop on a bike. Get rid of helmet law.
Best,
Sue Abbott 

 Dear Melinda,
Australia:
- no good at bicycles
- no good at climate change
- no good at giving asylum 
- no good all round
We are a disgrace.
Best,
Sue Abbott

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

London calling: more postcards 17/18/19 November 2017

Dear Melinda,
Modal share of bikes in London worse than The Netherlands but considerably better than Sydney.
Your govenment is holding us back with your backward transprot strategies.
Best,
Sue Abbott

  Dear Melinda,
Bicycles wil have their day again and no Australian government will be able to hold them back forever -  a little like King Canute, the tide will come in.
 Best,
Sue Abbott 

 Dear Melinda,
The benefits of cycling outweigh the risks by 20:1 - please grant me an exemption. 
At age 57, I can ill afford to be sedentary.
Best,
Sue Abbott

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Anti-helmet postcard campaign from Southwell pondering Dutch cycling

Dear Melinda,
In The Netherlands the road system is designed for multiple use - no[t] so in Australia where it is designed purely for automobiles. 
Please grant me an exemption for helmet wearing.
Best,
Sue Abbott

 Dear Melinda,
In The Netherlands roundabouts have a dedicated lane for bicycles, and drivers leaving roundabouts must give way to bikes that are continuing onwards. A lot more useful than helmet law.
Best,
Sue Abbott

 Dear Melinda,
In The Netherlands traffic lights are programmed for cycling speeds NOT car speeds. And at traffic lights, bikes get their own waiting area ahead of cars & often their own set  of human-height lights to give cyclists a head start. More useful than helmet law.
Best,
Sue Abbott 

 Dear Melinda,
In The Netherlands bicycle lanes are plentiful, and they seldom disappear just as roads get to tricky junctions - I mean in Australia our bike lanes disappear all the time as road engineers FAIL to do what ought to come next.
Best,
Sue Abbott

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Anti-helmet postcard campaign from Hucknall, Eastwood & Beeston

Dear Melinda,
Essesntially our quest as a nation to make everyone wear helmets on bicycles isn't a public safety success story but a glaringly obvious policy failure. 
Please give me an exemtpion.
Best,
Sue Abbott

 Dear Melinda,
You know and I know that cycling safety is more than wearing a styrofoam hat! 
You know and I know that it's about infrastructure and your govenment's failure to invest in it. Helmets are "The Emperor's New Clothes"!
Best,

Sue Abbott 

 Dear Melinda,
I am thrilled to learn today that I am no longer breaking  the law by eating hemp seed!
One less criminal activity now that we don't have to pretend when we buy it that it's for cosmetic use!
Do the same for bicycle helmets & cycling - revoke R.256!
Best,
Sue Abbott

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Anti-helmet postcards from Lowdham, Nottingham & Mansfield

Dear Melinda,
Giving up cycling has been very bad for me. My quads have weakened and as a result have caused my knnes to be unprotected and the meniscus in my 'Left' knee to tear. Cycling is so beneficial in so many ways. NSW Health can ill afford to create barriers to cycling.
Best,
Sue Abbott

 Dear Melinda,
For the sake of my knees, please give me an exemption from wearing a bicycle helmet. It is madness that a country would deliberately place the health of its citizens at risk through such ignorant regulation.
Best,
Sue Abbott

Dear Melinda,
Why is it that other countries have not gone 'done' [sic]( corrected to 'down' before posting!) the pathway of compulsory bicycle helmet wearing? Do you think they have judged Australia to be a case in point for abject failure of such an initiative?
Best,
Sue Abbott