ON YER BIKE: Enviro militants embarrassed by communal bike scheme flop

crackedbikes Embarrassed by the failure of Melbourne’s $5.5 million bike-hire scheme, out-of-town bike bullies are telling Victorians they should risk brain damage and death to fulfill their ecological agenda of bicycle-riding.

A Sydney bike militant Mike Rubbo tells The Age he plans to ride without a helmet. And he wants to encourage others to risk their personal safety by doing the same.

Another visitor, a not-so great Dane, Mikael Colville-Andersen, summoned up the full extent of his Nordic charm ahead of the Melbourne Cycling Forum to tell his host country:

”You are the fattest country in the world, you should be encouraging cycling, not convincing people it’s dangerous.”

The share-bike scheme is just the latest failed Greens party boosted experiment that was unwisely taken up by the City of Melbourne and the Victorian government. Nearly six million dollars has purchased 600 bikes, making them more expensive than many people’s cars.

And no-one’s using them, with fewer than 70 trips being made a day.

Bike militants say it’s because bike riders are required to wear helmets and it’s not convenient for people to carry helmets around on the off-chance they might want to savour the delights of a bike ride around the city.

Wisely, the government is having none of it, refusing to put lives at risk to fulfill the environmental fantasies of left-wing cultural warriors.

Vending machines for communally shared – and hopefully freshly deloused – bike helmets (and secure bins for their safe return) is perhaps the only way for the government’s wasteful gimmicky wannabe Green scheme to be saved from its own stupidity. Failing that, the ill-considered bike-hire scheme will continue to attract negative publicity in the lead-up to the state election.

Some believe they’d be better off cancelling the whole thing, with other health risks alarming experts:

A study released in June by the Transport Research Institute at Hasselt University in Brussels revealed that cyclists inhale around five times more toxic nanoparticles than pedestrians or car drivers; these toxic nanoparticles have been linked to heart disease and increased susceptibility to asthma attacks.



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19 responses to “ON YER BIKE: Enviro militants embarrassed by communal bike scheme flop

  1. Arther conan doyle

    $10K a bike? Are you pissing in our pockets Andrew? Who got that contract? Tell us more.

  2. Jack

    “All published cost-benefit analyses of injury rates before and after helmet laws show the cost of helmets exceeded any estimated savings in healthcare costs.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1410838/?tool=pubmed

    Perhaps helmets aren’t so effective after all.

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  4. sg

    F* off. Since the get-go, said enviro-militants have been saying that this scheme appears to be designed to fail, just so that all Murdochites and wannabe-Murdochites can lampoon it, and well here we are.
    And love the ‘logic’ in your last paragraph too – the fact that cyclists endure a toxic atmosphere caused by cars is somehow the fault of cyclists.

  5. Adrian Jackson

    The Fitzroy St, St Kilda, “Copenhagen” style bike lane is both a white elephant and dangerous to drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.

  6. Syphologist - a pox on pollsters

    Lycra Losers, and the women-in-comfortable-shoes who smell just as bad, all have their own bikes. No-one else wants to be guilty by association.

  7. g13

    I’m with sg (July 23, 2010, 17:12) on this one.

  8. Le Helmet

    Take a look at the Tour de France and you will see all the professional riders wear helmets. Yes I hate them and yes I think they should be optional for adults. BUT they are proberly best worn. Ther Greens blow mopre brain cells taking illegal drugs. Drugs they want declared legal.

  9. Hal Fwit

    The riders in the Tour de France wear helmets in case a crazed Aussie tries to headbut them…as happened last week. Now when are we get a decent article on the ancient pleasure of saddle sniffing?

  10. Syphologist - A Pox on Pollsters

    There’s a big call for those stupid “Copenhagen” bicycle lanes to be removed in Melbourne. Meetings happening between MCC and interested parties.

    Does anyone have evidence that this stupidity actually exists in Copenhagen? Whenever I hear that an idea is sourced from Scandinavia it automatically triggers my BS-alarm … someone has made up the reference, and attributed it to the farthest credible society from Australia. Being on the other side of the world, they figure no-one will actually check!

  11. Walter Plinge

    That this would be the outcome was blindingly obvious well before the money was spent. Apart from the helmet issue who wants to to their city shopping on a bike when we have a great tram service?

    TDF — helmets are for aerodynamic effects as much as safety.

    I ride a bike every day but when I need to go into the CBD I go by trains and use trams to get around.

    And, having come off my bike and hit my head on the road 4 times over the past 3 years, there is no way I would be without a helmet. I would have survived but the resulting wounds would not impress my clients.

    I’d give it a couple of years then the scheme will be quietly dismantled and the bikes auctioned off. They’re OK bikes if you like heavy-duty (and heavy) utility cycles for use on flat roads.

  12. Changenhopen

    As someone who spent some time in Copenhagen, they do indeed have wide bike lanes right next to narrow footpaths. And still some prefer to ride on the footpaths (is there a cognitive difficulty that cyclists share regarding where to ride??)

    You take your life into your own hands there!

    I was also told that in the event of an accident between a bike and a car, the car is always at fault… even if the cyclist actually caused it.

    Go figure.

  13. Harry Crane

    Riders in the Tour De France are pinging along in a massive pack, in a professional bike race, at 60 kmh on the flat and 100 kmh downhill. They are not tooling around to the milk bar to buy a loaf of bread.

    Helmets are compulsory in car racing as well – does that mean that they should be compulsory for drivers and passengers in cars? Many, many more people sustain head injuries in car accidents each year than in bike accidents.

    I would have thought a person who takes pride in being “anti-lefty” would actually be against, rather than for, state compulsion in matters pertaining to personal conduct, and would therefore advocate personal choice when it comes to whether or not to wear a helmet. But here you are arguing that individuals should be compelled by the state to wear bike helmets, and that leaving personal safety to the judgement of individuals is some sort of whacky notion from the basket-weaving extreme left. I guess when a “left wing” idea gets attacked from (allegedly) further on the left, it somehow becomes a right wing idea.

  14. Adrian Jackson

    I say about 50 bike activists (looked like Brunswick types) on TV in Melbourne CBD protesting against wearing bike helmet and the police fined them.

    It also looked like a stunt to get more people to ride the nerdy blue bikes available in the city but do not have helmets provided. as its largely a flop.

    Why do they think that things that may be successful in medieval Europe will work here in Oz?

  15. Breathe in, breathe out

    Harry, old bean, it may have slipped under your personal radar but wearing of bike helmets has been compulsory for yonks. Yeah, I know you wouldnt think so looking about in the burbs at cyclists riding to an accident somewhere, but its meant to be like seatbelts.

    AJ, do you mean that bunch of ‘Bob Hawkes Men’ on the news? I cracked up when the spokesperson said we have to get people on bikes.
    It would be nice that one day a week at least I am not told what I ‘must do’ by some git interfering in my life and trying to foist their crazed ideas on me, especially if it’s not illegal, I would have thunk.

  16. Philip Crowley

    Anyone wondering what København’s cycle system looks, or works like. Here are some photos from Denmark.

  17. sooty

    It’s exactly like seatbelts. And like seatbelts, some people need to be compelled to do what is sensible.

    The law must intervene for the greater good, which in this case is preventing cyclists suffering brain damage and requiring state support for the remainder of their lives, not to mention destroying the lives of their loved ones.

    As someone who rides to work daily and has stacked it a few times, I would never go anywhere on my bike without my helmet. One time, my head hit the ground and split my helmet at about 5kph and about 20 metres from leaving my house … so even ‘tooling around to the milk bar’ can be deadly.

    An acquaintance of mine went missing for a week after a bike accident (sans helmet) where he suffered a brain injury and lost his memory. He is now unable to work for the remainder of his life.

    To Harry Crane, and other dorky helmet freedom fighters who are ‘keepin it real man’, I’d suggest a visit to a trauma unit of your nearest hospital.

  18. Carli

    Is this the best you can do Andrew? it’s pathetic. Can’t wait to see you shrivel into your seat if you still can fit into a seat when the Greens get the balance of power and the world as we know it doesn’t collapse.

    🙂 lets face it, the right wing will slowly die when Labor realises that they can either turn into the Liberal party or start looking to progressive policies again.

  19. politicalrealist

    The dirty Greens policies are often wacky and way out. The difference here is most green policies never see the light of day, but on this occassion it did. And see the consequences. Buy the greens some soap and deoderand on August 21st and put them last!

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