Apparently Bicycle Network came to Sydney - from what I can see from their facebook page they appear to have set up their pitch on the north side of the bridge. Bicycle Network have some controversial views - they oppose the minimum passing distance, pushed for the equalisation of fines for cyclists in Victoria and staunchly oppose any repeal of MHL. Will they be any better at advocacy than BNSW? What do people think?

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99.9 percent of commuters in our last count were wearing helmets.

Either they turn a blind eye to anyone not wearing a helmet in order to get those numbers, or their advocacy aimed at getting helmet fines raised to extraordinary levels has made everyone too scared not to wear one.

Doesn't say much about "normalising" helmet use.

A message from General Motors and RACV.

Follow the money.

Talking to Bicycle Network is not entirely useless. It is a way to hear the “thinking” from the bureaucrats in Victoria. A bit of history might be useful.

In the early 1980’s, bureaucrats in Victoria were pressured by doctors to impose a bicycle helmet law. They managed to convince themselves that this was an essential safety measure. They were pushing for a helmet law in Victoria before the federal government got involved.

These bureaucrats view of the world is like this: they introduced the bicycle helmet law, it is their brainchild. They still genuinely believe that the helmet law has improved safety. That is fairly easy to do when you have plenty of money to commission “studies” to tell you exactly that. They can quote many (flawed) studies that claim that “helmets protect against x% of head injuries”. If you try to show them that in the real world the rate of injury has actually increased, they ignore you. They stubbornly refuse to acknowledge anything that threatens their ideology, including that the helmet law reduces cycling.

In the 1990’s, there was vigorous debate within Bicycle Victoria regarding their position on the helmet law. Should they support it? Those against it argued it was an extreme law that harmed cycling. The bureaucrats were worried about opposition to their controversial legislation from the main bicycle group, and were keen to offer incentives to influence the debate. Those arguing in favor of it wanted the government on their side, so that they could have govt funding and cooperation for their big group rides. In the end, it was govt funding and support for the big rides that won at the expense of utility cycling.

Since, Bicycle Victoria has been working in close relationship with the Victorian govt. They have worked so closely for so long that they have adopted their “thinking”. There is a dangerous self-delusion arising from reinforcing each others beliefs within such closed circles, made worse when it is reinforced by “studies” they have commissioned. When you talk to Bicycle Network, you hear the “thinking” from this deluded closed circle.

It should be no surprise that they have sought the car industry as a core funding source, as the car industry enthusiastically supports the helmet law. Bicycle Network are now heavily funded, and are using those funds to spread their ideology to other states. This has nothing to do with advocacy for cycling, particularly cycling as a mode of transport.

Let's accept though, the 1990's in Victoria, due also to BUGs working through local government, saw what is still Australia's best on-road cycling infrastructure.

You would be referring to the white paint in the door-zone?

yes, often it is that.

Don`t bother with sending an emails to Garry Brennan.

Just send  parcels of dog cr@p to him at his office.

Send jars of FIGJAM instead. The guy loves the stuff.

  "The reason we are expanding further into NSW is that riders in NSW want us there"...

Well,I'm a rider in NSW and I don't want them there. Or anywhere else actually.


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