In today's SMH letters, Michael O'Briens ponders the disparity between child seats in cars (requiring installation by a trained professional) and those on bicycles.  He calls for a ban on these devices (think of the children) which is fair enough because he rides a bike too.

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If it's like other country towns, a large population lives on acreage and farmland up to 20-30km outside the town, yet attend school and employment in the township itself.

I agree though, for those travelling entirely within the town proper, then a bike is an obvious choice.

That said, I'm still surprised it has anything approaching what Sydney people would describe as a peak hour.

What's the nature of the traffic through town - do they get B-Doubles rumbling through, or is there a bypass?

There is a bypass around to the north of the city, so heavy vehicles mostly take that, although not if they have a destination in orange of course. Hopefully b doubles would be excluded,

Population of the greater orange city area is 40,000, including adjacent rural areas, which have about 4000 residents, so not that many on acreages. Another 20,000 live in the large adjacent LGAs of Blayney and Carbonne shires which surround orange.

Like most peak hours in the country it would be short but intense as every tries to get to work at the same time.

Population of the greater orange city area is 40,000,

Thanks Bob - Interesting link, looking at the data it would seem they are very spread out.

It says that the 40,000 are spread over 284 square kilometres, with an average density of 1.4 people per hectare (Waverley LGA by comparison is over 70).

Most are close in, in the suburbs, where the density is about 10. All walkable or cycleable, but damned nippy in winter!

Talking about b dubs, this crash was a tanker from an Orange based company, Finemores, so there may be few on the main streets.

I was chatting to a lady this morning who had a child seat on her bike and she said that cars give her a wider berth

I remember cycling along towards Church Point and in the distance noticed cars giving a huge berth when overtaking a bike up front. Jealous.

When I caught it I noticed that it had a child seat on the back.

I had a think about fitting one to my bike, with dummy child installed.

Course there is the weight issue but carbon should fix that.

Hmmm ... DuraAce carbon child seat, for the nervous weight weenie ... 

There's a market fo shizzle. 

Yes, I imagine that Mr O' would get a very wide berth if he was wearing a skirt.


Long blonde pigtails worked for Dr. Ian Walker. Maybe that's a bit easier.

"The bearded academic rode with a long blond wig to see if there was any difference in passing distance when motorists thought they were overtaking a woman. Vehicles gave 'her' an average of 14cm more space when he was pretending to be a female cyclist."

I once read (I think it was in a BBC article) about a researcher who found that drivers gave female cyclists a wider berth than they did male.

He tested his theory by riding as himself then, donning a long wig and a look like a woman.

The results showed that on average, the 'woman' was given a good amount of extra space when being overtaken though he did concede that part of this extra distance may have been that people really wanted to stay well clear of "...that crazy man in a dress and a wig."

His latest research

Seems motorists are leaving less room now than in a past study. Also motorists give more room to a cyclist wearing a shirt saying Police than to one saying Polite, proving that motorists can see when they want to.

I wonder if the Crimestoppers jerseys are still available? Last time I looked they had sold out.


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