Freestyle Cyclists helmet optional ride, Adelaide May 29th.

This short film captures well the spirit of the ride that was held last week to coincide with the Velo-city Global European Cycling Federation conference in Adelaide.

Australian anti helmet law activists were joined by conference delegates and Adelaide cyclists in a relaxed ride along the Torrens river trail to Henley Beach. A police escort was provided for the ride.

By all accounts it was a wonderful event .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mL8uTLoCTf0&feature=youtu.be

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I've given a short "impressions of VeloCity" on the VeloCity thread.  The ride was sensational.  Even in quite bike hostile places like Adelaide, you find some amazingly positive, motivated and understanding fellow travellers.  really brought home the feeling that "life is better on a bike"

A bunch of adults riding slowly on a bike path require a police escort. This would have to be the stupidest country on the planet.

I found that video embarrassing to watch.

The police had to catch anyone falling off their bikes to prevent brain damage .

The irony of needing a police escort for such a ride certainly wasn't lost on the delegates from the conference who came on the ride.  Unfortunately Australian cycling conditions and attitudes are a huge embarrassment.  Still, it gave an opportunity for a pretty diverse bunch of people to enjoy a ride together.  And whilst the "need for a police escort" is beyond absurdity, it did offer a chance for some quite positive communication between those normally kept apart by the need, on one side, to avoid the police, and on the other, by the expectation that they enforce the (ridiculous) law.

From what I understand the police were only there because the ride was deemed a protest. Can someone confirm or correct me on this?

Initially our contact from the police said via email that they might fine us, and we might be liable for anyone injured on the ride.  Once the story of possible confrontation broke in the Adelaide media, I was contacted again, and told that it would be treated as a protest ride, and that we would be given a police escort to ensure the ride proceeded safely.

I also heard someone say that the police moved you at a faster pace than you necessarily (or naturally) wanted to ride. Is that true?

Not that I noticed.  I was near the back of the group, and ride fairly slowly

Surely, if the danger of head injury from such an extreme pastime as pootling quietly along a riverside bike path was so great, it would have made more sense to have an armada of ambulances following the riders.

Stupid and embarrassing is an understatement. (Note: we may not be the stupidest country on the planet because NZ followed our lead on MHL. But then again "we" elected Voldemort. Though, of course, they had Piggy Muldoon all those years ago, best remembered for the line that NZ emigration to Australia was improving the IQ of both countries. Hey, ... wait a minute, that implies that we ...  Oh, rats. This is the stupidest country on the planet.)

Oh, and isn't that a certain saintly SC member cruising by at 1:16 in that video?

And I saw Sue Abbott in there as well, recognisable because of her non-helmet-hair.

Other non protest events in Victoria have also had police escorts.

Awesome video of a civilized event. 

Thanks for sharing

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