Friday, May 6, 2011

Old enough to be their mum!

Stopped by bicycle police on Pyrmont Bridge this week sans helmet, and more disappointingly, sans camera - what a missed opportunity to capture fabulous 'Mad Max-y' Aussie police bike gear - shame!

Notwithstanding, had an interesting discourse with the 2 young chaps touching upon 'usual suspects' of the helmet debate ie:

* my 'conscientious objector status'

* no Class-One evidence proving actual protection

* extensive studies & squabbling academics

* my frequent court sojourns on this matter, with further 'Court Attendance Notice' pending

* nowhere else in world (sauf NZ) burdened with our helmet regulation

* blah! blah! blah! know the rest...

...but the Pièce de Résistance' of bridge moment (bear with me!!!!) was when they asked me how often I fall off my bicycle (??????????) and I answered that I never fall off because cycling is not exactly difficult plus I'm very experienced given that I've been riding a bicycle for at least 46 years.

...(best bit is now!)...they said to me that couldn't possibly be true because I couldn't be 46 let alone have cycled for 46 years...


...and when I mentioned I was 51, they said no way, that I didn't even look 30 (yes! yes! I know it was dark but who cares - a compliment's a compliment!!!!)...

...for a brief moment I was speechless, but quickly recovered myself to say that I was old enough to be their mother and looked how I looked because I cycled everywhere untrammelled by dangerous & restrictive helmets!!!!

Must admit it was a struggle to introduce seriousness back into the conversation but upon being asked why I thought helmet laws had been introduced in the first place I was able to rejoinder for purely commercial & merchandising purposes. To illustrate my hypotheses I drew their attention to their own particular bicycle gear that wasn't just specialised for their mode of transport but for their job as well:

"Take for example your gloves," I expansively declared, "not only have they chopped off the fingers at great expense but they've had to stitch the words 'police' on the much reduced fabric space; & then there are your shorts and your tops and even your helmets, all with extra stitching and labelling - it has cost a packet to get you decked out for your evening cycle ride whereas the way I'm dressed right now hasn't cost me a cycling cent!"

Well, a sweet friendly bicycle-police 'warning' was issued with a further 'warning' that should by chance we meet again, an infringement notice would surely follow.

I can only hope we meet again! - it's not every day you hear such gallantry!!!!...

...& sure beats the 'f' word, the 'c' word and even the 'w' word (the 'w' word being 'wombat', inexplicably a favourite Aussie insult) all issued to me this week by passing motorists!!!


  1. Nice one!

    Did you happen to see this recent blog post from Sydney uni Prof?

  2. Chuckle! chuckle! - it certainly was a very amusing encounter!!!!

    ...& thanks, anon, I did see Chris' article on the conversation - very rational and convincing - when will our politicians wake up to themselves?

  3. You obviously charmed them, Sue. My encounter with the same police officers ended with one of them comparing riding without a helmet to murder, and me getting a ticket...