Friday, May 6, 2011
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!...you 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...
...(LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! THOSE 2 BICYCLE POLICEMEN!!!)...
...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!!!