my refusal to wear a bicycle helmet

my refusal to wear a bicycle helmet
...is informed

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!...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!!!

5 comments:

  1. Nice one!

    Did you happen to see this recent blog post from Sydney uni Prof? http://theconversation.edu.au/articles/ditching-bike-helmets-laws-better-for-health-517

    ReplyDelete
  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?

    ReplyDelete
  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...

    ReplyDelete