Friday, March 21, 2014

A beginner's guide to becoming a cartoon villain.

I'm a pretty unobjectionable bloke most of the time. I go to work, I pay my taxes, I donate to charity. I try to be polite and courteous, I obey the law and generally try to treat others as I would like to be treated myself. Most of the time, as I say, I'm a pretty unobjectionable chap.

There is one thing  I do however, which marks me as a member of a dangerous and lawless minority, whose welfare counts for naught and who is open to discrimination and vilification at any time.

I ride a bike.

Public enemy number one. Also number two.

This revolutionary act, though somehow legal, transforms me from an upright citizen into a target for bile. It doesn't have to be reasonable, it doesn't have to have any basis in fact. You can even try to kill me, and there's a good chance the cops won't even care. And people far and wide will have it in for you, seemingly out of all proportion to the offence you think you're causing.

For example, here's an editorial from today's Australian. Keep in mind this is a newspaper which pretends to be a serious national broadsheet:

The arrogant sense of entitlement in our inner cities is also evident in the ever-growing number of cyclists snaking their way through pedestrians on overcrowded pathways, darting between cars and clogging-up lanes on our congested roadways.

The problem of city cyclists reached their apogee in Melbourne this week when a cyclist was “doored” on busy Collins Street, after a passenger opened a taxi door and a rider crashed into it. Neither the taxi nor its passenger could be deemed at fault because a narrow “bike lane” inhibited the taxi from stopping next to the kerb. The passenger was lucky to avoid serious injury.

What makes this incident even more absurd is that, although the lane was marked by a bicycle symbol, it was not actually a dedicated bicycle lane. Melbourne bike lanes must have signage, fixed to a pole, that shows the start and finish of a lane, as well as clear markings on the road itself. The state’s bicycle operations officer — yes, there is such a position — admits there is confusion for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists. Cyclists, including the one “doored” this week, are using cameras to film such incidents so they can make insurance claims. The Victorian government imposed even tougher on-the-spot fines in 2012 for people who opened car doors in the direct path of cyclists.

For too long, authorities have bowed to the demands of selfish cyclists and their lobby groups. Truth is, our cities are dominated by cars because they are sprawling. We have no equivalent of Amsterdam and should stop pretending we do.

Charming isn't it? Now there's a lot of people riding bikes these days, for health and fitness and fun. They probably have an arrogant sense of entitlement to ride on road their tax dollars pay for. We need to get organised and we need to send a message that this sort of thing is just not on just because some fat white middle-aged editorial writer from The Australian nearly got skittled by bike one day ten years ago and got a gobful for not looking where he was going and hasn't gotten over the butthurt of it all. We need tougher penalties for the people who place our lives at risk and we need to stop taking this sort of shit from the media. It's time the bodies which purported to represent us started kicking some goals instead of fighting amongst themselves. And my message to The Australian? Fuck you. 

1 comment:

lancefieldlairs said...

Yes, fuck the Australian and every other narrow minded, red necked fun fucker that ever had a sook about someone riding a bike or for that matter doing something they enjoyed.These would have been the turds that smashed sand castles and told kids there's no Santa. Get a life and go and enjoy it instead of worrying about how even seeing someone on a bike could end the world for you.
And another thing, don't drive on my road, because my council maintains it with the money I pay them and because you don't live around here or pay rates to my local council you can again FUCK OFF.
Nice words Dave,