Tuesday, January 13, 2009

2009 Tour Down Under - cycling promotion or business?










If you just accept what you are being fed in media, the tour and an invitation of Lance is nothing but positive thing.

But if you start to think and see the facts, the reality is somewhat different.

It is nice to watch the cyclists at tour down under, it is even nicer to be able to cycle like them.

Have you noted the dark photo? Read the sign on government building: no cycles in foyer.

This government saw that cyclists are desperate to park their bikes, and rather than providing bicycle stand, government decided to ban cyclists. Not very interesting? Would you classify the taking of this photo as a terrorist activity? Government does. I was actually stopped by secret police while taking this photo and warned not to make such photos again. Leave you to comment further.

http://picasaweb.google.com/niezmienny/GovernmentInSAEncouragesCycling?authkey=1KMui_WjLxQ&feat=directlink

The above link shows many photos, just some examples of government anti-cycling activity.

My favourite Lance Armstrong, I thought that he is so good cyclist and health promoter, but now... Perhaps you may help me to make an opinion. I've contacted Lance through his webpage, begging him to do something about road safety in SA. No reply. How can I interpreat it?

Yes, as a health professional, I do promote cycling, and the absolutely most common answer from average people is: no way, I let my children to cycle on  our roads, it's far too dangerous.

The essence of my criticism is that inviting Lance Armstrong as cycling undisputed champion and health campaigner, and absolute determination of the government not to improve cyclist safety on our roads, sends actually very confussing message.

In fact it is once off, the entertainment like a circus. I am not ment to bring a comprehensive analysis of road probems in SA, but just turn your attention to the purpose of this Tour Down Under. (please find the service hole on the picture as per link, which is next to parliament house, which caused me to crash on the road what could be fatal in heavy traffic. They paid for wheel damage but are determined not to fix this service hole.)

Having some opportunity let me bring a few of many points on what government does wrong on road safety.

1. Refuse to train car drivers for safety.

2. Refuse to legislate cyclists as more vulnerable road users, making car drivers faulty in case of crash unless they prove innocence.

3. Refuse to legislate 1m space to cyclists whenever car overtakes them.

4. Refuse to investigate all crashes, particularly with cyclists, and to take all reasonable steps to improve guilty driver's driving ability.

5. Refuse to take reports of dangerous driving incidents and to include them into statistics.

6. Police offend cyclists and this is classed as normal job of police.

7. Police in general have extremely poor understanding road rules and road safety, and also push to dangerous driving.

There are many more points, but anyone can check the above and have own experience.

In a few words, all relevant ministers and the Premier do everything they can not to improve safety and police does everything not to improve safety but to raise their revenue. 

Adelaide City Council refuse to take responsibility of damaged wheels of cyclists, no cost reimbursement, no fixing of their negligence in sense of holes and so on.

It seems that there is no business in right doing but lots of business in wrong. 

If you read this message as positive message, as the desire to cycle safely and freely, you are correct. The more cyclists, the heathier whe become, the more free space on the roads, the cleaner air. Killing, injuring or near missing cyclist, will not solve any problem some drivers try to "solve". Cyclists have right to use roads. If you are upset on cyclists, you are surely wrong. If there is something to improve, do not teach cyclists or other drivers, teach politicians, ask them to improve.

If my blogs will not be blocked, I intend to publish lots of details on road safety. Latest is the research I've conducted to show what is the actual situation on the roads. Will publish results and some ideas to improve safety.

Honestly, sure, tour was nice, and with Lance will definitely be much nicer, but will it persuade any single person who is today afraid to cycle, to take bike and cycle regularly?

safety campaigner

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