18 Jul 2010
RIDING FOR BIKE SHARE
See press notes at the end of this post.
Plans for the ride are in place. Next Saturday a group of cyclists who feel passionately about Melbourne’s Bike Share scheme, will ride in support of a plan which we hope will help the scheme survive.
Our supportive ride will be held on Saturday, 24th July at 10 Am. The meeting place, the Bike Share docking station on Melbourne Univ. campus in Tin Alley. (detail of make on Site)
Some 24 bikes are usually docked there, plenty for our ride, we suspect. If not , there are other docking stations in the area. We learned how to use the system watching this.
Meanwhile, Denver’s scheme, the first biggie in the US, launched, April 2010, the first of many. Coming up like mushrooms, they are!
Dress will be political cycle chic, namely, looking good in our normal clothes minus Lycra, glo vests, and helmets, indeed anything which suggests cycling is dangerous.
(detail of Barcelona’s very chic bikes, Bicing, launched, May, 2007.
Bicing achieved 30,000 subscribers in it’s first 2 months; starting with 15 stations and 200 bicycles. Since then, it’s grown rapidly and now has 400 stations, 6,000 bikes znd 186,000 subscribers.)
We’ll risk fines as we ride around Carlton to show what Bike share could look like if not stifled by our compulsory helmet laws .
We ‘ll block no traffic, break no laws except the one which says adults here can’t be trusted to choose whether to wear head protection or not. The law which treats us like children.
We’ll ride to propose that there be a helmet exemption for this type of sit-up bike, so that if you ride such a bike, to wear a helmet is your choice, as it is all over Europe , Great Britain, Asia, and much of North America.
Coming into line with the rest of the world, our vital bike share scheme, which we’ve nicknamed Mixi, will have a good chance to survive.
Since so few Australians now ride sit-up bikes, few would be personally affected by our proposal.
It’s new riders who’ll get used to feeling safe and looking good without a helmet, as do most Europeans. (See Copenhagen Cycle Chic.)
(Photo from that blog, below. Copenhagen Cars enviously eye the future riding by. Yes, they know the writing’s on the road. )
Mikael Colville-Andersen, the renowned Danish cycling consultant and blogger, who’s in Melbourne to give a talk on the same Saturday, will cover our ride for his famous blog, Copenhagenize.com.
Mikael was one of the first to point out that Bike share and helmets don’t mix. We followed his lead with our own predictions and solution a year ago
He recently discovered that one city values its bike share so much, that they’ve repealed their helmet laws, just as we propose. Mexico city has done this, and Tel Aviv is planning to, Mikael reports.
Is what we suggest irresponsible? We think not. We note that there is no reported safety crisis anywhere where helmets are optional.
In Montreal, where helmet use is around 40%, the beloved Bixis, had a very safe first season. An astonishing 3.5 million of Kms were ridden in the city on Bixis, many kms. by new riders.
Yet this resulted in only 5 accidents involving the new bikes, none serious, according to the Bixi Press Officer. Is that not re assuring?
The protection helmets provide is vastly exaggerated by Australian authorities who, one suspects, like to avoid spending money on what really works as opposed to what is cheap and open to fear campaigns. True cycling safety is under the wheels, not on the head.
That means separated bike paths as one finds all over Europe. They cost a lot but such infrastructure repays the investment many times over, with cities freed of cars, with a slim and healthy citizenry, and lower carbon emissions. Indeed, many of the major problems of our time are cost effectively addressed by making bikes safer.
Bike share is the turbo charger of all that’s good about city cycling which is why it must be saved by radical measures. That’s is why we ride to draw attention to our daring solution, and to bring the contentious exemption we propose, into public debate.
After the ride and photo-shoot, we’ll dock our bikes and repair to Lygon street for coffee. Wish us luck.
Good luck to London too. Barklay’s bikes will launch July 30th.
Russell Meddin who writes the bike share blog sent me a Barclay’s bike fun pic, relevant to our headgear issue.
(Mr. K Ranger, advisor to City of London on Bike Share)
Russell urges patience and offers the old adage;“Sihk and you will find”
Press. Notes. Why this ride?
1. Bike share has proven itself able to rapidly promote utility cycling all over the world.
2. Bike Share has never worked and cannot work with compulsory helmets.
3. We propose that sit-up bikes (All Bike share bikes are sit-ups) be exempted from compulsory helmets.
4. This will strengthen the Melbourne scheme and increase the popularity of sit-up bikes which are always associated with high levels of utility bike use.
5. Overseas experience shows this will not result in more injuries to cyclists. Everyone adjusts. Cyclist ride more carefully and slowly , drivers are more aware of cyclists and also more careful. There’s proven safety in numbers.
Questions may be left here.
Mike Rubbo and Dr. Paul Martin