How to Handle the Anti-Cyclist

December 16, 2014
How to Handle the Anti-Cyclist

Is this a familiar scenario? :

You’re at a BBQ or a dinner party or some kind of social gathering. Conversation turns to you and the fact you like to ride. Quite a bit. Someone hears this and starts giving their two bob’s worth about how cyclists should be charged registration. Cyclists think they can totally disregard road rules. Cyclists shouldn’t be allowed on major roads. In short – let’s ban cyclists from our roads!

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Boo hoo to the narrow-minded motorist – I don’t have a violin small enough to play.


Next time you find yourself having to listen to the same old, same old; here’s some ammo that might come in handy…

  • Road repairs are covered by councils, not car registrations and road constructions are funded by general taxes – so if they’re using that old chestnut about motorists paying for the roads, they might want to dial it down.

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  • How would bikes be registered in a way that could be meaningful should they break the law? Should they have a huge bike plate hanging off the back? Will this plate encourage motorists to call police and dob them in? Is that what you’ve done when a motorist has broken a road rule near you… Really?

  • When helmets became mandatory in Australia, the volume of cyclists at the time reduced by 30 – 40 percent*. So can we assume from this precedent that a registration would see either a reduction in current cyclists on our roads, or a deterrent to beginner cyclists to give the sport a go? And where does that then leave us? With more cars back on the roads, more bodies cramming trains, trams and buses, more cases of diabetes Type 2, heart conditions, anxiety health problems taking their toll on our medical system (and who pays for that?)

  • Cycling 10km each way to work would save 1,500kg of greenhouse gas emissions each year^

  • Start pedalling and you’re on the path to improved health – fat burning, helping prevent diabetes and heart disease; time on the bike is like drinking from the chalice of good health!

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  • Car trips cost 5.9c a kilometre in CO2, air, water and noise pollution^

  • Ten bikes fit into one car park space^

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  • Traffic congestion is estimated to cost Australia $20.4B by 2020^ - how much do you think bikes are contributing to that?

And now for your ace card:

You can serve them up any and all of these facts, but what’s the one sure way of stopping them in their tracks? Agree with them.

Yep – for sure. Let’s ban cyclists from our roads and get everyone driving. What’s going to happen then, hmmm?


*The Conversation website, Author Chris Rissel, Professor of Public Health

^http://www.allianz.com.au/life-insurance/cycling-in-australia