BAN THE BICYCLE!

To celebrate the election to the Brisbane City Council of Green Party Candidate Jonathan Sri, the first Performance-Poet ever elected to represent the local Kurilpa Enclave, Sunday Sermons unleashes the Imp of the Perverse and presents this up-dated Directors Cut of the classic iconoclastic Reverend Hellfire screedThe Chariot

SHOULD WE BAN THE BICYCLE?

Or just make them register their vehicle and apply for a driving license like everyone else?

The Rev explores the options..

Brisbane’s roads can be Hellish as local drivers well know. Pot-holed, erratically laid out, possessing a frustratingly

asynchronous system of stoplights, and every month crammed with ever greater traffic numbers, driving here can be a hazardous and stressful enterprise.

But in recent years there has been a growing hazard and annoyance blighting our roads. I refer to that two-wheeled pest, the Bicyclist!

But wait”, I hear the puzzled reader cry! “Reverend, we thought you were a tree-hugging, sandal wearing vegan left wing hippie type! Surely you should spout the party line and rabbit on about the necessity for clean-green-alternative-transport, fossil-fuel eschewing bicycles and their joy!”

Yes, well, I never did march in step..

clunk

The bicycle may seem like the ideal mode of transport when you’re young and going to Uni. You have strong legs and plenty of time and energy. Later you get older and have busier schedules. You have kids. You have to commute. You get older still and a bit frailer and the idea of risking your brittle bones on a busy road is even less attractive. But arrogant young alternative bicycle enthusiasts never consider the needs or frailties of others. For it is a sad Fact of Twenty-first Urban living; many of us depend on a car to survive. Personally I’d prefer to have a horse or even a goat-carriage but the Council won’t even let me keep a couple of pigs, so I have had to adjust.

I must say I sometimes suspect that a lot of the Alternative/Left’s love affair with the bicycle has as much to do with nostalgia as it does with the environment. A hankering for romantic images from the past, an earlier, simpler time. Visions of the bicycling masses in Workers’ Paradises that never were. Castro’s Cuba in the sixties or China’s Cultural Revolution. The bicycling masses Defying Evil Capitalism despite their lack of an industrial base.

Yes, the Left has a fetish for proletarian modes of transport, like some sort of a leftover symptom of Maoism.

Old socialists love their Proletarian Transport

Old socialists love their Proletarian Transport

Be that as it may, there are certainly more bicycles on Brisbane’s Roads in recent times, and every day hardly an hour has passed when I see some clown on a bicycle recklessly endangering their own or others’ lives. Riding the wrong way down a one way street. Ignoring traffic signs and lights. Failing to signal. Riding at night with no lights. Riding without a helmet. Talking on a phone. Etc, etc, etc. Much as they annoy me with their stupidity, I still don’t want to be responsible for running them over them.

design flawWborda

As for the minority of bike riders who do display some sort of road sense and riding competence, I still have to question the wisdom of their decision to ride a two wheeled, unmotorised vehicle on major arterial roads.

Part of the problem may be due to inexperience. Many bicyclists in my area are young, and I would suspect that the majority of them have never driven a car. Thus they have no idea about road rules. They also have no idea how much effort and care car drivers have to take to ensure the safety of bicyclists on the roads or how much stress they cause drivers.

Many’s the time I’ve seen one driver swerve to avoid a bike, causing the driver in the next lane to have to swerve, causing the driver in the oncoming lane to swerve, causing the driver in the far lane to swerve. Thats four lanes of traffic taking evasive manoeuvres to accommodate one bicyclist wobbling slowly up the steep slopes of Gladstone Road.

Safety! Ha! I wish the Bike Boosters would take some responsibility for their own safety. Most bicycles these days don’t even have mirrors, which I would consider a basic safety requirement for any vehicle. They don’t have a bell either and the last time I saw a bicyclist actually make a hand signal to indicate direction I almost had a heart attack from the shock of such an unaccustomed sight.

Let’s face reality people. Cars and bicycles don’t mix. The main roads of Brisbane in the Twenty-First century are not designed for bicycle traffic. This is not Amsterdam in the Nineteenth Century. This is hot, humid, hilly, busy Brisbane with its far-flung urban sprawl. It is not a bicycle friendly environment.

Brisbane City Council must take some blame for poorly supporting the proliferation of bicycles, which it has in some measure encouraged in an effort to appear ‘environmentally concerned’. Unfortunately the BCC has built few actual dedicated bike lanes, but it has turned numerous ‘parking lanes’ into ‘pseudo-bike lanes’ by painting a silhouette of a bicycle on the bitumen. Of course they’re still parking lanes as well, so when cars are parked there, the bicyclist has a bike lane width of effectively two inches.

slow down squarey

The drivers and riders of every other vehicle that use our roads have to learn the road rules, apply for a license and prove they’re capable of using their vehicle. They have to register their vehicle and prove it is in safe working order. Then pay fees to cover road maintenance and the ambulance service.

The time has come when the same rules

should apply also to bicyclists!!!

If Bicyclists want to use the roads they should abide by the same regulations as everyone else. They should pass a test, where they prove they know the road rules and can safely ride a bicycle, before they are allowed on the roads. Their vehicles should be inspected and registered before being allowed on the roads and bear a license plate. Naturally license fees should be charged and the money raised thus used to build and maintain proper bikeways away from the main road-ways..

I believe these modest measures will reduce the number of bike accidents, injuries and fatalities by a significant amount. Perhaps I’ll start a petition?

great footage

A Spotters Guide to Errant Bicyclists

  1. The Bike Nazi.

    This type wouldn’t dream of getting on a bike wearing ordinary clothes. No, they have to wear the full “Fetish” riding kit, the expensive, body-fitting Lycra uniform. It’s expensive but those tight bike pants really show off your finely chiselled thighs while your “saving the Environment”. This type’s riding style displays an aggressive arrogance. Likes to stand around in groups talking & blocking the footpath with their bikes on weekends. Their Lycra-clad God is Tony Abbott.

  2. The Hippie

    A native species endemic to West End and “hip” inner city enclaves. Never heard of road rules. Fond of wearing dark clothing after sunset while riding a bike with no lights.

  3. The Teen Age Daredevil Moron Generally male, travels singly or in packs. Often found terrorising pedestrians on footpaths when not zooming down the wrong side of the road or ignoring traffic lights.

  4. The Mother Duck of Death Despite the name, the bicycling Mother Duck of Death in fact can be a parent of either gender and is found on busy roads around 3pm when the schools disgorge their prisoners.

    The MDD’s bicycle usually has a basket over-full with shopping. Behind them, wobbling wildly on oversize bicycles they can barely control, follow 1 to 3 children struggling gamely to keep up. For some reason the Mother Duck of Death feels it is a good idea to endanger their children’s lives by leading them out into heavy traffic.

    A variant form, such as I saw the other day, is when the MDD is riding a tandem bicycle with an underage brat strapped into the back seat with ockey-straps. Then it is the parent wobbling wildly on an unwieldy, barely controlled contraption that drivers must swerve to avoid. (A further variant is the “Hippie Mother Duck of Death” who just jams their child into the shopping basket.)

  5. The Arterial Embolism

    A strange mix of arrogance and stupidity compels these fools to ride their bicycle on busy main roads (preferably a truck and/or bus route) at peak hour, despite the high risk of death or disfigurement.

    Believes that all 30,000 cars banked up behind them should be legally compelled to drive no faster than a middle-aged fat man on a bicycle.

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elevated reduced

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Cup FEB 2016 handbill 2.with border

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SaintHellfire

The Reverend Hellfire is a practised Performance Poet,

President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity,

and an ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanism

AND the Church of the Universe.

“Never trust an internet quote.”-Abe Lincoln

***

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~ by reverendhellfire on March 27, 2016.

7 Responses to “BAN THE BICYCLE!”

  1. YOU MISSED ONE
    by Odie

    I must complain I have to object
    Cos one bike rider You did neglect.
    That is the lady Who pedals at night
    And is fondly known As the Town Bike.

  2. […] Sri, the most Reverend Hellfire (“The Rev”) has, seemingly oddly, blogged an anti-bike sermon (here). The Rev is the convener of Kurilpa poets, a community DIY poetry reading. He argues that bike […]

    • Give me hell, Gerry!
      glad to have a reasoned response..shows someones paying attention!
      I wouldn’t say I’m anti-bike tho. I am critical of the careless,”fuck you” attitude of some bike riders however.
      Satire and hyperbole aside, I think the essential points of my essay remain valid, ie, That bike riders should learn the road rules and have a road worthy vehicle (with proper night lights etc) like everyone else using the roads, and two, that a small contribution via modest license and rego fees is not unreasonable. It is worth pointing out that these fees not only go towards expensive infrastructure like building and maintaining bikeways etc, but also towards the “free” ambulance service that we all depend on in emergencies. Naturally such license/rego fees would not be as expensive as car rego-we do want to keep bike riding affordable for the low incomed don’t we?-but basic social responsibility would suggest some contribution from bike riders is the “right thing to do”.
      Finally I note in passing that the increasing prevalence of “electric bikes”- in effect turning bikes into low powered scooters/motor bikes- will further blur the lines between “rider” and “driver”.
      Four wheels good-two wheels bad”- George Orwell, early motoring enthusiast

  3. Ok, that’s it! I would like to see a horse-riding lane.

  4. Also interesting that Gerald doesn’t allow comment posting on his blog?
    Let the ranter rant, leave no room to have a rant at the ranters rant? ….I was left bereft of my chance to rant. Did I just have a rant? Nevermind.

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