Submitted anonymously by a reader of Cycle, this gives an impression of the negative feedback instant communication and keyboard warriors provide to cycling and why some people feel as if part of an outgroup.


Social media, Face book and Twitter, even the online comments section from the daily news, it’s all a part of the new generation of electronic communication. Anyone in this world can now have their voice heard. Everyone now has the ability to express their own personal opinion to the world. This new capability in communication is in the most part, unregulated. It doesn’t matter whether you have an educated opinion or you just wish to express your own personal frustrations. In today’s electronic age you too can be heard.

You may seek online approval and even find other angry and unhappy people just like yourself on both Facebook and in the Twittersphere. You don’t even have to look at someone in the face, you can just sit behind a keyboard and tell them how it is.

Is this a good thing? Is it healthy for us to have such unregulated freedom of speech? Are we smart enough to know how to use it? I don’t think so. It actually makes me sad.

This is Australia and we are Australians. We have had a few people want to destroy our way of life over the past one hundred years, and we have protected and defended ourselves and our society as a proud nation of people. As Australians we all support our Olympians and Cricketers as well as cheer when the Socceroos qualify. We say that we are proud to be Australian, which we are a free and fair dinkum nation. If it broke, I’d still like to think that we could tie it up with wire and get back on with the job?

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What has happened to advocacy? The new face of modern advocacy

December 9th:


The new face of Advocacy:

Once upon a time we wanted to change something, we had to go to great lengths to even be heard. We would wait outside our local news agent with a card table, some cheap pens and a clip board and we would collect signatures until it was a big enough number to call in the media, then this would give us more signatures until we could collate them all into a big folder and take them to our local MP.

From our local MP we would hope they would listen to us enough to do something about our petition.


Oh how times have changed.

Recently I helped start a letter writing campaign to MPs all over the country. Mostly by email, we saw hundreds, then thousands of resulting emails. Paper was sent too, no idea of the numbers, but a lot went out. We have seen click petitions set up, and although these can be very successful, they are sometimes very easy to click on and just agree. One recent one was also very successful and well done on that, but click petitions will never have the same impact as paper hitting the desk like in the ‘old days.’


Now we have social media, where things are played out in real time. We make snap judgements based on a one or two sentence paragraph with minimal fact. We all become instant experts and the worst kind of warrior, the ‘Keyboard’ kind.

Advocacy has been affected by this both in a positive and negative way. The quiet achievers pump out their one or two messages a day, while the more vocal ones tend to inundate us with all sorts of information. Either option is great, it gives us knowledge about current events and what these groups are up to.

The problem is not in the delivery of the message, sometimes it is in the delivery of the response. We need to remember that whatever we think about each group and their activities, most of the people in these organisations are not on Facebook or Twitter 24 hours a day. It is usually done in spare moments or largely at night. Keyboard battles start often without the original posters knowledge. Some of us don’t even read all the responses and may miss the looming battle of the QWERTY.

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Media Release  


From Cr Milton Dick, Brisbane City Council Leader of the Opposition

23 March 2014


Lord Mayor must support #ShareTheRoadBCC cycle campaign  


Brisbane City Council Leader of the Opposition Milton Dick has stepped up the campaign for cycle and road safety and on Tuesday 25 March 2014 will ask Brisbane City Council to fund a Share the Road campaign targeting motorists and cyclists in Brisbane.  


Councillor Dick said enough is enough; the time has come for Brisbane City Council to take action to make Brisbane’s streets a safer place to drive and ride.  


“The rider verses driver blame game isn’t productive; we need to stop ‘us’ and ‘them’ attitudes and accept that we all have a role to play in making Brisbane’s streets safer.  


“I’ve put a formal motion on Council’s agenda asking for Brisbane City Council to fund a Share the Road style campaign to encourage motorists and cyclists to demonstrate safe behaviour on our roads.  


“As a local Council we have a responsibility to proactively work with all stakeholders to address important issues which is why I’d like to see Brisbane City Council work with our cycling community and peak motoring bodies on an awareness campaign.

“Labor Councillors are committed to supporting this current motion and the only thing standing in the way is the Lord Mayor and his LNP majority.

“I’m asking the people of Brisbane to add their voice to the campaign and call, email or tweet their local Councillor asking them to support the #ShareTheRoadBCC motion this coming Tuesday.”

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The simple pleasure of riding a bicycle, not a care in the world and oblivious to the work done.

December 2nd:


It is almost a week since I received a phone call asking me a range of questions about cyclists and cycling. My opinion on a range of ideas, and then... Yesterday it struck me. So lets go back a bit and look at this lightning bolt.

I have been involved in cycling activities for nearly two years. Worked on a few different ideas, and keep coming back to this one. A simple FB page for people to talk about cycling stuff.


I race, ride and commute all the time. To me, when I look at my car, I see a sweat box in summer and stationary driving in winter, so I don't really drive often. In fact I drive my son to his races more than myself to appointments these days.

So, what hit me? It strikes me that some of us just ride, completely oblivious to the road, its conditions, attitudes of others. Let's go back to yesterday.


We were riding to climb a hill in Humevale, takes us a few kilometres down Plenty Rd to get there. And as we were motoring along I saw a number of people on the other side of the road. All were all smiles and saying "Hi" to us with waves (which of course we love and respond to also). The funny thing was, they were 2 abreast in a very narrow channel of a road. Very little room to maneuver if things go wrong. But they weren't thinking about how close cars were to them.


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 I put out a call last week to get some help with a ramble. I had no idea how concise the ramble came back to me. Aaron Ball wrote this on the basic premise that the law was supposed to protect the weak and vulnerable, not to punish them.


The raising of fines in Queensland to match motorists fines sounds good to the motorists, but what does it achieve? No one should disobey the law, it is there for all. But we keep thinking of cyclists in lycra riding $10,000 bikes and not the utility or commuter on their bike that can not afford a car or have no job.


So what is the answer? I don't know now. But during the committees sitting, they provided an answer of raising only fines that put others in danger. It now appears TMR are going to raise all fines to equal the same as motorists regardless of their severity. We are not going to say do not fine people based on their method of transport, but we believe there is a more responsible process in doing so.


Here is what Aaron wrote:

Laws, whether they based on utility or some normative moral code, are designed to protect from evil or danger. We have the wonderful luxury of living in a ‘free country’: where people can do as they please except those things specifically prohibited by law, and those things are prohibited for identifiable reasons albeit sometime contentious reasons. The alternative to a free country is an extreme totalitarian state where people can do only what is explicitly allowed by law, with everything prohibited that falls outside explicit permissions.

The ideal of a free society is evident in our State and Federal constitutions: each State constitution creates powers administered by State government agencies, with limited powers reserved for Commonwealth government by a Federal constitution, with oversight by cabinets of ministers chosen from democratically elected parliaments.

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Bike lane disgrace, why do we use them when they are substandard

December 5th:

"Get in yer bike lane buddy"

We have all heard the cries from behind the wheel as some bloke feels the need to remind you that in his opinion you don't belong on his road.

Well, that is a topic for another ramble, bike lanes are todays focus.

We know what they are, from the strip of paint 20cms from the edge of the gutter, the lane with an occasional bike symbol in it, the green paint (ironically made with glass), the ridge or ripple strip up to the favoured Copenhagen style bike lanes with no cars to the left of you.

I like green paint, no, I love green paint. Funny cause I don’t really like anything else green. Green paint gives the rider an illusion of being safe in a section of road set aside just for them. It's great to teach new commuters in these lanes, if you say to a new rider that no cars will attack them in their little slice of road, they actually believe you.


We have lots of Green Paint in Melbourne. It's the new favoured road colour by some of the most progressive councils in Australia so you are probably thinking what's the twist. The twist is that these lanes have and others are the dream of the motoring community to keep us off the road. They were invented to separate riders and trick us into thinking they are there to legitimise our right to be there. But the reality is they do the opposite. If you venture out of your bike lane, you risk abuse, flying objects or worse; a physical attack of a two tonne object hurtling towards you at 60km/h.


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