Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Don't Expect The Age to publich this

In response to this filthy article.

Unlike Harry Barber, Dan Silkstone or Vanessa Burrow I ride the Hell ride regularly throughout the year and it is an important part of the training regime of many racing cyclists in Melbourne. Let’s get the facts straight. The Hell ride does not travel at 60km/h, the average speed is more like 40km/h. The Hell ride bunch doesn’t run red lights and takes up one lane of traffic for the majority of the ride. Furthermore, the ride rarely ever contains 100 riders let alone 200.

Without wanting to sound callous one cyclist hit and killed a pedestrian on the weekend. This is a tragedy, and should never happen ever, but the way the incident has been reported in the media suggests that a phalanx of 200 cyclists ran this poor man down running a red light at 60km/h.

The Hell Ride has a reputation for being lawless, but this is just a reputation largely fuelled by people who don’t do the ride, or have limited contact with the ride because they are too fat and old (like Harry Barber from Bicycle Victoria). Those who say the bunch is lawless generally rely on second hand information, hearsay and rumour to support their flimsy and exaggerated claims. It seems when the media wants to do a story about the Hell Ride, these people have the loudest voice. Cyclists don’t help their own case by telling tall stories about the Hell Ride, like fisherman telling stories about the one that got away.

Whilst there will always be the odd one or two riders who insist on breaking the law, from my experience over the last two years the bunch always endeavours to behave in a respectful and appropriate manner.

Harry Barber’s comments in The Age on 30/8/2006 prove that Bicycle Victoria does not represent racing cyclists, and that he is out of touch with a large section of the cycling community. If you are going to speak on behalf of the cycling community, you should at least have the decency to know what you are talking about. Likening the Hell Ride to illegal drag racing is irresponsible, and does nothing to improve the relationship between cyclists, pedestrians and other road users.


Blogger larson_b said...

fair call boss.

love your avatar by the way.

8:17 PM  
Blogger timboy said...

This letter didn't get published- But the Age did tone down its rhetoric after I submitted it.

less than a hundred and 40km/h were used in subsequent articles for instance.

The Heraldsun on the other hand just kept going spastic

1:02 AM  

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