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Pedal Power community forum – Some thoughts

By johnboy - 9 October 2008 108

[First filed: October 08, 2008 @ 15:30]

Every now and then readers suggest I should attend some community council event or forum thingy.

I always beg off because I suspect they’re populated by overly intense people. Women wearing capes and men wearing beards.

Last night I went to the Pedal Power Community Forum. Partly I went because I thought I should give at least one of these things a go this election. Mostly I went because a friend’s sig other was organising it and she made me scared about the consequences of not attending.

Women in purple capes were certainly in attendance, and a disproportionate number of the men sported beards. Being a cycling event, however, most attendees were in pretty good physical shape.

As political theatre it lacked bite. All the candidates said how much they loved Pedal Power and cycling. To some extent they tried to outbid each other in promising to deliver Pedal Power’s agenda and then raise it.

Brendan Smyth was on the nose with the crowd for some perceived slight to cycle racing funding in the past.

Richard Mulcahy gathered the second greatest round of applause for reasons not immediately obvious to me.

The greatest warmth in the room came for the Greens Shane Rattenbury who was very much one of the tribe and made sure the crowd knew he owns five bikes.

When it came to the Q&A some issues were universal to the community; “police treat us with contempt”, “urban infrastructure is crumbling”, etc.

On the other hand it was a treat to hear that an overly masculine approach was responsible for a lack of general cycling uptake.

Changes to the L-plate test were suggested to incorporate more cyclist related questions. We look forward to that one bearing fruit in 60 years.

The problem was raised of broken beer bottles on cycle paths. It was suggested that banning open beer bottles in cars would fix this. We wondered if that wouldn’t encourage more throwing of beer bottles out of windows. Shane Rattenbury suggested that the Greens’ proposed container deposit legislation would be help reduce this problem.

To be fair to the organisers though, they’d won before they’d started. By putting together sensible submissions on what’s needed to improve cycling in the community, based around how cycling can improve the community.

The Pedal Power advocacy group are sensible serious people. But they do have a fringe of colourful supporters. Chief among those was the pictured helmet-guy who sounded like he was channelling Rik from The Young Ones.

These events are great for the groups holding them. I’m still not sure they’re adding much to debate and discourse. But there seems to be at least one every night so no going back now.

Here’s some video, apologies for Che’s occasionally shaky camera work:

What’s Your opinion?

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108 Responses to
Pedal Power community forum – Some thoughts
Aeek 8:58 pm 08 Oct 08

Hey mouthface: its people like you who have made Pedal Power an activist group. Keep up the good work.

mouthface 8:15 pm 08 Oct 08

Pedal Power SUCK!!!!

When I become dictator, they will all be tattooed so that everyone knows who they are and throws tomatoes at them. Bunch of self obsessed wankers.

vandam 7:51 pm 08 Oct 08

Thats a whole lot of time in your life that you will never get back. Whilst I don’t mind some of the Greens, I absolutly can’t stand pedal power. They are similar to our aboriginal friends who just keep wanting more and more for less.

NoAddedMSG 6:38 pm 08 Oct 08

The women in purple capes must have been rent-a-crowd….. everyone knows you can’t wear a cape on a bike, it gets caught up in the wheels

shiny flu 6:35 pm 08 Oct 08

As much as I love riding my bike(s)… I loathe bearded helmet wearing-too-stingy-to-buy-a-proper-bike-light-and-unable-to-take-helmet-off-whilst-inside-and-actually-not-on-velocipede pedal power members that just join so they can get a 10% discount and ramble on about how bad drivers are when most of them can’t ride a bike properly and wouldn’t survive a day in a larger city.

dyspnoeia 5:59 pm 08 Oct 08

And Kerry Taranto – or at least someone claiming to be her – was there. She lives!

Holden Caulfield 4:45 pm 08 Oct 08

Isn’t that why you ride a bike?

RuffnReady 4:35 pm 08 Oct 08

Yeah, let’s take the piss out of the guy with no idea what he had to say…

Government should put far more effort into supporting cycling – it has wide-ranging personal and community benefits that tackle many of the issues of our time, from climate change to obesity to crumbling communities.

Granny 4:33 pm 08 Oct 08

I believe there’s someone for everyone, amarooresident … even helmet man.

amarooresident 4:29 pm 08 Oct 08

I betcha helmet man doesn’t have a girlfriend. Or boyfriend for that matter.

Granny 4:11 pm 08 Oct 08

Ooh, the light would be awesome!!

Loquaciousness 4:07 pm 08 Oct 08

Granny said :

This is the kind of helmet we need, L. I think it’s even better than the tinfoil!

Maybe we could cover one like that in tinfoil. With a light sticking up out of it.

/me goes off to find the foil …


Granny 4:02 pm 08 Oct 08

Who couldn’t love Rik?

justbands 3:53 pm 08 Oct 08

The woman in the background looks less than impressed with wannabe Rik from The Young Ones ranting.

Granny 3:51 pm 08 Oct 08

This is the kind of helmet we need, L. I think it’s even better than the tinfoil!

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