ROAD emphatically OPEN

Tory Street’s a fine street. On one hand, it reminds me of home: I hail from the same town as Sir Robert Peel, whose Tamworth Manifesto rebranded the Tory Party into the Conservative Party. It’s also a fine street because Tory’s narrowness and teaming streetlife forces drivers to slow down and pay attention.

And right now it’s even more fine. Because it’s ‘closed’.

Did they not notice the sign?

Didn’t they notice the sign??

Wellington City Council should be congratulated heartily on this prototype example of using mode-segregated infrastructure to make life safer for people on bikes and boots. Tory Street has never felt so… attractive!

Roadworks will be continuing until ‘late January’. Make the most of it. 🙂


Safe up. Slow down.

Slow, upright, heavy… and far safer than a lycra missile.

In Australia, “57% of riders were travelling at 20 kilometres per hour or greater at the time of the crash. … MACCS has demonstrated a relationship between increased bicycle speed and the risk of head injury.” [Monash University]

Even in the safest bicycle country on earth, ‘sports cyclists’ (on mountain bikes or racing bikes) are at significantly higher risk of injury than ‘utility cyclists’ (on normal sit-up bikes). [Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation]

In London’s bike share, in the first 4.5 million trips no-one has been seriously hurt or injured, compared with about 12 people seriously injured for every 4.5 million trips on personal bikes. Comparing non-serious injuries on bike share bikes and personal bikes shows a 1 to 3.5 ratio. [Transport for London]

Same story on Washington D.C.’s bike share. [Boston Globe]


Takeaway for current bike riders: Sit up, slow down, safe up?

Takeaway for policy-makers: Ditch the helmet law for non-sports cyclists?


Child hit by motorist…

When a kid gets knocked down by a motorist while on foot, you normally hear calls for safer infrastructure (eg. crosswalks, traffic lights) as well as slower speeds.

When a kid gets knocked down by a motorist while on a bicycle, you normally hear calls for better cycle training, high-visibility clothing and helmets. (From people like this.)


Movember… and Hel-cember?

It’s Movember. My charity ‘mo’ (moustache) is coming along nicely, thank you. Mo-vellously, in fact.

Riding home wearing both a moustache (by choice) and a helmet, it dawned on me that the two have a reasonable amount in common.

  • Itchy.
  • Sweaty.
  • Dorky.
  • May be of beneficial in a few select circumstances, but largely pointless.
  • Should not be mandatory.


Rule 64

The UK’s original 1931 Highway Code stated, “You must not ride a cycle on the pavement” (Americans: read ‘sidewalk’). It was Rule 64.

Luv 2 Cycle deftly points out what has changed since 1931:

In 1931 everyone walked.  Our pavements were crowded…

Back in 1931 rule 64 was protecting the majority of vulnerable people.

In 1931 very few cars were sharing the roads with cyclists.  Cars did not travel at the speeds that they do now…

No one wanted or needed to cycle on a pavement.  Why would they?  The roads in 1931 weren’t killing and injuring hundreds of cyclists a year.

I’ve ridden in Japan. On the pavement. Like everyone does. Giving priority to pedestrians, of course. Like everyone does.

Slow, safe, sidewalk cycling – Japan style

Proper, safe, Dutch-style cycle paths would be more ideal, but until they’re the norm, is rule 64 out of date?

Hills and wind

I live and ride a bicycle in Wellington, New Zealand.

It’s the windiest city in a windy country. Our ‘Windy Welly’ is probably the windiest city in the world.

And it has hills! Big, steep, “Wilcome to Sen Frenciscou” hills.


That’s why I love riding here:

About half of my trips are tiring, heart-racing slogs into the wind and/or uphill. But the other half – gliding down an incline, exercising only my brake pads; sailing along the street with a forceful wind-assist; delighting in a combination of both after a long, tiring workday – those trips make the other half absolutely, positively worthwhile!

Quote of the Day: New Scientist and the Daily Mail

Everyone enjoys a good analogy. Here’s one from the comments section on this article.

[Talking about the Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation…]

Compare it with the pro-helmet website Bicycle Helmet Initiative Trust. It’s like comparing New Scientist with the Daily Mail.*

Daily Mail –

New Scientist –

*The Daily Mail is a rabble-rousing, right-leaning British tabloid. New Scientist is an international science magazine.