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Wednesday, 30 November 2011

WOMEN'S MOTORCYCLING

Celebration of Women’s Motorcycling
A rally on the Australia Day long weekend in 2012, to be held in Victoria’s picturesque north-east with plenty to see and do

The Australian Riders’ Division, a non-competitive arm of Motorcycling Australia, will be holding a Celebration of Women’s Motorcycling (CWM) Rally from January 27-29, 2012.

The event, to be held in Yackandandah (Vic), will aim to recognise the contribution of women to Australia’s motorcycling history.

It’s anticipated the event will be well subscribed, so attendees are encouraged to book their accommodation in the area as early as possible. Also, attendees are being asked to make contact and register with the Australian Riders’ Division as soon as possible.

There are many great places to stay in the town and surrounding area -- and in the event the hotels, motels and B&Bs book out, the town of Beechworth is only a short ride away.

For riders wishing to explore, there will be long and short guided rides through the local countryside on January 28, followed by a ‘Show and Shine’ competition.

That night, a spit roast dinner will be held at the Yackandandah Hotel, costing $25 per head. Prize giving will also take place from 7:00pm, with local three-piece band Twisted Creek providing the evening’s entertainment.

All attendees are asked to submit in advance, or bring to the event, one or more motorcycle photographs of themselves, their mothers, daughters, grandmothers, friends or just women on motorcycles.

A name or short history with each picture would be a great help. To submit in advance, please send scans to membership@ma.org.au.

The event is also open to partners, relatives and friends of attendees.

For more information and registration contact the Australian Riders’ Division, tel (03) 9684 0500.

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Published : Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Sunday, 13 November 2011

WHY LANE SPLIT / TRAFFIC FILTER?

Two fatalities in front of the Melbourne Coroner's Court in the last ten years. They FAILED to filter and were hit from behind. See a picture via the link below.

In 40% of insurance claims by riders a car hit the bike from behind (Swann Insurance survey 2006).

Almost no cases of injuries due to lane splitting (at speed) exist.

Surely that says it all?

The TAC, police and Vic Roads need to run research based campaigns. Opinion based campaigns waste money that should be spent in areas that do matter.

Michael Czajka
Independent Riders' Group
Melbourne

Full credit to Cheffie for finding the picture. This is why we need filtering. The following image was on netrider.


Rob Salvatore

ITALIAN BIKES - UPDATED NOV 20, 2011.

ITALIANS are leaders in many areas including food, and things that go fast, like Spaghetti Bolognese and Valentino Rossie. Australia has lots of Italian restaurants and many Italian motorcycles & scooters.This said and it's no surprise that there is a Festival of Italian Motorcycling.

Motorcycles & scooters old and new will be on show including MV Augustas from the 1950s & '60s. Awards will be presented for best in various classes.

There will be coffee and pizza and merchandise on sale.

The Festival of Italian Motorcycling is on next Sunday, November 20, 2011 from 9.30 am.

It's in the Russell Street car park on Harding Street in Coburg near Sydney Road. Melway map 29, reference H1. 



 Italian bikes on display in Faraday Street Carlton for the opening of the Italian Museum.

Sunday, November 20, 2011.

Rod Brown and hid daughter Melinda on her new Vespa.


Thursday, 10 November 2011

ELECTRIC BIKES

Thanks Dale.

GreenCarMag (@GreenCarMag)
10/11/11 11:51 PM

#electric#motorcycle Honda to show electric supersports RC-E
motorcycle at Tokyo Motor Show - Gizmag

http://t.co/kbwpV81Y

and

GreenCarMag (@GreenCarMag)
10/11/11 11:51 PM

Electric motorcycle with 100-mile range and improved sp...

http://t.co/fvSjB9Lv

and

Marcus Wigan (@MarcWigan)
14/10/11 4:33 AM

Radar arrives in cars- but how will bicycles motorcycles and
pedestrians fare?(IEEE Spectrum article)

http://t.co/2FKEvdqi

Dale Maggs
Mob 0432 776 458
Independent Riders Group
Victoria

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

LANE SPLITTING / TRAFFIC FILTERING ON CH 9 - NOV 8, 2011.

As usual non-motorcycling officials have put their opinions to the media on motorcycling matters with a negative bias.

In this case they have an opinion on lane splitting / traffic filtering (LSTF) and channel 9 in Melbourne was happy to run a reasonably balanced report. Although some of the lane splitting footage was suspect. I suspect the speeding scenes may have been a set up and possibly sped up. Dramatic licence?

And, no one mentioned that what looks like a tight spot from the seat of a car looks perfectly safe from the saddle of the bike. Most bike riders own and drive cars. Most car drivers do not ride bikes nor do they know much about operating a motorcycle or scooter safely in traffic but they are ahppy to give you their opinions.

Have a look at the clip and let me have your comments.

LSTF  is not new. It's been going on since there were two cars pointed in the same direction.

The fact is that officials have, over the decades, consistantly failed to come up with hard evidence, based on good science, that there is a road safety problem with traffic filtering. Where is the casualty data showing that TFLS is dangerous? Lane splitting at speed is not supported by any rider group I know of.

Victorian roads are set up to encourage bicyclists to filter. It is therefore inconsistent for mostly non-riding officials to say this activity is good for one group of two wheelers but bad for another.

In heavy traffic, filtering eases congestion making life easier for gridlocked car drivers, and we produce less pollutants.

Comments?



Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group
Melbourne

RSC INQUIRY PUBLIC HEARINGS - UPDATED NOV 20, 2011.

Damien Codognotto OAM

GEELONG - TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2011.  10.30 am to 5 pm.
At the National Wool Museum in the Auction Room.
26 Moorabool Street, Geelong.

Top: The venue. Middle: Ray Newland, Independent and Rob Smith from Motorcycling Australia. Bottom: Professor John Lambert and David McKenzie from Motorcycle Motion.

BALLARAT - WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2011.  11 am to 4.15 pm. At the Ballarat Town Hall in Committee Room 1 on level 1. Corner  Sturt Street  and  Armstrong Street South,  Ballarat.


Central Highlands Ulyssians

WANGARATTA - TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2011.  Noon to 5.45 pm.
At The Centre in room 2.
Chisholm Street, Wangaratta.

WODONGA - WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2011.  9.30 am to 12.15 pm.
At TAFESpace in the boardroom.
158 Lawrence Street, Wodonga.

Media contact: Chair, Mr Murray Thompson MP, 03 9598 2688.

Enquiries: Kylie Jankins, Executive Officer, 03 8682 2845 or 0429 009 974.



FA LA LA LA LAH LA LAH LAH LAH!


PLEASE BRING A GIFT FOR A NEEDY KID

Please do not wrap your gift as they all have to be health checked before they get to a family this Christmas. Fluffy, stuffed toys are great decorations for bikes but, unless they are brand new and in the manufacturer's packaging, they can't be given to kids. Think about the child you are helping as your own. Maybe you could spend an extra dollar. Better gifts are hard toys, clothing, bedding and even tinned food. It all helps families with less have a happier Christmas.


If you can't make it to the 34th MRA TOY RUN at Calder, try to get to another run. TOY RUNS are held all over Australia.

Be careful out there and have a safe and happy festive season.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group
MRA HLM
Melbourne

DONORS NEEDED

Blood donors are needed.

13 14 95 or donateblood.com.au



Old picture, same call, GIVE BLOOD!

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group
MRA HLM
Melbourne

MC INQUIRY IN REGIONAL CENTRES

This is the latest information on the inquiry into motorcycle & scooter safety regional hearings on the Parliamentary Road Safety Committee website. Last updated November 2, appeared November 9, 2011.


Heather Ellis www.heather-ellis.com (no relation to Tony) makes her submission on expanding the recreational registration system to the Victorian Road Safety Committee (RSC) inquiry on October 19, 2011. The RSC from left to right: Bill Tilley MP, Telmo Languiller MP, Murray Thompson MP, Andrew Elsbury MP and Jude Perera MP.

"The Committee will also be holding hearings in regional areas, including Ballarat, Bendigo, Wangaratta, Wodonga and Bairnesdale, during November and December. Details will be available shortly."

My information is that the first regional hearing is next Tuesday, November 15 in Geelong and then Bendigo on Wednesday, November 16. That is not confirmed. I have no details on times or venues.

However, I can tell you that members of the public are invited to attand.


Government Departments that did not seem to want to be construed as doing anything to encourage motorcycling made their submissions on October 17. You can read their submissions and get details on the regional hearings at:


I've said it before, I say it again, Big Brother is alive and well and has his headquarters in the nanny state.


EMAIL TO VICTORIAN MOTORCYCLE CLUBS, MAGAZINES AND WEBSITES:

The Victorian Parliamentary Road Safety Committee (RSC)Inquiry into motorcycle & scooter safety has great potential for good for the motorcycle & scooter community and benefits for society as a whole. Benefits to car drivers from increased motorcycle & scooter use include less pollution, fewer traffic jams, more car parking, less costly damage to infrastructure and more.

The Victorian Auditor General's report released in February 2011 showed that the number of road registered bikes in this state had increased steadily over the last decade to 165,000 machines. Off road bike sales more than double that figure. Some 325,000 Victorians have road bike licences. Many of them are active, borrowing bikes or hiring them.

Motorcycling contributes to our economy in more ways than just paying registration fees and CTP premiums equal to an urban four-wheel drive. The industry employs Victorians and pays taxes, rents, rates and so on.  And, motorcycle & scooter riders spend money when travelling. That's not just for major events like the Phillip Island Motorcycle Grand Prix, that's every weekend. Motorcycling is less seasonal than bicycling because, among other things, of the quality of protective gear we wear.

Tourism Victoria's Bicycle Tourism Action Plan 2011 - 2015 states: 

"... The total estimated expenditure for the year ending December 2010 ... in Victoria is $362 million."

The Independent Riders' Group (IRG) ran an informal survey of riders on day trips east of Melbourne that indicates motorcycle & scooter riders taking part in recreational activities spend a lot more than $362 million a year, so motorcycle & scooter tourers and off-roaders are a significant market for regional Victoria. Tourism Victoria is developing a motorcycle & scooter action plan and the IRG has contributed to that work.

Details on the IRG informal survey are in an earlier blog.

The point is that this RSC Inquiry has real potential. Motorcycling is growing steadily and is safer than it has ever been.


This graph was part of the Victorian Motorcycle Council submission to the RSC inquiry. It was prepared by Bronwyn Sorenson and Rob Salvatore.

It's a pity that VicRoads, TAC and Police were so negative in their approach to motorcycling in Victoria. VicRoads policy not to do anything that might be construed as encouraging motorcycling seemsto be as real now as it was when it was documented in the last RSC Inquiry nearly 20 years ago.

TAC's justification for spending tens of millions on shock horror ads, discriminatory taxes and premiums is based on small-sample market research, not good science. TAC spin does not reflect real costs of bike safety safety or the value of bikes to the environment. Market research is what you do when you want to sell a biscuit in a new market.


The Police call for compulsory electronic ID devices to be fitted to all bikes for intelligence gathering and fines (and tolls) sent shock waves through the motorcycle community. See above press clipping. It's not just riders who are being targeted for "intelligence gathering". The Herald Sun, November 7 reports that police are even using public transport ticketing system to gather personal information on Victorian citizens.


It is also a pity that in spite of the interest in the RSC Inquiry in the motorcycle community and industry few stakeholders will be able to attend the public hearings in regional centres. With just a short time to go the dates, times and venues for hearings are not on the website. How do stakeholders plan for a day off work with such a short notice?

Last updated on Thursday, 06 October 2011."

The next update was on November 2. It took till November 8 to appear with no new details.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group
Melbourne
d.codognotto.oam@bigpond.com


"Members of the public are welcome to attend the hearings. ... The Committee will also be holding public hearings in regional areas, including Ballarat, Bendigo, Wangaratta, Wodonga and Bairnesdale, during November and December. Details will be available shortly.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

BICYCLE NETWORK & RACV OPPOSE MOTORCYCLES IN BUS LANES

THE AGE

Page 5.

Monday, November 7, 2011.

By City Editor Jason Dowling.

"BIKERS TO TEST SHARING BUS LANE

MOTORCYCLISTS will be able to travel in bus lanes on Hoddle Street for six months under a trial to begin within weeks.

The Bus Association and Bicycle Network Victoria both oppose the plan but Roads Minister Terry Mulder said the trial would assess 'travel times and other benefits for motorcycles and determine if there are any impacts on buses and other road users'.


Under the trial, motorcyclists will be able to ride in the south-bound Hoddle Street bus lane between the Eastern Freeway and Victoria Parade.

VicRoads chose Hoddle Street because of the number of road users, the length of the bus lane and the level of congestion during peak hours. Mr Mulder said information from the trial 'along with community feedback, will be used to make an evidence based decision on whether to allow motorcycles to use bus lanes'.

Victorian Motorcycle Council chairman Peter Baulch welcomed the trial.

'Broadly we are very much supporting the concept because it has been very successful overseas,' he said. Motorcycles using bus lanes 'frees up congestion on the main roads'.

But Bicycle Network Victoria spokesman Garry Brennan said motorcycles should not use bus lanes because of the speed at which they travelled.

Cyclists are permitted to use bus lanes in signposted areas on Hoddle Street and Mr Brennan said they expected more bus lanes to be opened to cyclists.

'It is inevitable,' he said. 'The evidence from around Australia and around the world is that buses and bikes can successfully share bus lanes.' (DC - Maybe, but it defies logic to claim motorcycles & scooters should be banned because they can travel at speeds that keep up with motorised traffic.)

Chris Lowe from the Bus Association said it did not support motorcycles or bicycles using bus lanes.

'The three modes of transport are inherently different and we are very concerned at the prospect of two-wheeled motorised and non-motorised forms of transport sharing the road space with a heavy vehicle,' he said.

RACV general manager public policy Brian Negus said bus lanes should only be used by buses, taxis and commercial hire cars."

INDEPENDENT RIDERS' GROUP

MEDIA RELEASE

THE MANNINGHAM LEADER

Manningham has a lot of bus lanes. In 2010, Templestowe resident  Damien  Codognotto OAM, was concerned that the system was treating one road user group unfairly. Bicycles  were permitted to use bus lanes but motorcycles and scooters were not. Damien praised Roads Minister Terry Mulder for setting up a trial to see if Victorians were getting the most out of their bus lanes.

Damien is a spokesman for the Independent Riders' Group. VicRoads wrote to the IRG on October 25, 2011:

" ... During the 2010 Victorian state election. the Government committed to a range of motorcycle initiatives, including the trial of motorcycle use of one of Melbourne's dedicated bus lanes. VicRoads has been liaising with key stakeholders ... An assessment of the impacts on bus operations, motorcycle travel, intersection operations, enforcement and road safety are some of the issues being considered ..."

VicRoads contact:        Mr Alistair Cumming
                                        Network & Asset Planning.
                                        Tel: 03 9854 2440. 

A six-month trial permitting motorcycles and scooters to use bus lanes in Hoddle Street between the Eastern Freeway and Victoria Street in Abbotsford.

Roads Minister Mulder was quoted in the Age (7/11/2011) saying that the trial would assess

" ... 'travel times and other benefits for motorcycles and determine if there are any impacts on buses and other road users.' ... Vic Roads chose Hoddle Street because of the number of road users, the length of the bus lane and the level of congestion during peak hours. ..."  

Damien was confident the trial would show that permitting motorcycles and scooters to use bus lanes was a sensible move. He said:

"Taxis generally don't delay buses, neither will motorbikes. Using bus lanes will improve safety while reducing pollution and traffic congestion. It works in Sydney, it will here."

If the Hoddle Street trial indicates that permitting motorcycles and scooters to use bus lanes is a good move, the IRG hopes bus lanes across Victoria to open to powered two-wheelers in 2012. Damien said this would have a significant, positive effect on traffic in Manningham.

Independent Riders' Group
Melbourne
Tel: 03 9846 8621

THE HIRSTY & JONESY ON THE BOX

TEMPORARY  AUSTRALIANS

A TV series on motorcycle culture in OZ will be launched at the Sydney Motorcycle Show at Darling Harbour on Saturday, November 26 at 2pm.

The community television program has the tongue-in-cheek title, Temporary Australians. The name was inspired by a negative stereotype that motorcycle riders have to live with. The series will give the motorcycle community a chance to tell it's story in the most positive way though the eyes of presenters  Brendan Jones and Greg Hirst. Both have been riding motorcycles for years.

BRENDAN JONES is a radio personality, television presenter, a motorcycle magazine columnist and he rides to work daily.

GREG HIRST has been a national motorcycling identity since the 10,000 bike run to Canberra in 1980. He's

The Hirsty driven Celebration Ride to Canberra on January 24, 1996. Some 15,000 riders assembled on the  Federal Highway before the run to Parliament House. 
been a member of the Brotherhood Christian Motorcycle Club for 34 years. And, Hirsty is well-known for his media and advocacy work for riders and especially for his role in the fight to stop the anti-association laws being pushed around the country. Now he's a producer!

"After decades of often negative exposure, this series presents the Aussie motorcycling community in a positive light. It's a chance to share the passion and good humour that glues motorcycling together with everyone who tunes in." says Hirsty.

Filming is still happening but good footage is already in the can. Items include special celebrity motorcycling  moments with the likes of Ten Sports Daryl Beattie, Olympian Kieran Perkins, Underbelly actor Les Hill, V8 Stars Todd and Rick Kelly as well as politicians such as Bronwyn Bishop and Peter Garrett.
 

Hirsty (R) and cameraman Tim filming in Melbourne for Temporary Australians in October 2011.

There will be some impressive motorcycle characters, places, events and rides as well as some very well kept motorcycling secrets.

The launch of Temporary Australians at the Sydney Motorcycle Show will see Jonesy and Hirsty joined by series sponsors Adam Wright from Harley Davidson and Cameron Cuthill from Victory Motorcycles. Master of Ceremonies will be Miles Rangeley, Editor of Live to Ride Magazine, who will also introduce a brief teaser showcasing the positive and quirky aspects of the series as well as announce the airing dates in 2012 around Australia.

Anyone who wishes to come is invited to attend the launch!
 

Saturday, 5 November 2011

SINGLE TRACK AMBOS

UPDATED MONDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2011.

THE HERALD SUN

ROUGH RIDE FOR AMBOS - Page 18.

By Grant McArthur.


Letter to the Editor - hsletters@heraldsun.com.au

ROUGH RIDE FOR BIKER AMBOS (HS 28/11/2011) only if others make it so.

Health Minister David Davis can be proud of his initiative introducing
medics on motor scooters for a four-year trial.

Opposition criticism that they only operate in perfect conditions is
not credible. It's a trial. Restrictions will change as safety is
proved.

The Ambos union says they will only work the CBD where response times
were good. The trial will show bike medics attending in-car
emergencies in traffic jams and saving lives in big crowds at sports
events, festivals and parades where full size ambulances can't respond
quickly.

Paramedics on motorcycles work in NSW, SA, NZ and the UK. They will
work here. In the long run they will make the Victorian ambulance
service more efficient and saving lives and money.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders Group
Melbourne


THE SUNDAY HERALD SUN

LETTERS


MEDICS  ON  MOTOR SCOOTERS! (SHS OCT 30, 2011) Brilliant! A better use of resources to help our stretched ambulance service.

The  idea  isn't  new.  The  UK,  US,  Hong  Kong  and  Singapore have paramedics on motorcycles. So do Sydney and Adelaide.

These  riders  carry  a full payload of life-saving gear. They can get safely  through  crowds  at  major  events  and  can penetrate traffic congestion in an emergency as no 4-wheeler can.

Bike  paramedics will assess a scene and let base know how serious the call  is.  This allows full-size ambulance crews to avoid false alarms and  prioritise  cases.  Crews can travel safer and be better prepared when they arrive.

With  our jammed roads and big crowds, paramedics on motor scooters is a very, very good move.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group
Melbourne

DEADLY FOUR-WHEEL DRIVES

I  reckon  4WDs  can be a good thing. Like elephants. They are wonderful blundering about the  African  bush. In your living room though, elephants are less attractive, especially when you are trying to watch TV.


Same  with  4WDs.  Working  on a farm or on a rural adventure (even if city  owners  rarely let them off the bitumen) 4WDs are wonderful. But in town they are pests and sometimes dangerous pests.

I  heard the government used to subsidise 4WDs so cockies could afford them. Quite right too. But they subsidised them for townies too. Maybe they  still  do.  As  a result, too many lemming-like townies with more cash than brains got one.

I'm a  motorcyclist. We pay more road taxes and charges than operators of any other registered transport type.

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/abolish-tac-antibike-tax.html

In  2011  4WDs  make  up  about  20% of private vehicles. As a rider I resent  4WDing  townies  having  cashed  in on a subsidy meant to help cockies.  I  also  resent  townies  in 4WDs, with wheel arches full of toddlers,  trying  to  kill  me then saying "Sorry mate. I did not see you" as some sort of absolution.

Anyway,  this letter was published in Melbourne's Sunday Herald Sun on November 6, 2011. Page 70.

"DEADLY 4WDs

AND  now  the  owners  of those big tanks, the four-wheel drives, will come  out  defending  their need to own such a vehicle by saying these accidents (DC - crashes) happen with all cars.

Some  of  these  4WDs are so big that toddlers might almost walk under them.  Trucks  are a necessity, 4WDs are not. They hog air space, that is  vision,  crowd  and  intimidate smaller cars, guzzle petrol, shine headlights  into  cars, are downright dangerous when hitting a car and unsafe - rollovers are common.

Many  people  can  barely see over the steering wheel let alone handle one and rear cameras give a false sense of security. And more toddlers are killed from them than from cars. Ban these dangerous vehicles.

Josie, via web."

Goodonya  Josie.  I  don't  know  about  a total ban but I'd certainly support  increasing  road  costs  to reflect the damage 4WDs do to the city  environment,  infrastructure  and safety. And I'd support moving the  TAC  tax  on motorcycles & scooters to private 4WDs registered in urban areas.

Don't know if these kids were injured by a 4WD driver or not but I doubt a motorcycle or scooter rider would have hit htese toddlers in the same situation.

THE HERALD SUN

Monday Novemeber 7, 2011. Page 14.

"CAR HITS TWO GIRLS

Two children have been taken to hospital after being hit by a car at a community show north of Melbourne.

The girls aged three and five, were hit by a car attempting to park at the Whittlesea show about 12.30 pm yesterday.

A spokesman for Ambulance Victoria said both girls suffered leg fractures.

They were admitted to the Royal Children's Hospital. The three-year-old was taken by road ambulance in a stable condition and the five-year-old was flown in a serious but stable condition.

Police are speaking to thew driver of the vehicle.

It is not known if the children were related."

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group
MRA HLM
Melbourne


d.codognotto.oam@bigpond.com

Friday, 4 November 2011

ROAD USER EDUCATION

NOV 5, 2011.

In a rush of publicity about the deaths of young drivers, Minister Mulder and Police Deputy Commissioner Walshe called for a reduction of the number of young Victorians who die while travelling in cars. The usual short term fixes were bandied about but there was, as usual in these circumstances, nothing about real change to solve a systemic problem.

A version of this letter was published in today's Herald Sun on page 36.

"A  teenage girl dies in a road smash. Too many terrible tragedies like
this. The family calls for compulsory driver education in schools.
Police  Deputy Commissioner Walshe says he will meet young drivers to
find  out  why  they  make  the wrong decisions. (HS 3/11/2011. "YOUNG
FATAL   ATTRACTION")  Roads Minister Mulder desperately calls for help
to cut the road toll.

It's  one thing for officials to take personal action after a tragedy,
to  hold seminars and take kids to emergency wards, it's quite another
to  look  at  the  big  picture and make the reforms the system needs.
Short term fixes achieve little for victims and their loved ones.
The idea of compulsory road user education in schools isn't new but it
needs  a  new  government attitude to achieve. RUE needs teachers then
facilities.  It will cost but reduced road trauma costs will make it a
very   good   investment  for  Victoria.

Better  drivers  mean fewer passenger, rider and pedestrian casualties
too.

RUE teachers need tertiary education qualifications and a career path.
Sports teachers have to be qualified to teach kids to kick, bowl, swim
or whatever. Isn't road safety as important as sport?

The   private   sector   must   be   involved.  Government  must  help
driving/riding  schools  to  qualify  to  work  with state and private
schools  to  teach  youngsters  to  use our roads without injury. This
would  have to happen in steps. The first step is the hardest. But, is
there the political will take the first step.

Damien Codognotto
Independent Riders' Group
Melbourne"

IN BOB WE TRUST.

I'm not overtly religeous.

Not covertly either if it comes to that.

But, with all the (often deserved) bad press about priests it seems to me right and proper to support a good priest. Father Bob McGuire OAM has been parish priest at St Peter's and St Paul's in South Melbourne for 38 years. He is a very good priest.


Bob came up with the "HOPEMOBILE" to get to the community and help people. Not just the very poor, although he and his supporters work hard for them, they help anyone.



For most of my life Bob's been about somewhere. He was our cadet unit chaplin in the 1960s. He sometimes ate at the Society, which show good taste. He helped me and my mates out, which doesn't, but never mind.

After all these years serving our community church toffs want to force Father Bob to retire. This is a time when religeons in OZ are crying out for clergy. This is a time when governments are seeking ways to keep people from retiring to keep our work force and economy viable. So what's with Bishop Hartless and the cathedral bureaucrats? Bob's only 77. There are two working Victorian priests older than that and the Pope's 84 and he still gets about in his Popemobile, although some say he'd be better off in a sidecar on a Guzzi ... but that getting off the point.

They can't want to sack Bob because he isn't a good priest. And it's not the quality of his work. And it isn't his high profile and popularity ... is it? Bob is more fun to watch on TV than Bishop Hart, so people watch. And it's been recognised with an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) and he was named Victorian of the Year in July.

Bob and the Bishop were in the Herald Sun today (Nov 5, 2011. Page 17)

"... Archbishop Hart said Fr Bob would remain a priest, but relieved of the 'grinding demands' of a parish, and wished him a 'time of  peace'.

Bob loves the 'grinding demands', it's his life.

But stung by the dismissal, Fr Bob wasn't preparing for peace.

'Get in touch with Tim Fischer, the Australian Ambassador to the Vatican, and tell him to go knock on the door of the department for the prevention of cruelty to parishes,' he advised supporters.

I wrote to the Herald Sun.

THE HERALD SUN
LETTERS

Father  Bob's  life is working for people who really need his help and
the cathedral sacked him.

I've  known  Bob  McGuire  for nearly 50 years. He is a priest who not
only  practices  what  he preaches, he's very good at it. He makes the
needs of Melbourne's neediest his top priority.

He  reaches  a  lot  of  people through the media. The media keeps our
society  informed. It is both a service and a tool. Bob uses the media
expertly  as  a  tool to do good in our community.

Victoria  has  too  many  nit picking bureaucrats generating rules for
rule's  sake.  So  does the Catholic Church. If church bosses cut some
red  tape,  showed a more human face and encouraged the Father Bobs of
this world, they might fill some pews on Sundays.

I'll support any new charitable organisation Bob starts.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Melbourne.

It seems to me Bob and his supporters are in a similar situation to Australia's motorcycle & scooter riders. Rules are being forced on them by a bureaucracy that is detached from the realities of the road or the parish. Rules that often make no sense and too often are counterproductive.

I'm going to write to Ambassador Fischer care of Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600. I urge anyone with a sense of what's good for our community to do likewise.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Melbourne.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

HIRSTY IS ON THE WIRELESS ON THURSDAYS.



ON RIDE THIS WEEK
* We find out how Marco Simoncelli will be honoured by riders at this weekend
* We talk to Chairman Shaun Lennard while he visits Europe on behalf of the Australian     Motorcycle Council
* Camel from the United Motorcycle Council updates us on recent amendments to the Queensland anti-association laws
* And we talk to Tex about life on the road with his famous four legged riding companion Bundy
Plus lots of news, views and music from Australia and beyond

TUNE IN in Sydney live on 90.5 FM and across Australia on
www.2ccrfm.comfrom 10pm -Midnight EST on Thursday.

Please check out Facebookand if you like the programme don't forget to Like this page and recommend it to you friends.

Ride
 
What? 2CCR FM 90.5. When national motorcycling identity Greg Hirst will entertain you with:
* Humorous stories of a motorcycle nature
* Interviews with well known motorcycle riders
* Stories from Aussie motorcycle clubs about their positive activities
* Update of key some motorcycling issues
* News on local and national motorcycle events (especially for those listening online)

And lots of great Aussie rock, blues and alternate music, plus a little overseas stuff. So listen in every Thursday for some motorcycle radio fun: on radio in Sydney or online on
* Studio guests to talk about their personal motorcycling experienceswww.2ccrfm.com around Australia.2CCR broadcasts all its programmes online and so Ride can be heard in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania at 10pm,Qld at 9pm, South Australia and Broken Hill 9.30pm, the Northern Territory at 8.30pm and in Western Australia at 7pm.For more information contact Greg on www.greghirstenterprises.com.au
 
 

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

HD EDITORIAL - NOV/DEC 2011.

Issue 119 of Heavy Duty Magazine has a strong message from Doc Robinson.

In part the Editorial reads:

" ... But once again it is time to face off with the powers that be whose aspirations seem to be the destruction of motorcycling in this country, although they hide behind the alleged rationale of improving safety. Bullshit! More likely it is a two-wheeled version of penis envy as these short-dicked, pencil-necked politicians (DC - and public servants) hate the fact that we have more fun on any sunny Sunday arvo than they get to enjoy in their entire hen-pecked, yes dear, no dear, whatever you say dear, lives.

I've been criticised a couple of times for using the term 'safety nazis' but even that pejorative term is not strong enough for the reality of the situation. How about this comment regarding Etags for bikes as reported in the Herald Sun.

Police (Vic.) Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe told the Inquiry into Motorcycle Safety that riders should be targeted with electronic tags as front ID for speed cameras. Police also said that tags would help with 'intelligence' gathering. What's next? Compulsory numerical tattoos? Imbedded microchips with listening devices?

Well measures almost as bad are being proposed, measures such as five-piece, high-visibility clothing so we all go down the road looking like we've fallen into a tank of flourescent paint. This high visibility approach is the central dogma of motorcycle safety. It is based on the responses of drivers who whine plaintively 'I didn't see the motorcycle' and, in a very small percent of cases, this may be true.

However, mostly that is crap. The truth of the matter is that they did not see the motorcycle as a threat to their personal well being, though they may well have seen it. The underlying reason for this is because in our steel cages we do not feel physically threatened by a light-weight vehicle.

Many, many times they do see us but pull out anyway, because either they can't judge our speed or we aren't perceived as a measurable risk to their own safety. Motorists will turn across in front of a bike time after time, whereas they would not make that turn if we were a semi trailer or a bus. This is the key, not whether we are seen or not.


The MRA Driver Awareness Rides of the 1980s got a strong message across to drivers. The sign on the Budget trucks say. "Car drivers, if I hit you with my truck then said I didn't see you, how would you feel?"

The Americans have a highly motivated lobby group called the AMA who will legally challenge any legislation that threatens motorcyclists. Americans know about winning against repressive legisation. ..."