Manifesto of personal freedom

I assert my right to cycle in full-size headphones (yeah, leave out the helmet), with Talking Heads blasting my brains out. I’ll be off-road on a trail. Don’t you worry about me.

I’ll write what I like on my blog. After nearly 5 years writing whatever I like, there is really only this post I regret. One in a thousand aint bad.

In the absence of logically defendable rules governing cyclists’ use of public carriageways, I will continue to make up my own. I will treat red lights as suggestions to yield. I will ride diagonally across intersections that cars are all stopped at. I’ll be a pedestrian, now a vehicle, now a pedestrian—oh I’m a shapeshifter. What and learn about the performative production of space.

I think 80kph is a reasonable speed on a road bike if the gradient and wind resistance will allow, but I would like to go faster.

I will be very particular about how I dress on a bike and disdain of all those who wear colours that clash with their environments. In the city, a man should wear neutrals. In the country: colours one would be happy for a landscape artist to place on a brush. You’re free to do otherwise, just don’t await my approval.


I assert my right to sing as I ride, talk on my phone, and take selfies. I will get pumped up on endorphins and propel myself into conflict situations with drivers who leave their cars blocking a bike path. Oh I have done things. We red heads are known for our tempers.

By the same token I feel perfectly fine about turning a blind eye to all the world’s ills. I can switch off the warrior, and the ambassador. I can ride like John Forrester and leave it to others to whine about cycle tracks. I can go the long way around on the trails. I can ride on the footpath and not bother a soul, and don’t really care that most people lack the requisite grace to do likewise. I can have a great life on a bike in just about any city.

I’ve metered justice. You don’t have to be a six foot tall burly bloke. God has little hands too:


If I have to wait at the side of the road for lines of traffic to clear, I am entitled to make eye contact with every driver as they go past, and mouth insults about their intelligence and their weight. Mouthing the consonant “f” makes me feel better about having to trust their machines not to run off the road and collect me. I guess they’ll just have to have faith that I keep taking my meds.

I’ll be an advocate for protected bike lanes even if that means forcing brave cyclists to ride among cowards. And I’ll advocate for weather protected bike lanes even if that means stoics will have to ride among those who are made of butter. I’ll be a bike racing enthusiast and discombobulate anyone who might see a contradiction in that.

This is the person who is inventing new building types and new models of urban development that put bicycles first, pedestrians second, and drivers right out of the picture. A bit of nutter maybe. But not lacking passion.


  1. Nick zintilis says:

    Very nice blog. Love the video. You see,cycling gets you in good spirit!
    Not all Doom&Gloom!

    • Steven says:

      Nick, we had our state masters road racing championships here yesterday in a beautiful town called Deloraine. I got dropped in the first hills by the hotshots (you know, the guys whose wives work while they train), but then I rode 50km by myself like a maniac holding out others behind. Now if I can just keep a lid on those dilutions of grandeur I’m sure to have a great week. Hope you do likewise!

  2. Nick zintilis says:

    Thanks,I will!

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