Say it is so, and so it shall be: you now live under Dutch law

Okay, so your country’s laws say you must wear a bicycle helmet and ride in the middle of the road with the cars. Really? Could you not, in fact, be in Holland, where the law tells you to ride on the building side of the parked cars, and not wear a helmet? And if that attitude only works while you ride in your immediate neighbourhood, could you not pretend you live on a Dutch colonised island, and that beyond the quiet streets where you live, there is nothing but ocean?

I’m seeing more and more people like Kate and Sarah here, who I spoke to today, after noticing them about town a few times on their matching Gazelles. The inner city and a few flat neighbouring zones are effectively an island for this sunny couple—or for Sarah at least, since Kate owns an old car. They ride on the footpath. They chose grandma bikes because grandma bikes suit their dress sense. They wear the only helmets they have been able to find, that suit their inimitable sense of deportment, i.e., no helmets at all. They are among dozens of people—girls mainly—who I have seen flipping the bird to the whole idea that Australia’s car-era bicycle laws still apply, in Australia. You know, I still haven’t dropped my plans to have Australia handed back to the Dutch to mark the 400th anniversary of Dirk Hartog’s landing. That’s now just 5 years away!

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