Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bikes, bikes and more bikes

Melbourne's Bike Share scheme has had a bit of a rough ride (no pun intended). Costing around $5m in taxpayer's money, uptake in the first year was disappointing and the knives were out in local government.

In reality, Australia's strict helmet laws ($175 fine if you're caught riding a bike without one) had a significant impact on the pace of adoption. Commuters who had a helmet were likely to have a bike too (I have no official stats to support this assertion, but I have a sneaking suspicion my analysis is correct) and tourists were hardly inclined to splash out upwards of $50 just so they could ride from Flinders Street to Southern Cross and back.

So the decision was taken to offer $5 helmets at 7-Eleven's around the city. Better still, return the helmet and you get $3 back. The cost to local government? Only $15 per helmet. But I think it was the right decision and I understand that the sight depicted in my photo from a few months back is less common now, as more and more bike stations now have plenty of empty spaces.

17 comments:

  1. Good to know....a 7-Eleven helmet it is!
    That's a hefty price for a ticket. Here in Canada only the 18yrs. and under crowd have the "mandatory helmet law". The rest of us "old folk"? (Maybe our heads aren't worth as much...)
    Nice shot.

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  2. Great shot! Some people here who use them to commute to work are bringing their own helmets along. Then they don't need to worry about having their bikes stolen during the day.

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  3. Very good shot Alan, the composition is great! ;-)
    About the helmets, that's a very interesting solution, the fine is too high!

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  4. Here in the Czech Republic are also mandatory helmet especially in children. It's good, there were many serious accidents. I still remember riding a moped helmet when not needed. Dangerous, but enjoyable. Today the road is too dense traffic. Hello to Melbourne. Peter.

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  5. Brilliant. Twenty times Melbourne. Never saw a better city bike rental shot. Perfect angle.
    In Germany there is no helmet law for bikes. It's common in sports and for (smaller) children.

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  6. Great shot Alan. I love these and I wish we had them here. I saw them in Denver when I was there a few weeks ago.

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  7. Excellent shot Alan and extremely interesting info, I don't think we have the bikes for hire thing in Perth, mind you I wouldn't swear on it, I might just not have seen them. Bike helmet rules are very big though! and btw I'm still trying to figure out what IMHO stands for hahahaha!

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  8. It's a great shot Alan but I can't help thinking that if the deciding factor of a helmet is the cheapness of it, then perhaps it's not quite the protective tool required. But then again I'm sure they are cheap to make in China.

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  9. Great photo Alan. The repeating "Melbourne" on the blue background is terrific. You are right .. there are lot more bikes missing from the rack these days.

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  10. Fantastic idea Alan - and what a great way to get around the Melbourne CBD

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  11. Craig - they pass the Australian standard, so quite safe. But they're a bit bulky and make yor head look like a big egg!

    Thanks everyone:-)

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  12. What a fantastic shot Alan. Love the colour and the composition.

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  13. All pictures are so great to see.. and then Buying a bike tire shouldn't be too complicated. But there are lots of variables. Width, tread, diameter, material, etc., are all factors that affect performance and durability.Bikes Brisbane

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I still have lots to learn about photography. All comments or constructive criticism are very welcome!

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