Apparently the Lycra Force Field provides protection from having to pay fines

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UK cyclist getting fined for not wearing a helmet

More than 72 per cent of cyclists who broke the law last year haven’t paid their fines, including 4449 people who owe more than $244,695 after being caught by police not wearing a helmet.

But offences by cyclists have dropped by 36.6 per cent since 2013, when there were 14,616 infringements, according to new figures. Police say this is thanks to more people using purpose-built cycleways.

Road policing operations manager Peter McKennie said the cycling infrastructure meant less risk of people being hit by traffic and so “we are less likely to press the enforcement in those environments”.

Police have the discretion to charge and assess the risk of the situation. “We always encourage people to adhere to the law by using the appropriate lights on their bikes, wearing reflectorised clothing, having adequate brakes and wearing safety helmets.”

Offences labelled “decision unpaid” means the fee is unpaid and referred to the Ministry of Justice.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not illegal to ride a bicycle after drinking alcohol.

Cyclists live a charmed life on our roads. They receive all kinds of special treatment and, in return, they take over the road like they own it. Red lights are optional, as is giving way. And they quite happily take to walking paths and pedestrian-only areas.

Lycra-clad middle-aged men’s attraction to cycling is linked to their alpha-male urges, a Kiwi sports psychologist says.

Campbell Thompson, who is preparing a number of sports teams for this year’s Rio Olympics, will speak today on “The Psychology of the Mamil” at the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists’ annual meeting. He reckons Mamils (middle-aged men in lycra) on suburban roads on weekends may be “sublimating primitive urges to mate and fight” by channelling their inner weekend warrior.

“The Mamil approaches recreational cycling in an intense and focused way,” Thompson said. “Mamils are often highly motivated people who are putting that energy into a sport. He channels his ‘weekend warrior’, developing an almost professional level of competitiveness about what is a social activity.”

And for 70% of them, paying fines is clearly a girlie thing to do.

 

– Amelia Wade, NZ Herald

 


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  • Brian Smaller

    I am middle-aged, ride a bike and I don’t own a piece of lycra. I wear cargo shorts and a tee shirt. I also make sure I get out of the way of every car and truck that comes near me. Mind you, out our way you are more likely to hit a sheep or a cow than a car.

  • Korau

    I seldom see cyclists on the roads in Lower Hutt. Many just use the footpaths, so many in fact I thought the law had been changed.

    Also, helmets are apparently optional in this area.

    Suggests the Plods are more interested in riding around in the cars you and I supply.

    • Anthony

      I wondered where the non-helmet brigade were, its a pretty unusual sight in the part of Auckland I live in (2 this year).

  • XCIA

    There is a cycle lane that was made well over twelve years ago from Northcross going north up the East Coast Road. Because of this cycle lane, a two lane road was made into a one lane road despite the cat that the berm on that side of the road is about ten times the size of a normal berm. Now, the three lanes that come from the Northcross intersection have to merge into one lane. In all the years that the cycle lane has been operational, I have never, never seen anyone riding a bicycle on it and I drive on that part of the East Coast Road ten times a week. I have however noticed cars parked on it that seem to have been there for a while.

    • Oh Please

      Same with the cycle tracks running in streets off Dominion Road. An utter, utter waste of money, an utter waste of road space. Never, ever seen a cyclist on them.

  • He reckons Mamils (middle-aged men in lycra) on suburban roads on
    weekends may be “sublimating primitive urges to mate and fight” by
    channelling their inner weekend warrior.”

    Alpha males my bum!
    That hasn’t been my experience in the past when some of these arrogant muppets cut me off or block the lanes. They are all mouth and attitude until its time to get down to it and all of a sudden they spot a gap and leg it the gutless wombles.

    Of course now I’m older and not so fit and agile I dare say some of the panty waists might try it on.

  • RightofSingapore

    Yes, the Mamils have always had this smug militancy about them then complain they’re being persecuted when people call them out on it. If they don’t want hostility from motorists, then they should stay out of the way.

  • geoff

    Ever noticed how a cyclist metamorphoses into a pedestrian when using a pedestrian crossing? I mean when was the last time you actually saw a cyclist walk, not ride, the above?

  • Kevin

    ““The Mamil approaches recreational cycling in an intense and focused way,” Thompson said. “Mamils are often highly motivated people who are putting that energy into a sport. He channels his ‘weekend warrior’, developing an almost professional level of competitiveness about what is a social activity.”

    In other words they’re all a pack of douchebags.

    Thanks doc!

  • Old Kiwi

    Just done the round the Auck harbour ride. From the shore out to Hobsonville, Westgate, Henderson cycleways, along the Western motorway (vastly improved since last time) Upper Queen street, tried the new (Total waste of money pink cycleways), Down Nelson street, Caught free ferry to Devonport (Used Gold card for first time) Thanks Winnie only thing you have ever done). And then back home in time for Warriors game (well done guys vast improvement).
    Nice sense of achievement, a couple of coffees on the way. Looney Lens spent the money already so the least I can do is make use of the facilities. A good day and no Lycra.

  • johcar

    …4449 people who owe more than $244,695 after being caught by police not wearing a helmet…

    To be fair the idiots that don’t wear helmets are unlikely to be the cyclists wearing lycra.

    In my experience these non-helmeted lawbreakers are typically riding BMX, mountain or single-speed bikes or the old-fashioned step-throughs with a basket on the handlebars (which is where you usually spot the missing helmet)….

    • Miss McGerkinshaw

      Also I wonder what the numbers would be with people driving cars who haven’t paid their fines.

      • johcar

        By percentage of road user type, that would be a far larger number!!!!

  • RightyTighty LeftyLoosey

    For a long time I was quite against Cam’s crusade on what he calls road maggots. Got myself blocked once for an outburst on the subject. Then two months ago I happen to be driving into town at 06:30 along Tamaki Drive and came across two groups of road maggots who were riding three abreast and refusing to budge. These guys deserved to be called maggots. But I would like to point out that there are many (myself included) respectful cyclists out there who obey the rules and do whatever possible to avoid holding up traffic. Please dont lump us all together and only use the horn when you see a real maggot out there like I did two months ago. I tell you my horn got a good workout that morning.

  • Hard1

    Interestingly, despite the Green push for more commuter style cycling, shopping and going to work, cycle lanes and roads around them are dominated by athletes. Remember that next time you see a peloton. Your rates have paid for free inner city race tracks, which is in total variance to every Council’s stated intention of providing an expensive, intrusive but seemingly very important and very necessary alternative to using your motor vehicle.

  • hardsell

    When was the last time you saw a MAMIL WITHOUT a helmet? Those riding without helmets are the same dicks who ride without lights, they just don’t care.
    I ride most days and have mates who ride even more often, group rules are stop at red lights/stop signs and no more than two abreast. If single lane or busy road single file all the way. Helmets, lights everything practical to ensure we’re as safe and visible as possible.
    There are some absolute arseholes out there on bikes, they’re hated by cyclists as much as those drivers running red lights that we all see when we’re in the car.
    Don’t tar us with the same brush…every commuter on a bike is one less car in traffic

  • WBC

    I’m sorry but calling MAMILs alpha males just doesn’t fit, in an way shape or form. I is more likely that they are insecure males trying to be something they are not (and failing because really, they don’t ever come across as anything more then ridiculous) and the general rudeness and entitled behaviour is just an obvious cry of desperation to actually be able to influence something.

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