Get a BIGGER problem

A few months ago I moved to Lismore, a nice country town with its lively markets, charming town centre, a proud lantern parade and friendly people.

One day when cycling down town. A car beeped its horn and I decided to follow it, to find out why. When a young woman stepped out; I asked her why, what had I done wrong? She claimed it was my responsibility to look when crossing the road she was about to turn in to. “I was not crossing any road” I replied, “I was simply following Ballina road”. I told her about the law; cars are to treat cyclists as cars when on the road, a fact she had no knowledge off. This made me worried. What other road rules might Lismore drivers be unaware off?

I shook my head, convincing myself she must be the exception rather than the rule. But at the roundabout I was abused again and later that week, on my way home from working with special needs children, something suddenly hit me, hard in the back of my head. I stopped and looked around. What could it be? I was covered in a sticky material. There on the ground was an ice cream. When I realized what had happened it was already too late, the car had vanished and I could no longer get its numberplate.

I stood there feeling disillusioned, unwanted and unwelcome.

I come from Norway, a country far away in Europe, a part of the world where some of your ancestors not long ago travelled. I moved to Australia to be with my Australian husband. We used to live in bike friendly Melbourne, where a rather impressively large part of its population commerce by bike. In Europe too, travelling by bicycle is popular. It is after all a means of transport doing minimal harm to our precious environment. If the environment benefits are not enough of a reason for you to give it a try, then consider this:

today Australia is ranked as one of the fattest nations in the developed world. Not only that; obesity rates in Australia are climbing faster than anywhere else! As little as 30 minutes of daily activity can make a huge difference. So why don’t you get your ass out of that car and jump on a bike? Imagine not only how much money you´ll save, but also how great you will feel?! AND, you no longer need to look for parking!

All I’m asking is that you get a BIGGER problem in your life! Get yourself a meaner, more powerful enemy, than me. Would it not be better if we rather joined together for a better environment, a more progressive Lismore?

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