Around two weeks ago, the Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation decided not to support a bill that would encourage bike riding as transportation. The bill would have mandated the inclusion of bike trails in urban plans, allow bikes to be taken on intercity public transportation (like trains and buses), and pave the way for specially designated parking areas for bikes. It would also provide incentives for employers and employees to make cycling a primary form of transportation to work.
They also decided to show the government exactly what it was missing by not promoting urban cycling – a nation full of attractive, physically fit specimens. Because the protest was clothing optional. (Check out how far the naked cyclists took their protest in the clip above.)
The protesters also spoke out against the stiffening of a helmet law for cyclists. According to the Israel Bicycle Association, the best way to ensure biker safety is not by requiring a helmet, but by making sure there are separate lanes for cyclists.
Yotam Avizohar, the head of the Association, said that the “government doesn’t seem to really understand what biking is – a daily means of transportation for hundreds of people. It’s not just a hobby for a select few mountain bikers.”
Avizohar and the Association fear that the helmet law will deter people from riding their bikes. According to Avizohar, “in the three countries which have a similar helmet law to ours – Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa – there’s been a sharp dropoff in riders. Whereas there isn’t such a sweeping law in Denmark or Holland, yet they are serious biking countries.”
Read more about urban cycling::
The Cycling Nightlife in Jerusalem
Tel Aviv Cafes Offer Great Cappucinos and Free Bike Rentals
Cicleta Sprint Bicycle Messengers Take Over Tel Aviv
I Have a New Bike, Should I Make it Ugly?