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Journeys : Dec2011 Jan2012
Member in focus Jo Hall lives in Hobart. She is a cycling commuter and a student of flamenco dance. Jo has been an RACT member since 2000. Why did you join the RACT? Because my first car was a bomb! Even though I couldn’t afford much at the time, I knew I couldn’t afford to be stuck on a roadside somewhere if it broke down. I just knew something would go w rong with it, although I think I only called the RACT once the entire time I had it. What’s the most memorable time you’ve been helped by being a member of the RACT? My current vehicle recently needed the battery replaced. It was the original, eight years old – a pretty impressive run, I thought. The R ACT guy thought so too! Funny thing is I was parked at home and the battery was flat because I don’t drive the car much. Tell me about your current car. A 2003 Holden Astra. I bought it when a friend had a bad car crash – a bunch of us went out and bought cars with air bags. My current ‘car’ for everyday use is my bike. Do you have any stickers on your car? No. What is your biggest motoring gripe? Aggression and impatience. As a cyclist trying to share inner-city roads with motorists you feel very vulnerable and sometimes driver aggression and impatience can get really scary. After the family photos, what is your most precious material possession, the thing you would try to grab if there was ever a fire? Pieces of jeweller y that I have from my mum. And my enormous silk f lamenco manton (a shawl with long fringes for dancing) – I would need to go back to Seville to find one to replace it. What is your most memorable holiday moment? Dancing ever y day until my feet bled (literally) in full-on f lamenco classes and then limping out every night to catch amazing, gritty, gut-wrenching f lamenco performances every night on a three-month dream holiday in Andalusia in 2009. Buen rollo! What about your favourite holiday destination? The flamenco triangle of Andalusia – Granada, Sevilla, Cordoba. Where do you plan to spend your next holiday? It will be a while before I make it back to Spain again so it is lucky I love holidaying in Tasmania. And I am looking for ward to a quick tr ip to Melbourne to help celebrate my sister’s birthday. The 500 Car Club also runs events on C/Moto under CAMS, again with licensing and insurance, and are working with the Tasmanian Government on compulsory driver training education, to teach school students not just how to get their licence, but how to drive. Instead of knocking trail bike riders the way your prev ious correspondent did, I think the R ACT and others should be proactive in supporting an idea that is possibly the only way to stop bikers riding where they shouldn’t. It’s so obv ious that all current measures are simply not working. My original aim was to establish these purpose-built facilities around Australia, however after more than 10 years of negative response (or no response) from various groups, including, I’m sorry to say, the RACT, I have understandably lost enthusiasm. Incidentally, dirt-bike riding is the fastest growing extreme sport in the world – so the problem of riding in illegal and dangerous areas will simply not go away. Let’s see if you will at least publish my letter this time, instead of ignor ing me – or aren’t you serious about finding a solution? I think my proposal is certainly the best idea to date. I have a ver y simple philosophy on this subject – if you don’t give kids places to ride safely, they will find somewhere else. It will usually be somewhere that is illegal – and will always be dangerous. I would be more than happy to meet your organisation and explain to you in detail my model for ‘peace for all’. I’d also like to hear some more response about my initiative from R ACT members – and I hope it will be positive! In our community December 2011 / January 2012 11
Oct Nov 2011
Feb March 2012