miles on a motorbike in 22 hours ftw.

Yeah, I said miles.

I’ve just done more than 7000 kilometres in 12 days.

Hands up if you’ve crossed a continent on a motorbike, and then ridden back again.

<hand goes up>

No, I won’t take my helmet off

When I buy petrol. There are 2 really basic principles why not:

1. Legal.

When I roll up to your petrol pump and lift the handle, if you turn that petrol pump on, you are agreeing to sell me petrol. By pouring petrol into my tank, I’m agreeing to buy it.
Any condition (for example: the condition that I take off my helmet when I enter your store) which is added to a transaction after I agree to make the purchase but before I hand over my money is pretty obviously an unfair condition of sale. Under Australia’s consumer protection laws, unfair conditions are meaningless. Therefore the condition that I take off my helmet before I enter the store is unenforceable.

If you don’t turn on the petrol pump while I have my helmet on, there’s no (legal) problem. Some places do this – you lift the handle, the pump doesn’t turn on. you look inside, and the guy behind the counter makes a motion as if he’s taking off a motorbike helmet. That’s perfectly fine – I’ll just go somewhere else based on principle #2.

If you have locked doors with a button behind the counter, and you won’t let me in the store with my helmet on, then you have a real problem. Because in that event, I will invoke my right under the Australian Consumer protection laws to change my mind about the sale – I’ll suddenly decide that actually I don’t want to buy petrol from you, after all. This presents you with a problem, because now you’ll have to remove the fuel that I pumped in – and *only* the fuel that I pumped in – from my bike. Good luck with that.

2. Moral.

I’ve worked in many client-facing roles. I’ve dealt with all kinds of customers, ranging from people at home calling up because their Internet is broken, right up to corporate executives. In my many customer-facing roles, and in fact one of the first things I was ever taught in my career, is the value of customer service. As someone who has had to provide customer service for a living, I pretty much insist on it when I’m the customer. And the first thing you’ll learn when you learn customer service is not to insult your customers.

By asking me to take my helmet off, you’re accusing me of being a thief. There’s no way to dance around it, it’s a simple fact – when you ask me to take my helmet off, you are very clearly implying that I am a thief.

And guess what? I consider that an insult. And if you insult me before I’ve handed over my money, I’ll go somewhere else, pure and simple.

“Oh, but the companies need to protect themselves! if they let you walk in wearing a motorbike helmet, then they’d get robbed all the time!”

Firstly, that’s not my problem, that’s a problem for the companies. Secondly, isn’t there an entire agency, widely referred to as “the police”, who deal with that kind of thing? Surely when you hand over the CCTV footage showing the thief’s number plate, the police will do their jobs, and no customers need to be insulted?

“Oh, well, these thiefs, they don’t use number plates, or they fake them…”

See the previous question. Now the police have multiple charges they can press.

“Yeah, but, we need to prevent crime!”

Then why do you let me pump the petrol into my bike with my helmet on? Assuming I’m a thief with fake number plates, why would you give me the opportunity to fill my bike up with petrol and simply ride away?

If you’re really interested in preventing crime, then guess what? There’s a whole industry sitting out there just waiting for your call! It’s called “The Security Industry”. There are companies like Chubb who make their entire living out of just that kind of thing! These guys are professionals who take their job seriously – they can advise you on best practices and whatnot, and they’ll provide whatever kind of security you like – The Security Industry can provide all kinds of wonderful services including but not limited to having a car drive past every so often, to make sure you’re OK, or permanently stationing a security guard (or, better, more than one) on site. If you like, the guards you have on site could probably even frisk every customer as they enter and leave the store! After all, I’m sure there are thiefs out there who are slipping through the cracks in your system because they’re not motorcyclists.

What this is really about is externalities – you can’t be bothered paying somebody to help you prevent crime (which indicates to me that it’s not really such a big problem), and you’d rather insult every single motorcyclist who comes to your store. After all, we’re only a minority…

Kites “Not Kid Safe”

(Originally posted on myspace on 14-Sep-2007)

(Original Article: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/09/11/2029365.htm)

An Anti-Darwinian lobby wants new laws to Ban children under 16 from riding motorbikes, or from doing anything else which could possibly be classified as “fun”.

A three year old retard at quantong in Victoria’s west was killed last week when he rode his motorbike into the Wimmera river. This was obviously due to the malicious intentions of the motorbike, and had nothing to do with a) parents allowing a 3 year old to ride a motorbike b) parents not supervising 3yo while riding a motorbike c) parents not instructing their child properly on how to ride a motorbike, and the dangers of riding them into rivers d) parents allowing 3yo to ride a motorbike next to a river, with no intervening fence e) the kid being a moron f) Parents being morons.

Kidsafe victoria says more than five children a week are being admitted to hospital because their parents have not properly supervised them on motorbikes.

Kidsafe’s president Dr Mark Stokes says it is alarming motorbikes do not attract the same regulations as cars, which is somewhat strange, considering that Motorbikes and cars are actually subject to virtually identical laws, the only real difference being that a bike is more easily classified as a ‘recreational vehicle’ than a car, which seems sensible to anyone with a brain, because they ARE more often used as recreational vehicles. However he fails to point out that a car on private property also does not need to be registered, and is legally driveable by a three-year-old. exhibit A: the 10,000 ‘paddock bombs’ in australia, so this issue actually would actually also apply to cars, but the thing is that cars aren’t possessed by evil spirits which like to dump three-year-olds into rivers, and motorbikes obviously are…

He says Australia needs to adopt laws similar to those introduced in the USA, Where they don’t even have a helmet law. He says that if we brought in the Patriot act here, then kids would be too busy being stripsearched on the side of the road to go riding motorbikes around.

“Children just aren’t able to control heavy machinery like a motorcycle,” he said, sending anybody with a bike license and an IQ higher than 0.007 into fits of hysterics.

“When you look at the evidence about developmental skills in children, they’re really not able to ride and control something like that until they’re probably about at least 16 years of age,” Dr Stokes said, sending the Netrider and AMA forums offline for 2 hours due to the an inordinate number of posts containing text like “OMGWTFBBQ?!?” and “LOLLERCOASTER!!! THIS GUY’S FUCKED IN THE HEAD!!!”

“I had a motorbike between the ages of 5-9 years old, and I loved every second of it. I fell off a grand total of once that I can remember, and I think i may have bruised my arm during the fall, which was due to my attempting to do something stupid (jumping a Honda Z50R isn’t a clever move). I was heavily reprimanded by my parents for even trying to do stupid things, they explained that doing that kind of stuff on a motorbike is asking for trouble, and that they can be dangerous if you’re not carefull. and I never did anything stupid again. I hurt myself alot more on my BMX than on my motorbike, so maybe we should Ban BMX’s too. Oh, and don’t forget to ban kites – I heard that some guy once got struck by lightning when he was flying a kite in a thunderstorm, so they’re clearly very dangerous…”, Says AntiSol, someone who actually has half a brain.

“So This guy is saying that my 4+ years of loving my Z50R didn’t actually happen, and that I wasn’t actually riding it, cuz I was a child? or maybe I went through some strange “childhood” which actually ended at age 4, implying that I am a super-genius or something, cuz I’d swear to god I was riding that Z50 around like a champion at age 6… And since when is a 35kg Honda Z50R a piece of ‘Heavy Machinery’? My Lego set was heavier!”

“Look, If they take away my Kid’s right to ride his PeeWee around, then I’ll have no choice but to start teaching him insurgency tactics and bomb making – What else will he be able to do for fun? I mean you can’t even get a semiautomatic air rifle in this country! and now they want to take away junior’s PeeWee?!?”, said a Hells Angel who wished to Remain anonymous.

“I think it makes a farce of the whole notion of licensing for motor vehicles, if we are going to say need a license to drive a motor vehicle on a public road, but in a more dangerous environment you don’t need a license,” he added.

A survey of Australia’s Motorcyclists indicated that arroximately 870% chose “a tree or a river over an idiot commodore driver any day, in terms of safety. Trees and rivers don’t move. Or aim for you. If you ride a bike into a river, it’s because you were a fuckwit, not because the river cut you off. Plus grass is a lot softer to land on than bitumen, especially when the mack truck behind you is taken into account…”