Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 1542 – 1546: Celebrity in Australia

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Dec - 27 - 2014

As I came back from my stay at the Finca Guadalupe I had a bit of office work to do before I could continue with the cycling – the usual stuff; emails to be answered and blog post to be written. I also decided to do another AMA or Ask Me Anything over on reddit.

An AMA is like an online interview where the users of the reddit website asks questions. My entry generated quite a bit of interest with no less than 1500 questions being asked. One of the questions was “Where were you treated with less respect by motorists so far?”. I answered that the day I cycled into Sydney in Australia a couple of people rolled down the window and yelled F…ng cyclist. A newsreporter in Australia somehow saw this comment, and then things started to escalate!

First the journalist called, and we had a nice chat about the whole trip and my experiences in Australia. I talked as much about how much I had liked Australia as I did about the incident in Sydney, but of course the negative twist on such a story is always more interesting. The headline came out as “Australia world’s worst place for cyclists, says Danish rider who’s circled the globe”.

The article somehow hit a a nerve, and a regular media storm was now approaching. My phone started to ring, and I was on several radio shows trying to explain that I did indeed like Australia and Australians very much, but that there is a high level of tension between drivers and cyclists in the country. I hope my point got across.

I even gave an interview to The Guardian and was mentioned on the SBS website. Wow, certainly my 15 minutes (or two days) of fame.

Categories: Ecuador
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3 Responses so far.

  1. ED HEITOV says:

    Thomas, after your reference to Italians do you think you’ll need to stay clear of Italy? Keep riding safely my friend.

  2. Hola Ed! Hehe, I think they are very used to cyclists in Italy, so I should be OK there… although I also know they are driving with a lot of passion 🙂 Happy New Year from Colombia!

  3. Wow. There are certainly some venomous comments, against cyclists, after that article. 🙂 I’m not surprised, though, living in Sydney myself. Yes, one of the biggest problems is that the infrastructure is only half thought out. And, some cyclists do flaunt road laws. I think things will improve though. At least, I can hope! Your cycling on the M5 was brave though!