Taking a thong turn in Tel Aviv
Just how cool is Tel Aviv? When The Israel Bicycle Association and the Tel Aviv Rollers decided to stage a protest ride to oppose the lack of government support for urban bike riding as well a bill that would stiffen a required helmet law for cyclists, they did it in style.
On Tuesday night, hundreds of cyclist and roller skaters donned thongs and rode through the streets of the city – with the final destination being a thong party at a local club. Watch some video footage from Israel’s Channel 2 here
According to The Jerusalem Post, two weeks ago, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation decided not to throw the government’s support behind the bill to encourage bike-riding as transportation. The bill would mandate the inclusion of bike trails in urban plans and would allow bikes to be taken on intercity public transportation like trains and buses. It would also smooth the way for specially designated parking areas for bikes, and incentives to employers and employees who made the bicycle a primary form of transportation to work. The bill suggested a budget of NIS 100 million to build bike lanes and parking areas.
As far as the helmet law, the Association says that the best way to keep bikers safe is not through requiring a helmet, but through making new separate bike lanes.
“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,” bike association head Yotam Avizohar said.
“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,” Avizohar added.
“The government doesn’t seem to really understand what biking is – a daily means of transportation for hundreds of people,” said Avizohar.
And it’s a great excuse to get out at night wearing only a thong.