Fines, court appearances aren't slowing down Scone cyclist's campaign

DEFIANT: Sue Abbott with her bicycle in Scone on Thursday morning. She remains determined to continue her fight against helmet laws.
DEFIANT: Sue Abbott with her bicycle in Scone on Thursday morning. She remains determined to continue her fight against helmet laws.

ANOTHER fine, another day in court.

But that won't stop Scone cyclist Sue Abbott from challenging our country's helmet laws.

Mrs Abbott was fined $220 by Australian Federal Police at Sydney Airport for riding her bicycle without a helmet on a multi-lane road near the domestic terminal.

Defiant as ever, she rode away from her appearance at Waverley Local Court this week bareheaded.

When asked if the fines, which first started seven years, would slow her down, her response was emphatic.

“No it won’t, it hasn’t done,” she said.

“I go to court because I want to be able to say what I want about this law.

“You get a bit crushed every time you go to court because they deliberately humiliate you, but the support means a lot.”

The 56-year-old, who lives eight kilometres out of the Upper Hunter town with her doctor husband Richard, believes the laws have taken people like her off the roads.

“I regard myself as an elderly lady; I am adverse to danger, I don’t like it at all, so me riding a bicycle on the road is just not dangerous,” she said.

“People like me, who ride into town, and it’s a perfectly okay ride, are just not on the roads and that’s a loss.

“You don’t see children cycling anymore and it’s such a shame, we’ve lost an entire generation.”

Mrs Abbott said there had been a massive shift in support for her battle against the laws.

However, much of the opposition continued to come from “lycra” cyclists.

“They think what I’m doing is crazy,” she said.

“But they can’t translate that [type of cycling] to me, at 56, on a bicycle.

“It’s like comparing Grand Prix driving to ordinary driving.

“I don’t get in my car and put on a fire-retardant suit and a helmet.

“And yet that’s what we’re trying to make our cyclists do – behave like young men and women who are really sporty and competent at that type of cycling.

“I’m just getting on my bike to go and buy some groceries.”

With that, Mrs Abbott got back on her bicycle and rode off down the main street.