cfsmtb in low earth orbit

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Welcome to Relaxed and Comfortable Australia!

SalamSalam dear friends - is it a bird, is it a plane? No, she's Super Hijab!

Social experiment, with yours truly as the 'guinea pig'. Ingredients for this social experiment included:

- Purchase from Kmart - Size 22 Blue Kaftan Top - $15
- Blue Ladies Sleep Pants - $13
- Mauve Embroidered Hair Band - $2
- From Discount outlet -
Reading Glasses - $4 pair
- From local Op Shop - purchase $10 length of white chiffon
- Add to mix - 2 safety pins, cotton thread, needle & a Critical Mass 10th Birthday badge.

Purchase from NQR - $6 of heart-shaped strawberry flavoured lollies. (But I'm getting ahead of myself mentioning them). Now - the plan. Duly attire yourself on the theme as a demure Muslim lady. Plan the rest of your personal items, set up the commuter bike, add slip on Blundstone shoes & Crumpler bag. On the bike, and set off for Critical Mass's 10th Birthday ride, hoping to arrive at 5.30pm or a tad earlier.

Result: Insults hurled galore as I rode from the inner northern suburbs to the State Library. Choice extracts: WHATERFECKAREYER - GOBACKTOYERCOUNTERY - GETTHEFECKOFFTERBIKE and the rather common garden variety FECKOFF. Utterly charming. And I'll add these insults came predominately from nice young men driving cars. I will admit the sight of a woman dressed in a hijab-style headdress riding a bicycle (or possibly confused as a nun, refer comments in last post) will some members of the public in conniptions. But, why the insults? Mixed signals? Possible
Michelle Leslie reference? Was my small 'social experiment' outside most peoples field of reference? Or is delightful Melbourne similiar to rest of John Howards "relaxed and comfortable" Australia or bitterly divided? You tell me. My 'social experiment' lasted less than four hours and was in no way meant to demean or insult Islam. I have the utmost respect for other peoples faiths. Now back to last nights entertainment. It was the BIGGEST ride I've ever participated in. It rocked. Big ones.

fun fun fun for everyone!
Brunswick Street - fun fun fun for everyone!

Melbourne Indy Media: Thousands of cyclists celebrate Critical Mass
An estimated 1500 cyclists converged on the State Library to participate in the Critical Mass 10th birthday ride. The city had its normal peak hour gridlock of single occupant motor vehices, belching greenhouse gases and contributing to global warming.

Saturdays Herald Sun: Ross Thornton has a brainfart
Acting Supt Stephen Dennis said aside from lengthy delays in the CBD and surrounding suburbs the riders were well behaved. Truck driver Ross Thornton, who heads up a group called Critical Smash, called media outlets to pass on a warning to the cyclists -- stay out of the way. "If any one of those idiots illegally impedes me I'll run straight over them," he said.

:: Anti cyclists threats in the media ::
Critical Mass 10 photos :: More Critical Mass 10 photos :: Yet more Critical Mass 10 pix :: And here too! :: Meanwhile, up north: Critical Mass ride the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Namecalling and obvious spaz remarks aside, yeah, whatever - but actual incitement? Impeding or inadvertenly hindering
a vehicle, ever upsetting the poor little dears slightly will lead to DEATH. Shouldn't be suprised at all about that - just have a gander at the TAC stats and the latest 46 campaign. These sadly, only confirm the current levels of acceptable stupidity out there amongst the proles. Further reminders of John Howards "relaxed and comfortable" Australia? We're watching you, Ross. I will be following this issue further. I'll add links to further stuff on Fridays marvellous ride as they come to hand. tootle-pips for now.

Stick this in your pipe and smoke it, Mr Thornton:


  • Apologies for confusing you for a nun (sister cfsmtb!) but those glasses (especially) and your veil were similar to a nun's. It may have been the heat and the NQR(!) lolly giving me hallucinations. More please :)

    Because I am so confused I looked up things on the wiki to clear things up and found a thing or 2.

    The word Hijab refers to a principle of dressing modestly, not really the name of the headscarf. So you could say a muslim woman maintains hijab or is dressed in (super!) hijab.

    The square headscarf most woman wear is often called a "khimar", a direct translation from the Qu'ran. A nun's veil is more likely to be longer and flow down over the shoulders. maybe. Ok i'll admit I was wrong!

    As for you 'social experiment', yikes. Did the comments continue once in the ride?

    As for comments during the ride there was one old + short, blue singlet wearing guy in Brunswick St. (I think), drunk off his face and standing at the entrance of a pub yelling "getthefeckofftheroad, ya don't pay rego" and alot more. He was a laugh. :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:51 pm, November 26, 2005  

  • The remarks didn't continue on the ride - but some folks reactions whilst I was handing out lollies was a tad odd. Thought I was a missionary or something. Especially the more feral/alternative element.

    After a altercation at Fed Square (yuk) where I was doing point duty, (ie: yelling to get ppl moving out of the intersection) one young lady asked me if I was a police officer! Bizarr-o stuff, I've been coming along since approx 96/97 and have worn rather flamboyant costumes - refer to cfsmtb flickr photoset in right column. But never been referred to as a copper!

    Maybe one is just getting old & that confuses the younger folk. Oh well ...

    By Blogger cfsmtb, at 12:01 am, November 27, 2005  

  • It must have been that booming, authoritative voice of yours... ;-)

    I was hoping for a bike lift on Punt Road, but it didn't really happen. Oh well, next time.

    By Blogger ...mj, at 9:37 pm, November 27, 2005  

  • Oy, M!key,

    uploading Aus National SingleSpeed pix now - should have a flickr url to pass onto you tonight.

    By Blogger cfsmtb, at 9:41 pm, November 27, 2005  

  • Just found a pic of me now! Thanks C! (Wow - don't I look fast!) ;-)

    By Blogger ...mj, at 9:51 am, November 28, 2005  

  • LMAO!! Hijab AND on a bike, you got a death-wish girl. On the positive side, you can always get ekkied-up in Kuta with impunity.
    I've always thought bikers and Muslims have a lot in common - both minorities, misunderstood, maligned, subject to harassment, funny headgear....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:54 am, November 29, 2005  

  • ... hope you did have a brain-bucket on underneath that lot :-)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:01 am, November 29, 2005  

  • Re the Bikin' Burqua - if we all wore headscarves it would be interesting. I mean, if Mussie Mossie Men fall into a slathering sexual rampage at the mere sight of HAIR - then I don't want it to be ME!
    and does their worry not indicate that they should have fatwas out on all those brazen tits-out-lifestyle chicks who feature in photopages of the trashmags?

    Re fatality stats: it might be interesting to compare Victoria's ratio with those countries where MANY many more people ride bicycles eg Denmark Netherlands etc.

    Today's cycling fatality is even more tragic that it was caused by windgust. I hope the family of Deborah Gray can feel our waves of sympathy coming at them in a 'care-gust'.

    By Blogger Brownie, at 9:54 am, November 29, 2005  

  • Nice work, cileo. I'd volunteer for a similar sort of thang but not one soul would buy in to a clean-shaven blonde guy as a Muslim For A Day.

    By Anonymous weezil, at 9:27 am, December 13, 2005  

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