Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sustainability fair at MQ

Most of this week I’ve been running a cycling promotion stall for BikeSydney as part of the sustainability fair at Macquarie University. It’s been a lot of fun talking about bikes with students and staff. It’s also been great to meet so many people who’ve recently got into cycling or who are interested in giving it a go. To try to make the BikeSydney stall more attractive, I borrowed this bicycle powered blender from Cheeky Transport. You can buy them online, but they’re built specifically to work with an xtracycle. Over the three days, I think we made over 30 litres of banana smoothies on the bike. This marketing ploy worked a treat as I'd pop quiz the students about their interest in cycling while they pedaled away for their smoothie.
A more depressing part of this week has been that I seem to have raised the ire of some people with a concern for ‘occupational health and safety’ in my department. More specifically, the presence of me loading the xtracycle in the hallway outside my office each morning has been identified as a ‘hazard’ and I've been offically warned about it. I find it rather funny that OH&S seems to work with some things and not others. For instance, the health costs of sedentary lifestyle diseases (heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes) don’t seem to rate a mention but they are surely the most significant OH&S issues to be concerned about. One of the Cycling Promotion Fund pamphlets I’ve handed out during the week claims that 54.2% of the Australian population are physically ‘inactive’. Australia also has the highest rates of obesity in the world. The total economic cost of this physical inactivity is $1,494,000,000 dollars per year. If only a few of these OH&S people could factor in some of these costs before giving me trouble over temporarily parking an xtracycle in the hall.

Update: I got interviewed at the fair. You can tell I've had no media training. I counted 8 umms!

1 comment:

SiouxGeonz said...

Yes, bicycles in the hall are somehow threatening :( :( Heaven forfend we create infrastructures to support good health instead of the auto industry... those cars in the parking lot *aren't* a hazard?
The blenders once were xtra-only but now you can get a generic setup. It's still ridiculously pricey since it's not exactly mass produced, but it was my "middle-aged frivolity."