Tuesday, September 09, 2008

All the King's Horses

The last week has been nothing short of amazing for political pundits in NSW. With the Iemma, Sartor and Costa trio all gone, a new generation of political heavies has taken over. One of the more interesting revelations was that our new Premier Nathan Rees is a serious road cyclist, as the Sydney Morning Herald reported:
Todd Smith trained with Rees for five years until injury and work commitments ended their cycling careers in the 1990s. When training for a race, they would ride every day and clock up 1000 kilometres a week. They would cycle more than 200 kilometres over six hours on a Saturday. "He was a very, very good rider, an A-level rider and very tough in the head," Smith says. "Nathan never got to the professional level but he could have, given the right circumstances and opportunities.

"He was very dedicated and very level-headed, a great guy to go training with because Sydney is a hard place to ride and a few of the guys would get worked up but Nathan would be the one defusing the situation."
So the new Premier knows a thing or two about road rage against cyclist. Thats good to know. Perhaps he might be interested in supporting a public education campaign on cyclists rights and responsibilities? NSW seems to be the only state without one.

In another random cycling & politics story, the new Health Minister John Della Bosca has returned from his post-Iguana-gate exile with a high profile portfolio and a slim and trim new look. As was reported:
It is understood Mr Della Bosca spent much of his time while he was suspended from cabinet swimming and cycling to lose weight.
It seems that the bike has done wonders for Della Bosca. Not that long ago he looked like this:

Or, as one cartoonist illustrated him:

So, this week has seen the ascendency of a new Premier who is a hard-core roadie and a new Health Minister who has taken to cycling for good health. But will this help the NSW Government actually do anything to improve cycling in the state? I can only hope so.

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