From the non sequitur files:
A few days ago, in Melbourne, Australia, Shane Warne was driving his car down a road and – depending on whose story you believe – Mr Warne either was randomly assaulted by a cyclist or drove his car into a cyclist. (Edit – a motorist who says he was behind the incident has come forward and told the press he saw Mr Warne intentionally strike the cyclist with his car.)
Protesting the incident, Mr Warne tweeted that cyclists should be registered to be allowed to use the road.
Mr Warne’s point was that he had no way of identifying his ‘attacker’.
Of course, the same logic would require pedestrians to wear number plates in case one of them attacked Mr Warne’s car with a leg or a baby stroller.
Cadel Evans’ wife Chiara Passerini has spoken out, tweeting: “I would be very scared of meeting someone like @warne888 during a bike ride. His hate towards cyclists is worrying!” And now Australian professional cyclist Bridie O’Donnell has made her low opinion of Mr Warne’s irresponsible ranting very clear. (It occurs in passing that Mr Warne, a champion of a sport that has limited global appeal, may be jealous of a sport like cycling that is growing world-wide, unlimited by borders, and certainly on the cusp of glory days in Australia. Tall-poppy syndrome, anyone?)
OK, everyone will have a different interpretation of what happened. But a few things are clear: Mr Warne has a big audience, and is spreading anti-cyclist vitriol in reaction to what is, in the light most flattering to him, a reckless move in a motor vehicle. He claims he heard a thump and saw a cyclist hanging on to his car. If anything, he should not have driven once any kind of collision occurred.
Mr Warne needs to re-think his comments and learn a lot more about cyclist and pedestrian rights on the public roads and why motorists (who drive the heavy, high speed vehicles which can cause damage when misused) are required to be licensed, registered and insured.
UPDATE – January 30, 2012: Cyclist struck by Mr Warne to sue.