There can be no denying that having a Prime Minister who rides a bike regularly is an avowedly good thing and Tony Abbott is setting a good example as Australia's chief MAMIL.
7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:39 PM

Like many of us the PM has made a point of fitting cycling into his demanding life, and in doing so he sets an example that daily exercise (he also runs and swims) is critical to effectively doing the thing which puts food on the table.

But a doctor to several past PM's, Graeme Killer (no, really), and a former Department of Veterans Affairs medical adviser, today said that Tony Abbott should pull over and step off the bike because he might one day hit the deck.

"This bike riding, you know as a doctor I see all the accidents coming off bikes and one day I think he is going to have one too,'' Dr Killer told The Australian (paywalled).

"You know, bikes on wet roads, early in the morning. We want to keep him well. The country needs him to do well.''

"One day he'll come off. My son's a great cyclist, but of course he was riding down St Kilda Road and someone opened the door on a taxi and he went bang.

"His shoulder has been repaired but he can't swim properly any more. He's got sort of frozen shoulder. I see people come off bikes, you look at them on the Tour de France. I really think the Prime Minister, he'd be advised to get a different sport.

"I encourage exercise totally but riding a bike?''

It's an old joke that there are only two types of cyclist, those who have come off and those who are about to, but Dr Killers advice is still poorly directed.

The PM leading by example with his regular cycling is a good thing for himself and public health. But the good doctors son getting doored has nothing to do with cycling and everything to to with infrastructure priorities.

Rather that focusing of the PM's riding, Dr Killer might instead want to consider his policies of putting motoring infrastructure ahead of public and other forms of transport, like cycling, which is important to the overall health of the nation.

The PM refuses to seriously consider these alternatives and instead prefers that the Commonwealth assist in funding massive city road building projects which today do not meet minimum business case criteria for return on investment.

Roads which by design keep people in cars at a cost to their health. Roads which paradoxically add to congestion and contribute to pollution and greenhouse gasses, roads which are often dangerous and poorly designed for cyclists, putting their health at risk.

There has always been a odd disconnect to the PM's cycling and that is it, he likes riding a bike but does not appear to be interested in doing anything to make it safer.

Rather than telling the PM to get off his bike, Dr Killer might instead want to point that out.