ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

Today is a good day to be a cyclist on the streets of our cosmopolitan desert community.

That’s according to local cycling groups, who say they’re enjoying a rare reprieve from being the most broadly loathed thing in the nation.

Speaking candidly to The Advocate at a small hole-in-the-wall cafe down the French Quarter, Gary Pock from the Betoota Grove Bike Club said that while he’s used to being the target of unbridled abuse from society, since George Pell was convicted of child sex crimes, the crosshairs have moved over to him.

“It’s nice, you know,” he said.

“Knowing that when I’m riding in the middle of the lane, uphill at a fifth of the speed limit with six cars behind me, that each of those motorists hates George Pell more than me,” said the 76-year-old.

“Or when I’m riding down a busy footpath ringing my bell at people. The look they give me is one of pure hate. But I bet my bottom dollar that they’d look at George Pell with an even greasier look,”

“Today is a good day to be a cyclist in Betoota.”

Mr Pock’s sentiments were echoed by the head of RACQ’s operations base in the Old City District.

Our reporter caught up with Helen Grosvenor, who’s been the Automobile Club’s lady-about-town here for close to a decade – and she says she’s never seen people treat cyclists with such respect as they do now.

“It’s nice to see,” she said.

“Cyclists occupy a rare space in society where every Australian from every walk of life, whether you’re a billionaire to a battler in the highest order. They’re hated by everyone except themselves, of course,”

“So today is a good day for them.”

More to come.


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