Retro riders too cool for the rules

Bike helmets, or a lack thereof, top the list of things intriguing me most this summer.

Bike helmets, or a lack thereof, top the list of things intriguing me most this summer.

Also interesting is the centre-ice video and scoreboard — or jumbotron — possibly coming to Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre with the Victoria Royals, and a few other things that just won’t go away.

The thing that bugs me most — I wear a helmet all the time when I ride — are the young ladies who think their retro cruiser is a fashion accessory and not a vehicle in traffic. Especially when they ride with headphones on, and no helmet.

And there are young men who do it too, just not to the same extent and with usually with less fashion sense, like those really tight jeans.

Also in really tight jeans these days are the retro-roadie crowd on their fixed-up 1970s and 80s Apollos (Kuwahara), Nishikis and even the odd Raleigh.

Don’t get me wrong, most of the retro-generation who bike are the cool cats of the road. I wish I had been cool like them back when I had a chance to be cool. They mostly obey traffic laws and are doing their part to save the world from global warming.

However, as long as roadie cycling remains hip, so lives the ongoing debate about a cyclist’s rights to go lid-free.

Wearing a helmet is the law, but police shouldn’t waste time ticketing people to save them from themselves. As for handing out traffic tickets for illegal cycling behaviour, I say yes. Tickets for not wearing a bike helmet? That’s dissuading even more people from cycling.

Hockey jumbotron a necessity in arena

Not sure what to expect exactly, but word from Chilliwack when the Western Hockey League’s Bruins’ assets were packed up and moved out this spring was that the centre-ice unit with a jumbotron and scoreboard was lowered and trucked away.

Presumably that means it’s coming to Victoria and is about to end the comical situation confusing Victoria hockey fans for years — that there’s a giant colour TV on Blanshard Street outside Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, but not inside. Then again, the circle of jumbotron funniness won’t really die until the $400,000 baseball scoreboard and video board at Royal Athletic Park serves a function.

The Royals, however, have said nothing about the Chilliwack video board. If it comes, WHL fans can expect a live feed during Royals games. However, to populate the video board with instant replays and promotional footage and graphics is costly, demanding a dedicated budget and staff.

Royals’ Conacher becomes Pats’ Pat

Within a matter of three days, Mark Morrison and Pat Conacher left Victoria for jobs higher up in the hockey world.

Morrison, former coach and general manager of the now-defunct Victoria Salmon Kings, was hired by the Winnipeg Jets as an assistant coach for their American League farm team in St. John’s, Nfld.

Conacher left his post as the Royals’ assistant coach and assistant general manager to take the head coaching position with the Regina Pats.

The move sees Conacher go from shaking hands with one Parker to another. The Pats are run by president and governor Brent Parker, whose brother, Darren, still owns the RAP video board and is a member of the Royals’ executive.

Women still pay to play when it comes to rugby

Rugby Canada released its roster for the women’s Nationals Cup, a four-team tournament in Ontario next week, featuring Canada, U.S., England and South Africa.

Two University of Victoria Vikes and three Velox Valkyries, one as a non-travelling reserve, were named to the team.

However, four of the five turned down the opportunity because they aren’t willing to fork up the required $2,931.

It’s nothing new for women’s rugby — players have been on the hook for travel costs for years — but with this September’s Rugby World Cup expected to become the third-biggest sporting event in the world behind the soccer World Cup and Summer Olympics, it’s an eye-opener.

—Travis Paterson is sports reporter for Black Press South Island.