Donae Lomen isn’t doing too well at the moment. She has a fractured palate, multiple fractures to her jaw, four missing teeth, a fractured right arm and various lacerations. She says she also required multiple blood transfusions recently due to loss of blood from an incident where she was smashed from behind by a speeding cyclist on a shared path in Melbourne.
By any yardstick, Donae Lomen has suffered the sort of injuries which cast cyclists in a very bad light, and cycling advocates know this. A bright attractive young woman, Ms Lomen faces a long road back to good health and her medical issues are compounded by something else. She isn’t eligible for compensation under Victoria’s Traffic Accident Commission because incidents between cyclists and pedestrians aren’t covered.
On top of that, in Australia dental reconstructive surgery isn’t covered by Australia’s Medicare system. Unless Donae Lomen can come up with a lot of money, or unless a dental practice agrees to do some pro bono work out of the goodness of their heart (fingers crossed), Ms Lomen might be carrying her facial injuries for quite some time.
According to bystanders a cyclist did stop at the scene to offer assistance, but it was not the cyclist who allegedly caused the injuries. The offending rider remains unidentified and cannot be contacted.
However, all of that means very little to Ed Hore, President of The Australian Cycling Alliance, and owner of the website Cycle. Known for being so influential he regularly gets called on for sound bites by TV News programs, recently he and his followers aggressively sought to reinvent the story of Donae Lomen, in an effort to wash responsibility away from the offending cyclist, and from cycling general.
Despite the presence of multiple witnesses, despite the presence of Donae Lomen’s mother no less, Ed Hore believes the incident never happened, and that further, her claims are completely fabricated.
“It’s about protecting the interests of cycling,” says Hore. “The only way we can get people out of cars and onto bicycles is to convince people cycling is perfectly safe and without danger. Besides, this woman knew the risks when she walked on that shared path.”
Recently, on the Cycle Facebook Page, in a series of posts which can only be described as disgusting, Ed Hore and his followers speculated Ms Lomen was not hit by a cyclist, but rather, she was a victim of domestic violence and her GoFundMe page (created by her sister to help pay for her injuries) is a fake.
Clearly, Ed Hore is aware he has no proof to substantiate his speculation. Clearly he is aware he’s engaging in conjecture, but that didn’t stop him regardless.
Peter Signorini, one of Ed Hore’s most vocal followers (a guy who uses a fake Facebook account called iL Padrone when posting publicly) suggested Ms Lomen was actually a victim of domestic violence. Ed Hore’s son Terance Hore instantly agreed with him.
In another post, Geter Pibson, another offensive cycling advocate blatantly offered that he has zero sympathy for Ms Lomen and that further, in his opinion she only went to the media to advertise her GoFundMe page.
And lastly, this masterpiece of irony. Peter Signorini, the same person who openly opposes Compulsory Single File for cyclists on personal liberties grounds, here spews his venom for pedestrians who cause the same inconvenience for cyclists as cyclists then cause for motorists.
The Donae Lomen story raises a question - do cyclists even deserve the courtesy of better language when they're conspiring in private to denigrate the character of an innocent lady just so they can defend the 'honor of their hobby?'
Regrettably, far too many cyclists are more interested in defending cycling than they are with defending the truth. For them cycling has become a religious movement, not merely a hobby. If that means blatantly manufacturing slanderous misinformation, so be it. In their eyes, the ends justifies the means.
But it gets worse. There’s also all the cyber stalking and defamation.
For example, take a look at the work of Michael Kater, a colleague of Ed Hore and also an Admin for the Australian Cycling Alliance.
Known to be in his late 50s and known to have at least five fake Facebook accounts and another fifteen fake Facebook Pages, Kater does what he does so that he can stalk and harass members of the public without having to risk his real account being banned.
Put another way, cyclists like Michael Kater have worked out how to game the system..
It seems Kater has an axe to grind with a member of the public named Lukus Martin Neale. It appears at some point in time, Mr Neale made the mistake of hitting the Like button on a post somewhere on Facebook which had something negative to say about cycling. That’s all it took to show up on Michael Kater’s radar. From that moment on, he’s been a target for Kater’s cyber stalking.
Under the anonymity of a Facebook Page called “Aussies? Over Cyclists?” Kater has been stealing private photographs from Lukus Neale’s personal account and photo shopping those images for purposes of ridicule and denigration.
Most people would agree stealing someone’s private photos without permission is a pretty low act, but in Kater’s mind it’s perfectly OK because he’s “defending cycling”, so that gives him a free pass. In reality, this is a guy who’s almost sixty years of age ‘giving in’ to some very dark impulses.
But here’s the rub. These are the very people who are protesting so loudly about the language they’re hearing (and seeing) regarding cyclists. Yet they’re doing this all while acting despicably themselves. And they expect us, the public, to change our behaviour to make THEM happy.
Does all this sound familiar? You bet. It’s exactly the same logic used by radical Islamists when it comes to justifying their actions in the defense of Islam.