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Article Article Sydney Morning Herald


Maximum Pace
Jan 14, 2007

I think Cadel sums up cycling in Australia much the same way I do....

MORE than 2200 cyclists - a mixture of recreational pedal pushers and international superstars - gathered in Geelong yesterday for the fourth annual major fund-raiser of the Amy Gillett Foundation, which seeks to improve cyclist-motorist awareness.

Leading the participants were Amy Gillett's parents, Mary and Denis Safe.

"It seems to be gaining momentum and it's just a great feeling having people continue to support the cause, to come out and have a great fun day together and show some solidarity," Mrs Safe said.

Gillett represented Australia in rowing and cycling before she was killed in Germany while practising with the Australian road cycling team in 2005.

Yesterday her widower, Simon, who used one of her old bikes on the 120-kilometre trail around Victoria's Bellarine Peninsula, was joined by

the twice Tour de France runner-up Cadel Evans and other leading cyclists Stuart O'Grady, Robbie McEwen and Simon Gerrans.

Evans despairs about the attitude of Australian motorists towards cyclists and has donated $40,000 to the foundation.

"This year I had to spend Christmas and New Year training down here. It's the worst concentration of idiots on the road in Australia, I think, leading up to the Falls Festival. I ride a bike often, I drive a car a fair bit, and I don't like to see deaths on the roads, particularly because of people's attitudes, or lack of education and understanding of other road users.

"That's why I'm here today; that's why I give money and support the Amy Gillett Foundation in any way that I can."

The distance runner Craig Mottram, the triathlete Emma Carney, and the retired swimmer Michael Klim also joined the ride.

The foundation says that an average 35 cyclists die on Australian roads each year and that a further 2500 are seriously injured. Yesterday's event raised an estimated $70,000.

Two cyclists were in hospital last night after a dramatic afternoon of racing on day three of the Jayco Bay Classic criterium series in Geelong.

The defending women's series champion, Megan Dunn, suffered a suspected broken collarbone and another NSW rider, Kate Finegan, was in a neck brace after they fell in a four-rider crash.

The Tour de France rider Baden Cooke also needed first aid after a six-rider crash in the men's elite race that also involved the series leader Joel Pearson, but none of them had to go to hospital.

The two crashes happened on the same corner, at the end of the home straight on the much-used Eastern Beach circuit.
and another

I find this story funny in that the cyclists were watched like they were wild animals in the jungle. None of these reporters even spoke to them and asked them Why?

As for our club and my night training, we always stop at lights. We ride 2 abreast on suitable roads at the speed or close to speed limit.

In Sydney especially it is not the best city to ride in and a pack of cyclists should be treated exactly the same as an old man driving a car. BE CAREFUL near them and arrest them if they break the law.

CYCLISTS riding together in packs can take on the characteristics of a "race without the officials", with a new study suggesting they tend to hog lanes, ride side-by-side and ignore red lights.

The authors of Cyclist Bunch Riding: A Review Of The Literature from the Accident Research Centre at Monash University examined police video footage of a group of cyclists and saw behaviour one might expect from riders in the Tour de France.

The study found the behaviour of the cyclists breached all three cycling road rules included in the research. "The cyclists were riding more than two abreast for the entire footage, almost the whole ride the cyclists were in more than one lane, and almost half of the red lights faced were ridden through," the study reported.

One of the three co-authors, Marilyn Johnston, said such behaviour was both illegal and dangerous: "There are potential safety impacts for pedestrians, cross-traffic coming through - it's the kind of thing that causes drivers to form a negative opinion of cyclists."

Police asked Ms Johnston and her colleagues to undertake the study in 2007 after the death of an elderly pedestrian who was struck by a cyclist riding as part of a pack that had failed to stop at a red light.

The cyclist was charged with failing to stop and fined $400, enraging pedestrian advocates who felt the penalty should have been higher.

Footage from 2005 used in the study - taken on the same cycle route where the man was struck - appeared to support advocates' claims. But footage of the route from 2007 appeared to show that cyclists had improved their behaviour - slightly.

"Cyclists rode more than two abreast for only 2 per cent of the total ride [and] no cyclist rode through a red light," the study said. "However, at the end of the footage, the behaviour was indicative of an unofficial race, as cyclists accelerated towards a roundabout."

Ms Johnston said she believed the improved behaviour could have resulted from media coverage of the pedestrian's death.

"We don't have access to their thought processes, but the extent of the change does suggest a conscious decision," she said. "They might have thought they could get away with that behaviour before, but realised what can result."
cycling in oz

Difficult, Dangerous and Deadly, shockingly bad place to ride.

Australia does not have the concentrations of cyclists or motorbikes like the rest of Asia or Europe. So Motorists are not accustomed to them and are nervous around them.
However, most are just pigs and suffer from lycraphobia.

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