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The joys of riding in Sydney

A little unfair . . .

Hi Ash,

The article tells the story of a driver, angry at being held up by 50 cyclists, who proceeds to overtake the group and then slam on his brakes ahead of the group causing many of the riders to crash.

This could have happened anywhere - even in Japan - because it was the random actions of one individual. Not an entire nation.

However, I do understand your indignation at the behavior of the individual.


Yes, bad Aussie drivers are in other countries as well, be careful :p
Riding in Sydney is hell with cars blowing their horns at you for no reason...glad I live in Japan.

This accident though will bring the debate to National levels and cyclists should come off better in the long run....

Hope they impound the hoon's car and make him ride a bicycle for a year as punishment.
*Looks up the word "hoon" and then adds it to vocabulary*
Having ridden in both Sydney and Japan quite a bit, I'd say that there is an aggressive contingent in Sydney, compared to Japan, but this story is not representative of everyday cycling life in Sydney at all. The general lack of hills in Sydney is a much worse problem than the presence of "cychos".
hoons and loons

OK, a trifle unfair, but I am fed up with the yobbo (look that one up!) mentality of so many in my country and frankly thankful I don't live there. You get a bit spoilt with the coutesy shown here after many years in Japan. I was back in Oz 2 weeks ago and went cycling, it was appalling (and dangerous).

Anyway, I don't mean to talk in steriotypes, but things are definitely different down under. One more thing, the worst thing about cycling there is not the lack of hills, its the lack of conbini!

Back in January a Japanese guy tried to harrass our hatsumode ride. Beeped his horn form behind..sped up to the side of us...slammed his breaks on skidding in the gravel trying to scare us. Then swerved in front of us and sped away... If he'd waited 3 seconds he would have been able to drive past us all in a dignified normal manner. Riding near gravel is hard enough when there are no cars.
Aussie Farmers in Chichibu?

On the Chichibu ride, a small white van driven by a couple of old farmer guys, wanted to exit a field. The driver looked at Thomas and I as we approached on the road he wanted to enter - we were about 5 meters away - you could see the whites of his eyes - and then he pulled out in front of us. We both had to swerve around the van to avoid it. We actually ended up in front of him! It was such a preposterous piece of driving we were both laughing out loud and missed the opportunity to be haughty and make inappropriate hand signals :D

I am sure they were Japanese and not Australian :rolleyes:

I've also had some people (in cars) pull out in front of me, when it should be very obvious that there's no where near enough time/distance to do so.
I assumed that they think (or don't think at all) that bikes don't go fast enough to be considered.
Or I wonder if these people also pull out in front to cars etc., when they shouldn't (I have no driving experience here).
The pulling-out-in-right-in-front-of-you trick happens to me all the time out here; the white K-trucks are the most frequent offenders (although they do it to cars, too, so at least they're equal opportunity hazards). It is fun to overtake the cars and glare into the window as you pass. Then they usually end up stuck behind you for ages after that, too chagrined to overtake...
Hi Ash,

Checking out the article, your indignation is mine as well.
We cannot be too careful in riding bike.
According to a census, 10% of individuals of any nations have problem of controlling their balance of sentiments. A sort of insane......
So, let's enjoy riding with enough care!

thanks for posting that Pete.

just makes me too mad to speak further about it!

Bike pile-up - car driver speaks out . . .

This will make your blood boil . . . but it sounds like justice will be served.

"The man who caused the latest major road rage accident in Sydney, Australia earlier this week, explained himself on radio station Macquarie Radio on Friday morning, saying he was "not a cyclist hater", and attributing the crash to an engine problem with his car."

See the full article here: http://www.bikeradar.com/road/news/article/sydney-50-bike-pile-up-car-driver-speaks-out-16267


Well, you should check this out.

This is a pretty regular occurrence where I come from, I think Australia really qualifies as a cycling unfriendly hicksville...


I lived in Sydney for a few months and it is not a safe to cycle on the road. There is no cycling lane in Sydney.

Now I'm back in Melbourne. I lived in Melbourne for almost 6 years. Melbourne is a very cyclist friendly city. There are many cycling lanes and paths.

I've been to Japan many times and it's safe to ride in Japan too.
Case being heard in court:

Cycle pack pile-up: driver accuses riders

Cyclists describe to police what happened and, right, Ben Kersten after the incident in Mascot.

Cyclists describe to police what happened and, right, Ben Kersten after the incident in Mascot.
Picture: Nick Moir and Nick Cooper
Harriet Alexander
January 28, 2009 - 12:14PM

A man accused of causing a pile-up involving up to 60 cyclists on Southern Cross Drive last year has told a court the riders were in the wrong for cycling in his lane.

Hassan Bakr, 34, of Claymore, who was representing himself at Downing Centre Local Court, has cross-examined his victims today over the accident at Mascot last May.

Bakr has been charged with not supplying his particulars, negligent driving, cutting in front of vehicles and travelling in a transit lane.

On May 8, the cyclists had met at the Darlinghurst cafe Bar Coluzzi before riding towards Mascot, down Southern Cross Drive, two abreast, and travelling about 45kmh, the court heard.

One professional cyclist, Kate Nicholls, told the court that Bakr was about half a metre away from the cyclists when he veered into their lane as he drove by.

"Next thing I heard [was] a lot of shouting and everyone crashing, and I saw the car right in front of me, and I fell over other riders that had crashed," Ms Nicholls said.

"While I was still in shock someone called out to get the number plate and at that stage I looked up and the car was 50 metres in front and drove off. It was too far away from me to get the number plate."

Bakr suggested to Ms Nicholls that she had incriminated herself by admitting she was riding in the left lane.

"By law it's not your lane, your lane is the emergency lane," Bakr told Ms Nicholls.

Magistrate Chris Clisdell said that cyclists were permitted to drive in traffic lanes.

Another cyclist, Khalid Toefy, told the court he had seen Bakr swerve into his lane before slowing down in front of the group of cyclists, which he believed was intentional.

Bakr asked Mr Toefy: "What gives you the right to say it was intentional? Are you a psychiatrist?"

Mr Toefy replied: "That's just my opinion."

Bakr said: "Just your opinion; it's not worth enough."

Also involved in the crash were former Olympians Ben Kersten, Ms Nichols's father Kevin, Graeme Brown, Michelle Ferris and Matthew White.

Three cyclists have given evidence today.

The hearing continues.
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