Cyclists targets of road rage

Bernie Spiller, cycling commuter. Photo: John Gass / Daily News
Bernie Spiller, cycling commuter. Photo: John Gass / Daily News John Gass

WHEN we are driving along and traffic is suddenly slow because cyclists are in the lane going 40km slower than the speed limit one's patience can be tested.

However, it seems all cyclists seem to get put in the one basket.

Once or twice a week Uki cyclist Bernie Spiller commutes to his workplace in Murwillumbah by bike.

"I enjoy it and it's a nice change," he said.

But the crusie is not always smooth sailing. Just two weeks ago he was knocked off his bike by a motorist.

"90% of the time it's fine," he said.

"I can hear the cars slowing down and they give me a bit of space.

"But then you do get your people who will race past you whether you're there or not."

Decked out in a fluorescent workers shirt and socks, Mr Spiller is hard to miss, but one motorist managed to hit his bike and send him flying.

"I don't blame the motorist," he said.

"He just didn't see me."

When it comes to the offical side of things bikes are considered vehicles under New South Wales law.

NSW transport said cyclists are required to obey the road rules, including stopping at red lights or stop signs, giving way as indicated by signage and giving hand signals when changing direction.

There are also special rules bikes have to follow when on the road.

At roundabouts cyclists are allowed to turn right from the left hand lane. When passing each exit, they must give way to any vehicle leaving the roundabout from that exit.

Riders can use transit lanes regardless of the number of people in them.

A seemingly obvious one is when a bicycle lane is marked on the road, cyclists must use it.

Bus lanes are for buses, but can also be used for bicycles, motorcycles, taxis, hire cars and vehicles operated by, or under the direction of Roads and Maritime Services. However, when the words 'Buses Only' appear on a bus lane sign, only buses are allowed to drive in these lanes.

When a cyclist is riding they are allowed ride two abreast, but not more than 1.5 metres apart.

We took to Facebook to see what you thought about cyclists using the roads.

Daniel Thomas Sevcik: The Lycra Set ruin it for us real cyclists. Get in the bike lane! What are you trying to prove? When crossing at the zebra I used to slow down to an almost stop to make sure the cars have seen me. But after having d******* after d******* speed up with a "you're not meant to be riding across the zebra" attitude, I now opt for the get off my bike and make you impatient motorist stop approach.

Anna Birkett: Majority I see around the Tweed don't wear helmets compared to other areas along the coast. Other than that it doesn't annoy me.

Lauren Carn: Cycling should be banned between Banora west and Tweed South on that skinny road, think its dry dock rd, in the 80km zone grrrr freaking thrill seekers, I'm all for exercise but its not safe for either of us

Janine Buckland: riding 3 or 4 abreast.

Topics:  cyclists

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