Cyclists at risk
By ROXANNE MILLAR
THEY obey the road rules and pay taxes on their equipment, yet cyclists are still treated like second-class citizens on our roads.
Murwillumbah Amateur Cycle Club president Dennis Burger yesterday hit out at the dangerous treatment of those on two wheels.
He said many motorists showed little respect or patience for cyclists, sometimes cutting them off or playing "chicken" with them.
He said one local recently had a beer bottle thrown at him while riding along a bike track. He dodged the missile but fell off and did $100 worth of damage to his bike and injured his hands and arms.
"Motorists don't respect you, sometimes they are out there just to miss you. They get so close that if you had to go off-line by six inches to miss a pothole or pebble, they'd clean you up," Mr Burger said.
"It can be fairly hairy. Some drivers cut you off to get in their driveways - they can't wait three seconds until you clear the corner."
Mr Burger said the current licensing system was to blame for the ignorant drivers out there who did not realise bikes had rights on the road too.
"In Europe, cyclists are like gods. If you hit one you are in big trouble."
He said local highways were popular with cyclists from the Gold Coast and Byron Bay because of their speed and clear surface.
"I only take the highway when I have to, but a lot of people train by going out to Tomewin and along the highway," he said.
"We don't hold races on the highway. We would need too massive a police presence, so we can't afford to."