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Poor planning shows Canberra cyclists in a selfish light

By JulianW - 30 October 2014 25

Go for a drive any Saturday or Sunday through Uriarra crossing to the wonderful natural bush areas of the Brindabella Mountains (that I believe help give Canberra it’s iconic bush status), and you will quickly realise you need to look out for not only wildlife but road cyclists who are also out enjoying this scenic area. But last Sunday an extremely poor look was given to the (in the main) courteous riders who for everyone’s safety will pull back from two or three abreast riding, to single file when a vehicle approaches.

As shown in the video below this event left me scratching my head and asking the following questions:

  1. if you won’t ride single file and plan to utilise one lane (of a single lane each way country road) why are you not required to close one lane and run a stop/go like is done for road works to ensure there is not a head on accident with the remaining road users?
  2. why is it not mandatory that cyclists have third party insurance?
  3. did this event have a 20mill public liability cover like you would need to hold an event in Kowen Forrest?
  4. did this event have to submit some sort of safety/other road users plan with a relevant government authority and if so who approved it as shown I believe it was good luck rather than good management that an accident didn’t happen.
  5. will any cycling body, the head of TAMS or an elected member of our local assembly care or even respond to these questions? Perhaps a police investigation into these road users will get some action!

For what it’s worth I hope someone thinks to put in place an education program or restrictions for clubs/events/participants who want to use public roads before someone is killed!

What’s Your opinion?


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25 Responses to
Poor planning shows Canberra cyclists in a selfish light
rommeldog56 8:10 pm 30 Oct 14

dannybear said :

I drive around these roads a fair bit and when ever there’s been a cycling event there has always been plenty of signage as well as people controlling traffic and police motorcycle patrols, I think you’ll find that the fitz challenge does have public liability insurance.
If you read the road rules you’ll also find that cycling two abreast is perfectly legal.

Push bike riding 2+ abreast is legal ? Really ? Still, I’m not surprised I suppose. Im a push bike rider too but keep off the roads for safety reasons (my own !) – even if it does take a while longer to get from A to B.

If 2+ abreast and it is an 80kph zone, + arn’t cars supposed to give a 1.5 metre gap to the closest rider ?

In any event, its safer just to give these suicide jockeys a wide birth – its just not worth it.

Maya123 7:04 pm 30 Oct 14

Is this Fitz’s Challenge?
Then what a rant about a well publicised event. I didn’t see any person on a bike breaking the law, which allows riding two abreast, but I did see a person driving a car breaking the law multiple times and advertising this by filming it. Also it appears the car passed too close several times. Either bad judgement on the part of the driver, or lack of skill. It’s a shame the road is not closed for this event to keep cars off it, particularly cars with drivers who don’t know or choose to ignore the road rules.

Rawhide Kid Part3 6:36 pm 30 Oct 14

I would hate to be on that road if a few Emergency Services vehicleswere heading to an incident in a rush. Could be very problematic.

wildturkeycanoe 5:53 pm 30 Oct 14

Firstly, JulianW, I used to have to put up with this on a daily basis on Lady Denman drive until I started going to work earlier simply to avoid them.
I was going to start quoting people and posting suitable responses but the following sums it all up:-
Cyclists are a self-centered bunch who keep pushing themselves further into the line of fire with motor vehicles. In the past there wasn’t this kind of animosity between cyclists and drivers because cyclists had a sense of self-preservation which has now turned into a sense of entitlement. Instead of keeping clear of cars and sticking to the left, they now use up all the road and expect vehicles traveling at over twice their speed to slow to their own pace. If cyclists rode individually, there’d be no problem, but why is there this NEED to sit three abreast? Are they gas-bagging about the week’s office events, personal life stories or political issues? Ride in single file and be safe, instead of disrupting the lives of motorists, tourists and commuters.
In this video, there is no overtaking going on by the cyclists, the only one passing is the car. Do cyclists realise that the emissions of a vehicle increase substantially when forced to slow down, speed up, slow down, speed up etc? It doesn’t help the environment at all.
As for closing the road for the event or at least having stop/go signage – 9th November they are closing Parkes Way for the Tour De Femme. At least one cycling mob has the wit to do it sensibly.

Rollersk8r 3:34 pm 30 Oct 14

It’s a paid event that requires participants to have insurance, use an Australian Design Standards approved helmet and a signed waiver.

I saw a guy taking 10 items through the 8 items or less register at the supermarket – but unfortunately I didn’t film it or complain about it online or suggest it is a police matter.

Grrrr 2:32 pm 30 Oct 14

1) Riding 2-abreast is legal any day of the year, and more is permitted if overtaking (see Part 11 Division 4, of our road rules.) Also, if there’s any chance of you getting in a head-on when overtaking just because the vehicles you’re overtaking are bicycles .. well, you should probably re-think your roadcraft.
2) Because they inflict sod-all damage to third parties, especially in comparison to motor vehicles.
3,4,5) Yes, yes, who cares.

Grail 2:06 pm 30 Oct 14

http://www.tams.act.gov.au/roads-transport/act_public_road_closures/listings/special_events

Poor planning shows self entitled car driver in a selfish, ranty light.

Why are you overtaking on double yellow lines? Why are you posting your law breaking to Youtube? Do you not know how to take your foot off the accelerator? Why is it the cyclists’ fault that you chose to break the law because of your inability to relax and slow down?

Your video showed plenty of opportunities for overtaking safely. There was no need for you to cross double lines, or use an intersection to travel on the painted island.

The only thing you needed was the ability to slow down, relax, and realise that it’s not going to be the end of the world if you get to your destination a few minutes late.

Postalgeek 1:43 pm 30 Oct 14

As a cyclist it annoys me too to see cyclists riding two/three wide on single lane roads, because it’s discourteous and because some muppet will start saying that all cyclists are like that, though you know they don’t make the same generalisations when they are delayed by drivers.

My triathlon days are over but when I trained, the squad rule was single file on single lane.

Driving out to Tidbinbilla on Sunday I encountered the Fitz riders. For the most part it was fine driving past them at 80kmh in the 100kmh zone. The time when it was a problem was when:

1 – riders didn’t ride single file when not passing

but also 2 – cars that would not pass on clear straight stretches, which, believe it or not, annoys cyclists as much as it annoys the drivers behind.

If a road isn’t closed for a race, I don’t think it’s asking much for race organisers to request people stay left for the safety of all road users.

dannybear 1:00 pm 30 Oct 14

I drive around these roads a fair bit and when ever there’s been a cycling event there has always been plenty of signage as well as people controlling traffic and police motorcycle patrols, I think you’ll find that the fitz challenge does have public liability insurance.
If you read the road rules you’ll also find that cycling two abreast is perfectly legal.

Zan 12:38 pm 30 Oct 14

Bosworth said :

Fitz’s Challenge is a major contributor to the Kids’ Cancer Project.

They raise large amounts of money each year to fight cancer.

Cancer is one of the leading causes of deaths in Australia, and it is particularly difficult for kids with cancer.

JulianW, these sorts of attacks against such a benevolent organisation are highly inappropriate.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

Outlaw motorcycle clubs also have rides and functions raising money for charity – so should we be all attending those functions too.

Just because you are raising money for charity does not give you the right to take over roads.

theword 12:06 pm 30 Oct 14

Bosworth said :

…You should be ashamed of yourself.

Bosworth – I’m not sure I follow your rant.

The issue is that there was limited signage for the event and that someone who was in the area was completely unaware of what was going on. Based on the video, I do believe it looks like a valid safety concern.

Perhaps next time they can have a few more signs up notifying people that there was an event going on.

I had a look at the fitzs website and they do great things. I don’t think the point of the article is to take away from this.

Bosworth 11:25 am 30 Oct 14

Fitz’s Challenge is a major contributor to the Kids’ Cancer Project.

They raise large amounts of money each year to fight cancer.

Cancer is one of the leading causes of deaths in Australia, and it is particularly difficult for kids with cancer.

JulianW, these sorts of attacks against such a benevolent organisation are highly inappropriate.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

Felix the Cat 11:16 am 30 Oct 14

Not sure what the problem is here except the OP motorist breaking the law by ovetaking over double lines.

OP is also showing his ignorance of the law by apparently not knowing that it is legal for cyclists to ride 2 abreast (or 3 if they are overtaking another pair of riders).

To answer the questions:

1. TAMS/event organisers would need to close the roads (from Stromlo to out past Thawrwa to Rendevous Creek including Corin Rd, Apollo Rd and Discovery Dr ) for most of the day, wouldn’t that be more inconvenient to motorists than leaving it open?

2. Not sure why OP thinks 3rd party insurance is needed, what are the cyclists going to damage? I believe event entry fee may provide some cover.

3. Not sure about PL insurance, I imagine they have, have you tried contacting the event organisers to ask?

4. TAMS would of approved the event

5. Probably, if you bothered to contact them instead of ranting on an unrelated internet forum about it.
.

golden_youth 10:36 am 30 Oct 14

1. good question but probably better directed at the event organisers (http://www.fitzs.com.au)
2. maybe ask the government? it’s a question that is raised time and time again – even on this site.
3. yes
4. yes
5. why don’t you send the head of TAMS or an elected member of your local assembly directly so they can respond to your questions? Or are you just posting here to add to the tired old cyclist v motorist debate?

Zan 10:29 am 30 Oct 14

the head of TAMS

I think is also a cyclist – so no luck there.

They own the roads in Canberra as you can see by the stupid markings on roads and turning double laned roads into one lane for cars.

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