[First filed: April 29, 2007 @ 13:40]
The ABC informs us that a group of racing cyclists have had an unfortunate meeting with a four wheel drive on the Cotter Road.
About five cyclists were in the group that was hit just after 10:00am AEST.
Two have been taken to the Canberra Hospital.
One is in a critical condition and the other in a serious condition.
The injured cyclists were believed to have been competing in the Canberra Cycling Tour
UPDATED: Our snouts in the cycling community offer the following insight:
The Canberra Tour is an annual two-day event which attracts all kinds of interstate and top road cyclists. This year was the 24th time it has run. It involves many different grades — men, women, juniors — and a number of different kinds of races for each grade. Most of these races involve numerous laps of a course, and because there are so many races happening it is very difficult to close roads — many major roads would have to be closed for the entire weekend which is just not practical.
It is understood the accident happened in the women’s B Grade race, which was fairly small. Apparently a couple of the cyclists in the bunch touched wheels, causing them to fall and inevitably bringing down the rest of group. It is understood some of the group fell into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Without preempting any investigation, it is understood there was little the driver would have been able to do in the conditions.
Apparently one of the two cyclists hit was in a coma pretty much at the scene and word is she was given CPR at the scene. Apparently her husband was riding in the men’s A grade race that come down on the same route 10 minutes after the accident.
The cycling community is preparing for a big discussion about how better safety, or road closures, can be managed for these big events.
ANOTHER UPDATE: The ABC reports that the organisers are now going to try and get the road closed in future.
More: This is the only local news on the Canberra Times today. Firstly a padded piece on the basic detail with some bum covering by the race organisers followed by a list of anyone to ever be hurt riding a bicycle anywhere. They also have calls from the NRMA to end cycle racing on open roads.
IMHO more interesting is a comment here by our very own FB:
On Sat morning a a few mates & myself headed out to Namadgi to do a bit of 4WDing. We came back around 2:00pm along Brindabella Road then up Cotter road. The exact route of the race. We were driving in a Jeep Wrangler set up for off roading with a big F%@k off bull bar. We passed dozens of idiots on bikes & I made the comment to my mate that someone was going to get hit, it was just a matter of when.
More then once we would go around a corner to find a group coming at us with some crazy idiot trying to overtake on the inside, riding with his wheels ON the centre line. They wouldnâ€™t even back off when they saw us coming at them, they would just ride straight at us and make us put two wheels off the road to avoid them. We even had the same thing happen with a lone cyclist. The attitude of the cyclists seemed to be that it was their road.
Comment by FB â€” 30 April, 2007 @ 10:14 am