Last week around 6pm I turned left off Clunies Ross St onto Barry Drive. It was dark and damp, with poor visibility and as I turned I almost creamed a cyclist who was pumping his way up the hill while occupying a large part of the left hand lane. He was wearing dark clothing with no reflective gear, and his only illumination was a ridiculous little light that appeared to be dimmer than a cigarette butt. He was almost invisible until he was right inside the arc of my lights. Luckily there was nobody in the lane to my right, so I was able to swerve around him, but it was bloody close. At the time I wondered why he wasn’t travelling on the nearby bike path.
The next night I saw two cyclists entering the Anzac Parade roundabout on Parkes Way at about the same time in heavy traffic. They were also clad in dark clothes with no reflective gear and with ineffective lights on their bikes. One of them was almost hit by a a motorist on the roundabout. I was sure I was going to witness a fatality, but luckily the driver was alert and managed to brake and swerve to avoid the cyclist at the last minute.
After those two frightening experiences in quick succession, I would like to urge ACT cyclists who wish to commit suicide to do so using more conventional and less messy techniques such as a noose, or pills and whiskey. This will be less painful for you, and far less traumatic for those who have to witness the results of your actions and clean up your remains.
On the other hand, if you don’t want to commit suicide by bike on these dark winter nights, then please consider wearing lots of reflective clothing, have powerful and effective front and rear lights and reflectors, keep well to the left on busy roads, and consider riding on bike paths when they are available.