Five years ago my son was hit by a four-wheel drive while doing his regular bicycle ride around our neighbourhood. He was a professional driver for 20-something years, so was quite aware of how things can quickly and easily go wrong when one is behind the wheel of a car. As a cyclist, he put his safety first, sticking to bike paths and footpaths where it was possible. Unfortunately, the four-wheel drive mounted the gutter and hit him on the footpath.
It makes me wonder if any of the lycra-clad, latte sipping cyclists that were recently kicking up a stink truly understand that what happened to my son could so easily happen to one of them, though I don’t wish that upon anyone. Surely these cyclists don’t think they are invincible. Life can change forever in the blink of an eye.
I recall reading some time last year that more cyclists are suffering serious injuries on the road. The road fatality information released in April showed that there have been 40 cyclists killed this year, up from 25 in 2017 for the same period. I wonder how many of the cyclists I see have been knocked off their bike, or have had a friend knocked off. I’m not talking about cyclists being ‘clipped’ by a car either, I’m referring to accidents like the one my son was involved in, where he was hit front on, carried on the bonnet of the vehicle before being thrown off, then spent five months in hopsital and a further three years in rehabilitation. To this day he has permanent loss of moment and chronic pain.
It makes me cringe when I see the lycra-clad brigade coming down the hill in front of my home. They ride four, sometimes five, across. There are cars behind them and cars coming towards them. It only takes one driver to be distracted by a ringing phone, the sound a text message, a child having a meltdown in their car seat, or any other reason concentration might be lost. These cyclists are travelling at great speed. They don’t appear to slow down in the event that there is oncoming traffic entering from streets that are blind or even for the roundabout. The behaviour of the cyclists is reckless and irresponsible.
There is no amount of compensation that could cover the loss of your life. Travel single file and keep to the very left of the road.