Dead cyclist wrote about road danger

Last updated 12:00 09/01/2010
CYCLING TOURIST: Mia Susanne Pusch died on Tuesday on State Highway 3.
CYCLING TOURIST: Mia Susanne Pusch died on Tuesday on State Highway 3.

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The German cyclist who died when struck by a truck between Bulls and Lake Alice wrote about the dangers of riding on New Zealand roads just days before her death.

Mia Susanne Pusch, 19, from Fulda in Germany, kept a blog about her cycling tour of the country.

She died on Tuesday on State Highway 3. Police are still investigating the cause.

Her last blog entry on December 30 talked about some of her cycling experiences on New Zealand roads – particularly the two types of "toots" from motorists.

Some were friendly and encouraging and accompanied by a thumbs up, while others were from ruder motorists who sped past only a metre or less away from her.

Ms Pusch categorised motorists as "positive tooters" or "negative tooters", the latter driven by the importance of a race against time.

Ms Pusch was a member of web-based travellers' network couchsurfing.com and, from her couch surfing website profile, it appears she had travelled through New Zealand on her bike, couch surfing near Abel Tasman National Park and Turangi.

Ms Pusch listed her interests as music and the scouting movement.

Her mother, Gesa Pusch, was listed as her "best friend" and has written on her wall: "She is going to travel New Zealand and Australia by bike, so everyone – please! – host her, so I don't freak out back home in Germany because I'm so worried about her.

"She is a great kid, and fun to be around. But then again, I probably don't count.

"I love you very much, baby!"

Mia Pusch said she had joined the couch surfing network after meeting some "cool people" who had stayed with her mother.

On Mia Pusch's Facebook page, her mother had left a message on January 3 for her bike, which she had dubbed "Pinkie".

"Hi Pinkie! Hang in there – only three more weeks of dragging Mia around!"

Police spokeswoman Kim Perks said Ms Pusch's family had been contacted by the German Embassy in Wellington and were "distraught" at the news of her death.

Police are still appealing for witnesses or anyone who had earlier seen her riding her bike or the yellow truck and trailer unit that hit her.

Anyone with information can call Marton police on 06 327 6555.

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- The Manawatu Standard

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