READER REPORT:

Auckland bike riding roulette too risky

ANDREW WILSON
Last updated 12:30 16/05/2014
auckland harbour bridge

MOTORING MADNESS: Andrew Wilson can't believe after decades of lobbying cyclists cannot cross the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

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I have given up cycling in Auckland's urban areas.

I used to cycle to work, and would love to again, but after being knocked off my bike twice, I decided riders' roulette was just too dangerous.

The first time I was forced into a kerb by a driver who wouldn't give me room. This knocked me off and buckled my wheel.

The second was more dangerous, I was hit on a winter's morning in New North Rd at 50kmh by a driver who simply didn't see me, or my flashing lights, as he'd wiped a "porthole" to view through his frosty windscreen as he left for work before it had fully demisted.

The impact crushed the back wheel completely and snapped the bike frame in two, as well as cracking his front bumper. I landed on his windscreen before bouncing over the car and on to the road behind. I had a moment's agony on the road before I heard a second set of brakes lock up. I did a couple of rolls toward the footpath as a following van skidded past me.

The driver did stop to help, collecting me and my broken bike and dropped me at work. I was extremely lucky to get away with grazing and a deeply bruised calf. I told the driver I wouldn't report the incident, provided he replaced the bike (which he did).

That incident was the final straw, New Zealand roads are not cycling friendly and it is far more dangerous now than in the past.

I think most drivers are good, but many have a sense of entitlement and ownership of the road and some are openly hostile to cyclists.

I find it sad that such a practical solution to traffic congestion, pollution and the obesity epidemic is given minimal priority in New Zealand, and can't believe after decades of lobbying we still can't cycle across our Harbour Bridge.


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