READER REPORT:

Cycling gamble worth the risk

PHILIP SMITH
Last updated 08:23 27/05/2014

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What's it like being a cyclist in New Zealand? We asked Stuff Nation readers to share their experiences on the roads.

I'm a cyclist. However, I don't see myself as pretentious. I'm not one of those cyclist who is Lycra-clad, and only rides for three months of the year.

I ride because I love to. I cycle every day from Wellington CBD to Miramar for work, come rain, shine and Wellington wind.

I have witnessed lots of bad cycling, and these people do not help the reputation of bike users.

As I wait patiently at red lights, and see other cyclists jump the lights, I secretly hope they have a near-miss so they learn. Their arrogance and ignorance is unwanted from drivers and myself.

Cyclists have to do every thing they can to make themselves safe. It's no good complaining about cars, buses, lack of cycle routes and the council. They won't change.

I have never had any issues with drivers or cars. It's usually a two-way thing. They see me, I see them, we avoid each other.

On the flip side, Wellington bus drivers annoy me. They need reminding that they are bus drivers, not gods of the road. 

I have often thought it would be a good idea for the bus drivers to take a group of cyclist out on a route, and for some bus drivers to head out on a bike ride. This way, we would see what daily challenges each other faces.

I know every time I get on my bike it's a gamble; is cycling really worth the risk? Yes!

I know that a driver of a car doesn't want to hit me, as much as I don't want to be hit by a car.

We all need to be a bit more respectful of each other on roads.

Speaking of which, it's now getting dark when many cyclists commute home from work, and it's always funny to see what looks like cycling Christmas trees. It turns out, it's just an over enthusiastic person on bike with about 26 lights.

 

And then you see the next cyclist going past with a light so bright, it burns your retina.

You then think a mobile disco goes past you, then to realise it was a middle aged man with all these flashing strobe lights on his bikes.

People need to understand there is a highway code for cyclists. According to the road code, lights for bikes should be:

- One or more steady or flashing rear-facing red lights that can be seen at night from a distance of 100 metres.

- One or two white or yellow headlights that can be seen at night from a distance of 100 metres. Only one of these headlights may flash.

- Headlights should be attached to handlebars and pointing down.

- You must not use cycle lighting equipment in such a way that it dazzles, confuses, or distracts so as to endanger the safety of other road users.


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