Two avid New Plymouth cyclists who had near-misses this year while out biking say the state of the roads around the city are an issue.
Creena Thomason and Dave Olsen are calling for more to be done to promote cycle safety.
"Cycling has taken off in the last few years and the roading is not keeping up with it," Mr Olsen said. The owner of Pet Essentials said he fractured his pelvis in February when he came off his bike after riding into spilt diesel on the corner of Carrington and Baker roads.
"It seems to be getting worse and worse," he said.
Mrs Thomason, who began cycling about four years ago, said that in March she was nearly hit by a car while riding with clubmates in Opunake Rd.
This experience led the 46-year-old to set up Ladies on Bikes, a weekly group due to start next month, with the aim of getting more women into cycling and give them advice on how to ride safely and with confidence.
Mr Olsen said a similar group open to men and women met every Saturday afternoon at Mitchell's Cycles in New Plymouth.
The cyclists say the amount of broken glass on the roads, especially on Saturday and Sunday mornings, was also a problem. The cost of replacing a tyre on a road bike was about $100, Mr Olsen said.
New Plymouth District Council Let's Go project manager Chris Whittleson said he was aware of the frustration felt by cyclists about broken glass and other debris left on the roads.
"It is always a challenge when people throw stuff out the window," he said.
Regular road-cleaning arrangements were in place and the council tried to respond promptly when alerted by the public about specific trouble spots, Mr Whittleson said.
Mrs Thomason said that while she and her husband, Stuart, were on a recent cycling trip through France and Italy, they did not see any glass on the road for the entire five weeks they were there.
The cyclists say while they had crossed paths with angry drivers who yelled abuse or failed to give them enough space as they overtook, there needed to be give and take between cyclists and drivers.
"Ninety nine-per cent of us are car drivers too," Mrs Thomason said.
Deena Coster is a Witt journalism student.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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