It’s almost a year to the day when Australian track champion BenKersten and a group of elite cyclists he was training with generatednationals headlines.
By
7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:36 PM

It's almost a year to the day when Australian track champion Ben
Kersten and a group of elite cyclists he was training with generated
nationals headlines.

The bunch was the subject of an incident
involving an unsympathetic motorist who decided to take aim with his
car wheels on a busy Sydney motorway.

The road rage sparked debate and raised questions about who is right and who is wrong when sharing our roads.

Well,
as a "weekend warrior" myself, I have paid particular attention to the
behavioural habits of both motorist and bike rider since that
well-documented incident.

I must admit from my experience, in
Sydney alone, the culture is certainly changing and the awareness from
both sides has stepped up a level.

That being the case, I feel there is still so much more to learn.

I've lost count at the number of times the bunch of 25 or so I ride with has been targeted with verbal and physical abuse.

Only
last weekend the explicit language hurled from a couple of (I can only
assume) alcohol or drug-fuelled youths from the safety of their ute
going in the other direction prompted me to write this blog.

No damage was done – purely a case of sticks and stones… but I keep asking myself why?

Are
we living in an age when a minority of un-cultured low-lives must
target their anger at lycra-clad enthusiasts who - for the most - are
minding their own business in the early light of day?

Just last month, my bunch was chased down on a busy road in another part of town, but there was no car involved this time.

These guys chased us by foot – they came sprinting from behind a bush located on the footpath.

It
was 7am and let me tell you, it's a scary sight when you look over your
shoulder and you see three big burly blokes with rage in their eyes
trying to run you down in the middle of the road with the intent to do
as much physical damage as possible, once they get you.

Luckily, we rode away to safety – but it could have been so much worse.

I must confess, bike riders aren't perfect either.

There are some who portray a false advertisement to the joys of cycling.

I'm
sure you've seen it, cyclists breaking basic road rules, others on city
streets before dawn under the cover of darkness without wearing the
safety of a helmet while others – God forbid- are riding machines with
no lights attached whatsoever.

I have experienced and enjoyed
bunch riding in most capital cities around Australia - each city is
qute different in its own way.

There's no question Sydney (my hometown) is the worst for cyclists from my experience.

Interestingly,
a report in today's Sydney Morning Herald illustrates the level of
ignorance and arrogance motorists have when it comes to cyclists.

In
a city where the number of people riding bikes, as a tool for
recreation and/or transport is increasing, the report suggests there is
no education process in place implemented by any form of government.

No education means no awareness - this must change now!

I
was astounded to learn that from a survey conducted by the University
of Sydney, 37% of motorists didn't know cyclists were entitled to use a
whole lane.

Even more alarmingly was that a mammoth 81% of motorists had no idea cyclists were allowed to ride two abreast.

No wonder there's so much confusion, frustration and anger on our roads.

I wish for a day when cyclists and motorists will unite and share the roads with no heartaches along the way.

Tell me I'm not dreaming…