Last week cyclists around the country were justifiably feeling sympathy for elite Australian swimmer Kenrick Monk, who claimed to have been struck down by a hit and run driver while riding his bike.
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7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:37 PM

Today? No so much. We're left perplexed and just a little pissed off because a high profile athlete cried wolf over a road safety issue that is critical to cyclists.

Why? Because it's a situation that many of us have experienced first-hand and Monk's lie has the potential to make the authorities think twice ― if and when other cyclists have to make similar complaint ― about an incident like the one he so believably described.

Here's the yarn spun by Monk on Wednesday.

He claimed that a provisional driver (P-Plater) had deliberately struck him and done a runner as he rode his bike on the short trip to training, leaving him with two broken bones in his elbow.

"I remember the guys in the car yelling 'oi' and laughing. I turned and I got whacked on the side ― that was it," Monk said.

"I thought it was a scare tactic but it went too far. They were young and dumb, trying to impress their mates."

Yep. Here was a 'beep, beep, bump!' incident that far too many cyclists in Australia could relate to ― and we were immediately, sympathetically, in Monk's corner.

As cyclists we understood because if we hadn't experienced an incident like it ourselves we certainly know of a fellow rider who has.

I have, several times, though thankfully only the 'beep, beep' and side mirror to elbow close shave, without the horrifying 'bump' to close the deal.

But by Saturday Monk couldn't live with himself and recanted the entire story in a tearful Brisbane press conference ― admitting he had injured himself in a skateboard accident.

Apparently Monk was embarrassed at falling off his skateboard because he was not supposed to be engaged in dangerous or high impact sports. Say what!?

"I didn't know what to do... I panicked, I freaked... basically to know that I've just fallen off a skateboard, something that a 10-year-old can ride," Monk said.

"Basically it just kept snowballing and snowballing and more and more and more came out and it just got too much for me.

"It was just a stupid thing I've done and I do apologise big time."

Ok, let me get this straight. Monk lied about participating in one potentially dangerous activity and then attempted to elaborately cover it up by admitting to participating in another potentially dangerous activity?

Clearly Swimming Australia does not choose athletes by their brain cell count. Though I am encouraged by the fact Swimming Australia, and Monk, sees cycling as safer than skateboarding. It's a kind of progress.

Why did Monk recant? It turns out there was a witness to his stupidity. Makes you wonder if his tearful confession would have been made otherwise.

But when Monk made his broad apology on Saturday I still thought there was something specific missing, so I threw out a Tweet.

"I think Aussie swimmer @kenrickmonk owes the cycling community a massive apology for crying wolf on road safety," I wrote.

And the response from the community was immediate, with a host of retweets and rapid fire conversation about the incident.

I thought the best of these came from Twitter raconteur Mark Matthew in Adelaide, who replied with, "@Lycra_Lout I think if enough of us get behind the push, @kjendrickmonk will have to contribute to @amygillettfdn. Let's push for it."

And I agree. So how about it Kenrick? Show the cycling community some love.

A small cash bump to the Amy Gillett Foundation's (AGF) A Metre Matters campaign and an apology would make things right.