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Furious driver takes out 50-strong cycle pack Options
Cold Dog
#1 Posted : Thursday, May 08, 2008 7:04:31 AM
Barack Obama


Joined: 9/20/2005
Posts: 16,519

 
Shocked

Furious driver takes out 50-strong cycle pack

Dylan Welch and Dan Emerson
May 8, 2008 - 4:00PM

About 50 cyclists - including Australian racer Kate Nichols, who was injured in a 2005 German road racing crash in which a teammate was killed - have been involved in a hit-and-run crash in Sydney this morning.

The resulting smash forced a semitrailer to lock up, jackknife and screech to a halt behind the cyclists while cars had to swerve to avoid them.

Also involved in the crash, at 6.35am on Southern Cross Drive, south of the corner of Dacey Avenue in Mascot, were former Olympians Ben Kersten, Kate's father Kevin Nichols, Graeme Brown, Michelle Ferris and Matthew White.

Witnesses to the crash have told smh.com.au the group of about up to 60 professional cyclists were riding south on Southern Cross Drive, just south of Dacey Avenue, Mascot about 6.30am when a driver, agitated with being held up, accelerated in front of the pack and then slammed on his brakes, giving the riders no time to stop.

Olympic preparations derailed

Kersten, speaking from a chiropractor's surgery where he was having his injuries assessed, said he feared his preparation for the Beijing Olympics could be derailed by the incident.

"I did hurt myself, I'm not broken or anything, but I am going to need a few days' recovery," he said.

"I'm having trouble bending my arm, my hip's all flared up. I rolled my ankle so it's not something you just walk straight through, but a lot of other people looked a lot worse than me. It's just a disgrace, an absolute disgrace.

"I have an Olympic trial in two-and-a half weeks for the last remaining spot [on the team] so it's not very good timing at all.

"I've got to get a new bike now, I've got to worry about my injuries, I'm supposed to be at training now but I'm at the chiropractor. Every day counts. This is not what you need."

Kersten said motorists needed to learn to share the road with cyclists.

"This is our training ground. We can't ride round and round a football stadium at 60kmh. The law states we are allowed on the road. A brutal death match on the road is not going to solve anything," he said.

"We're so lucky somebody isn't dead, we were pushing 60kmh, sprawled all over the road with trucks going past. I really don't know how someone isn't dead, that's all I can say."

Kersten said any person found guilty of driving offences related to the crash should have to pay compensation to the riders whose equipment was damaged.

"My bike suffered a fair bit of damage, it's carbon and it's got a crack in it and the wheels are written off," he said.

"It's probably about $12,000 worth [of damage] but I am lucky enough to be sponsored by a [cycling manufacturer], so they will be able to do something, but there are 50 other bikes in the bunch that are not sponsored.

"I definitely think [the driver] should [pay compensation]. I think there was probably close to $50,000 worth of bike damage done.

"But I just want to see him go to jail, I don't give a hoot about the bikes because I don't think someone of that calibre is going to fork out one cent. I would rather see him go to jail."

Group called the Coluzzi Ride

One of the riders said the cycling group called itself the Coluzzi Ride after the Darlinghurst cafe it regularly set out from and was made up of "serious, A-grade riders and pros".

"A lot of Olympians and professionals when they are in town join the ride, most of them are just higher level amateurs, you have to be pretty fast to keep up," said rider, 27-year-old Nick Cooper.

One of the group said the motorist was "worrying" the rear of the pack, then overtook, pulled in front and slammed on his brakes, giving the riders no time to stop.

Slammed into each other

"Everyone's slammed into each other ... there were broken bikes - wheels busted and wheels snapped - and people lying on the road."

Mr Cooper said" "{`Three female cyclists took the brunt of the accident, careering into the back of the braking vehicle, several of them being thrown into the air landing on the boot and roof of the car.

"Most riders were left with cuts and bruises and at least some damage to bikes, shoes and helmets, including some bikes sustaining thousands of dollars of damage.

"This whole incident really exemplified the escalating road rage towards cyclists happening on Sydney's roads.

"Road rage seems to occur with or without provocation, and regardless of whether cyclists are riding in a law abiding way, or slowing down traffic.

Motorists jeered

"A perfect example of the enmity were the jeers and taunts of several drivers (more than 3 separate drivers that I noticed) making their way past the aftermath of the accident, despite the fact that a police car and two ambulances were on the scene treating seriously injured people.

"[A] policemen informed us that the back of the group was nearly cleaned up by a semitrailer locking the brakes to avoid the suddenly halting group, with its trailer jack-knifing and sliding towards the group before being skilfully brought under control by the driver, narrowly avoiding potential fatalities,'' Mr Cooper said.

He said he overheard one rider telling a policewoman that his bicycle, which had sustained major damage to its front wheel, was worth $9000.

Michelle Ferris, who was at the front of the pack, described the collision.

"We we're all in the left hand lane and this Ford Falcon came from the middle lane and swerved into the front of the bunch and braked suddenly,'' she said.

"We were doing about 40 kilometres an hour , there was no way for me to go and I went straight into the back of his car and other riders went into me.

"My chin [hit] the back window and my bike was totalled.''

Police - including an off-duty officer who witnessed the crash - quickly closed the lane down while they investigated the incident.

Driver known to police

It is understood they know who the driver of the car is, and are attempting to contact him now.

It is expected he will be charged, including with failing to stop at the scene of an accident and negligent or dangerous driving.

There was no doubt the driver of the dark blue Ford Falcon - described by other witnesses as in his 30s with a female passenger - had done it deliberately, she said.

Everyone was particularly worried about Kate Nichols, given her involvement in the 2005 road crash in Germany in which national team member Amy Gillett was killed, Ferris said.

"We were all very worried about her. When I saw her she was as white as a ghost still sitting on the ground."

Kate's father Kevin, who was also involved in the crash, said his daughter had only just begun riding again after a lengthy lay-off.

"She's pretty shaken, it's a pretty shaking incident," he said.

"She just started [riding again] last week, she had a long break and had just started out again. She hadn't ridden with this group for months.

"She had had a bit of tiredness, issues being sorted out, she had started work and was taking it easy. She was sick last year, she had a virus."

Mr Nichols said he was not sure if the crash, so soon after the horrific injuries she suffered in Germany in 2005, would prompt his daughter to give the sport away completely.

"Who knows?" he said. "You take each day as it comes with this sort of thing."

His daughter was not in contention for the Australian Olympic cycling team for this year's Games, he added.

Mr Nichols said she was not badly injured but had a bump on the head and was having precautionary X-rays following the crash, which he described as "malicious".

He said he saw the face of the driver of the Falcon and his female passenger, who he believed were both aged in their 30s, and said they appeared to find their actions funny.

"Most motorists are really good, but clowns such as the person today are just one out of the box," he said.

Road rules for cyclists

Cyclists riding in groups on public roads can only cycle next to one other rider - a law described by the Roads and Traffic Authority as riding "two abreast'' - and must not ride more than 1.5 metres apart.

The RTA's website also stipulates that cyclists must ride in a bicycle lane if one is available and can use bus lanes, except when the lane is marked 'buses only'.

Contrary to some correspondence to smh.com.au today, the section of road where today's crash happened was flanked by a shoulder, not a cycle path.

Children under 12 are allowed to ride on a footpath but adults are only permitted to use them if they are supervising a child.

Ferris said the group involved in today's crash were obeying the road rules before the pile-up.

"We were riding two abreast and 1.5 metres from the left of the lane,'' she said.

"We were all riding together, we certainly weren't going out there to cause trouble.''

Ferris, who said she was feeling "pretty sore'' after being one of the first to crash into the braking vehicle, said some of the ignorance in the community about the rights of cyclists on the road was "just astounding''.

- with Stephen Samuelson


Cold Dog
#2 Posted : Friday, May 09, 2008 7:45:11 AM
Barack Obama


Joined: 9/20/2005
Posts: 16,519

 
'I'm no cyclist hater'

May 9, 2008 - 11:46AM

The driver at the centre of an alleged Sydney road rage incident says he is no "cyclist hater" and he did not deliberately pull up in front of a pack of professional cyclists.

The man, who identified himself only as Jason, said it was an engine problem, and not his anger at being stuck behind the pack of 50 riders, that caused him to overtake the pack and then stop in front of them.

The incident occurred on Southern Cross Drive, near Sydney airport, yesterday morning. More than 20 riders - including professional cyclists Kate Nichols and Olympic hopeful Ben Kersten - were injured when they ran into the back of a grey Ford Falcon.

"I'm not a cyclists hater, I'm not nothing," Jason told Macquarie Radio this morning.

"I was just driving along and I had a car failure and now I'm in trouble - I dunno."

Jason said his car was both petrol and gas powered and an engine problem occurred as he was overtaking the pack of cyclists, who were in the roadway's left-hand lane.

"I've got in front of, overtaken all of the cyclists, and while I'm sorta in the middle lane ... another car in front of me he has slowed down.

"I've accelerated to get into the left lane - and I just got a car two days that is a gas and petrol thing - and it backfired, the airbox popped." Laughing

Jason said his car "stalled", forcing him to pull up partly in the emergency lane and partly in the left-hand lane.

"I've pulled over, I had time to put my hazard lights on, put it into park, go to start it in petrol, half a dozen maybe 15 cyclists rode past me, and then all of a sudden one or two went bang bang into the back of my car," he said.

Jason said he switched the car from gas to petrol and it started. His girlfriend was also in the car and they drove off as dozens of cyclists surrounded his car.

"(They were) all looking at me like I'm an idiot and calling me names," he said.

"I thought, 'I'm not getting out of the car with 50 blokes wanting to hit me.' I just drove off."

Jason said he had spoken to police at 9pm yesterday and they had photographed some marks on his car.

Injured rider Ben Kersten rang the station immediately afterwards and said Jason was a liar.

"Mate, you're a lying dog. You are a liar and you are going to get caught for it," he said, while Jason remained on the line.

"You were doing 60 kilometres an hour and then stopped to zero ... what you did was ridiculous.

"Who takes off after they accidentally cause such damage - who isn't remorseful?"

AAP


Lay Low21
#3 Posted : Friday, May 09, 2008 9:13:37 AM
Carl Lewis



Joined: 1/12/2007
Posts: 8,361
Location: isle of man

 
shame the driver didnt have an AK47 with him..

bloody cyclists think they own the road riding 3 and 4 deep ..
ffs its us drivers that pay for the tarmac not cyclists who havent the decency to ride single file and not be a pain in the arse..

.



Well behaved women do not make history


.
adelaidecrows
#4 Posted : Saturday, May 10, 2008 12:56:51 PM
Nick Faldo



Joined: 7/16/2006
Posts: 5,533
Location: Adelaide

 
your a cock lay. what gives drivers the right to feel that the road is designed for cars. bikes have been around longer then cars and the reason car drivers pay for the roads is the damage they cause. riders have as much right to use the road as anyone else. just because your in a car does not give you or anyone else the right to think they can just belt someone up for making you 5 minutes late. the guys a cock and should be charged with attempted murder and or reckless endangerment at least. he wouldnt like it if i stopped my car directly in front of him.

i like it how he says he had time to stop the car exactly put the hazard lights on and it was a shock that a couple of bikes then hit him. what a cock. he should go to jail and set an example to car drivers out there that they have no right to push cyclists around.
Mite N Power
#5 Posted : Saturday, May 10, 2008 1:18:57 PM
Al Oerter

Joined: 1/25/2007
Posts: 3,187
Location: Perth, Western Australia

 
"adelaidecrows"
your a cock lay. what gives drivers the right to feel that the road is designed for cars. bikes have been around longer then cars and the reason car drivers pay for the roads is the damage they cause. riders have as much right to use the road as anyone else. just because your in a car does not give you or anyone else the right to think they can just belt someone up for making you 5 minutes late. the guys a cock and should be charged with attempted murder and or reckless endangerment at least. he wouldnt like it if i stopped my car directly in front of him.

i like it how he says he had time to stop the car exactly put the hazard lights on and it was a shock that a couple of bikes then hit him. what a cock. he should go to jail and set an example to car drivers out there that they have no right to push cyclists around.


jesus adelaide ..have seen a couple of your posts on various topics,you are an angry fella Laughing take a chill pill mate.if you jammed on your brakes in front of him,fair to say you'd be wearing your exhaust pipe as a neck tie.after he deadset ploughed into you at close to flat stick Mr. Green

whilst i dont condone what this bloke ALLEGEDLY did...cyclists are a burden on freeways etc going HALF the speed of cars,3 and 4 deep as stated,cocky as all get out...yet they dont pay registration etc..so fuck off ze road you twats Razz seriously their a menace,dont deserve to be taken out though.

Winning isnt everything... ITS THE ONLY THING!!
Cold Dog
#6 Posted : Friday, February 26, 2010 9:20:24 PM
Barack Obama


Joined: 9/20/2005
Posts: 16,519

 
*bump for cyclist haters everywhere*

Let us rejoice!

Banana
poocano
#7 Posted : Friday, February 26, 2010 9:24:09 PM
Arnold Palmer

Joined: 9/24/2005
Posts: 14,649
Location: Indianapolis

 
I don't normally see many bikes on the roads here in Indianapolis but when I do they normally stick to the sidewalks and not the damn road.

Don't know about you, but I sure in the hell wouldn't feel safe with the way people drive here to be riding a bike in the actual driving lanes.

Good luck with that. Thumbs up

The worst is the idiots walking on the shoulder of the road. Especially ones with kids. I especially like how they have the kids closest to the cars while their asses are furthest away...



All bets are one unit ($50) unless otherwise noted.
Lay Low21
#8 Posted : Friday, February 26, 2010 10:05:32 PM
Carl Lewis



Joined: 1/12/2007
Posts: 8,361
Location: isle of man

 
our roads are 30ft wide.
you get 2 cyclists riding abreast and you can be stuck behind the selfish twats for several miles with all the bends they are only country roads.

what did he get sentenced too anyway..?

i just keep my horn on until they get the message.
{i know how the horn on bit comes over.}

.



Well behaved women do not make history


.
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