Cyclists criticised for posing risk

By Kiri Gillespie


A man who says he repeatedly encounters packs of cyclists hogging beachside roads says something needs to be done about their "unsafe" behaviour.

The local resident, who would not be named, said he drove along Marine Parade through to Papamoa Beach Rd and encountered packs of cyclists holding up traffic every Sunday.

"I think cyclists are putting themselves at risk and other road users at risk by their actions," he said.

The man said he had encountered these cyclists holding up traffic at Mount Maunganui and Papamoa for months. He finally became so incensed he followed the pack and photographed their illegal riding, such as riding three abreast while passing a parked car.

"The photos are self-explanatory, even on a clear piece of road with traffic behind them, they still ride on at least a third of a clear lane," he said.


"There is an issue here, that pack riders are unsafe and we know that there has been some terrible accidents with cyclists and we all need to conduct ourselves in a safe manner on the roads."


Each Sunday, Tauranga Road Cycling Club hosts rides involving a route from Papamoa to Mount Maunganui.

Ride coordinator and committee member Talbot Munro said he could not identify whether the riders pictured were club members but members were encouraged to obey road rules at all times.

"All road users sometimes break the rules and simple road courtesy should prevail. As modern cars are very quiet a polite toot on the horn will encourage riders to move over," Mr Munro said.



Local cycle safety advocate Iris Thomas said the actions of the cyclists pictured tarred others with the same brush, which was unfair as most cyclists were safe and considerate road users.

Ms Thomas runs the Tauranga City Council Kids Can Ride programme, teaching safe cycling to local children.

"The road safety programme is passionate about sharing the road and mutual respect for every road user and those cyclists are not demonstrating that. Our children that we teach to ride are better at that than they are."

Western Bay of Plenty head of road policing Senior


Sergeant Ian Campion said the photos raised certain issues.



"With riding abreast, you can't ride more than two abreast when you're cycling and you can't ride two abreast when overtaking or passing a parked vehicle," Mr Campion said.

"The other issue is there's a need to use cycling lanes when available. Clearly as you can see in the photos, this is not the case."

Offending cyclists were liable for prosecution just like anyone, Mr Campion said.

"Whenever road users break the law whether they be car drivers, cyclists, skateboarders or mobility scooter users they can all be prosecuted."

In the New Zealand Road Code, motorists are advised to allow cyclists 1.5m of space as they travel past. In turn, cyclists are advised to keep as far as possible to the left "in a sensible position on the road to keep safe".

Cyclists are also advised to travel at least two seconds behind others.



- Bay of Plenty Times

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