Driver warns of cyclist 'stupidity'

By Jonathan Dine

9 comments
A truck driver is worried about cyclists' behaviour, yet cyclists say driver behaviour can be just as bad. Photo / Duncan Brown
A truck driver is worried about cyclists' behaviour, yet cyclists say driver behaviour can be just as bad. Photo / Duncan Brown

A truck driver is shocked at an "act of stupidity" that could have seen a cyclist seriously injured.

James Field was sitting at Pakowhai Rd lights near Lindisfarne when he noticed an extra passenger.

"I pulled away from the lights, happened to look in my mirror and there he was hanging onto the back of my trailer."

A cyclist was hitching a ride on the back of the 45 tonne truck.

"I was shocked. Have these clowns got no sense?"

"I was a bit annoyed about it, once he got momentum he let go but that's just the stupidest thing to do."

Mr Field said he should have given his brakes a sharp stabbing so the cyclist would have then kissed the trailer.

"The temptation was there, just as well I didn't."

He said this was not an isolated incident of a careless cyclist.

Other irritating behaviour included cyclists keeping to the road instead of using the cycling lanes and "hogging" the road.

Mr Field has driven throughout Europe where he feels cyclists were much more law abiding, but here he said the cyclists don't seem to think.

"Next time it happens I'll be sure to stop and give them a damn good telling off."

Another truck driver, who did not wish to be named, echoed Mr Field's concerns about cyclists' behaviour on the open road.

He felt they should be held accountable for their actions as he has seen far too many close calls in his 20 years as a truck driver.

"At the end of the day no matter who's fault it is, no one wants to be picking a cyclist out of their back two wheels," he said.

"Our roads are skinny enough without Bill and Ben riding next to each other discussing the next cafe stop. A 20 tonne truck travelling 90km/h against a bike, who do you think wins?

"Everyone deserves to get home safe at night, common sense must prevail."

Local cyclist Dan Warren said it was the minority that chose to give cyclists a bad reputation.

"It's definitely not common but there are a few idiots out there that do it."

He said if the 18 wheeler hit something it would be curtains for the cyclist.

Mr Warren was no stranger to danger on Hawke's Bay roads.

BB gun bullets, glass bottles and golf balls aren't what most cyclists would expect to see hurtling towards them but Mr Warren has seen them aimed at riders.

Two bottles were thrown into a group he was riding with last year, with one bottle hitting a 12-year-old boy.

"He was very lucky not to have been seriously hurt.

"While the majority of drivers are fine there are a few real idiots out there," Mr Warren said.

"Cutting close, passing close, passing on blind corners, motorists just generally being inconsiderate is part and parcel of being a cyclist."

He said the solution was simply to learn to live with one another.

"The addition of a velodrome would be a fantastic way of getting cyclists off the roads and the radar of angry motorists."

Hawke's Bay Ironman Brett Mudgway said it was scary the anger cyclists could elicit from motorists. He believes many motorists treat cyclists with little respect.

"The attitude seems to be because you are a cyclist I'll just shave you instead of pulling out and passing safely."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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