Kerikeri cyclists mourn teacher's death

Northland cyclists are mourning after "another needless death" on the region's roads.

Senior Kerikeri maths teacher Bill Bayliss, 54, died in a crash with a sports utility vehicle on Saturday while out for a morning ride on a rural road in the Kerikeri area.

Kerikeri Striders Multisport Club committee member Margie Silich said Mr Bayliss' death was a blow to cyclists in the area.

"I just felt sick all day. He wasn't one of us but he was somebody's father, he was a cyclist, another needless death,'' said Mrs Silich, a recreational road cyclist.

She said a group of up to 20 club members went for a ride on Sundays and often used Kapiro Rd.

Its speed limit was 100km/h and it did not have an adequate shoulder for road cyclists on skinny tyres to pull safely away from cars passing too close at speed. She called on motorists to take cyclists' needs into account and ensure they left a gap of at least 1.5m between their vehicle and cyclists when passing.

Only one road in the area, Waipapa Rd, had painted cycle lanes, which were installed on both sides when the road was widened. They were brilliant, Mrs Silich said, but they only extended for around 3km or 4km and many more roads in the area, including Kapiro Rd, needed to be widened and have cycle lanes added.

She had run a Share the Road campaign for the club, which rewarded identifiable commercial drivers who acted safely and courteously towards cyclists. She said the campaign had led to improvements in driver behaviour, including milk tanker drivers.

"Fonterra was brilliant.''

But the campaign had spent all the money available and new funding sources had not been found, Mrs Silich said.

- APNZ

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