Cyclists are pushing for major upgrades in Tauranga's cycle network amid fears they are facing increasing risks in the city's burgeoning traffic.

The call comes after Tuesday's death of a 71-year-old American tourist whose bicycle collided with a truck near Tauranga Harbour Bridge.

Bay cyclists approached today were anxious not to be seen as using the death for leverage, but did say that they had concerns about safety with the increasing traffic on city roads.

They pointed to Rotorua as a city that had set a standard for cycle safety, having developed a clear strategy for a cycle network after public consultation.

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Glen Crowther of the Sustainable Business Network's Bike Now said Tauranga's cycleways needed to be made safer and separated from traffic. Key intersections should be engineered to be cycle-friendly.

"We need separated cycleways - not just lines painted on roads," he said.

"What used to be a safe bike ride down busy roads is now dicing with death, for example."

Heidi Hughes of Bike Mount said it was "no longer right" to have cyclists and cars sharing the same roads.

Tourists who were unfamiliar with Tauranga could "suddenly find themselves dumped in major traffic" when emerging from a cycleway.