Someone tried to kill me twice in the past week.

Not the same person and probably not intentionally. But with the same lethal attitude behind the steering wheel of a car.

Last Friday on Tamaki Drive, I was coming back alone towards the city from a training ride, keeping well left in the bus lane just after 7am when a small sedan shot past me so close that the tip of the rear-view mirror brushed past my outstretched elbow.

Just a minor wobble in the wrong direction, unaware that 1500kg of metal was coming rapidly from behind, and I could have been added to the road statistics.


Thanks mate. I tell you what, why don't you put your mum on the side of the road and then drive within a few centimetres of her at 60km/h?
You'd never do anything as insane as that would you?

This morning just before 7am, I was with eight men and one young woman riding together near Point England on our regular Tuesday morning group ride when a minivan tore past, perilously close, horn blaring.

What was that all about? Angry about possibly being delayed five or 10 seconds? Couldn't wait just a little?

Is New Zealand starting to resemble Australia?

In Melbourne and Sydney, where I lived for many years, a significant minority of drivers have an appallingly negative attitude towards sharing the road with cyclists - encouraged by radio shock jocks stirring populist anti-cyclist rage and fallacies about who pays what road tax and stories of lawless behaviour.

I tell you what. If you don't hold it against me when an idiot on a bicycle runs a red light, I won't hold it against you when I see a motorist doing something equally as stupid.

One of my favourite summer experiences is to take a social spin along Auckland's waterfront before breakfast. Suddenly, it feels just a little bit more dangerous.

Several Australian states are trying to cut cyclist deaths by making passing less than 1.5 metres a punishable offence. Maybe it's time we had a look at that here.

* Mike Van Niekerk is the NZ Herald's head of sport