Heard this story third hand, from the partner of one the cyclists. My 'facts' may be muddled.
Today a few cyclists cycling in the hills. Riding two-abreast which is legal. Heard beep-beep: difference between message of 'a vehicle is behind you' and 'get out of my way'. So cyclists moved into single file, very close to the left of road. The vehicle a 4WD with bull-bar. Surprisingly the 4WD missed all the cyclists, except the one at the front. Witnesses allege that the 4WD veered towards the left as overtaking the cyclist at the front. This cyclist was injured. The 4WD continued on. Another vehicle (ute) behind and caught up with the negligent 4WD driver. Would have been a hit-run, without the intervention of the ute driver. Several cycling witnesses, plus an independent witness.
The partner says he is now seriously thinking of giving up cycling. She does not cycle because of safety factor. I recommended that he join Adelaide cyclists and post re the incident and cycling safety.
Often I find that moving into single file is not a good idea, as it gives the driver the impression that they should squeeze past. The problem is that the bunch is now very long, and so it is unlikely that the driver is able to see far enough ahead to pass safely, which can lead to this type of issue.
If you continue riding two abreast they may get a bit upset, but at some point it will be safe enough and they will be able to overtake; or there will be a spot where the bunch can pull over and let the vehicle past.
Hope all are well and not too shaken up. Hope the ute driver has learned something. And onya to the other driver who intervened.
Went out for a ride on Thursday around Meadows, Echunga and Stirling: had nowhere to go on the road when a motorcyclist passed me at approx warp speed, a B-double passed me on one of the narrowed parts of the road beside one of the bridges and lastly, when a school run 4x4 decided to pass when there was no room on the hill around Crafers.....at any stage, had I been riding 2 abreast, someone would have copped it. Particularly when the motorcyclist came past me. The rider had no control around anything that could have come at him. It doesn't dissuade me from riding, just ride fairly defensively and listen hard for traffic coming. Rather be in a ditch than an ornament on someone's bull bar.
The ominous one for me is when you hear a sportsbike being ridden hard, ute being hammered, or a truck moving at speed.
Have found riding very early in morning helps. Some roads in the hills I am very uncomfortable riding, especially Greenhill Road (busy, lots ignore double white lines)
The driver was impatiently sounding the horn, which encourages cyclists to move over, or endure road rage. The cyclists moved very close to the left kerb, so at least 1.5 lane widths in which to overtake. If not enough room to overtake, how did the driver pass the 'tail end charlie' but hit the first cyclist? Then why did the driver, after hitting a cyclist, drive off, until stopped by another vehicle?
This is always a difficult situation. Riding single file can create uncertainty as to what the driver is expected to do. Riding two abreast, however -- who's to say the driver wouldn't have been so enranged that they might have tried to take out the entire group? We at BMCR are passionate bike riders (of course), but if we want to be seen by motorists as authorised vehicles with a right to the road, we have to be able to put ourselves in other drivers' shoes (so to speak). Was there a possibility that the group could have pulled to the side of the road to allow the driver through? Although we are not advocating leaping off your bike whenever a driver may want to go past (god forbid), each situation has to be taken on a case-by-case basis; in the situation above, the driver was clearly wanting the group to get out of the way. Maybe in cases like this, it's better to lose 30-40 seconds from a ride than to lose 30-40 minutes while waiting for an ambulance for an injured rider. We (BMCR) often need to drive through the hills to races and can be frustrated with cyclists who think they are the only road users - as mentioned earlier, we love bicycles and are more tolerant than most - imagine what could have happened if the 4wd owner was one of those bottle-throwing, abuse-shouting idiots we all come across almost every day? Until we have proper bicycle infrastructure in this state (if ever), we need to consider the costs/benefits of interactions between motorists and bikes - if it's too dangerous, why risk your health/life?
Apologies for the length of this entry, but until we have a loving society where everyone holds hands, we bike riders will need to not only claim the road, but also be aware of the repercussions of this decision.
My impression was that the cyclists were legally ride two abreast, until the vehicle approached, when the cyclists moved to the far left to 'share the road'. The cyclists left sufficient space for the 4WD driver to overtake, evidenced by the driver passing the cyclists, except for the cyclist AT THE FRONT. When any driver injures a cyclist and keeps on driving, his attitude is open to question.
We completely agree with what you're saying about the driver's attitude; our point was only that, as cars are bigger, harder, and heavier than a bicycle, sometimes it's better to try to avoid a potentially dangerous situation if you think you may be dealing with a potentially agressive motorist.
But, yes, the driver's actions should clearly be called into question.
I hope the person knocked off is okay as well as their bike.
Never much fun being overtaken when on a tight road - don't know these particular cercumstances.
Frankly I hold my position on the road and "let" the vehicle through when most quickly safe for me, there is usually a short safe stretch one can spot and utilise. I'll either brake or accelerate to get myself into safe haven.
BMCR, good post, and yet it might be summed up as 'case by case basis'. Narrow roads, cyclists, cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles. Presumably all must co-exist, and I'm not losing sight of the fact that arriving late rather than not arriving at all is all preferred, but the key must be education of all concerned. Well, education and tolerance, which is why one suspects the attitude of the driver concerned might be the key issue here.
Anyway, there are too many imponderables in many cases to suggest cyclists should be ready to move off the road.... for example, giving up one's position on the road (legally, and safely) is not good enough for some drivers, they want us off the road completely.
I recall hearing radio talkback a while ago (ABC, unfortunately) when people were calling in expressing outrage at "coming around a corner on Norton Summit Road and seeing a cyclist on the road directly in front of me. I had to swerve to miss him!!" So what's wrong with this situation? Simply put, by any reasonable and alternate analysis it is up to the driver to drive at a safe speed for the conditions. Clearly, on a tight winding road such was not the case.
Most drivers like in this situation are bullies, and they simply will not follow through if you take your position on the road, they will however attempt to push past if you give them the chance. I've ridden up Greenhill a few times lately... it ain't for the fainthearted, that's for sure, but road positioning and taking the lane on the bendy bits is crucial. I marshall other traffic by holding out a hand to indicate they should wait, and move over and wave them through when I adjudge it safe. I make it clear what I expect, how I am going to behave, and (it seems to me) that I will not tolerate sh*t from other road users.
Anyway, I'm not necessarily disagreeing with your opinion, but to reiterate, each case is likely different, and I know we can all tell stories of situations we've been in and how we've handled it.
We certainly agree that education is required but we’re unsure how willing some motorists are to being educated (how many drink driving/speeding/seat belt campaigns have there been in the last few decades, yet record numbers of fines are given out each year?). Whereas most cyclists also drive, the majority of drivers don’t ride bikes and thus have no idea what the road is like from a cyclist’s perspective. There is also an assumption that with increased numbers of bike riders, drivers will ultimately get used to & accept us as road users – we have found that almost the opposite has happened as we see so many damaged bikes and bodies at our shop due to road-rage incidents.
With this in mind, maybe it's we cyclists who need to take control of how these situations are handled. If there are one or two cyclists, a driver can usually find a spot to overtake safely (and let's face it, most members of society generally want to do the right thing). However, if there is a larger group of cyclists, it may be impossible for a motorist to find a safe (& legal) way past for quite some kilometres. In this situation the driver's feelings may go from frustrated to annoyed to homicidal. We think it becomes the group's responsibility to have an exit plan if there is an overtly angry driver coming toward them (especially on tight country roads). We’re not advocating a timid approach to cycling, as this doesn’t help, but surely the safety of each member should be the group’s highest priority. Since we live in a country with limited bicycle infrastructure, we need to maintain the ability to consider how we affect other road users, particularly when you consider that cyclists riding two abreast effectively take up the same space as another car but move much more slowly up hills. Not every situation will warrant/allow for the group to pull to the side of the road to let the driver through, but maybe we should keep it in our minds as a possible way to avoid future incidents. If you regularly ride in a large group, maybe at the start of your next ride you could bring this topic up and see if any other members have useful suggestions. Too many cyclists have already died for us to ignore possible solutions.