Bike ride shouldn’t be Russian roulette

Last Wednesday at 3.10pm, while riding my racing bike on the Framlingham Road, 100 yards east of the Hopkins Road intersection, a large gravel truck overtook me travelling at 100km/h leaving me very little room — half to three-quarters of a metre — endangering and frightening me!

I gestured with my arm to move over that he might see me in his rear vision mirror, but he continued on. I felt extremely vulnerable and fortunate not to be hit by this truck, which undoubtedly would have resulted in a fatal accident.

I always ride alone for safety reasons and cannot understand the disregard a number of motorists have for cyclists. Motorists appear to have an inability to judge the distance between their vehicle and cyclists, particularly when there is no on-coming traffic.

Do motorists consider that cyclists come from all walks of life? Not only professional and social riders, there are doctors, lawyers, police and people of notable calling within the community that ride bicycles and enjoy the participation.  Enough is enough!

A bicycle is a vehicle (Macquarie dictionary) and the rider is entitled to ride on highways two abreast while keeping left. I always ride solo and keep to the left, and when travelling long distances, it takes considerable skill to keep as close as practicable to the left.

On this occasion I had ridden to the Framlingham Forest and on my return journey, a distance of 50km to my home, I experienced a tailwind down and a cross sou-west headwind on my return journey. Motorists should consider making compensation for crosswinds and weather conditions which affects the line of a bicycle as was happening on this particular journey.

It is a daunting experience to be overtaken by a huge truck weighing many tons while riding a bicycle weighing seven kilograms; the overtaking vehicle can create a draught that pulls you toward the vehicle. I was unable to get his rego number due to the circumstance of almost becoming a fatal statistic. I’m sure if the person responsible reads this, he will know it was him.

I trust this letter supports other cyclists who no doubt have had similar experiences. We have wives and families as well, who would not like to lose their husbands and fathers.

In keeping to the left on my bicycle,  I support you in keeping a safe distance on my right. You support me.

Bruce Turner, Raglan Parade, Warrnambool

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