Road rage directed at cyclists
By CHRIS LYNCHchrisl@gladstoneobserver.com.au
IT'S one thing not to like cyclists, but spitting at them or forcing them off the road is another. Gladstone police Sergeant Paul Ruge said yesterday that some cyclists had been spat on, pelted with fruit and forced off the road.
'There are people actually swerving to drive at the cyclists so they are forced to take evasive action,' Sgt Ruge said.
'Vehicles travelling in the opposite direction have crossed over to the wrong side of the road so cyclists think they are going to get hit, then they swerve back.'
Anyone who has met 20-year cycling veteran Peter Rasmussen could attest to his good character, however shamefully some motorists do not extend the same courtesy to riders.
Recently female members of his riding pack have been spat at and he has also had one motorist get out of his car and confront him.
'We had a bloke who skimmed us this morning,' Mr Rasmussen said.
'That's where they miss you by about three or four inches. If one day they do clip a cyclist they'll feel pretty bad because it won't be a pretty sight.
'A lot of the time they get right up behind you and beep the horn. 'If you're riding with a novice and they get the wobbles anything could happen. There's no room for error.'
Sergeant Ruge said it was legal for cyclists to ride two abreast on the road, and that bike riders had the same rights as motorists.
'This is viewed very seriously by police and if offenders can be identified we will certainly prose- cute them,' Sgt Ruge said.
'There's only one thing that can happen when a vehicle hits a cyclist and someone could get seri- ously hurt.
'Anyone would have to ques- tion the intellect of people who en- gage in this sort of behaviour.
'It seems to be Gladstone mo- torists believe they have to travel at the speed limit when in effect you are required to drive accord- ing to the conditions.
'That includes coming up be- hind slow-moving cyclists.'