Cyclist says he's fed up with pack mentality on our roads
A COOLUM cyclist has told of the intimidation on Sunshine Coast bicycle runs dominated by packs of racing riders.
While the battle between cars and cyclists continues, some cyclists are saying the finger should be pointed at those who ride in packs, sometimes three or four abreast.
Jason Gaddes rides his bicycle for leisure and as a mode of transport.
He said he was fed up with the "pack mentality" interfering with those looking to enjoy the shared space.
"They sit behind you and it can be intimidating," Mr Gaddes said.
"The groups of cyclists can be riding two or three abreast on David Low Way and they just don't care. They are talking and not watching what's around them and expect you to move out of the way.
"It's like the roads are the packs' outdoor gym."
Mr Gaddes shared his views after the Daily's front page story on a Maroochydore truck driver who was fined for failing to keep a safe distance from a cyclist.
Warwick Fribance, 67, was fined on a "technicality" after police measured the width of Parsons Rd, at Forest Glen, where he had travelled.
Mr Gaddes said no tape measure was necessary to see the reality of the situation on Sunshine Coast roads.
"Drivers don't know what to do when they see the group - it's daunting and on narrow roads they don't know where to go," he said.
Under the new minimum-distance passing laws introduced in April, vehicles must give cyclists at least 1.5m clearance when travelling on an 80kmh road such as Parsons Rd.
The fine for failing to comply is $330 and three demerit points.
Sunshine Coast Road Policing Unit acting officer in charge Dave Nelson said officers rarely issued fines for the offence and their aim was to continue to proactively educate drivers on the rules.
RACQ executive manager of technical and safety policy Steve Spalding said it was okay to cross a solid centre line to pass a cyclist if it was safe to do so.
"If in doubt it is better to hold back until the road ahead is clear and avoid the risk of cutting in too close to the cyclist or putting yourself and another vehicle at risk of a head-on crash," Mr Spalding said.
"We encourage all road users to share the road and provide that 'give and take' that helps make the roads safer for everyone. Good courtesy goes a long way to making the road a safer place.
"If the cyclist needs extra space to keep them safe, then the motorist should hang back for a moment or two, and if cyclists are travelling in a large group they should think about how they can work together with other road users to allow safer passing of the group."
Suncoast Cycling Alliance local government advocate Damien Jones said motorists had generally been considerate since the new passing laws came into effect.
Cyclists can legally ride two abreast
Cyclists are permitted to ride three or more abreast only when overtaking
When riding alongside another rider, there can be no more than 1.5m between cyclists
There is no requirement for a cyclist to maintain a minimum distance from a motor vehicle