Yesterday’s brutal attack on an Ironman cyclist near Taupo was shocking. It was quickly picked up by the media who are asking us “Is road rage against cyclists on the rise, and what can be done about it?”
Our response: “Road rage against cyclists is generally less common than a few years ago. But let’s be real, this is massive ‘summer of cycling’, with day after day of brilliant riding weather and record numbers of cyclists taking to the roads. More cyclists on busy roads means more random incidents between motorists and cyclists. As cyclists we need skills to handle these without losing control, as we’re likely to come off worst in any conflict. It’s not easy when motorists are arrogant or plain stupid in not giving us enough road space.”
That’s where Good Bunch is useful. It was created by Tamaki Drive cyclists concerned about escalating aggro on the road during early morning rides when big bunches were mixing with stressed commuting motorists. Bunch leaders to took the initiative – launching a pilot programme to promote a safer road culture. With the help of Cycle Action and AT (Auckland Transport) the Good Bunch protocol was born. One of the 5 key points is ‘Courtesy works – a smile and a wave’ As the message spread we found that cyclists were able to stay in control, engaging with motorists in a polite, respectful and confident way.
Thanks to more help from AT we’re now spreading the protocol across Auckland. First off, we want to do a survey so we have basic info on the rides (easy, med, tough) and a contact for new riders to find out how to join in. We also want to map the routes of Auckland’s bunch rides.
AT would like to use this info to consult ride leaders on roading works proposed on their routes, so they are designed to cater better for cyclists during the construction phase and long term. AT also intends to text/email early warnings on up-coming road works affecting particular rides etc.
You can beat the rush by getting hold of the survey first, so your bunch gets the early bird benefits we have in mind. Send the contact details for your bunch to email@example.com
Are we on the right track to make bunch riding safer and easier?