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Thread: Road bike safety?

  1. #1
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    Default Road bike safety?

    After reading a bunch of the threads in regards to the driving "abilities" of some Kiwis... I am wondering how safe it is to head out on the roads for a ride? I am an avid cyclist who loves to go out with a friend/group but often end up on my own - scheduling conflicts etc. Am I naively assuming that it will be safe to do that over there? (Obviously a big question depending on my location).
    Safety - in terms of other cars
    Safety - in terms of being alone?
    This is the wife/mum of Adventurefamily.
    Just wondering if I should get myself a mountain bike over here before we come over there? Never really tried it but keen to give it a go and the scenery looks rather nice tongue in cheek! Would be mad if I got there and really got in to that and had to pay NZ prices for one.
    I fully intend to join a bike/tri club once we get established but just want to get all my ducks in a row.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default

    Crashes happen, and there was a bad weekend last year resulting in 3 crashes and 6 cyclists being killed I think. Compared to the Uk then I'd say there's slightly more carelessness, but less deliberate acts against me hen cycling, and that's offset by ess cars. There's a it of logic needed rergarded where and when to ride, and I stopped doing one club ride as it was on a really busy area at evening rush hour and ended up being 100odd cyclists each week. I did an 800km tour over xmas and had one car get what I'd consider too close in all that distance, and that include coming out of Gisborne where there was a massive music festival on on 29 December - only one inconsiderate 'boy raccer' I class as not that bad.
    But it may vary from place to place. I'd not get rid of the road bike, but think about getting a mountain bike too as there's some great places to ride the fat tyred stuff in NZ.

  3. #3
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    As Duncan wrote it very much depends on where and when you ride.

    Generally car drivers here in our town lack some consideration for cyclists. I put it down to the fact that there relatively few cyclists so less practice for car drivers. (More people are using a skateboard as their means of transport than a bicycle and the car drivers are quite accustomed to that! )

    In the outskirts and/or on access roads to tourist attractions the danger comes from those drivers who are not familiar with the route, with their rental car (camper van) and/or with driving on the left. Add the fact that often these roads are narrow.

    So one needs to compensate for this and be quite aware and alert! Overall I deem riding as safe (enough for me personally)!

  4. #4
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    having cycled in Manic Manchester and now comparing it with the suburbs of Auckland I have to say its slightly less scary.
    I expected it to be much safer, but sadly its not. there are less cars and quite a lot of cyclists around, but there are still the numpties who seem to have no cyclist awareness. Especially people driving large cars/4WD who often cut in too close.
    on a more pleasant side, there seems to be less 'white van man' syndrome and maliciousness, and people are often apologetic rather than abusive if you point out their error.
    and as a female cycling home at night, ive never felt nervous about that as i did in central Manchester.
    Sadly, there have been quite a few cyclist fatalities during our year here which is quite sobering and disappointing for me. ( I had a serious cycling accident in Manchester and really thought it would be safer here)
    on a more positive note, there seems to be a lot in the media about encouraging cycling and improving safety. I think its a good idea to wear a camera and report any dangerous drivers with the evidence to the police.
    as for types of bikes- get both- mountain biking is great over here, and can be as challenging as you want it
    Jax

  5. #5
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    Exclamation Community Roadwatch programme

    Quote Originally Posted by mattandjax View Post
    I think its a good idea to wear a camera and report any dangerous drivers with the evidence to the police.
    'The Community Roadwatch programme provides an alternative method to try and improve driver behaviour.'
    See http://www.police.govt.nz/service/road/roadwatch.html which leads to https://forms.police.govt.nz/forms/o...watch-report/9

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the feedback everyone Looks like I NEED to get another bike - hee hee
    But will keep the roadie for sure.
    Seems like the common theme is that I will be safe in terms of being female riding alone but need to choose my route and time of day carefully due to the not so clued in drivers?

  7. #7
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    Yep. About right, althoguh clearly you (as with anyone, not just as a woman) should be sensible about where / when you are on your own. Common sense.

  8. #8
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    I commute to work, so cycle through Auckland about 100 km a week. On two trips a day, I think I could be killed daily if I didn't pay attention because of car driver error. By now, I know the issues and know what to expect and am not usually scared. Since starting to cycle here three years ago, I have adjusted my cycle style to what I think is the safest way for me to get around. This doesn't always fit in with the sense of entitlement to road ownership of motorised vehicles, and I get a fair share of abuse for it, but I just shout back (I am not breaking any road code rules).

    Cars here are not used to cyclists. I often worry about future generations, too: it is a bit of a vicious cycle. It is not seen as safe now, so children don't cycle, and if they don't cycle, they have no awareness of cyclists once they drive. People don't know what the sound of a bicycle bell is, that is how unusual utility cycling is here!

    Personally, I would not cycle on most roads outside Auckland, especially the narrow and windy ones.

    Daniela

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralf-nz View Post
    In the outskirts and/or on access roads to tourist attractions the danger comes from those drivers who are not familiar with the route, with their rental car (camper van) and/or with driving on the left
    Do you have any statistics that would indicate this? I do occasionally hear this mentioned, but never with any facts to back it up. In fact, the only statistics I remember about this in Europe seem to indicate the opposite: accidents are caused by people very familiar with the area.

    Of the bike accidents where cyclists have been killed or injured, none involved a tourist, regardless of what side of the road they drive on at home.

    Daniela

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dharder View Post
    In fact, the only statistics I remember about this in Europe seem to indicate the opposite: accidents are caused by people very familiar with the area.
    Possibly we read the same thing because I remember reading and being surprised to find that most accidents occur within a small radius of home.

    I agree with you that it's a vicious circle- my daughter used to cycle everywhere in England but has kind of lost the habit now

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