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Cyclists ‘lose every time’ on Hutt’s horror roads

Jul 1st, 2008 | By | Category: Featured Article, Multimedia

Up to eight cyclists a week are being knocked off their bikes in Hutt City, many ending in hospital.

The majority of injuries are bruises, grazes and sprains, but the vulnerability of cyclists was illustrated by two fatal accidents earlier this month.

“It’s a matter of luck,” says Cycle Centre owner Andrew Hanlon. “We have cyclists telling us they enjoy it less these days.”

A Hutt News survey of cycle repair shops shows the cost of repairs varies from $100 to fix buckled wheels to several thousand dollars to replace frames damaged by impact.

One of the main reasons, cyclists say, is that motorists are not taking enough care.

“The only place worse than Wellington for cyclists is Texas,” says VIC Cycles assistant manager Mike Anderson. “They shoot people in Texas.”

Mr Anderson is joking about the shooting, but serious about dangers to cyclists: “Motorists don’t really give us enough room. Bicycles are going to lose every time.”

Cycle shop owners agree that more people are riding bikes, perhaps because of rising petrol costs, and this has meant they are dealing with the aftermath of more accidents.

According to Land Transport New Zealand, 48% of reported accidents between cyclists and motorists in the Hutt Valley are due to driver error, and just 8% are caused by cyclist error.

Bicycle Ltd mechanic James Charlesworth hears constant complaints from cyclists about motorist behaviour. He encourages them to take as much care as they can by wearing reflective and safety gear.

Cycle Science sales manager Glenn Robb agrees and says cyclists need to help themselves by equipping themselves properly.

Avanti Plus owner and cyclist Murray Howe, a 21-year veteran of the trade says motorists are not always to blame: “Sometimes it’s cyclists as well.”

“[Hutt City] Council must see more cyclists are out there,” he says. “The amount of people commuting is incredible.”

Superintendent Steve Fitzgerald – who served for five years as New Zealand’s top traffic officer – was killed on June 19 while cycling around the roundabout near the Petone Esplanade.

Earlier the same day, Desmond Eyre, 61, was killed when he collided with an opening car door as he cycled along Fergusson Dr near St Patrick’s College and was knocked into the path of a truck.

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is a student journo who loves to write. Her interests, apart from media slavery, include social justice, music, sports and gardening. Preferably a combination of all four. She doesn't know yet what she wants to be when she grows up.
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  1. […] My favourite type of multimedia is the audio slideshow. I think it’s perfect for web journalism, and some of the best examples of reporting online has come via this format. For our audio slideshows, we’re using Soundslides. Designed by a journalist, Soundslides is a dream to use. We make our audio with Audacity, gather our pictures, and hey presto… it all slots into Soundslides without second thought. [EXAMPLE: Sandra Dickson’s Hutt Valley cycle memorial] […]

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