What’s with all the Hatred towards Cyclists in Australia?

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I haven’t ridden a bike in Australia in over a decade.  And I was sort of off the grid, mainly riding off-road on MTB when I was there.  So, I’ve never personally experienced any problems while riding my bike there. But, they obviously have some very serious problems.

Over the last couple years, I been noticing how many road rage problems that seem to be reported from Australia.  Guys getting run over intentionally in Sydney.   In the article link, this is some of the social media after a rider gets hit.

The retribution was as vicious as it was swift – towards the injured cyclists, that is. That afternoon, as soon as news of the crash was broadcast, Facebook was abuzz. “Sucked in,” wrote Dixon on a motoring Facebook page. “I see these cyclists riding every Saturday and Sunday and was wondering when they’d get hit.” Luke, of Newcastle, boasted: “I swerve to hit cyclists.” Nick reckoned it was a great shot: “Got seven in one hit.” Normie stated he will “never give way to a bicycle rider, I really don’t care what the law state, you have no rights in my book, and if you are in my way I will definitely give you a helping hand… stay the f..k off our road you leotard wearing faggots.”

Anyway, I was talking to Pat and Gwen before they were heading to Australia for three months to train, before they move to Spain.  Pat was saying it is super sketchy riding there.  So, bad, that they normally train on a closed criterium course.  And that Gwen was getting a new track bike so she can train on the track.  I was thinking, “Holly shit, a triathlete training on the track. Why?”  I’ve hardly ever, (I’ve never) trained on the track.  Pat said there were a few reasons.  Speed work, leg speed, motorpacing.  But he also mentioned safety.  I thought to myself that it must be worse than I’d imagined, riding on the open roads, because Pat is a very good rider and he says it is dangerous.

Then I saw this article about how the “real media”, a TV show in Australia, The Family Feud, Australia version, asked a pretty inappropriate question, ATMO.  The question was, “What is something annoying that a cyclist might do? 

And the answers are

familyfude copy

These answers are from 100 Australians that were asked the question.  I guess they had to answer something?  Well, they really didn’t, but they did.  I especially like answer number 3, everything.  That pretty much sums it up.  But the last two are kind of annoying also.   Just putting the question on the show wouldn’t work here in the US.  But, obviously they have a more generally accepted hatred towards cyclists in Australia than we do here.  At least publicly.  Here’s a link to an article reporting the story.

It’s too bad.  I have been considering going back to Australia sometime in the future, especially now that the US dollar gaining strength to the Australian.  But riding a bike is a must pretty much everywhere I go.  The Great Barrier Reef is beyond cool, but I’ve already been there.  Until they figure out their issues concerning cyclist,  I guess Australia is off the holiday list.

16 thoughts on “What’s with all the Hatred towards Cyclists in Australia?

  1. jim sully

    There’s plenty of bike bigots anywhere motor vehicles abound.
    As far as the Aussie’s, perhaps what transpired w the Abo’s is reflective of some over the cliff, ingrained pathological hatred by some of any that stand(or ride) in “their”path.
    Heard a good Aussie joke, may have some macho relevance…

    Why do Aussi’e cum so quick?

    So they can get back to the pub+brag to their mate’s about it

     
    1. Nathan stover

      Could be related to the gene pool…. Not the aboriginals but the criminals that were sent there to populate it….

       
  2. mark - Bici Italia Cycling Tours

    Seems counter productive to travel all the way to Australia for the nice weather, just to ride on the track and on a closed crit course. A lot of other stuff to see there but if its not safe to ride around, kinda sucks. Definately a plus to be an off-road guy since I can always go mtb or cross riding and not deal with cars.

     
    1. old and slow

      You could maybe make a case that they are where we were 20-25 years ago? Which is a shame because Sydney should be one of the great 12 month a year bicycle commuting cities out there. I guess we can all expect more of this with fuel prices cut in half anyway?

      Beyond the scope of this post, people making transcontinental tours down there have to deal with three trailer trucking at very high speed on 11 foot lanes in remote areas.

      Spanish speakers might want to look at Salto, Argentina to try and meet these Southern Hemishere requirements? Nice vinyard country down low, plenty of paved Secondary Roads and can get to 13,000 on dirt roads in multiple directions. At the top of the pass the soldier at the border crossing will tell you you’re the first thing he’s seen in two days….

       
  3. Bill

    They are staying in all the wrong places, I rarely encounter that type of driver in Oz, plenty of lightly used roads where I am and the weather for riding is good year round. Come and stay with me and I’ll look after you Steve. I even have dog’s that would love to play with Bromont.

     
  4. Li

    Steve, wait till you ride in Asia.. It’s even a lot more dangerous.. We have to wake up 4-5am to ride a bike so to avoid all the reckless driving and traffic on the road.

     
  5. riverdog

    I have ridden my touring bike with full packs around the world…The worst of the worst was in the good old USA! Contrary to what some wrote about Asia…funny…Asia is pretty big place..but hey all Asians are the SAME right…jezzzus….anyway, Oz..is a lot like American culture….Immigrant population..primarily of England cultural descent….and landed as pioneers with an indiginous population that they decimated and now ignore..just like us. The Rough and & Ready types are no less intimidated by someone who is out riding with their own two legs….especially if they are dressed in a way they consider effeminate!! That said….Ozzies were among the Friendliest of all people I met traveling. Asia was a dream to ride in….don’t know where that guy rode….Bejing Perhaps? Anyway don’t show your ignorance by lumping a whole continent into one small bag….like saying Africa…when they have numerous different cultures….Zenophobic

     
  6. Larry T.

    While we have clients from Australia who join us in Italy, we’ve never been down to OZ as it’s a LONG way away and their national dish is some ghastly stuff called “spag bol”! 🙂
    I wonder why anyone looking for good weather winter training needs to go all the way down there when so many pro teams (besides their squads at TDU) train in Spain or in Italy…like Astana in Spain or Tinkov in Sicily. Haven’t spent much time in Spain but Sicily’s a pretty nice place for winter training. I remember seeing a few of the SKY boys down there a few winters back. The winters I’ve spent there have been pretty much hassle free as far as sharing the road with motor vehicles. Teenage punks on scooters are probably the biggest menace, but you don’t see many of them once you get away from populated areas.

     
  7. Cowboys lost!

    Spent a while down under and never had any real problems riding. I thought they had a great cycling culture. I was mainly in Melbourne and never had any run ins there.

     
  8. TJ

    Hey guys, it’s not really that bad. Yes, the media has a part to play in beating it up as an issue but many of us ride a reasonable amount of km per year, 10,000 – 20,000 and we don’t have a problem. Of course there is the occasional “red neck” who might have a problem but generally we all get along OK. Local cycling groups and state road authorities are working on “Share the Road” campaigns – it’s about mutual understanding and respect. Nothing to fear but fear itself!
    Would love to see you riding in Sydney Steve!

     
  9. SSS

    Don’t disregard riding in Australia. Best bloody country in the world IMO, and I have been to a few. It’s a huge place, almost as big as the US, yet has a population less then 20 million. The roads, whilst generally not in great condition, can take you to many beautiful places. I live in South Eastern Queensland. I can go for a 3 hour ride and only encounter a handful of cars. It all just depends on where you ride and when you ride. Stick clear of the inner cities and head outside of town and you wont go wrong.

     
  10. Skippy

    So far i have yet to encounter the level of abuse that was available in London !

    Expect to hear that the ” 3foot rule ” will be ALL OVER Oz , in the next days ! Seems that the Federal Gov. here , wants to see the 46 families losing members in 2014 , greatly reduced in 2015 ?

    New York’s ” Vision Zero ” in 2014 , has already seen dramatic improvement in ” Vulnerable Road User Casualty Rates “!

    ALL that is needed is Political WILL ! Seems that very few Politicians think about their constituents’ welfare ?

     
  11. Ken

    I have a good friend from Melbourne and she says that one of the issues that creates bad feelings toward cyclists are ultra-large group rides (100+ riders) that swarm the roads with riders that don’t seem to care about traffic regulations. It’s a mob mentality on two wheels. She told me it was far more dangerous in western Australia, especially around Perth. I remember Danny Clark, famed 6-day rider, saying years ago that he wouldn’t train on the roads in western Australia.

     

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