Road rage a two-way street, says Cycling Club president

SEEING BOTH SIDES: Sunshine Coast Cycling Club president Craig King says bike riders and car drivers should both curb their anger.
SEEING BOTH SIDES: Sunshine Coast Cycling Club president Craig King says bike riders and car drivers should both curb their anger. Warren Lynam

IT DOESN'T matter if you're behind a wheel or on two wheels, aggression can flow from both sides.

That's the view of Sunshine Coast Cycling Club president Craig King.

For a man who's pedalling Coast roads at least four times a week, he's seen both the good and the ugly when it comes to motorists and cyclists interacting.

"Drivers and cyclists are saying crazy things," he said.

"Not every car driver or cyclist is doing the wrong thing,"

Craig said a morning ride around Kawana on a weekday could be daunting.

"Around 8.30am Monday to Friday, yeah, it's a bit intimidating, as opposed to a lazy Sunday with not much traffic," he said.

Heading towards the hinterland of a weekend was often a goldmine for glorious riding. Craig said: "Around the back of Palmwoods, they're some of the best roads in the world to ride."

So, is the big peloton necessary?

The answer was a mix of both social and safety needs.

"If you have two sitting at the front everyone else gets a significant draft," he said.

"You go up for five minutes then go back and recover.

"It's a good training benefit and socially it's good."

But safety was a big factor.

Craig said many motorists were often looking for other cars, and individual cyclists would not always be seen by a driver, whereas a large peloton was easier to spot.

And while many drivers become infuriated when they see large packs of cyclists close to the white lines, he said there was often more at play under the surface.

"It could be a safety measure to sit wider, someone could have pulled off the front and made the group three wide as they drop back. Cycling groups need to pick times to do that," he said.

"There's a lot of debris on the shoulder of the road so many sit closer to the line to avoid a flat tyre.

"A motorist is going to go 'there is no courtesy there'."

As for the best way to negate flare-ups, Craig reckons the best bet was to utilise the road shoulder and stick as far left as possible to allow safe passage for cars, and a wave to show appreciation to drivers kind enough to slow down and wait.

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