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Old 05-08-08, 02:15 PM   #1
Kurt Erlenbach
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Angry driver takes out 50 riders

Here's one you have to read.

Angry driver takes out 50-strong cycle pack
May 8, 2008 - 12:37PM

About 50 cyclists - including Australian racer Kate Nichols, who was injured in a 2005 German road racing crash in which a teammate was killed - have been involved in a hit-and-run crash in Sydney this morning.

The resulting smash forced a semitrailer to lock up, jackknife and screech to a halt behind the cyclists while cars had to swerve to avoid them.

Also involved in the crash, at 6.35am on South Cross Drive, south of the corner of Dacey Avenue in Mascot, were former Olympians Ben Kersten, Kate's father Kevin Nichols, Graeme Brown, Mark Renshaw, Michelle Ferris and Matthew White.

Witnesses to the crash have told smh.com.au the group of about up to 60 professional cyclists were riding south on Southern Cross Drive, just south of Dacey Avenue, Mascot about 6.30am when a driver, agitated with being held up, accelerated in front of the pack and then slammed on his brakes.

Group called the Coluzzi Ride

One of the riders said the cycling group called itself the Coluzzi Ride after the Darlinghurst cafe it regularly set out from and was made up of "serious, A-grade riders and pros''.

"A lot of Olympians and professionals when they are in town join the ride, most of them are just higher level amateurs, you have to be pretty fast to keep up,'' said rider, 27-year-old Nick Cooper.

One of the group said the motorists was "worrying" the rear of the pack, then overtook, pulled in front and slammed on his brakes, giving the riders no time to stop.

Slammed into each other

"Everyone's slammed into each other ... there were broken bikes - wheels busted and wheels snapped - and people lying on the road."

Mr Cooper said" "{`Three female cyclists took the brunt of the accident, careering into the back of the braking vehicle, several of them being thrown into the air landing on the boot and roof of the car.

"Most riders were left with cuts and bruises and at least some damage to bikes, shoes and helmets, including some bikes sustaining thousands of dollars of damage.

"This whole incident really exemplified the escalating road rage towards cyclists happening on Sydney's roads.

"Road rage seems to occur with or without provocation, and regardless of whether cyclists are riding in a law abiding way, or slowing down traffic.

Motorists jeered

"A perfect example of the enmity were the jeers and taunts of several drivers (more than 3 separate drivers that I noticed) making their way past the aftermath of the accident, despite the fact that a police car and two ambulances were on the scene treating seriously injured people.

"[A] policemen informed us that the back of the group was nearly cleaned up by a semitrailer locking the brakes to avoid the suddenly halting group, with its trailer jack-knifing and sliding towards the group before being skilfully brought under control by the driver, narrowly avoiding potential fatalities,'' Mr Cooper said.

He said he overheard one rider telling a policewoman that his bicycle, which had sustained major damage to its front wheel, was worth $9000.

Michelle Ferris, who was a the front of the pack, described the collision.

"We we're all in the left hand lane and this Ford Falcon came from the middle lane and swerved into the front of the bunch and braked suddenly,'' she said.

"We were doing about 40 kilometres an hour , there was no way for me to go and I went straight into the back of his car and other riders went into me.

"My chin [hit] the back window and my bike was totalled.''

Police - including an off-duty officer who witnessed the crash - quickly closed the lane down while they investigated the incident.

Driver known to police

It is understood they know who the driver of the car is, and are attempting to contact him now.

It is expected he will be charged, including with failing to stop at the scene of an accident and negligent or dangerous driving.

There was no doubt the driver of the dark blue Ford Falcon - described by other witnesses as in his 30s with a female passenger - had done it deliberately, she said.

Everyone was particularly worried about Kate Nichols, given her involvement in the 2005 road crash in Germany in which national team member Amy Gillett was killed, Ferris said.

"We we're all very worried about her. When I saw her she was as white as a ghost still sitting on the ground.''

Kate's father Kevin, who was also involved in the crash, said his daughter was at a doctor's surgery having some serious grazes treated. She also received a bad bump to the head, he said.

"Everyone's slammed their brakes on and slammed into each other ... there were broken bikes - wheels busted and wheels snapped - and people lying on the road,'' another cyclist involved said.

No-one was seriously injured in the crash, but most most cyclists suffered cuts, bruises and some sprains and possible fractures, he said.

The damage bill for the crash is expected to exceed $30,000, the cyclists said.
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Old 05-08-08, 02:17 PM   #2
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Road Rage driver attacks 50 cyclist pack
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Old 05-08-08, 02:56 PM   #3
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Hmm. I thought all the nuts lived in America. I see that some have already escaped to Australia.
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Old 05-08-08, 10:54 PM   #4
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Oh he's such a big strong person able to pick on cyclists with his 2800+lbs of vehicle.

Such a dip****, how about we bash his head into a bumper 50 times for punishment?
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Old 05-09-08, 09:55 AM   #5
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So where 50 or so cyclists taking up a lane and blocking traffic? Does this happen often? Could the cyclists be cited for blocking traffic? What was the speed limit of the road?
Doesn't excuse the drivers actions, but could explain his reaction. And factor in the reaction of other drivers, did the cyclists create a hazardous road condition?
This is simply my opinion based on the above article.
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Old 05-09-08, 10:07 AM   #6
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So where 50 or so cyclists taking up a lane and blocking traffic? Does this happen often? Could the cyclists be cited for blocking traffic? What was the speed limit of the road?
Doesn't excuse the drivers actions, but could explain his reaction. And factor in the reaction of other drivers, did the cyclists create a hazardous road condition?
This is simply my opinion based on the above article.
It was a multiple lane road and the story say the cyclists were all in one lane so it would be impossible to block traffic.

The only hazard was the driver who (from what I gather) intentionally cut off and stopped fast in front of the group.

Al
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Old 05-09-08, 10:08 AM   #7
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So where 50 or so cyclists taking up a lane and blocking traffic? Does this happen often? Could the cyclists be cited for blocking traffic? What was the speed limit of the road?
Doesn't excuse the drivers actions, but could explain his reaction. And factor in the reaction of other drivers, did the cyclists create a hazardous road condition?
This is simply my opinion based on the above article.
6 LANE ROAD... meaning three lanes either way... riders are two abreast and are pro and semi pro including the countries' Olympic hopefuls. If drivers cannot use the other two lanes to drive around what is essentially about two Semi trucks of cyclists, then those drivers should not be on the road. This particular motorist was hassling the group from behind before moving forward to stop suddenly.

This was a deliberate act by a dumb motorist... period.
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Old 05-09-08, 10:12 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
So where 50 or so cyclists taking up a lane and blocking traffic? Does this happen often? Could the cyclists be cited for blocking traffic? What was the speed limit of the road?
Doesn't excuse the drivers actions, but could explain his reaction. And factor in the reaction of other drivers, did the cyclists create a hazardous road condition?
This is simply my opinion based on the above article.
You and I are walking down the sidewalk. I am walking slower than you and cause you to slow your speed while you wait for a moment to pass me. You pull out a gun and shoot me in the back of the head. I guess this is excusable.
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Old 05-09-08, 10:14 AM   #9
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This is simply my opinion based on the above article.
Please reread the article.

... Brad
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Old 05-09-08, 10:20 AM   #10
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Well, the driver says he converted his car to dual-fuel, and it backfired.

When he tried to restart the car, he was stalled, and the cyclists ran into the back of his car.

I'm listening to the radio interview right now.

http://www.livenews.com.au/Articles/...wasnt_my_fault
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Old 05-09-08, 10:23 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
So where 50 or so cyclists taking up a lane and blocking traffic? Does this happen often? Could the cyclists be cited for blocking traffic? What was the speed limit of the road?
Doesn't excuse the drivers actions, but could explain his reaction. And factor in the reaction of other drivers, did the cyclists create a hazardous road condition?
This is simply my opinion based on the above article.
Um, they were not blocking traffic they were part of traffic. I'm not familiar with the road, but they were going between 40 and 60/kmh which is about 25 to 35 mph, so I doubt they were a large imedement to the other 2 lanes of traffic. The "hazardous situation" to which you refer is not an ordinary road hazard. It was someone intentionally trying to cause a crash.
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Old 05-09-08, 10:33 AM   #12
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Well, the driver says he converted his car to dual-fuel, and it backfired.
Yes, and OJ is innocent. What the heck else is he going to say AFTER he's been caught? Here's what one of the riders states about this. I tend to believe him and the other 50 cyclists:

But Olympic cyclist Ben Kersten, who was also on the line on the Ray Hadley Show, was furious with the explanation.

"Mate, you're a lying dog," he told 'Jason'.

"Everything you just said is complete and utter bull. I can't believe you have the nerve to ring up and try to say this.

"I was there and I saw it all. You're a liar. We've got 50 witnesses to confirm that everything you've said is complete bull."
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Old 05-09-08, 02:10 PM   #13
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Yes, and OJ is innocent. What the heck else is he going to say AFTER he's been caught? Here's what one of the riders states about this. I tend to believe him and the other 50 cyclists:

But Olympic cyclist Ben Kersten, who was also on the line on the Ray Hadley Show, was furious with the explanation.

"Mate, you're a lying dog," he told 'Jason'.

"Everything you just said is complete and utter bull. I can't believe you have the nerve to ring up and try to say this.

"I was there and I saw it all. You're a liar. We've got 50 witnesses to confirm that everything you've said is complete bull."
Ben also made a good point when he mentioned that if a car back fires it doesn't stop moving.

The story from the driver is that the car fired or over wise stalled, so he stoped the car, put it in park and tried to switch it back to gas power. he also says that he was in front of the group for about 20secs.

when a car stalls it takes a complete idiot to stop the car and put it in park in the middle of the road. I also think it highly improbable that a group of pro/semi-pro riders would not have the skill needed to pass a car that came to a slow stop, the car must have stoped suddenly for it to be hit the way it was.
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Old 05-09-08, 02:20 PM   #14
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Hopefully the police are smart enough to question the cyclists individually and then compare their stories. This should quickly lead them to a good idea about what actually happened and provide adequate testimony to prosecute.
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Old 05-10-08, 01:38 AM   #15
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Worst excuse ever, even with an engine completely off and in-gear at 25-35 mph you're getting very little engine braking, so even with a completely stalled engine you're not slowing down that much, and scared or not, he ran home, he didn't run off to some safe spot and call the police.
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Old 05-10-08, 07:37 AM   #16
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Worst excuse ever, even with an engine completely off and in-gear at 25-35 mph you're getting very little engine braking, so even with a completely stalled engine you're not slowing down that much, and scared or not, he ran home, he didn't run off to some safe spot and call the police.
Stall and run...
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Old 05-10-08, 08:08 AM   #17
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...This is where someone would chime in about the cyclists clear inability to communicate parity to the motorist, and perhaps the motorist was doing the cycling pack a favor by educating them about proper following techniques.... I channel the spirit of 'blame the cyclist' for this thread.

Was the group of cyclists effectively communicating to other road users about their parity and vehicularity? Did le lanterne use panache and hand signals to effectively communicate to overtaking motorists?

Perhaps the offending motorists, confused by the ambiguity of being confronted with a large group of uncommunicative cyclists, took the group to be second class, inferior road users? The motorist might have been treating them as if they weren't even there

I believe none of the above, just wanted to provide some counterpoint previously seen on this forum.

Road rage occurs even when motorists have clear and unencumbered passage around bicyclists. some motorists get enraged by bicyclists. those motorists should have their liscense suspended after this type of harrassing/ injury incident.

Sadly, the motorists often get treated with a favorable bias by police and the courts when accused of biker harassment/assault. In a recent case of road rage i experienced here in the US, even with me and two witnesses stating the motorist tried to deliberately hit me with his car!!!, nothing was done....
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Old 05-10-08, 09:02 AM   #18
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even with me and two witnesses stating the motorist tried to deliberately hit me with his car!!!, nothing was done....
Do you have the driver's name?
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Old 05-10-08, 09:52 AM   #19
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Road rage occurs even when motorists have clear and unencumbered passage around bicyclists. some motorists get enraged by bicyclists. those motorists should have their liscense suspended after this type of harrassing/ injury incident.

Sadly, the motorists often get treated with a favorable bias by police and the courts when accused of biker harassment/assault. In a recent case of road rage i experienced here in the US, even with me and two witnesses stating the motorist tried to deliberately hit me with his car!!!, nothing was done....
Sadder still is the fact that there are cycling advocates that insist that motorists don't target cyclists... And as you pointed out, officials that do not do their jobs as they too feel that either such a thing "can't happen" or that cyclists somehow "deserve" it. JF for instance consistently implied that one should expect co-operation from motorists...
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Old 05-10-08, 08:39 PM   #20
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...This is where someone would chime in ...
That someone is gone. Forever. You need to move on.
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Old 05-10-08, 08:53 PM   #21
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Looks like a great opportunity to sue a clueless, possibly penniless individual.

"Witnesses to the crash have told smh.com.au the group of about up to 60 professional cyclists were riding south on Southern Cross Drive, just south of Dacey Avenue, Mascot about 6.30am when a driver, agitated with being held up, accelerated in front of the pack and then slammed on his brakes."
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Old 05-10-08, 08:54 PM   #22
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that someone is gone. forever. you need to move on.
.....gimmie a break, jeesh!!! just getting nostalgic! but, isn't it refreshing?

I put in some comments regards the OP, DC commuter....you decided you'd post just to chide me? thanks.

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Old 05-11-08, 05:21 AM   #23
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Hmm. I thought all the nuts lived in America. I see that some have already escaped to Australia.
Plenty of nuts here mate. One nut took out three of my bike club members with his car last Friday morning. I came upon a bunch of broken bodies and bikes on the road about 30 secs after it happened. Amazing there weren't more people injured or even killed. The guy drove off too but witnesses got his rego plate number and told the cops.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...n/scan0001.jpg

I don't think the Jason guy who *allegedly* caused the accident with Ben Kersten and friends has been charged with anything yet.
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Old 05-11-08, 05:37 PM   #24
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I also think it highly improbable that a group of pro/semi-pro riders would not have the skill needed to pass a car that came to a slow stop, the car must have stoped suddenly for it to be hit the way it was.
Doesn't matter what the car did, really, because the cyclists must have been too inattentive to road conditions and surrounds to have rear-ended a car that suddenly braked or stopped in front of them.

Can't obviate responsibility from the riders involved, I'm afraid. I've already explained my reasoning here, in a different topic about this:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...11#post6675811

Methinks the halos some people are trying to hang above the cyclists heads might well be a tad tarnished
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Old 05-11-08, 05:46 PM   #25
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That driver should spend the rest of his life behind bars.
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