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Old 05-01-14, 12:02 PM   #1
zymphad
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Is it true about the Kiwis?

That they are the world's most successful cycling hating drivers? Wherever there is a thread about worst drivers purposefully trying to drive either cyclist off road or hit them, Kiwis top the list. Supposedly are very good at driving next to cyclists and lean out window and hit them or just run them over.

So, is it really true or is it exaggerated? Has anyone traveled to NZ with their bike and can verify they truly are flaming demons trying to kill cyclists?

Also NZ having a campaign reminding people cyclists are human beings. Amazing, who knew those primates on bikes were humans?

I enjoy reading comments to any blog post regarding road safety and cycling for NZ. The comments are some of the most hateful anti-cycling posts I've read so far. But majority opinion seem to be cyclists are free-loaders and should be banned from the road. I'm not sure how cyclists are freeloaders, oh well.

"10 points for cyclists. 20 points if wearing lycra."

Even the Smithsonian Mag had an article about Kiwis hating cyclists.
Is New Zealand Too Dangerous for Cycling? | Travel | Smithsonian

"The man behind the wheel was apparently stirred into a rage by the sight of the pair pedaling along the road; he leaped from his vehicle and physically assaulted one of the two."

Last edited by zymphad; 05-01-14 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 05-01-14, 05:55 PM   #2
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It would appear that there are no surviving Kiwi cyclists left to comment on this.
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Old 05-01-14, 06:07 PM   #3
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It would appear that there are no surviving Kiwi cyclists left to comment on this.
Or perhaps they put their auto-dodging skills to use against trolls as well.
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Old 05-01-14, 06:15 PM   #4
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I'm an American living in New Zealand for the last 5 years.

The drivers here are, for the most part, better than many parts of the states. While there are a few who are outwardly aggressive towards cyclist, the majority of the incidences I have experienced have been as the result of simple indifference or ignorance.

Unlike the mid-West of the states where I grew up and where I've had drivers come across the center line to play chicken with me, had object throw at me, even a shotguy leveled out a window less than a foot from my face. Nothing even remotely similliar has ever happened to me here in New Zealand.

What does exist here, is a much larger per capita cycling population than in the states, sharing equally congested urban infrastructure and placing more cyclists in potential harms way on lightly used rural roads, but, which are driven down very quickly by large dairy trucks, logging trucks and other commercial traffic that lack an interstate style road system for their use.

So, we get an unacceptable high fatality rate, largely due to high speed rural incidents between trucks and cyclists, but, occassionaly as the result of an unlucky dooring in an urban setting. And, lots of driver vs. cyclist annomosity in the cities where the two compete for already overtaxed infrastructure.

There is a lot of resentment from drivers who see 1.5meter swaths of pavement being devoted to cyclist, but, who still insist on riding two abreast and obstructing traffic. And, bycycle boxes at intersections that encourage the cyclists right back in front of a driver who just spent several frustrating minutes attempting to pass them. Subsequently, there are a lot of 2 ton vehicle weapons used as bullying devices by their drivers and a lot of banging on fenders, doors and windows as well as shouting and coursing from cyclists.

The current "humanization" campaign is largely aimed at reminding drivers that their are mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, husbands, wives, celebrities and national sports stars on those bikes they're about to squeeze out. At least from my perspective, it seems to be working. I always try to ride as a responsible "road user" and have on a couple of incidences recieved the support of witnesses, applause and thumbs up when I was following the road code and best practive while the driver was not. I'll also say, I may have experienced a slight reduction in general road encounters over the last few months. But, that's such a difficult thing to quantify.

My continued biggest issue is with dump truck drivers. Specially those pulling long tongued trailers. They seem more likely than any other commercial vehicle drivers to come excessively and needlessly close. And, with the risk of getting sucked into the gap between truck and trailer they are potentially the most dangerous.

The dairy truckers, loggers, garbage trucks and general goods trucks all seem more likely to slow down and/or move over sufficiently to pass safely.

Just my perspective.
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Old 05-01-14, 06:17 PM   #5
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Or perhaps they put their auto-dodging skills to use against trolls as well.
Nah, I bit.

The "See the Person" campaign isn't a bad one.
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Old 05-01-14, 06:53 PM   #6
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Moving to A&S.
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Old 05-01-14, 07:09 PM   #7
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Nah, I bit.

The "See the Person" campaign isn't a bad one.
it is quite good. doesn't always work. but it is a good start.
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Old 05-02-14, 10:15 AM   #8
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It has been decades since I was in the land of the long white cloud. Well before I started riding as an adult.

But I can point out 2 things that make it very unlikely that New Zealand will ever even approach most of the States for being cyclist hostile.

Kiwis are fit. Far fewer lardbutts in boxes on the road.

There are a lot more camping/cabin type facilities than the states. A lot more Kiwis are out hiking and I would assume occasionally riding.

I would not have realized the facilities issues, but with another poster having pointed it out I have to agree. Many 2 lane (total) roads with minimal shoulder and fast traffic. Those can create problems with no ill will.
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Old 05-04-14, 05:27 AM   #9
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Cycling down here sucks.

I mean look at this stuff:
Rapha | The Forgotten Highway
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