Friday 31 July 2009

Two cyclists knocked down by cars on the way to work

Not a good start to the day. Saw two cyclists who had been knocked down by cars in separate incidents.

The first was at a roundabout that I always treat with a great deal of care. As I got closer, I could hear a siren, but could not tell where it was coming from. Traffic was banked up at it when I approached, waiting for a bus to negotiate the bend. When the bus cleared the roundabout, it showed a cyclist sitting on the grass next to the road being treated by a Fire Brigade type. Ah, I guess that siren would be the ambulance for that guy then. I only saw him for a second or so - I turned left at the roundabout as the bus got out of the way, and suddenly there he was, along with the Fire Brigade vehicle with flashing lights, and a bike lying on the ground.

Number 2 was on Lilyfield Rd. It must have happened only a minute or so before I got there. The cyclist appeared to have been travelling down the bike lane when a white sports car overtook him, then immediately turned left in front of the bike. This happened to the Big T about 30 years ago when we were riding in Perth - a trailer took him out, and I thought the Big T was going to take the driver out - literally, through his car window.

There was another cyclist there already, talking to 000 on his mobile and describing the injuries of the bloke who had been hit - his arm or collar bone was broken, and his bike was a mess - the top tube had been snapped off the frame. He also appeared to have a nice bruise on his forehead, but his helmet saved him from anything serious. He was badly shaken up, and clearly in pain, but he was able to stand up and walk around. I stopped for a minute or so to see if any help was needed, but it looked like none was, so I kept going.

I cursed myself when I got to work for not sticking around longer. The poor bugger would have been in shock, and just staying there to monitor him would have been enough. As I was going over the ANZAC bridge, an ambulance on lights was heading the other way, probably for that prang.

The driver of the car was standing off to one side, jabbering away on his phone. The whole time I was there, he was talking on his phone, and it was left to the other cyclist to stop and ring 000. He didn't help the injured cyclist at all. How's that for being helpful? When I mentioned this to a fellow cyclist at the office, his response was, "I bet the driver was on his phone when he hit the bike, which is why he hit him".

And you wonder why I have a jaundiced view of some motorists.

Being superstitious, I think these things come in threes. I was therefore very careful for the rest of my trip, being intent on not being number 3.

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