A video has emerged of a former Olympian allegedly ranting and raging at a single mother, accusing her of cutting him off while he was cycling. The ugly scenes have renewed calls for cyclists to pay rego. On the other side of the coin, others are saying this would be unfair, as it’s the 1% who ruin it for the other 99%.
It’s a tale as old as lycra: a cyclist has abused a motorist for a perceived wrong. Now. Before we get into the details we should start with a disclaimer: there are countless examples of motorists being dickheads to cyclists. The whole debacle is a chicken and egg scenario, with dickhead motorists embittering formerly good-natured cyclists (and making them quicker to anger the next time) and vice versa, creating a vicious cycle.
But anyway: back to the story. A former Olympic road racing cyclist has allegedly got up in the grill of a motorist who he (in footage published by 7News) claims to have cut him off. The incident occurred in Brookvale, a suburb on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
The cyclist allegedly competed at the 1980 Moscow Olympics for Ireland. The mother who copped the verbal spray also appears to have been swatted at a few times by the cyclist, while filming his outburst. The video (see below) shows the road biker open the door of the woman’s car and ask: “Are you f***ing blind?”
“You fat c***. You cut me off, you pulled right in front of me. You nearly knocked me off.”
The woman responds later in the clip: “I was indicating, and I turned … it was perfectly safe.” She also told the man a few times she had dashcams.
The woman told 7News she was “shaking” and couldn’t drive after the incident. She also is said to have given the footage to police, but that at first there was little they could do, seeing as there was nothing to identify the cyclist.
After tip offs to police, the cyclist has now been identified. Lawyer Sam Macedone told 7News though that because road cyclists don’t have registration, it can be hard for police to act in cases like these.
“There’s really nothing you can do because there’s no identification, there’s nothing.”Lawyer Sam Macedone, speaking to 7News
The Australian Cycle Alliance told 7News that – while they condemn the man’s aggressive behaviour – registering bikes would be expensive and complicated. They also said “this person doesn’t represent cycling any more than he represents people that live in Sydney.”
“It would cost just as much to register a bike as it does to register a car in order to make it financially viable,” the spokesperson said. “Do we start at four-year-olds on their balance bikes … how do you manage when you have multiple bikes?
“The cost of the system would far outweigh the benefit of the system.”
The debate continues. Hopefully, the poor behaviour of the few won’t ruin it for the many.