After narrowly escaping tragedy, a Victorian cyclist has been harangued by local officials for riding his mountain bike along the Great Alpine walking track during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The 64-year-old man was lucky to be alive after losing control of his bike near Walhalla and falling down a 12-metre cliff. State Emergency Services and Country Fire officers had to work together, cutting a path through dense bushland to rescue the man as he clung to a tree.
“The question should be asked what was this guy doing out bike riding when he should’ve been at home? This is not essential travel,” local Tourism Association president Russell Wright was quoted as saying.
As Bicycling Australia reports, cycling for exercise is still permitted during the COVID-19 lockdown so long as cyclists do not ride in groups. They further report that while “many local bike shops are open by appointment only”, the industry is still receiving steady business.
This week saw the death of three cyclists on Australian roads.
On Wednesday, Nine News reported that a 72-year-old woman had been killed in Bathurst after being hit by a car while riding along George Street. The 34-year-old woman driver of the car was taken to Bathurst Police Station and was charged with dangerous driving occasioning death.
Just after 1pm on Thursday, a cyclist was killed in Sydney after being run over by a truck on Parramatta Road in Leichardt. The Daily Mail Australia reported that witnesses “heard the screech of the truck’s breaks, followed by the screams of onlookers”. Emergency services were called to the scene but the male cyclist could not be resuscitated.
Late on the same day a 69-year-old man died after being hit by a motorist near Woorim on Bribie Island. The Courier Mail reported that the crash was being investigated by Queensland Police and that they were seeking information from witnesses. The circumstances of the crash remain unclear, with Police only stating that while the driver attempted to swerve to avoid hitting the cyclist the impact caused fatal injuries. The cyclist died at the scene of the crash.
In infrastructure news, the Brisbane City Council has released a virtual fly-through demonstrating what the Indooroopilly Riverwalk pedestrian and bikeway will look like once it is complete. As The Courier Mail reported, the $58 million project is primarily aimed at moving cyclist and pedestrian traffic off Radnor St, which runs along the Brisbane River, and has been the site of a number of accidents in recent years.
“Cyclists and pedestrians will be separated […] vastly improving safety for the dozens of ATC students who walk to school through the area every day” The Courier Mail reported.
The paper also notes that the route was popular with “the Lycra-clad weekend cycling set” at that it has been approved by state lobbying groups.