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Following recent events in the Sutherland Shire, Bicycle NSW is issuing a ‘heads up’ warning to riders.

Cyclist with head down and cyclist with head up

A spate of crashes where riders sustained serious injuries in Sutherland concerned us.  We wanted to learn more, and see if there was anything that we could advise or do to help improve rider safety.

Observation proved a critical issue.  Many bike riders train hard in the road related environment, this includes in ordinary road lanes, on road shoulders, and a range of paths. Problems can arise if, under effort, riders put their head down.

“It can feel more natural to put your head down if you’re sprinting or slogging up a hill, and we see elite athletes do it often,” said Bicycle NSW General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.

“Unfortunately this leaves you vulnerable to the obstacles, potholes, people and other vehicles that may obstruct your path,” said Bastien.

Just like a driver, a rider sprinting covers a lot of distance in a few seconds.  Looking down to sprint can have a similar impact to distracted driving.

Bicycle NSW is launching our Safety For Spokes campaign shortly which will discuss safety issues in a range of environments and how all road users can play a role in making a safer environment for bike riders.

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