The thin white line !

The slippery white line on Tamaki Drive. The 'ghost' bike signifies that cyclist Jane Bishop was killed nearby. Photo / Brett Phibbs

In life there are many lines that should not be crossed. There are a few on a bike too. The most common being the thin white one that can be found in the middle of almost any road.

It sometimes seems as if the iridium lenses of cycling glasses block out the sun and the white line in the middle of the road becomes totally invisible. It also seems as if many cyclists believe that sunglasses bestow superhero powers upon them whereby they become totally invincible. They think that they are Batman on a bike.

The great Sean Kelly was not impressed by some of the riding he saw at the weekend near his hometown. As a race passed by, the leading group cut a blind corner. They had a lead car in front but still cut it too fine in his opinion. Almost a minute later the next small chase group came along, with no lead car in between and cut the blind corner almost brushing the ditch on the wrong side of the road. Kelly said that even when he was racing he would not have taken such an uncalculated risk on an open road. Cars usually take the bend at between 80 and 100 kph. Imagine the carnage had a car come around that blind bend when the group of cyclists were cutting it so fine !

To cross a white line on a blind corner is plain stupid. To bring a group of fellow cyclists on your wheel with you is irresponsible in the extreme. You literally have their lives in your hands.

With so many new cyclists on the road nowadays, more experienced club riders and racers have a responsibility to set a good example. There are more cars on the road too so it is more important than ever that cyclists use common sense when out on the road.

The adrenaline of competition and desire to win make people take risks to try to win. But if cyclists continue to disregard their own safety and that of their fellow competitors along with the fact that they are breaking the law, there may be a lot less races for them to try to win.

Ask any race organiser about how much more safety conscious the Gardai have become. Ask any sports governing body about the difficulty and expense of getting insurance. Take note of more senior Gardai giving the impression that they don’t want the hassle of trying to protect idiots who couldn’t care less about their own safety, and you will soon see a pattern emerge.


There have been occasions recently where a club sponsor was contacted after a motorist had observed some seriously dangerous riding by a cyclist wearing a club jersey emblazoned with the local sponsors logo. Is it worth your club loosing its sponsorship so that you can pretend to be Wiggins on a closed road in France whilst on the outskirts of some rural Irish town ?

Cycling is a fantastic sport and bike racing makes you really feel alive. Lets keep it that way !


2 thoughts on “The thin white line !

  • August 8, 2012 at 12:17 am

    Well said Barry.

  • August 8, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Well said I hope plenty of our racing cyclists read your well written words of wisdom and sence.


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