Here at Safer Cycling we tend to hear a lot about how the cyclists are at fault. How the cyclists don’t obey the road rules. How the cyclists don’t deserve to be on the roads. We are aware there are two sides to every argument and that cyclists are not perfect but we wanted to try and show why we do what we do. We want to share our side of the story.

Recently we had the pleasure of talking to an inspiring lady who got in touch to share her story with us. We have agreed not to disclose her name because, quite frankly, we would hate for her to receive any negativity. This lady is in her 70s, she has lived in the central North Island for fifty years and she loves to ride her bike. She has ridden a bike her whole life to run errands, for exercise, for enjoyment and simply for transport. She has never thought of it as a political activity or one that may offend anyone, she just likes to ride her bike.

Two months ago, she was out riding her bicycle and came to a pedestrian crossing next to a school. While paused, waiting at this crossing to be able to safely continue her journey, she was hit by a car. A speeding vehicle side-swiped her as it passed her, injuring her right side and damaging her bicycle. She says it was broad daylight and she was clearly visible. The car did not stop.

It took two months of rehabilitation and physiotherapy for this person to be able to get back on a bike. Her determination can clearly be seen as it was not easy. She is a widow of 17 years and lives alone so she had to largely manage by herself, with a damaged right hand and being right-handed. She says she has arthritis, which affected her rehabilitation, the condition was not helped by the accident. Last week she started to use her bicycle again and she said, “It is, as it always was, a pure joy.”

This person is a mother, a grandmother, a neighbour and a friend. She could be your mother, grandmother, neighbour or friend. After her accident she still does not get angry and rant about motorists. She says she is grateful for loudly coloured planter boxes, cycle lanes and decent motorists. I think we all need to try our best to be one of those decent motorists.

Do you have a story to share? If you do, please get in touch, we would like to hear it.