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After Mike Hall's death, local riders say Canberra roads are safe

Cyclists in Australia's capital say they will continue to enjoy riding...

Cyclists in Canberra insist that local roads are some of the safest in the country, in spite of the recent death of Mike Hall on the Monaro Highway while competing in the Indian Pacific Wheel Race.

Hall was killed last week, shocking the cycling community.

Canberra Cycling Club president Nathan Edwardson said that it was important to continue riding as normal.

"Generally in Canberra the drivers are quite courteous and pass with reasonable amounts of distance," he told the Canberra Times.

"People who heard the news about Mike didn't think twice about going out riding, but more likely considered what route they were taking."

While not everyone gives exactly one metre, people have been giving greater distance [when overtaking] and that definitely helps," he said.

"There are some people who are not following the rules, and unfortunately when it's a car versus a bike, it's the bike that comes out worse."

Viking Cycling Club President Simon Tennent agreed.

”Generally Canberra is a fairly safe cycling city," he said.

"It's very uncommon for cyclists to come back from a weekend ride and have an experience with near misses and safety issues."

Local cyclist Michael James said: "The trucks are big and scary, but the truckies are bloody good.

"But with the ordinary motorists, you just don't know what they're going to do."

Earlier this week we reported how one thousand cyclists gathered in Sydney to ride in memory of Mike Hall.

Kristoff Allegaert, who was leading the IWPR when news broke on Friday morning of Hall’s death in a road traffic collision near Canberra, led the ride to commemorate his friend and rival.

The Thursday had seen the pair exchange the race leadership several times as they battled to be the first to reach the Pacific Ocean.

The tribute ride began at the Rapha Cycle Club in the Surrey Hills and ended at Sydney Opera House where the IWPR, cancelled by organisers after Hall’s death, had been due to end.

Rides also took place in other cities across Australia, with the race capturing the public’s imagination since the 70 competitors left Fremantle, Western Australia a fortnight ago.

Among them were Adelaide and Melbourne, both of which Hall past through in the days before his death.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

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