Daniel Clair describes it as harrowing, that feeling when, as a cyclist, you feel a vehicle doing 60km/h or more approaching from behind.
“Especially if you’re on a road without a wide shoulder, having vehicles come up behind and pass so close to you, it makes you feel extremely vulnerable and there’s no margin of error for either party,” he says.
Daniel, who lives and works in Geelong and cycles a few hundred kilometres a week, recalls a recent particularly frightening experience.
“A truck came up behind me doing about 60km/h and I had nowhere to go on the left side – the truck passed me with about one foot of space between us.
“I couldn’t veer to the left without falling off the bike and couldn’t veer to the right without hitting the truck or potentially falling under it. It’s not an infrequent situation.”
Not all cyclists escape such situations unscathed.
“Cyclists are extremely vulnerable on our roads, with 421 riders hospitalised with injuries sustained in transport accidents in Victoria last year,” says Transport Accident Commission lead director of road safety Samantha Cockfield.