"Cycling on NZ's Roads" Top 5 Page for this destination New Zealand Warnings Or Dangers Tip by Kakapo2
New Zealand Warnings and Dangers: 147 reviews and 102 photos
Cycling can be really dangerous on NZ roads as many of them are either narrow, or winding or both and have no bicycle lane. On the other hand, in the cities often there are bicycle lanes - but some of them suddenly end and lead nowhere, many are not well signposted, so it is near impossible to find your way without local knowledge. The problem is that traffic concepts in NZ have long been developed around motor cars, and until today many city councils - like the one in Christchurch - are not supporting cycling as the only real alternative full-heartedly.
Still there are large numbers of tourists who travel on NZ roads on their bikes, and they have to face the mostly bad manners of car drivers who feel kings of the roads. Most do not keep a distance when overtaking a cyclist, and this leads to fatal accidents every now and then. In the cities another very common kind of accident is car drivers not looking to the rear before opening the doors.
On the West Coast I have seen a very good way of forcing car drivers to keep a safety distance when overtaking a cyclist. An outdoor adventures company had installed poles with little flags that reached half a metre into the road, so if a car driver wanted to avoid his car being scratched he had to keep a distance. The poles were attached to the carrier behind the saddle. You should think of such a practical solution as well.
I must also acknowledge that sometimes cyclists provoke accidents by not keeping to the rules of the Road Code, or, as I can see in Christchurch every weekend, because they have to cycle beside the bicycle lane or up to three beside each other, mostly guys on flash race bikes, not cycling tourists with their heavily loaded bikes.
Just a reminder: It is compusory in NZ to wear a helmet and have lights fitted to your bike if you intend to cycle in the dark, and wear reflective material if you don't have pedal reflectors.
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