A BALLARAT cyclist is lucky to be alive after he was mowed down from behind by an aggressive driver and left bleeding on the road.
Mark Templeton suffered a broken collar bone and grazes to his knees, face and legs in the incident on Ti Tree Road, Warrenheip, on Sunday.
As Ballarat’s reputation as a national cycling destination continues to grow, the broken and bruised Invermay Park resident is calling for peace between drivers and cyclists, and hopes his ordeal will highlight the need for both groups to share our roads safely.
He said bad behaviour by a minority of cyclists and motorists was inflaming tensions between the two groups on Ballarat roads.
“I understand some groups of motorists get frustrated with some cyclists because they ride a bit wide,” he said.
“It’s just a matter of people slowing down and thinking about their actions.
“They’re not going to lose that much time just to slow down a fraction.”
Mr Templeton was hit from behind by a car while participating in a group training ride to Bacchus Marsh.
Police are hunting the driver of the vehicle, who was also seen driving “erratically” in Dunnstown earlier in the day.
Following the collision, a second group of cyclists reported seeing the same man swerve towards them and make rude gestures as he drove past.
“We heard a motorbike coming up behind us and we pulled into single file,” Mr Templeton said.
“The motorbike went past and straight after that is when I got hit. I didn’t see him coming. All I saw was daylight and the sky and the burning road.”
His helmet was crushed, but it probably saved his life.
Mr Templeton said in any collision with a car, the cyclist was always going to come off second best.
“We’re all there to share the roads,” he said.
“Some motorists may argue with that, and there are a few cyclists that might do other cyclists injustice.
“It’s the innocent cyclists the motorists will take it out on.”
Gordon police Leading Senior Constable David Young said the vehicle was a dark green mid-90s model Mitsubishi Magna sedan.
He said the male driver, believed to be in his mid-20s, was the only occupant in the vehicle, which had “dark coloured plates”.
Leading Senior Constable Young said the behaviour was unacceptable, and he called on the public to dob in the driver.
“We’re looking for anyone who may have seen this vehicle driving erratically at Dunnstown or anyone who might have seen the collision (at Warrenheip) to come forward.”
Anyone with information on the vehicle or the identity of the driver can call Gordon police on 5368 9202 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.