Sunday morning saw the second race of the local Bass Coast Barracudas triathlon series held at Cape Paterson.
This is the biggest race of the series – with a capacity field of 150 competitors and both the short and long course options available.
As you can imagine, with this many bikes on the roads (over half doing the circuit twice), it is very busy.
I have been watching my son compete in this event over the last six years and the traffic has always been a huge concern.
The number of vehicles who choose to drive along Surf Beach Road while the event is in progress is astonishing.
This event is advertised with road signage for at least a week prior to the day, so people would be fully aware that it is on.
It is quite disconcerting to watch the cyclists in the race having to avoid this multitude of vehicles; many of whom appear oblivious to the fact that the cyclists are even there.
On Sunday morning, while standing along Surf Beach Road near the entrance to the boat ramp carpark, we witnessed a collision between one of the competitors and a vehicle.
The large red 4WD was heading west along Surf Beach Road when it just suddenly stopped.
The cyclist racing behind it then went to overtake it. As he moved alongside the vehicle it decided to turn right into Stuart Street (without indicating), hitting the cyclist in the process.
This resulted in the cyclist falling off his bike and hitting the bitumen.
Fortunately he was okay and was able to resume the race. The driver continued around the corner.
Surely the Bass Coast Shire Council should be able to close this road for the duration of the event.
Are they waiting for a serious injury or fatality to occur before they act?
It is a huge event for the shire; bringing in many hundreds of people (and their families) to our region for the day (or weekend).
The safety of the competitors in this event is of paramount concern.
The coastal road is also really hazardous during the event, with vehicles weaving in and out of the cyclists.
I realise that this road is governed by VicRoads, but the Bass Coast Shire Council could approach them to close it while the event is in progress.
The Bass Coast Barracudas do a fantastic job organising and running this event; showcasing our beautiful coast to many hundreds of visitors to the region – my plea is to the Bass Coast Shire Council to get behind them and supply structural support to keep all competitors safe.
Heather Sullivan, North Wonthaggi