A one-litre bottle of water was hurled at two cyclists in an ugly incident with a motorist in Moulder Street on Saturday.
Simon Wright and Ian Reed were heading through town on their way to Blayney when a car narrowly missed them at the Hill Street intersection at 1.10pm
“The driver looked straight at me and missed our wheels by just a metre or so,” Mr Wright said.
The incidence of unprovoked abuse from motorists has increased exponentially.Simon Wright, cyclist.
“I shouted ‘idiot’ at him. I wanted him to know he had nearly hit us.”
Mr Wright said the car came back a minute later and the bottle was thrown at them, narrowly missing them.
“It passed just over our heads.”
They also suffered two more incidents of abuse from motorists on their ride.
Mr Wright said he was fed up with the abuse and has called for a community group to be formed including police and Orange City Council representatives to curb the abuse before someone was seriously injured or killed.
“I cycle three or four times a week.
“In the last couple of years the incidence of unprovoked abuse from motorists has increased exponentially.
“I think there is a little bit of a war going on.
“I think there is a part of the community that has it in for cyclists.”
He said many of the attacks were happening in Orange as well as on country roads.
“It’s just so gratuitous and so unprovoked, cyclists are not seen as legitimate road users.”
He said some motorists were upset at cyclists riding two abreast.
“We are legally allowed to do it for our own safety.
“When I ride on my own and cars pass me at over 100 km/h I feel vulnerable.”
Mr Wright said there was a council committee looking at cycling issues but it was not stopping the abuse.
“We need a broader stakeholder group to stop this conscious intimidation of cyclists,” he said.
Mr Wright said most of the offenders tended to be younger men but the attitudes were not confined to them.
He said a young woman cyclist was hit by a car driven by an elderly woman near Orange a year ago who did not want to give the cyclist road room.
Mr Wright said they had reported the incident to police in Orange who were investigating it.