CYCLISTS in Colchester face daily danger with many inspired by the Olympics getting on and then being knocked off their bikes.
While the number of deaths and serious injuries (KSIs) on the roads are falling dramatically the number of cyclists being hurt in Colchester is rising sharply.
Adam Pipe, the casualty reduction manager for Essex, revealed the number of KSIs have halved in the last ten years but cyclists are now one of the highest at risk groups.
He said: “Our priority are motorcyclists who account for 26 per cent of KSIs and cyclists.
“Since the Olympics we have seen a dramatic increase.
“Lots of people are returning to cycling and Colchester [a cycle town] has the highest problem.”
He revealed Colchester firefighters have become aware of the problem and some are now training to be bikeability instructors to help teach people how to ride safely.
In 2011 there were 69 KSis involving cyclists.
This rose to 88 in 2012 and this year is already up to 42 since April.
For all KSIs there were 669 in 2012/13 with 42 deaths.
Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said: “Essex has a long and proud history policing the roads but 42 is 42 too many.
“Cyclists and young people are being killed.”
One of those hit earlier this year was Alan Lawrence.
He was on his daily bike ride when he collided with two cars driving at at 60mph.
The accident was pure fluke for the experienced cyclist, whose front tyre skidded on a stone when he was braking in January.
He had a lucky escape, suffering only minor injuries.
Alan, 46, of Haddon Park, Colchester, said everyone needed to take responsibility for their own safety.
He said: “It’s so easy to get into a situation where you’re in danger, as I well know.
“Sometimes it is stupidity though.
“From a car driver’s point of view there has been an influx of people on bikes just to get about.
“Some of them ride on paths and jump the lights.
“I don’t know if we have the police officers to do it now but these people should be taken to one side and given the rap on the knuckles or a fine.
“Personally I think people who are new to cycling should get to know their bike and know what it is capable of.
“They should also avoid rush hour and stay away from the centre during these times.
“Colchester is safe for cyclists but there are steps you can take to make it easier.”