Cyclists riding in groups 'not super common', researcher says as tensions with motorists reach boiling point

Tensions between motorists and cyclists are reaching boiling point in Christchurch, prompting a city councillor to say "enough is enough".

Heathcote Councillor Sara Templeton said in a Facebook post last week that residents are in favour of safer cycling facilities - yet those who push back say only cars deserve to be on the roads.

"How many more injuries and deaths before drivers look properly?" she wrote.

Her comments came after two collisions in Christchurch last Wednesday morning - both involving cyclists. 

Cycleway researcher and sociologist Dr Kirsty Wild has called the escalation in tension "bikelash", saying while there are largely positive views about cycling, cars and bikes don't mix easily.

"It's kind of getting more crowded out there, in general," she told Magic Talk's Leah Panapa on Wednesday.

"They need quite different things. In a car - it's big, you have quite poor visibility in comparison. You can really easily hurt someone.

"When you're on a bike - for it to be viable you need to be as efficient as possible.

"It's really easy to scare the hell out of each other."

One of the common complaints about cyclists is that don't stay in single file and ride in groups.

Dr Wild said cyclists who "bunch ride" usually do so to feel safe.

"That's not super common," she said.

"When they go on those group rides they're just trying to keep themselves safe and visible."

Dr Wild told Magic Talk most of the close calls come down to "big and little" trying to mix.

"Big finds it quite hard to see little," she said.

"It's really helpful to have some separation - especially in a 50km/h zone.

"When you're driving in a 50km/h zone it's hard to see others."

Templeton wrote on Facebook that a call for action is needed to demand a better system.

"Just a couple of weeks ago we had councillors call for the cycleways programme to be cut from our annual plan," she said last week. "It'll be open for consultation soon - make sure you have your say."