Clegg injured in vehicle collision
Three-time Olympian and ace Rundle Mountain Cycling Club athlete Robin Clegg is recovering in hospital after a Jeep hit him during a road ride outside of Calgary, prompting the club to renew calls for greater respect for cyclists on roadways.
Clegg and fellow former Olympians Sean Crooks and Jason Msylicki were riding on paved Township Road 250 road near Springbank airport as part of a leisurely 100-kilometre ride. The trio were riding two abreast for better visibility a metre from the edge of the road. The route was completely clear when a Jeep Wrangler began to pass them.
“A guy rips by us, honking at us and knocking us off the road,” Msylicki said. “We threw up our arms, giving a ‘what the hell’ gesture. He stopped in front of us.”
Crooks and Msylicki veered left to avoid the Jeep, while Clegg went right.
“He faked coming left, then accelerated right and that’s when he hit Robin,” Msylicki said.
While the collision was at a slow speed, it knocked Clegg off his bike, breaking his clavicle and elbow. He had a metal plate inserted into his elbow Monday (Oct. 1). Police responded to the incident, however, at this time, no charges have been laid.
Msylicki and Crooks met with City of Calgary politicians on Monday as part of an Olympians breakfast and expressed their concerns to Mayor Naheed Nenshi and several councillors about how to make the area more cyclist-friendly.
The Bow Valley has also had several car-cyclist encounters. The worst resulted in the death of Collin Cureatz, who was struck and killed by a truck near Banff. While that incident involved a distracted driver, stories of road rage are frequent among cyclists.
“We get quite a bit of road rage. This is the third incident for me this year. It’s crazy in Alberta,” Myslicki said. “There was a car following us and they saw how disgusting it was.”
The nordic combined athlete was in London for the 2012 Olympics this year as an ambassador.
“I’ve ridden all over the world and was part of the team in London. To see the respect cyclists get in London, it’s appalling things like this happen here. Cycling is a good thing and it’s growing. It’s time for Alberta to get with the program.”
He wonders if more education is required so drivers and cyclists know what to do.
“There is definitely room for improvement. There are different ways to react. Some drivers are comfortable driving on tight roads, some react by following the cyclist forever and wait for a safe place to pass. Others get angry,” Msylicki said. “If it’s a farmer walking his dog on the same road, does the guy still swerve at them?”
“People don’t know the rules. Perhaps we need more signage.”
Clegg retired from biathlon following the 2010 Winter Olympics, but continues to race domestically. He was one of Canada’s top athletes at last year’s IBU cup races in Canmore. He was dominant riding with the Rundle Mountain Cycling Club, cleaning up at Banff Bikefest.
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