The strained relationship between cyclists and motorists seems to be caused by a minority of selfish people on both sides - either behind the wheel of a car or on a bicycle.
Most motorists and cyclists would be happy to share the road and do actually take care when near each other. Your average law-abiding motorist or truckie would be horrified if they thought their actions were putting cyclists in danger. Many drivers do slow down when approaching a cyclist and, likewise, most cyclists I have encountered are cautious, polite, extremely safety conscious and know the rules of the road.
It is the minority on both sides who are inflaming a volatile situation where lives are literally at stake. And unfortunately - because cars are bigger than bicycles - most of those lives are cyclists.
It seems to have got to a point where these extremists on either side of the debate deliberately go out of their way to antagonise each other. Unfortunately this can cloud the opinion of the majority in either camp, who then label the other side as bad drivers or selfish cyclists.
Most cyclists I come across tend to ride in an orderly fashion and respect the traffic on the road, but every now and again you get some cyclists who take over the road simply because they can.
I had this experience on the road to Cape Kidnappers a few months ago when two cyclists rode next to each other, chatting away, studiously ignoring the line of cars behind them that could not overtake them because of a steady stream of oncoming traffic. It was most frustrating. It may technically be their right to ride like that, but it is unnecessary and it would not have compromised their safety to cycle in single file until the backlog of cars had cleared.
On the other hand, if you have ever cycled around a city like Auckland (I have) you will know that some motorists have scant regard for cyclists and there can be a few heart-stopping moments when you feel like getting off and walking on the pavement.
Some motorists are just reckless and some truckies seem to forget they are pulling big rigs that create a bit of wind as they rush past a lone cyclist. All it takes is one clip and a cyclist could be dead - there probably wouldn't even be a dent on the truck, but the cyclist would be dead.
The front page story in Hawke's Bay Today Weekend on Saturday was of Napier woman Amy Symonds, who cycles every day to work in Hastings. Dr Symonds began cycling from her home on Bluff Hill to work at the Hawke's Bay Hospital in Hastings about six months ago in the interest of healthy living, exercise and using pedal power over a vehicle.
Since then other work mates have joined her on the 20km route but negotiating the narrow width of the Chesterhope bridge over the Ngaruroro river has become a major safety issue. Dr Symonds decided to show us what she went through on a daily basis and attached a camera to her helmet.
What a video it was. It is enough to make you want to offer Dr Symonds a lift to work each morning in a bid to preserve her life.
Another cyclist who feels strongly about the bad behaviour of motorists is former Hawke's Bay cyclist and business owner David Joyce.
He and his wife, Sirpa Lajunen, were knocked off their bikes in a crash on rural Poihipi Rd near Taupo a fortnight ago.
Two arrests have been made and the case is before the courts. Mr Joyce and Ms Lajunen were airlifted to Waikato Hospital, where Ms Lajunen remains. Mr Joyce said "badly behaved" drivers were putting lives at risk and needed to moderate their behaviour before more cyclists were killed.
He is right about that, but some cyclists also need to play fair.
It baffles me why we just can't all share the road together. If we all had a little bit more respect for each other, then we could co-habit peacefully.