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Killed tourist wrote of trucking "beasts"

Published: 11:10AM Sunday January 10, 2010 Source: NZPA

A young German cyclist killed in a collision with a truck in New Zealand this week described aggressive truck drivers as "beasts" just days before her death.

Mia Susanne Pusch, 19, arrived in New Zealand in early October and had been cycling around the country until her death last Tuesday.

She died when she and a truck and trailer travelling the same direction collided in a passing zone about four kilometres north of Bulls, in Manawatu.

Pusch had written her last blog a few days earlier, lamenting the perils of cycling on New Zealand roads, the Herald on Sunday reports.

 "When one is a cyclist on New Zealand roads, one is not only torn from one's daydreams by diving-bombing magpies but is more often threatened by a more nasty species that really requires more attention: truck drivers," she wrote.

"One usually finds this species driving permanently at a phenomenal speed in a race against time.

"These beasts seem oblivious to the fact that their loud beeping can have no effect in making the heavily laden, long-distance cyclist go any faster.

"They swerve past the cyclists who are struggling under their own steam at break-neck speed mainly within only a half-metre to a metre gap, all the while aggressively honking their horn.

"The fact that this in no way improves the situation, but in fact makes it worse, appears not to enter the minds of these people."

Bike NZ spokesman Greg Hamilton told the newspaper Pusch's experiences were the same as those of local cyclists.

"The amount of comments we have on a daily basis of near misses on New Zealand roads ... it's a very clear message that it's a scary place to be," he said.

Police are investigating Pusch's crash.