An irate driver ran a cyclist off a Christchurch road, then threatened to punch him and spat in his face.
The cyclist, who preferred not to be named for his own safety, said the altercation was on Colombo St, opposite Victoria Square, about 9am on Friday.
It was his first experience of road rage “in [his] many years of biking”.
During his morning commute from Sydenham to the city centre, a man in a white or silver Subaru Legacy sedan with a big-bore exhaust came up behind his bicycle and revved his engine, he said.
“He then passed me when there wasn’t enough space and tried to ram me into a fence,” the cyclist said.
“He then hopped out of his car, ran up to me using a string of swear words and threatened to punch me in the face – he then disgustingly spat in my face.”
The cyclist described the driver as a New Zealand european in his 40s with short brown-grey hair.
“This is definitely not reflective of all drivers in Christchurch, just of this one guy.
“I don’t experience it often, and not many people who cycle that I know do either, but it does happen.”
Senior Sergeant Ashley Tabb said police received the report and made inquiries.
“A man reportedly approached a cyclist in a threatening manner at approximately 9:25am Friday morning,” Tabb said.
They had no suspects, but encouraged any witnesses to get in touch, Tabb said.
“Police take reports of this nature very seriously, but, unfortunately in this case, police had too little information to pursue this further.”
Don Babe, chairman of cycling advocacy group Spokes, said the incident surprised him. Such incidents were “not particularly regular” in Christchurch.
“I spend 10 hours a week commuting on my bike and I haven’t had any cases of road rage in the last 12 or 18 months,” Babe said.
Babe said it sounded like the car driver was having a bad day. Both drivers and cyclists were “just human beings”.
“If you’re having a bad day, it might be a good idea to stay away from driving.”