Bike ride horror: 'It turned into a nightmare'
"OUR friends did not deserve this, riding single file, doing everything to show courtesy to other roads users and preserve their own safety."
Those were the words from the organisers of a bike ride, during which two cyclists were hit by a ute.
Police allege the driver was almost five times over the legal blood alcohol limit.
Since the incident, the ride organised posted a message imploring all road users to show respect, conmon sense and patience, no matter how many wheels they use.
On Saturday morning the injured cyclists, Nicola Vukadinovikj and Mark Ellard, suffered broken bones when a driver struck them with his Ford utility.
They were transported to the Gold Coast University Hospital in a critical condition by the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter.
Police later charged Richard David Dunwell, 34, with several drink driving and drug offences in relation to the incident.
Mr Dunwell appeared in Lismore Court on Monday.
From the moment the incident was reported online, the divisive topic of cyclists versus cars once again reared its ugly head.
Transition Cycles, which organised the annual road ride, posted the following message on social media: "As a lot of you may be aware, two cyclists were struck by a vehicle on the Bruxner Highway just a few kilometres outside of Drake last Saturday.
"These men were part of an annual social ride weekend out to Tenterfield.
"They are both lucky to be alive after a driver nearly five times over the limit struck them with his vehicle.
"While we had two support vehicles with flashing lights and signage (which he had already passed) the sad fact is nothing could have avoided this incident.
"While many of us are thinking 'what if...?', the fact is this (occurred) within a matter of seconds.
"Members of the ride group administered first aid on scene and we cannot thank them for their efforts enough, they surely saved their lives.
"What was looking like the perfect weekend of mateship, adventure and personal achievement turned into a nightmare.
"Emergency services did an amazing job of responding in such a remote location with the ambulance service, westpac chopper and police.
"While the riders are not 'out of the woods' yet, we are thankful for the outpouring of support from the cycling community, friends and family.
"Our friends did not deserve this, riding single file, doing everything to show courtesy to other roads users and preserve their own safety.
"We as cyclists suffer abuse from motorists on a daily basis.
"It needs to stop now, we are human beings with families, loved ones just like every motorist!
"Get some perspective and patience when driving a motor vehicle and understand that while it may seem an inconvenience to have to slow down briefly to pass a cyclist safely, it will only add seconds to the length of your journey.
"There are plenty of other slow moving vehicles on the road that we all have to negotiate.
Common-sense and courtesy from motorists and cyclists, is the only way forward.
"We are all very emotional at this time. Be safe out there."
Meanwhile, a Gold Coast University Hospital spokesman said on Tuesday afternoon the injured cyclists were recovering well from their terrifying ordeal.
"Both are stable and getting better," he said.
"They sustained broken bones and we hope they can be discharged in a few days."