Designed for bikes, not dogs

Maurice Kennedy is looking at a long road to recovery after an accident with a dog at the Wesley Hill velodrome.

Maurice Kennedy is looking at a long road to recovery after an accident with a dog at the Wesley Hill velodrome.

Maurice Kennedy is hurt and shocked after an accident with a dog at the Wesley Hill velodrome left him injured and questioning when a public space becomes dog-free.

The Castlemaine teacher took up bike riding as rehabilitation for a back injury following doctors' advice over 12 months ago. After discovering too many abusive drivers on country roads and highways, he decided to ride at a venue designed for bikes, but it seems it was a dangerous option.

Now, following his recent surgery where a plate and pins were inserted into his shoulder for multiple fractures, he is again looking at a long road to recovery.

A small dog that had taken to rushing at Maurice every time he lapped the circuit, darted across his path, bringing his bike to a sudden halt and throwing him into the air, landing directly on his shoulder.

"I could have died," Maurice said.

"I'm really lucky I didn't land the wrong way on my head or neck.

"What really strikes me is that this accident was eminently avoidable."

He pointed out velodromes are designed for bikes - specifically for ones without brakes.

The track wraps around an oval which serves as a shared space for sporting clubs. It is popular with dog owners to exercise their pets off-leash.

He said he'd already had issues with excrement being left on the track and the accident had left him questioning the responsibility of some dog owners.

Mount Alexander Shire Council is investigating the matter. A council spokesperson said council was redeveloping the Wesley Hill Recreation Reserve into a first-class multipurpose sports precinct and junior sports hub.

The spokesperson said with the upcoming opening of the new netball courts, it was timely for council to review the animal control policy at the reserve to best manage the safety and needs of different users and pet owners.

The condition of the dog is unknown.


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