A collision that left a cyclist with serious injuries in Sydney's south on Saturday came as an OECD report showed Australia and Canada were the only two of its 27 member countries to have had an increase in cyclist deaths between 2010 and 2011.
Australia experienced a 10 per cent rise in cyclist deaths during this period, while 2013 statistics also show that cycling fatalities in NSW have doubled since 2012.
The woman was riding along McKell Avenue in Waterfall when she collided with a car travelling in the opposite direction. A police spokesperson said it is believed the driver stopped after the collision.
Sean Sampson from the Amy Gillett Foundation, a national cycling advocacy and safety organisation, said the past year had been terrible for cyclists. ''The overall trend is that Australian fatalities are increasing, certainly not improving, and that, in our minds, shows why changes are needed.''
The number of cyclists killed in collisions on NSW roads has more than doubled in the past two years, with the state recording 14 deaths last year. In a crash last week, this time on the Old Princes Highway south of Sydney, a cyclist was found lying near his mangled bike with cracked lower vertebrae, internal bleeding, a broken ankle, a broken leg and extensive bruising. The driver had failed to stop.
On the same day, a 26-year-old woman was struck by a truck and knocked unconscious in a hit-and-run collision in Sydney's west.
The Amy Gillett Foundation and elite road cyclists have thrown their support behind a petition by Cycling Tasmania calling on the federal government to approve a minimum overtaking distance of one metre.
Professional road bicycle racer Richie Porte was the first to sign the petition this weekend, to show support for fellow Tasmanian Lewis Hendey, who was killed while riding on Christmas Eve last year.
''We all know that space matters - a metre matters - when passing bike riders,'' Porte said.
Top Australian female cyclists also signed the petition, to be presented to the government in May, as they assembled for the Cycling Australia Elite Women's Road National Championships. The Elite Men, including former Tour de France winner Cadel Evans, also signed the petition before the Men's Road Race on Sunday.
Amy Gillett Foundation chief executive Tracey Gaudry said although Queensland was implementing a trial of minimum overtaking distance legislation, a national approach was long overdue.
Mr Sampson also supported lower speed limits, especially in built-up areas, and improved awareness about how motorists and cyclists could share the roads.
He said traffic lights specifically for bicycles and bike boxes at the front of intersections had proved to be positive measures.
''If [motorists] understand why that space has been allowed to be put there, it will go some way to curbing any possible anger the motorists have,'' he said.
''If you're behind the wheel of a motor car and you act in an aggressive manner, it can have potentially fatal consequences.''