LONDON (Reuters) - London cyclists demanded safer roads on Thursday after a young man on a bike was killed in a crash with an Olympic shuttle bus, just hours after Britain's Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins grabbed gold in the road time trial.
The 28-year-old, named by police as Daniel Harris, was pronounced dead at the scene after he collided with a bus carrying journalists from the Olympic Park on Wednesday night.
"This crash confirms our worst fears about the failure of Olympic Authorities and Transport for London to provide adequate safe cycle routes around the Olympic Park: a huge amount of money has been spent with very little to show for it," said Ashok Sinha, chief executive of the London Cycling Campaign.
Philip Benstead, member of the national cycling charity CTC, said the group wants to improve road safety by increasing training for cyclists and car drivers.
Wiggins reacted on Wednesday by suggesting cyclists could be obliged to wear helmets. "I got knocked off several times," he recalled of cycling in London in the past. "There are a lot of things that need to be addressed on cycling."
Around half a million cycle trips are made in London a day and in 2011, there were 16 fatal accidents involving cyclists - a 60 percent increase on 2010, according to Transport for London.
In the run-up to the Games, walking maps have been distributed at Underground rail stations and people can hire 8,000 self-service bicycles dotted around the city.
But cyclists near the Olympic Park have complained of being forced onto roads after a towpath was closed and the London Cycling Campaign's Sinha said it was not clear if Olympic bus drivers had received the same safety training as is given to regular bus drivers.
A spokesman for the organizers could not immediately comment.
On the opening night of the Games, police arrested 182 Critical Mass cycling activists who they said took part in a monthly mass bike ride despite warnings to avoid Games lanes.
Mayor Boris Johnson said there were no plans to make helmets mandatory.
"The evidence is mixed. I have to say that in countries where they have been made compulsory it hasn't always necessarily been good for cycling," he told Sky television.
Don Keen, president of the Lea Valley Cycling Club, one of the bike clubs in east London hoping to secure the velodrome as their home ground after the Olympics, said the accident was unfortunate but "it shouldn't take the gloss off the GB cycling medal wins".
"It's a huge shame it happened on the same day," he said.
(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; Writing by Sara Ledwith, editing by Matt Falloon)