'Arrogant and aggressive' motorcyclist may have killed bike rider, inquest told

An avid cyclist killed on a winding road popular with bike and motorcycle riders may have been deliberately run off the road by a speeding motorcyclist, an inquest has heard.

Steven Jarvie, 62, died from head injuries after he fell off his bike on the Old Pacific Highway at Cowan on February 17, 2013.

On Thursday, Glebe Coroner's Court was told crash investigators had determined Mr Jarvie's bike was not directly hit by another vehicle.

However, two dark motorcycles were allegedly seen speeding past Mr Jarvie and his three riding companions about the time of the fall.

Counsel assisting the Coroner, Sasha Harding, said the inquest would look at whether Mr Jarvie's fall was an accident, if the speed of the motorcycles caused him to lose balance, or if it was "a deliberate act of a motorcycle rider to run Mr Jarvie off the road".

The officer in charge of the investigation, Natalie Bromage from the Metropolitan Crash Investigation Unit, said a few hours after the incident, police received an anonymous call from a man, Michael Scupps.

Mr Scupps said he met other motorcyclists at a cafe at Mt Colah earlier that day and one man, Ben Smith, was "carrying on about a collision with a push-bike rider".

Ms Bromage gave evidence that Mr Scupps told police Mr Smith said he "didn't give a f--- about push-bike riders and they shouldn't be on the road".

Mr Scupps also said Mr Smith was an "arrogant and aggressive rider".

However, Mr Scupps declined to make a formal statement, because he didn't want to "ruin my social life". He failed to comply with a subpoena to attend court on Thursday.

Mr Smith is due to give evidence on Tuesday.

The inquest will also consider if fatigue was a factor. Mr Jarvie and his fiancee Linda Ellis, had arrived home from a birthday party about midnight and woke up at 4.45am to meet his friends at the McDonald's at Mt Colah at 6.15am. He left home at 5.30am.

Greg Stoneham said he rode with Mr Jarvie most Sundays for two to three years and described him as a "powerful" rider who had "superb control of a bike".

Mr Jarvie was very safety conscious and the group used hand signals and verbal communications to alert each other to obstacles or approaching cars.

"He certainly knew what he was doing when it came to handling a bike," Mr Stoneham said.

Mr Stoneham said the two motorbikes passed him at such high speed and proximity that it was a "terrifying experience".

"The first bike shocked me but the second one scared me," he said.

He believed the first motorbike was speeding but seemed in control - however, the second was speeding and "squirming and wobbling" just one metre away from him on a bend.

The rider had his left hand in the air and was waving it around.

Mr Stoneham did not think Mr Jarvie, who was cycling a few metres behind him, lost control and fell because he had been "spooked" by the passing motorbikes.

He said the position and the way Mr Jarvie fell indicated to him that there had been some "rubber to rubber" contact with the second motorbike's wheel.

He said the riding conditions were perfect that day and Mr Jarvie had already descended the five-kilometre hill with ease.

The inquest continues.

With Rachel Olding

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