This Thursday, the 8th of August, is Heart FM’s second Cycle To Work Day and, as a partner in this initiative, the Pedal Power Association (PPA) has some valuable tips for both drivers and cyclists when on the road.
The PPA’s Stay Wider of the Rider campaign is partnering with Heart FM for the annual Cycle To Work Day from Table View to town and, with its focus on safety, will be handing out reflective bibs and tags to riders joining on the way. You are most welcome to join !
The ride will start at the Burger King parking lot in Table View with riders assembling from 6am and departing at 6:50am. Joining the peloton will be Western Cape Premier and avid cyclist, Alan Winde, the PPA’s CEO, Robert Vogel, and Heart Breakfast host, Aden Thomas. Aden will be part of a Heart FM challenge that has their team split up into three modes of transport: traffic reporter, Julian Naidoo, will take the MyCitiBus; sports anchor, Tapfuma Makina, will drive a car; and Aden will ride his bicycle to see which one arrives at work first.
The route will follow the Otto du Plessis/Marine Drive bus and cycling lane, meaning all three modes of transport will be travelling in parallel and cover the same distance of approximately 13km.
For all those participating and indeed for all cyclists and motorists, the PPA has compiled some valuable tips when on the road:
Please share the road Courtesy comes free and leaves both parties feeling better. Acknowledge each other on the road and thank courteous behaviour. Everyone has the right to public roads and by law, a bicycle is a vehicle so please treat a cyclist like one.
Cyclists are vulnerable road users: Driving a hugely heavier vehicle and one significantly more powerful than a cyclist’s, means in any impact, the cyclists will be the loser.
Be aware and be patient: 84% of cyclist casualties in recent years were caused by careless inattention, mainly on the part of drivers. For several unplanned reasons, a cyclist may suddenly need to change direction, so be aware of any indications such as looking over a shoulder.
Allow plenty of space: When overtaking a cyclist, please give them at least a one-metre berth, but preferably as much room as you would give a car. Cyclists cannot keep too far left as it becomes dangerous and they may need to swerve to avoid hazards in the road. Always anticipate that there may be a pothole, an oily or wet patch, glass or some other obstruction in the cyclist’s path that you cannot see.
You can cross a solid line: Remember when you overtake a cyclist, you are allowed to cross the solid white line, but only if there are no oncoming vehicles and it is safe to do so.
Don’t drive too closely behind a cyclist: You may not be able to stop in time if they come off their bike or do something abruptly. If the road is narrow and you want to pass, rather slow down and wait until there is enough room.
Drive slowly in restricted or low visibility conditions Remember that a cyclist could be around the next corner, so on rural roads or those with limited sight distance or low visibility, slow down when you are not sure what is on the other side.
Take care not to “door” cyclists: Dooring means to open your door into the path of a cyclist riding past. Before opening your car door, please check if there are any cyclists coming up behind you. You could easily knock them off their bikes, causing serious injury or even a fatality. And it happens more often than you’d expect.
Obey the rules of the road: As they do, motorists rightfully expect cyclists to be courteous and also obey the rules of the road. As road users, cyclists should stop at all stop signs, red robots, and obey traffic signals.
Wear bright clothing: Make it easy for drivers to see you, wear bright colours and have reflectors and lights on your bicycle.
Use lights: Did you know the laws states that cyclist must use bike lights in low-light conditions? To increase your visibility, we would recommend you always use lights, regardless of the conditions.
Signal your intentions: as you expect drivers should do, as a cyclist, please indicate your intentions to turn clearly and timeously.
Wear your helmet: it is required by law and safety certified cycle helmets are designed to withstand head-on impacts at low speed. That said, remember that helmets don’t guarantee your safety. You are always vulnerable.