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Join PPA Stay Wider of the Rider Awareness Ride takes place in Durban

Join PPA Stay Wider of the Rider Awareness Ride takes place in Durban

Tuesday 30 August

Pledge your support for safer roads. Join PPA Stay Wider of the Rider Awareness Ride #CyclistsLivesMatter, Saturday 10 September, Durban 

The annual PPA Stay Wider of the Rider Safe Cycling Awareness Ride #CyclistsLivesMatter takes place on Saturday 10 September 2022 at 0600 for 06h30 sharp from Bike & Bean, Snell Parade parking area in Durban. The short ride of 20 km will take place along the beach road for maximum visibility. It’s free and everyone is welcome to join. Ride captains and marshals will be in place, and please note that we shall adhere to the rules of the road. Pledge your support for our campaign and join the awareness ride prior to the @Aquelle Tour Durban. Free coffee will be served at Bike & Bean afterwards. 

Having almost a half a century of experience serving cyclists of all walks of life and being acknowledged as one of the largest cycling organisations in South Africa, the Pedal Power Association is hosting the ride to share the uniqueness, versatility and longevity of the bicycle as a sustainable and reliable mode of transport which is also a means of staying healthy whilst enjoying the great outdoors. We shall conduct sticker handouts to motorists at busy intersections starting from 8th September to focus on cycling safety and will erect banners along the @Aquelle Tour Durban route with key safety messages.

With so many road users jostling for space on the road, the PPA Stay Wider of the Rider safe cycling campaign, has become instrumental in creating national awareness to share the roads throughout South Africa. Busier roads mean more potential for danger and conflict amongst motorists and cyclists.

The PPA plans to meet with key role players to discuss safety issues and the future of NMT in eThekwini prior to the ride. Cyclists and motorists have the same rights and responsibilities when using the road. Cyclists are legitimate road users and have the right to be treated with courtesy and care by other road users. In turn, cyclists must also obey the rules of the road. “It is our mission to raise awareness of cycling’s role as a key and sustainable mode of transport and to make it safe for everyone to cycle,” explains CEO of the PPA Neil Robinson. 

Cycling is one of the most affordable means of transport and great for exercising. It is becoming more and more popular as a means of transport due to the ever-increasing fuel price in South Africa. Emphasising that ‘cycling is part of the solution’ as a mode of transport in South Africa, the campaign aims to remind drivers and cyclists to take preventative steps to avoid crashes on our roads. “The road is a shared space where all road users have rights and responsibilities,” Robinson says. 

Let’s be reminded that vehicles are heavy pieces of machinery, therefore cyclists (and pedestrians) are extremely vulnerable on our roads. Motorists can possibly avoid crashes with cyclists, by following some simple and logical (but very important guidelines) – we always believe that prevention is better than cure. 

Motorists please pay attention to the following:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings and be on the lookout for cyclists.
  • Reduce speed if you see cyclists ahead
  • When passing a cyclist (s), please give them at least a one-metre berth, but preferably as much room as possible. Many times, cyclists cannot keep too far left as it becomes dangerous and they may need to swerve to avoid hazards in the road.  Some parts of our roads as we know are in very poor condition. 
  • If you are towing a trailer or caravan, remember to give extra room when passing a cyclist and don’t cut in too early.
  • Don’t drive too closely behind a cyclist – you may not be able to stop in time if they come off their bike suddenly or do something abruptly. If the road is narrow and you want to pass, rather slow down and wait until there is enough room.
  • Be particularly vigilant if you see there are children riding bikes – they may do something unexpected.
  • When making a left turn, remember that there could be a cyclist coming up behind you who is proceeding straight. Double check that there are no cyclists before making the turn.
  • If you are turning right and there is a cyclist approaching, you in the opposite lane do not underestimate their speed. A cyclist can ride at up to 40km per hour, so rather pause a moment and let the cyclist through safely.
  • Avoid “dooring” a cyclist – check behind you before opening your door to exit your car. Also, remind your children to do the same.
  • Do not park or stop in cycle lanes, it puts cyclists in even more danger when they move around your vehicle.
  • Drive slowly in restricted or low visibility conditions – remember that a cyclist could be around the next corner, so in residential areas, 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.

Cyclists also have a responsibility to always safeguard themselves on the road and to follow the rules of the road. The following are some obvious but nevertheless important safe cycling tips:

  • Be visible, so please wear bright clothes so that drivers can see you – anything neon is great during the daytime. It’s best to avoid biking before sunrise and after sunset, but if you do go for a ride in the dark, be sure to wear reflective gear and use your bike lights. When turning, be sure to signal to drivers and make eye contact when possible. 
  • Always cycle in a straight, predictable line so that you don’t take any drivers by surprise. The same applies to riding in a group. Always ride single file, never abreast of one another. Even if there seems to be no or minimum traffic on the road, things can change very quickly
  • Before you head out, check your tyre pressure, lights and brakes to make sure everything is in order. This way there is less of a chance of some sort of malfunction that could jeopardize your safety.
  • Ride in groups if possible as safety and security remain a huge concern. More and more cases of muggings and bike jacking are reported to the PPA daily. Try to slot in with a local WhatsApp group for your own safety.
  • Be extra vigilant when riding in the early hours of the morning as data shows that most fatal crashes happen between 4am and 7am when drivers head home from a night out.
  • Always wear an ID bracelet when you are out cycling. Most of these have an emergency number to call should you need medical attention. It also makes it easier to contact your next of kin should you be out riding alone.
  • Do not use your cellphone while riding, stop to take a call or make a call in an area safe to do so.
  • Report crashes and muggings to the SAPS and the PPA Hotline WhatsApp no 081 043 9890.
  • Always stay aware of your surroundings, riding with earphones is illegal and detracts from you being aware of what is happening around you.

 “Cyclists, be sure to keep yourself safe on our roads, be the best cyclist you can possibly be every time you head out, you’re an ambassador for all cyclists on the road. The same goes for motorists. Remember to give a cyclist a wide berth of at least 1 metre when passing. If in doubt, don’t pass the cyclist and wait for an opportunity to pass safely.  Space, mutual respect, courteous behaviour and time save lives, “ Robinson concludes.