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PPA Toyota ‘Ride for your Life South Africa’ Tour Stage 2 update

PPA Toyota ‘Ride for your Life South Africa’ Tour Stage 2 update

Cyclists participating in the PPA Toyota ‘Ride for your Life South Africa’ Tour on Saturday 14 September embarked on Stage Two of the 20-day national cycling Tour from Johannesburg to Cape Town. They left Bloemfontein en route to Oudtshoorn as part of the PPA’s safe cycling campaign which aims to raise awareness and promote a safe passing distance of 1.5m between motorists and cyclists.

Toyota Free State Cheetahs Rugby players, Johan Goosen, Cameron Jacobs and Caylib Oosthuizen showed their support for cyclists who embarked on Stage Two of the PPA Toyota ‘Ride for your Life South Africa’ Tour from Bloemfontein to Oudtshoorn.

Members of the Toyota Free State Cheetahs squad joined the cyclists in Stage Two’s safe cycling awareness mass ride from Oranje Toyota in Bloemfontein. Some 20 km into the ride, they reached the turnaround point where a ‘ghost bike’ – a bicycle painted white to commemorate those cyclists who have tragically lost their lives on South African roads – was erected.  A ghost bike was also erected last week at the Lion and Rhino Park in Gauteng during Stage One of the Tour.

“We are proud to be associated with Toyota as the title sponsor of the Cheetahs and it is great for us to be part of this initiative to promote cycling safety,” said Toyota Free State Cheetahs fly half, Johan Goosen.  “Everyone should be encouraged to have an active lifestyle and we support this initiative encouraging all road users to be more aware of cyclists and their safety.”

With the mass participation riders returning to Bloemfontein, the remaining Tour riders continued with their 145 km journey to finish their first day of Stage Two in the town of Trompsburg.  After completing more than 500 km in Stage One, cyclists will tackle over 800 km during the second stage of the Tour to create national awareness of safe cycling practices.

Seen at the start of Stage Two was David Bellairs, who is a PPA committee member and Director of the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust, organisers of the iconic Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour.  “It is so encouraging to see the support for safe cycling here in Bloemfontein this morning.  We cannot emphasise the importance of safe conditions for cyclists enough – safe roads, dedicated cycle paths, mutual respect between cyclists and other road users.  Cycling is an environmentally friendly pastime that keeps social riders fit and healthy, while for many South Africans, it’s an affordable means of transport.  All cyclists – social and commuters – need to be kept safe and this Tour is a huge step in the right direction to create the necessary awareness.”

Talking about her experience after completing the first 500 km stage of the Tour, professional USN athlete, Cherise Stander said, “The PPA Toyota ‘Ride for your Life South Africa’ Tour is a fantastic event and we definitely achieved our goal of creating awareness about the 1.5m safe passing distance last week – we even had motorists stopping us to ask for bumper stickers!  We are not participating in this tour only for ourselves, but are doing it for all South African cyclists who want to go out on the road and feel safe while riding.”

Editor of Bicycling Magazine, Mike Finch, also participated in the first stage and said, “What a great privilege it was to be part of this PPA Toyota Ride for your Life Tour. Not only did we enjoy fantastic riding on the road from Johannesburg to Bloemfontein, but it was an honour to be part of a campaign that is aimed at saving lives. At Bicycling magazine we want more people to enjoy the thrill of riding a bicycle and the safer the roads, the more chance there will be of this happening. This tour not only spreads that message but takes the participants through some of South Africa’s most beautiful areas and, just for a while, you get to experience what it’s like to be a Tour rider.”

Kerry Roodt, General Manager of Marketing Communications at Toyota, Title Sponsor of the ‘Ride for your Life South Africa’ Tour, says: “Over the past few years, safety and appropriate passing distances between vehicles and bicycles has been a major concern for cyclists and we are delighted to be able to partner with PPA in promoting the importance of safe cycling on South African roads.  Safety, relating both to vehicle occupants and pedestrians, has always been one of the core aspects in the manufacturing of a Toyota vehicle,” she added.

Stage Two ends on Friday, 20 September when cyclists arrive in Oudtshoorn for two days of rest before the Tour embarks on the final stage between Oudtshoorn and Cape Town.

During the last stage, which starts with a safe cycling awareness mass ride in Oudtshoorn on Sunday, 22 September, cyclists will pedal another 500-odd km before arriving in Cape Town on 28 September where they will hand over a signed petition to legalise the 1.5m rule to the National Ministry for Transport.

Get daily updates on the PPA Toyota ‘Ride for your Life South Africa’ Tour on www.facebook.com/cyclistsstayalive and follow them on Twitter @safecyclists.

TOUR UPDATES
Follow the tour on https://www.facebook.com/cyclistsstayalive

STAGE ONE

Stage One of the PPA Toyota ‘Ride for your Life South Africa’ Tour kicked off on Sunday 8 September in perfect riding conditions as a group of over seventy riders participated in the mass ride to mark the first leg of the Johannesburg to Cape Town cycling journey to promote cycling safety.

The mass ride went from Fourways in Johannesburg to the Cradle of Humankind in support of PPA’s ‘Cyclists Stay Alive at 1.5m’ safe cycling campaign which urges motorists to pass cyclists with a safe berth of 1.5m.   Riders met at CycleLab in Fourways for the inaugural stage which marked the start of the three-week, three-stage pedal from Johannesburg to Cape Town in order to promote better road tolerance between motorists and cyclists.

PPA Chairman Steve Hayward addresses the riders

The Tour aims to increase awareness around PPA’s safe cycling campaign which, since its 2011 launch, has received widespread national support.  Cherise Stander, professional USN athlete is participating in the first stage from Johannesburg to Bloemfontein and Andrew McLean, pro rider and owner of CycleLab, accompanied riders for roughly 35 km of Stage One until they reached the turnaround point at the Lion and Rhino Park.  At this point, a ‘ghost bike’ – a bicycle painted white – was erected in memory of those cyclists who have lost their lives on the country’s roads.

When asked what she hoped the Tour would achieve, Cherise Stander, who was widowed earlier this year when her legendary mountain biking husband Burry was killed while on a training ride in KwaZulu Natal said, “We need the Tour to create awareness to try and get motorists to see cyclist as people and human beings with families waiting for them at home and to give cyclist a gap when passing them. It might cost a motorist one minute to pass a cyclist safely, but it might cost a cyclist his/her life if/when that motorist doesn’t.”

CycleLab’s Andrew McLean said he hoped the Tour would succeed in making both motorists and cyclists “more tolerant of the other and less antagonistic to each other”.

After reaching the turnaround point, the Tour riders continued with their journey which will see them cover more than 500km during the first stage of the Tour.

“The aim of this tour is to promote tolerance and safety on our roads,” said Steve Hayward, Chairman of the Pedal Power Association. “With the increase in the number of cyclists on South African roads of late, our message is simple: if a vehicle is 1.5m away from a cyclist, that vehicle cannot hit the cyclist.

“We were thrilled with the overwhelming support of all the cyclists who attended the mass ride this morning. We are all concerned about the safety of cyclists on the roads, and together we can make a difference,” Hayward said.

Kerry Roodt, General Manager of Marketing Communications at Toyota, Title Sponsor of the ‘Ride for your Life South Africa’ Tour, says: “Over the past few years, safety and appropriate passing distances between vehicles and bicycles has been a major concern for cyclists and we are delighted to be able to partner with PPA in promoting the importance of safe cycling on South African roads.  Safety, relating both to vehicle occupants and pedestrians, has always been one of the core aspects in the manufacturing of a Toyota vehicle,” she added.

Stage One ends on Wednesday, 11 September when the cyclists arrive in Bloemfontein.  Stage Two takes place between Bloemfontein and Oudtshoorn from Saturday 14 September to Friday 20 September. Stage 2 will again start with a mass ride through Bloemfontein on the Saturday morning.

TOUR UPDATES
Follow the tour on https://www.facebook.com/cyclistsstayalive and Twitter @safecyclists #safecycling for regular updates and the latest photographs!