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PPA delights commuters in Sun Valley

PPA delights commuters in Sun Valley

Earlier this morning, cycling commuters from the Masiphumelele informal settlements were quite apprehensive when they were pulled off the road near the Sun Valley four-way intersection, but their apprehension soon turned to delight when the Pedal Power Association handed them free cycling helmets, while at the same time fitting red reflecting lights to their bicycles.

“This is a wonderful present,” said Sam Lifa, who commutes daily between Zone 5 and Noordhoek. “Thank you to the Pedal Power Association for helping to keep me safe on the road.”


Over 125 helmets and flashing lights were handed out

The Pedal Power Association (PPA) has twice before handed out helmets and lights in the Kommetjie area, as well as in Athlone, Milnerton, Durbanville and Tokai. The initiative this morning started just after 06h00, and ended just after 08h00 when over 125 helmets and lights had been distributed.

“The Helmet Safety Drive is part of the PPA’s annual project funding initiative,” explained PPA’s current chairman, Steve Hayward. “We are in the fortunate position that the Pedal Power Association and the Rotary Club of Claremont are the beneficiaries of the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust, who organises, amongst others, the annual Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour. The PPA uses any profits received in this way to run the Association, and, in 2011-2012, will plough over R1,85 million into cycling projects,” said Steve.

South African law changed in 2004, when it became compulsory to wear a helmet when cycling on a public road.

“In general commuters will spend money on food and not helmets and lights,” Steve said. “Apart from it being law, it makes good sense to always wear a helmet – you never know when for example a dog will jump out at you, causing you to fall. In addition, many commuters wear dark clothes and are quite difficult to see on the road. We hope the lights will help in this regard.”

The team that assisted with the helmet hand out

The Pedal Power Association is the largest cycling organization in the Western Cape, and the biggest provincial cycling body in the country. It currently has some 19 000 paid-up members.

Founded in 1976 as the Western Province Pedal Power Association, the PPA (a Public Benefit Organisation) came into being as a result of the running of the first Cycle Tour that was to develop into the now-world famous Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour.

In 2011-2012 alone, the PPA has allocated some R1 850 000 to support 38 cycling-related projects over the next year, bringing the funding spent on cycling projects over the last four years to a total of just under R7 million. In this way, the Association has recently supported some 120 specific cycling-related projects.

In addition to supporting specific projects, the Association also assists service organisations to annually organise some 50 funrides in order to raise funds for charity. These events are split roughly half-half between mass participation road and off-road funrides. On average, the PPA subsidises each funride with products and services valued between R15 000 and R22 000.

It was very cold and dark when we got there this morning...

With the dark clothes often worn by commuters, the white helmets and red rear lights helps a lot to make them more visible