04 May 2020 PPA sees cycling as a massive part of a overall solution
Rens Rezelman, chairman of the Pedal Power Association says that the last 5 weeks of lockdown have been exceptionally challenging for so many South Africans. “The fine balancing act of lives versus livelihoods is not an easy one that our Government is grappling with. Apart from all of the anxiety that the Coronavirus pandemic is causing, we at PPA see cycling as a massive part of the overall solution,” says Rezelman. “The emphasis is on commuter cycling and we strongly encourage anyone to get on a bicycle if it means avoiding congested public transport options. We need the infrastructure of our cities to correlate with the demand in cycling. Internationally there has been a huge spike in cycling and many entrepreneurs are turning to using the bicycle as an economic means of transport. Apart from the obvious health benefits; cost and pollution saving impact; cycling also enables us to keep our distance from others in these highly contagious times, we’ve been pushing for more distance for years now , firstly safe distances from motor vehicles and now from this virus as well!,” Rezelman explained.
From a recreational perspective Rezelman says that that the Level 4 regulation on cycling is going to see an explosion of cyclists across the country between 6am and 9am. “Also considering that so many team sports are on hold, we predict that many team athletes will also turn to cycling as a way to get out and keep fit. The PPA campaigned to have more flexibility and distance from Level 4, but respect the decisions that have been taken. It was good to consult directly with other like-minded organisations (such as CSA) and collaborate on the best approach to take to government. Practically speaking, we need to be disciplined on the 5km rule. Only you will really know if you’re breaking the rules but we urge everyone to be disciplined. Right now, it looks like all National Parks are still closed, so avoid accessing land and routes that are State-owned and clearly not open. As a cycling community we have adhered to the rules thus far, so let’s not push the boundaries on this. From a health perspective, you should all be aware of the need to keep your physical social distancing. Respect the health of others first. It’s that simple really. It’s still dark at 6am, so please be careful if you cycle alone. Although no organised group rides are permitted/encouraged, keep a social distance from your mate, use your rear lights, wear visible gear and please obey the rules of the road,” Rezelman asked.
“The PPA has also been lobbying hard to get the cycling industry to be able to reopen. We feel that cycling should be considered as an essential form of transport as an economic enabler in these difficult times. The entire cycling ecosystem is a valuable part of the solution and a step towards the new economy,” Rezelman said.
“Please be safe when you go out cycling and respect all other excising user groups between 6 and 9am,” he concluded.