16 Jul 2012 Winter Cycling Tips
Winter or not, it’s still a great time to ride our bicycles, whether it’s on the road or venturing into the mountains. However, it’s important to know where you may and may not ride, and to keep a few safety tips in mind.
You may cycle on any public road other than a freeway, or where expressly forbidden by law. This means, near Cape Town, that the Blue Route (M3) and M5 are OFF LIMITS, as are any roads that are signposted to be accessible only to official vehicles or goods vehicles, or going up a one-way road against the traffic.
The law says you must ride on the left of the road, but that does not mean that you must ride right on the edge of the road. Ride a safe distance from the edge to avoid glass, cat-eyes, manhole covers and drains.
Be careful when riding past parked vehicles, as they may suddenly open their doors. Give yourself enough space. Be visible when you cycle on the road – wear bright-coloured clothing and make sure you have at least one light on your bicycle.
Please do not cycle on private property when you take to the mountains. Some of the mountains and trails in and around Cape Town do not allow cycling – for instance, Newlands Forest and Cecilia Forest are ‘no-go’ areas and the tracks left by cyclists who ride there illegally do assist in blocking negotiations to get sections of these areas opened legally.
In other areas (like Durbanville), cycling is permitted only with a valid permit which is often managed through an honesty system. Please respect this and obtain your permit, as this is the only way in which trails remain open. The money collected from the permits are usually also used for trail maintenance – please help in this way to keep the trails open and in good shape.
DISCOUNTS FOR PPA MEMBERS
Remember that PPA members get a discount for riding MTB trails like Ongegund (Schapensberg, at Somerset West) and Thandi/Paul Cluver (Grabouw).
SAFE CYCLING SHIRT AND BUMPER STICKER
Please help us choose! We’ve uploaded a revised, simplified version of our safe cycling bumper sticker and proposed new cycling shirt to our Facebook page. Is the message in the revised/simplified bumper sticker clear enough?
If you transport your bicycle on a carrier behind your car, make sure that you do not obscure the number plate as this could get you a traffic fine. If the number plate is obscured by your bicycle hanging in front of it, just get an extra number plate made and attach that to the outermost bicycle.
For more tips on how to cycle safely this Winter, see www.pedalpower.org.za