Cy­clists driv­ing for change

Central Leader - - NEWS - By SI­MON MAUDE

Keen cy­clist Jay Martin has a the­ory that’s nig­gled away at her for years that has now been proved true.

A study com­mis­sioned by Har­bour Sport shows young cy­clists make bet­ter driv­ers.

‘‘I’d heard the the­ory so much I ac­tu­ally thought it had been re­searched. But when I found out it hadn’t, I asked, ‘how are we go­ing to work that one out’?’’

Martin is Har­bour Sport’s ac­tive com­mu­ni­ties man­ager and em­ployed vis­it­ing sports science stu­dents from the Univer­sity of Bath to con­duct a na­tion­wide sur­vey of driv­ing in­struc­tors.

Dozens of in­struc­tors and hun­dreds of their high school aged stu­dents were quizzed. The sur­vey found 88 per cent of in­struc­tors felt cy­cling pupils had a bet­ter grasp of the road en­vi­ron­ment.

Martin, whose hus­band and 14-yearold son race a tan­dem road bike to­gether, says hav­ing an early ex­po­sure to cy­cling hones the senses.

Cy­clists have to be ‘‘high-speed de­ci­sion-mak­ers’’ with good re­flexes and sit­u­a­tional aware­ness, she says.

New Zealand In­sti­tute of Driver Ed­u­ca­tors na­tional vice-pres­i­dent Peter Shep­hard agrees and says cy­clists get a head-start on other learner driv­ers.

Har­bour Sport works with or­gan­i­sa­tions like ACC and Auck­land Coun­cil to sup­port and fa­cil­i­tate in­creased cy­cling in the com­mu­nity.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.