RIDER SAFETY A PRIORITY
OCTOBER is national transport month and not only does the Pedal Power Association (PPA) want to see cyclists enjoying themselves on the trails and roads, but rider safety remains a top priority.
In line with its nationwide Stay Wider of the Rider mission to educate all road users, PPA executive officer Robert Vogel has put together some crucial safe-cycling tips to follow:
Be visible: Wear bright clothes so that drivers can see you – anything neon is great during the daytime. It’s best to avoid cycling before sunrise and sunset, but if you do go for a ride after dark, be sure to wear reflective gear. When turning, be sure to signal to drivers and make eye contact when possible. Ride in a straight, predictable line so that you don’t take any drivers by surprise.
Avoid riding in the early morning hours: We are very concerned about the amount of hit-and-run accidents that happen between 4am and 5am when a lot of intoxicated drivers return home from a night out.
Check your bike: Before you head out, check your tyre pressure and brakes. This way there’s less chance of a technical malfunction that could jeopardise your safety.
Ride in groups if possible: More and more cases of muggings and bike jacking are reported to the PPA. Try to slot in with a local WhatsApp group for your own safety.
Wear an ID bracelet: Most of them have an emergency number to call should you need medical attention. It also makes it easier to contact your next-of-kin.
Do not use your cellphone: Just as when you are driving your car, don’t text or call while riding. Rather stop to take or make a call.
“Let’s share the road,” said Vogel. “Courtesy comes free and leaves both parties feeling better. Acknowledge each other on the road and thank courteous behaviour.”