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Safety tips for Road Cyclists

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Over the past few years, road biking has become one of the most popular sports among young and old in South Africa.

Cycling, is one of the best types of exercise one can do. It is a low impact sport and when done properly, with enough enthusiasm, one can achieve an almost full body workout. By cycling regularly you can drastically improve your lifestyle. Cycling boosts your blood flow, improves heart function, builds muscle, burns fat and can even prolong your life. For an extra boost you can add Ozone Therapy to your exercise routine.

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Cycling can be enjoyed indoors and outdoors. Spinning is very popular among gym goers. Classes can be intense, but satisfying in the end. For those who prefer the outdoors, there is road biking. Road biking, in South Africa, can be very dangerous. There has been a war between motorists and cyclists for many years, regarding who is right and who is wrong.

I personally believe it is a 50/50 matter. Most of our roads were built without the cyclist in mind, our laws on the other hand favour pedestrians and cyclists, and rightfully so. Unfortunately, the majority of cyclist take advantage of these laws. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen a cyclist dart in front of a car, illegally crossed a road or ran a yellow or even red traffic light. It’s as if cyclists think they have a “get out of jail free card”, that it’s the motorists fault when they hit you, which, by law, it is, but unfortunately that “card” can’t bring you or anyone else back to life.

Dear Cyclist, Motor cycler & Pedestrian, 

You are not made of steel, you don’t have built-in air bags and you’re definitely not a car. You’re not supposed to be in the middle of the road and you should never believe you can take on any car, no matter what your heart tells you.

You are in fact, a slightly faster pedestrian. You should follow pedestrian laws and rules.

An accident can happen in a split second. The wake of your death will not only leave a deep sorrow in your own family, but will also leave a wake of mass destruction in another. Tempers can run high, but is it worth destroying 2 or more families?

Best wishes and a safe journey,

Wittness

Here are 8 Safety Tips For Road Bikers, more to follow in InfoGraphic at bottom of post:

  • Follow the law – Before hitting the road it is important that you understand the underlying state law and adhere to it. These include using designated bicycle lanes and following traffic signs.
  • Be predictable – Let your riding skills be mindful to other road users, make foreseeable moves and use appropriate signs easy to be seen by motorists.
  • Be conspicuous – Let your moves and riding be obvious to other road users. Be ready to take the right turn or move at the right time. Avoid making unpredictable and risky moves.
  • Think a head – Stay focused on the road and make early calculations of your moves especially when it comes to changing direction or changing of lanes.
  • Ride ready – Always keep your mind on the road and be alert always to instantly act on an emergency.
  • Check vehicles – Make sure you observe the vehicle around you while cycling, avoid being too close to vehicles especially trucks since it will likely affect your stability.
  • Highway code – Learn and use appropriately highway codes since this is the only way to communicate to other road users.
  • Safety gear – Always stay equipped with the right riding gear and tools to help you fix your bike instantly in case of an emergency.

Motorists on the other hand can be down right, ignorant, selfish and unforgiving. These ‘lovely’ properties are not just reserved for cyclists, but for anyone and everyone else. It is scary to see how little motorists know of pedestrian/ cyclist laws. I think it imperative that we learn more regarding this matter.

Dear Motorists,

I regret to inform you that you do not own the road. Roads are public places and will be used by other motorists, cyclists, bikers and pedestrians no matter how rude you are.

If your desire is to always be ‘first’, I think you should maybe think of joining a race. This way, you can be an actual winner and maybe even get your picture taken. But when you do fail and something goes wrong, you won’t ruin innocent people’s lives.

If you text, talk on your phone, look around, dance or engage in silly Pokemon hunts while driving, well done you have achieved the ignorant status. Cars have been around for decades and we’ve gotten use to them, but that doesn’t mean it’s any safer. When you get behind a steering wheel, not only do you have the lives of your passengers in your hands but also each and everyone else on the road. Driving is serious business, never take it for granted or think ‘that will never happen’. It’s with that type of thinking that you can end up in a serious/ fatal situation.

Accidents can happen to anyone. Be more cautious on our roads, give way to others, drive respectfully and always keep your eyes on the road. Never drink and drive.

Best wishes and a safe journey,

Wittness

It is imperative that we start looking out for one another more. More than 250 cyclists die on our roads annually. It is our job to lower these statistics. The world is dark and unloving as it is, we don’t need to bring these qualities to our roads. Life is easier when you add a little kindness and caution.

Stay safe & best wishes.

Safety tips for Road Cyclists

For more Road Bike Tips & Info check out Road Bike Hub’s Facebook page & Twitter page

Louise PyperSafety tips for Road Cyclists

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