As the number of cyclists injured on South African roads continue to rise, riders and corporates came together to discuss rider safety at a Rite2Ride meeting in Bryanston, Johannesburg, recently.
Adam Brooke, along with Andrew Mclean and Deon Venter, pulled together to organise a national safe cycling debate to discuss what could be done to change the current situation.
The outcome, explained Brooke, was a non-profit organisation run by cyclists that would present a united front in the case of future accidents.
However, he said there was a need to “get our house in order as cyclists” first.
Brooke said this meant cyclists would have to stop at traffic lights at all times, obey the rules of the road, respect other road users, wear helmets and have lights on their bikes.
Well-known cyclist Greg Anderson and Nelson Mandela University’s Professor Gerrit Radder are just two who have been killed after being struck by vehicles this year.
A few days ago, professional cyclist Calvin Beneke was also hit by a vehicle while training.
“I went out training at 12pm and I was riding out towards Meyerton, by myself, and I came to a four-way stop. Roughly 200m after that I heard the squeal of brakes,” explained Beneke.
“I immediately shot off left because I was worried about being bumped, so it was very unexpected when I was hit, especially considering where and when it was.”
The BCX rider said he had taken the experience as a lesson and felt lucky to have come off as lightly as he had.
A driver himself, Beneke said it was important for all parties to be considerate and respect each other.
He said cyclists could be their own worst enemies and accidents were not always one-sided.
“We should respect each other because everybody needs to use the road and wants to be safe. It takes one second to hit a cyclist or pedestrian and that one second can be a person’s life.”