Most cyclists have been yelled at or ill-treated by a driver at some point. “Cyclists don’t obey the rules of the road” is one of the most common arguments drivers use to justify their behaviour. Sometimes justifiably so. “It doesn’t matter where or what you ride, please give respect to be respected,” said the chairman of the Pedal Power Association, Steve Hayward.
Recently two cyclists collided with one another on the very popular Chapman’s Peak Drive owing to one of the cyclists losing control at high speed causing the crash. The one cyclist rode away from the scene of the crash without even enquiring if the other rider was ok. The PPA receives regular complaints about cyclists’ behaviour on the road towards fellow riders and motorists.
“We appeal to all cyclists to comply with all traffic laws and COVID-19 lockdown regulations. Let’s be courteous towards all road users and be part of the solution, not the problem, “Hayward said.
Some useful tips for cyclists when sharing the road with other riders and drivers:
Observe the latest Level 3 Lockdown regulations for cycling:
Cyclists are able to continue training but not in groups;
Cycling is now restricted to between the hours of 05h00 and 21h00 daily unless you are an essential worker and have a permit; and Masks are not required when exercising vigorously, but cyclists must keep a distance of 1,5m away from any other person. A mask needs to be worn at all other times.
Ride in single file and only pass other cyclists when it is safe to do so. Cycling two or more abreast in the road is illegal and is one of the practices that give motorists reason to be frustrated with cyclists. When overtaking another cyclist do so on the right with an audible verbal warning. Other cyclists do not expect you to pass on their left-hand side.
Cycle predictably and use hand signals so other road users know what your intentions are. Make life easy for drivers to predict what you’re going to do, and you will find it easier to stay safe.
Observe traffic signals, stop and yield signs and pedestrian crossings. If you want to be respected as a road user, you need to cycle responsibly
When you reach a red traffic signal or Stop Sign, you should wait behind a cyclist who is already there. For some cyclists it seems to have become the norm to pass and stop in front of the rider ahead, even if it involves doing so in the middle of a pedestrian crossing or in the actual intersection well ahead of the traffic light. This is an incredibly offensive practice.
Don’t cycle against traffic. Riding in the opposite direction on the opposite side of the road is extremely dangerous.
It is illegal to cycle with headphones. The law only permits hearing aids to be in your ear. Don’t hinder your ability to hear warnings and approaching dangers on a bike in traffic.
During events (unfortunately on hold for the moment) riding in a group means you need to think about what other cyclists expect you to do. The perfect group will be a seamless body of movement and this is, in part, due to the awareness of the riders. The natural extension of this is holding your line. If you must take the hit and ride through that small pothole, do that. Just don’t flick the bike around and weave all over the place – nobody can predict that, and you’ll eventually cause a crash.
Don’t overlap wheels. This is like sitting in someone’s blind spot when driving. You know you’re there, but they might not. And if they move out slightly and touch wheels with you, one or both of you are coming down. The best places to be are behind, beside or in front of someone else, never overlapping wheels. Unless the group consists of experienced riders who know that you are riding half a wheel behind.
When stopping to take a call, wait for someone a or take a selfie make sure that you leave the cycling path clear. It is frustrating and dangerous to other cyclists to if they have to weave off their line to get past.
Be on the lookout for road hazards and don’t cross the centre line when going around a corner.
Don’t expect to be granted right of way in any instance. Be careful and alert on the roads
“Let’s all cycle responsibly, respect and greet others and make it enjoyable and safer for all cyclists and easier for the cycling community to grow,” Hayward concluded.