10 Mar 2010

Wear a Black Band

The cycling community is shocked by the killing of 3 cyclists outside of Oudsthoorn. Their last training ride for the Argus Cycle Tour. It is for this same reason that The Argus Cycle Tour was initiated by a couple of friends, and that was 32 years ago. A lot can be said about what has government, municipalities et al done to find harmony between motorists and cyclists.

I don't want to go that route but would rather ask, what have we as cyclists done to make sure we have a safe ride. Don't point a finger, rather find solutions. Make things work, get involved.

I urge my Spinning Gym and all other cyclists to wear a black arm band on Argus Sunday (14 March) to show solidarity that we want to find solutions, that we want to be able to cycle safely and to show empathy with the families.

Wear the band!
Cycling South Africa (CSA) has responded with the following:
Press Release


Wednesday 10 March 2010


Thousands of the 35000 entrants of Sunday’s Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour will wear black armbands to show a collective sorrow at the death of three cyclists hit by a motorist outside Oudtshoorn on Monday morning.

Frank Nel (60), Jan Elloff (73) and Magda van Lill (50) died instantly when the bunch they were riding in was hit by a bakkie overtaking a truck on the R62, nine kilometres outside Oudtshoorn.

“This is yet another tragic incident which could have been avoided,” said Hendrik Lemmer, Director of Cycling South Africa’s Road Cycling Commission.

“On behalf of Cycling South Africa, I’d like to extend condolences to the families of those cyclists who died. I also want them to know that our appeal to cyclists to wear black armbands in the Cycle Tour on Sunday is more than a sign of our collective sorrow, it’s a commitment to do something about the lack of general awareness of cyclists on our roads.”

Lemmer says that Cycling South Africa is committed to working with the authorities to make the roads safer for cyclists.

“It’s not something that can be done overnight, because it’s a matter of raising awareness and changing attitudes,” explained Lemmer. “But we’re determined to succeed. We have the most active recreational cycling culture in the world and it’s growing daily as more and more people discover the health and fitness benefits of the sport. On behalf of all cyclists in this country, I appeal to motorists to please be more aware.”

On Tuesday, it was announced that one of South Africa’s top professional cyclists, Daryl Impey, had become a patron of Sign-Up, a national campaign aimed at raising funds to erect more government-approved ‘beware cyclist’ signs along popular cycling routes throughout the country.

“I think cyclists and motorists need to begin by obeying the laws of the road,” said Impey. “Cyclists need to realise we are not owners of the roads and vice versa. I believe we (the cyclists) should set an example for others to follow. It takes one second to slow down but also one second to kill someone, mutual respect is what we need.”

Impey races on Lance Armstrong’s Radioshack team and is a rising star on the international cycling stage. He is currently in the country accompanying Armstrong during his visit this week to Cape Town in conjunction with the JAG Foundation. Both will compete in Sunday’s Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour, which, in terms of numbers, is the world’s largest cycle race.

“It is great to have Daryl as an ambassador and patron of Sign-Up and it will hopefully bring us much deserved exposure’, said Shaun Hannie, founder and chairman of Sign-Up.

“At this time, this is the only national cyclist awareness campaign in South Africa and it’s completely reliant on sponsorship and donations. Frustratingly, we can’t brand national road signs with corporate logos, but we appeal to companies that support cycling to support Sign-Up. One extra sign could safe one cyclist’s life…”

To find out more about Sign-Up and its initiatives, visit www.sign-up.co.za


Wear the band!

Some statistics of cyclists fatalities in 2008

             GA   KZ   WC   EC   FS   MP    NW   LI   NC   RSA
 Bicycle 77  22  47  20  14  26  51  24  7  288

Information from Arrive Alive!

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