PPA: Please obey the rules of the road

Cyclists in South Africa are a friendly bunch, and - most of the time - feel a special affinity with other cyclists. Even if they have completely different jobs, lifestyles and backgrounds, they have something in common- cycling.

PPA 1.jpg

However, there are some occasions when cyclists can’t help but feel a little bit frustrated with other riders on the roads whilst preparing for one of South Africa’s largest cycling races, the Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge, in just a week’s time.

Thousands of cyclists are currently taking to the roads to train. “Most cyclists have been shouted at or abused by a driver at some point. This is never ok, regardless, ‘cyclists don’t obey the rules of the road’ is one of the most common arguments drivers use to justify their behaviour. Every time one of these drivers sees a cyclist flout the rules, it adds more wood to the furnace of their aggression,” explains Pedal Power Association CEO, Robert Vogel. “Cyclists also need to obey the rules of the road. It is a two–way street,” says Vogel.

PPA 2.jpg


Some useful tips for cyclists when out on the roads training and sharing the road with other riders and drivers:

Pass other cyclists on the right with an audible verbal warning. Other cyclists expect you to pass on their right hand side

Use hand signals. Use hand signals so other road users know what your intentions are.

When you reach a red light, you should wait behind the cyclist who is already there. It seems to have become a standard practice to pass the rider and stop in front of him, 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 rude practice.

Don’t ride against traffic. Riding in the opposite direction on the opposite side of the road is extremely dangerous

Don’t ride with headphones. Don’t hinder your ability to hear warnings and approaching dangers on a bike in the middle of traffic. It’s also against the law.

Don’t jump read lights or stop signs. Why? If you want to be treated like a road user, you need to act like a road user.
Also no flitting from road to the pavement and back. Make life easy for drivers to predict what you’re going to do, and you will find it easier to stay safe.

Be predictable. Just like riding in traffic, riding in a group means you need to think about what other people expect you to do. The perfect group ride 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 have to take the hit and ride through that small pothole, you do it. 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 hit 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.

Ride single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends. It is very frustrating for other cyclists as well as motorists if they cannot pass a group of cyclists riding abreast endangering the lives of other cyclists

Don’t leave your bicycle in the pathway of other cyclists if nature calls or to answer a call.
It is frustrating and dangerous to other cyclists to leave your bike in the middle of the road to talk on your cell . there is also lack of control over your bike should you answer a phone call whilst cycling.

Be on the lookout for road hazards and don’t cross the centre line when cutting corners.

Don’t expect to be granted right of way in any instance.
Please be careful and alert on the roads.




118 Comments

carbon29er, Nov 15 2016 12:13

Oh please. The sooner PPA stops justifying motorists endangering cyclists lives by passing too closely with nonsense about red lights and stop streets the safer it will be for cyclists to ride on roads that they are legally fully entitled to ride on.

 

I have yet to see a post from PPA on social media condemning a motorist for endangering a cyclist but have seen plenty criticising cyclists.  Quite a few with photos taken while driving.

 

The attitude that we, as cyclists, are encroaching on motorists territory by riding on the road is, frankly, ridiculous.

 

What's next? Stop and pat a motorist on the head to thank him as the mountain bikers are being asked to do when passing a dog walker riding in the newly designated Table Mountain whatever it's called?

 

I have plenty of video footage of motorists endangering me and others without a single red light or stop street as an excuse.

Capricorn, Nov 15 2016 12:21

hell, i'm all for educating the cyclists, as some of them are just as guilty on many, many occasions of self-entitlement issues plaguing some motorists. PPA speaks for the cyclists, so why not too the cyclists as well. They can start with those fools coming the wrong way down Marine drive in the morning.

DJR, Nov 15 2016 12:50

Carbon29er, for the life of me, I do not understand what got so under your skin about the PPA safelty thingie. 

 

"Pass other cyclists on the right with an audible verbal warning. Other cyclists expect you to pass on their right hand side

Use hand signals. Use hand signals so other road users know what your intentions are.

When you reach a red light, you should wait behind the cyclist who is already there. It seems to have become a standard practice to pass the rider and stop in front of him, 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 rude practice.

Don’t ride against traffic. Riding in the opposite direction on the opposite side of the road is extremely dangerous

Don’t ride with headphones. Don’t hinder your ability to hear warnings and approaching dangers on a bike in the middle of traffic. It’s also against the law.

Don’t jump read lights or stop signs. Why? If you want to be treated like a road user, you need to act like a road user.
Also no flitting from road to the pavement and back. Make life easy for drivers to predict what you’re going to do, and you will find it easier to stay safe.

Be predictable. Just like riding in traffic, riding in a group means you need to think about what other people expect you to do. The perfect group ride 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 have to take the hit and ride through that small pothole, you do it. 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 hit 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.

Ride single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends. It is very frustrating for other cyclists as well as motorists if they cannot pass a group of cyclists riding abreast endangering the lives of other cyclists

Don’t leave your bicycle in the pathway of other cyclists if nature calls or to answer a call.
It is frustrating and dangerous to other cyclists to leave your bike in the middle of the road to talk on your cell . there is also lack of control over your bike should you answer a phone call whilst cycling.

Be on the lookout for road hazards and don’t cross the centre line when cutting corners.

Don’t expect to be granted right of way in any instance.
Please be careful and alert on the roads."

avatar, Nov 15 2016 01:40

my (slightly modified) PPA bagdes ;)

 

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carbon29er, Nov 15 2016 01:58

Not a red light in sight so still trying to workout why this guy had to come so close this morning.  Total distance from the wall to his wheel is no more than a metre. And I'm in that space.

 

But maybe he saw a guy jump a red light in Sun Valley and decided I was to blame?

 


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cfcjim, Nov 15 2016 02:19

Carbon29er, for the life of me, I do not understand what got so under your skin about the PPA safelty thingie. 

 

"Pass other cyclists on the right with an audible verbal warning. Other cyclists expect you to pass on their right hand side
<snip>

<snip>

Don’t expect to be granted right of way in any instance.
Please be careful and alert on the roads."

 

Maybe it feels a little like victim blaming?

 

Just a thought.

Pure Savage, Nov 15 2016 02:42

How about motorists, dont be a dwiss and try overtake single file cyclists around a blind corner. Whenever I see a french car behind us or a mommy in a merc, I drift into the middle of the road just to make sure they dont think off overtaking on a blind corner. 

GaryP, Nov 15 2016 03:19

This debate can and will go on. However, cars offer drivers much more protection than cyclists and we will always, always come off second best. Therefore, as cyclists we should do all we can to stay safe while riding not only for ourselves but for everyone that cares for us. So, bottom line, please all stay safe out there and do whatever you can not to have an accident. Your life is totally worth it!

carbon29er, Nov 15 2016 03:58

Carbon29er, for the life of me, I do not understand what got so under your skin about the PPA safelty thingie. 

 

"Pass other cyclists on the right with an audible verbal warning. Other cyclists expect you to pass on their right hand side



Don’t jump read lights or stop signs. Why? If you want to be treated like a road user, you need to act like a road user.
Also no flitting from road to the pavement and back. Make life easy for drivers to predict what you’re going to do, and you will find it easier to stay safe.


Don’t leave your bicycle in the pathway of other cyclists if nature calls or to answer a call.
It is frustrating and dangerous to other cyclists to leave your bike in the middle of the road to talk on your cell . there is also lack of control over your bike should you answer a phone call whilst cycling.


 

 

The patronising tone perhaps?

 

If I want to be treated like a road user? I AM a road user, I don't have to ask ANYONE if I can ride on their road. I have a well established legal right to be on the road. This is just a totally brain dead comment that shows exactly how little the organisation trying to encourage safe cycling actually understands about the issues.

 

Read the bit I underlined in bold. FFS, don't answer your phone in the middle of the road and leave your bike lying in the middle of the road? I'll give a set of unused Continental Gatorskin 25c tyres to the first person who has experienced this phenomena. Sorry, not GP4000S as it's not a warranty issue.

 

PPA think a road is like a trail and motorists are like dog walkers or horse riders and we are invading their space.

 

Has anyone seen advice to motorists issued by PPA about cycling safety in the past year? Thought not.

 

Safety is not about highlighting cyclists doing things that transgress the law but endangers no one, surely it's about motorists doing things that endanger other road users, particularly cyclists and pedestrians?

Duane_Bosch, Nov 15 2016 04:15

The patronising tone perhaps?

If I want to be treated like a road user? I AM a road user, I don't have to ask ANYONE if I can ride on their road. I have a well established legal right to be on the road. This is just a totally brain dead comment that shows exactly how little the organisation trying to encourage safe cycling actually understands about the

I'm afraid I have to agree with you on this. it's like telling an abused woman she mustn't do the things that piss her husband off!!!!!!!!!

How about telling the mommys in their suv's to watch THE FKING ROAD FOR A CHANGE!!!

Plem-Plem, Nov 15 2016 04:28

Carbon29

Sadly you seem to have totally missed the point of the article!

It is not about the motorist driving badly/ driving too close/ endangering cyclists/ taxis breaking every law etc. or whatever else comes our way! We know they do!

It is generally about that we, all cyclists who are also allowed to use the roads, get our own house in order first and behave properly on the public roads, the same way that we want all other road users to!

This means that we do not:

  • jump Stop streets
  • jump red traffic lights
  • ride more than single file on a road without a shoulder, thereby blocking the road for the motorist behind
  • do anything else that is against the law of the roads
  • infringe anybody else's right to utilize the road

We are ourselves motorists as well and we can all see how other cyclists (mis)behave on the roads such that I myself get pissed off with my fellow cyclists while driving!

If motorists can see that cyclists generally behave properly while riding, their current crappy attitude towards us will also improve in due time. It works overseas (Germany, France , Austria), therefore it can work here!

This Tit-for-Tat is useless and a cyclist will always come off second best in an altercation with a car!!

HdB, Nov 15 2016 04:34

Safety is not about highlighting cyclists doing things that transgress the law but endangers no one, surely it's about motorists doing things that endanger other road users, particularly cyclists and pedestrians?

 

Shouldn't safety actually be about highlighting the things the cyclists/pedestrians AND motorists do that transgress the law?

If both groups knew and followed the rules of the road, it would be a safer place for everyone and both groups would be less pissed off at each other all the time.

 

I ride mostly road, so I absolutely agree with you about the attitude that we are intruders on THEIR road, it is nonsense, we do have the right to be there.

 

All of the things in the press release are obvious things that NO cyclist should be doing because DUH!

The fact that they even sent out this kind of press release means that there are still the few idiots doing these kinds of things.

I still see riders without helmets, on the wrong side of the road, skipping traffic lights, riding two abreast on busy roads... some of those might not endanger anyone but the perpetrator, and yes it is less dangerous than a motorist skipping the same traffic light, but it is still illegal.

bikebloke, Nov 15 2016 04:34

yeah im with carbon29 on this ..... :thumbup:

 

and its only a question of time before the PPA press release that says "after discussions with all stakeholders the PPA supports the governments plans to make cyclists get a licence to ride on the road "  etc etc ( yeah now you are laughing but wait......)

 

 

they claim to represent us but they only represent themselves and us when it furthers their agenda :ph34r:

carbon29er, Nov 15 2016 04:41

Carbon29

Sadly you seem to have totally missed the point of the article!

I've missed nothing. Your response just adds to the stupidity of the press release.

 

I'll give you an example. If a motorist overtakes on a solid white line or jumps a red light does that mean NO motorists should be driving on the roads? By your analogy that's what you are preaching.

 

Your simplistic and patronising attitude does nothing to improve safety for cyclists. But it does increase the chances of victim blaming.

DJR, Nov 15 2016 04:52

The patronising tone perhaps?

 

If I want to be treated like a road user? I AM a road user, I don't have to ask ANYONE if I can ride on their road. I have a well established legal right to be on the road. This is just a totally brain dead comment that shows exactly how little the organisation trying to encourage safe cycling actually understands about the issues.

 

Read the bit I underlined in bold. FFS, don't answer your phone in the middle of the road and leave your bike lying in the middle of the road? I'll give a set of unused Continental Gatorskin 25c tyres to the first person who has experienced this phenomena. Sorry, not GP4000S as it's not a warranty issue.

 

PPA think a road is like a trail and motorists are like dog walkers or horse riders and we are invading their space.

 

Has anyone seen advice to motorists issued by PPA about cycling safety in the past year? Thought not.

 

Safety is not about highlighting cyclists doing things that transgress the law but endangers no one, surely it's about motorists doing things that endanger other road users, particularly cyclists and pedestrians?

I can understand and relate to your point of view. I agree that MUCH MORE should be done to educate motorists.

 

It's just that from a personal cycling safety perspective, I agree with the PPA too. I think that specific article was speaking to cyclists and was about what we can do to stay alive. Also, it makes the seldom mentioned point that we should not endanger each others lives, which I see more than I would like. (Like three slow riders abreast in the yellow lane because they like to have a chat, which means that everyone overtaking them has to move across the yellow line where they are inherently more at risk. At every race I see people fixing punctures on the side of the road, where a single step off the tar would have allowed others to pass more safely.) These things never bothered me much because I've been riding for long enough to know how to deal with them safely. Where I became acutely aware of them, was when my own youngsters started riding road with me. Suddenly, those three inconsiderate riders became a problem, because inexperienced riders will often just swerve around them, without looking, or if they do look, that will cause them to swerve.....endangering everyone. 

Icycling, Nov 15 2016 04:52

Sorry for posting this pic again.

 

But why do PPA put boards up - ditching their own sport people on Chapmans Peak drive - this is one road due to the speed limit, solid white line and the fact that most people are looking at the scenery, that cyclist should and I would go as far as to say, be encouraged to ride 2 or more  abreast and not single? Enough cyclist are breaking the speed limit any way.

 

How about PPA lobbing for Chapmans Peak dive to be closed to motorized vehicles on weekend from sunrise to 09h00 from Sep to June each year.

 

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Desi, Nov 15 2016 05:31

The patronising tone perhaps?

 

If I want to be treated like a road user? I AM a road user, I don't have to ask ANYONE if I can ride on their road. I have a well established legal right to be on the road. This is just a totally brain dead comment that shows exactly how little the organisation trying to encourage safe cycling actually understands about the issues.

 

Read the bit I underlined in bold. FFS, don't answer your phone in the middle of the road and leave your bike lying in the middle of the road? I'll give a set of unused Continental Gatorskin 25c tyres to the first person who has experienced this phenomena. Sorry, not GP4000S as it's not a warranty issue.

 

PPA think a road is like a trail and motorists are like dog walkers or horse riders and we are invading their space.

 

Has anyone seen advice to motorists issued by PPA about cycling safety in the past year? Thought not.

 

Safety is not about highlighting cyclists doing things that transgress the law but endangers no one, surely it's about motorists doing things that endanger other road users, particularly cyclists and pedestrians?

Send those tyres, carbon29er. I have seen both of these things mentioned, more than a few times, not only on training rides, but during a PPA race/ride. Perhaps you don't see these things at the sharp end of the field where you ride, but they certainly happen back in the field where I ride. Now, as summer approaches and riders less skilled/smart than you perhaps, get out to train for the Argus, there is actually a need for these type of reminders.

F.R.A.I.L. -K, Nov 15 2016 05:56

Cyclists in South Africa are a friendly bunch, and - most of the time - feel a special affinity with other cyclists. Even if they have completely different jobs, lifestyles and backgrounds, they have something in common- cycling.Click here to view the article


PPA can lobby for more action be taken against Offenders.
Police are not interested.
Justice system is corrupt.
Ppa are quick to share Awareness, yet no average Joe gives a Toss.
No repercussions.

Just Sunday morning 09h08, Lady with kid is late for church.
Jumps a Stop street, arriving at the parking area She parks in a Handicapped bay.
Why stop??? At stop streets?

Patchelicious, Nov 15 2016 06:36

Stating that motorists must change their behavior and that cyclists are at higher risks is obviously correct. So I support Carbon's very passionate stance on this.

Having said that, we must be realistic in what it is we are trying to achieve. We obviously want behavior changes from motorists, so how do we go about achieving that?

There are many things that can be done from many angles, and we should tackle them all. Some will have greater effect than others, that's reality.

So I understand that the PPA is taking a stance that cyclists must adhere to rules etc, that does go some way in trying rectify driver perception of cyclists.

What they should also do is lobby people like the AA to do the same, and get them to drive a similar campaign about educating motorist about the rights of cyclists.

We need to change and we need to convince the other side that they need to change. Convincing them will reap greater results than out right demands. People often don't respond well to demands, no matter how valid they might be.

carbon29er, Nov 15 2016 10:32

Send those tyres, carbon29er. I have seen both of these things mentioned, more than a few times, not only on training rides, but during a PPA race/ride. Perhaps you don't see these things at the sharp end of the field where you ride, but they certainly happen back in the field where I ride. Now, as summer approaches and riders less skilled/smart than you perhaps, get out to train for the Argus, there is actually a need for these type of reminders.

Races aren't exactly what this article is about. And I'm not skilled, have more metal in me than my bike has. I just don't like cyclists being blamed to justify motorists putting cyclist's health and lives at risk.

carbon29er, Nov 15 2016 10:37

What they should also do is lobby people like the AA to do the same, and get them to drive a similar campaign about educating motorist about the rights of cyclists.
 

There is NO focus on the motorist. When the Stay Wider campaign was launched the whole focus was on changing the motorists mindset.

 

A few personnel changes later, and the appointment of a CEO, has changed focus completely onto the cyclist SHARING the road, as if it's a walking trail and cyclists are encroaching.

 

Total lack of understanding of the dynamics of cycle safety or marketing.

seven, Nov 16 2016 05:57

There is NO focus on the motorist. When the Stay Wider campaign was launched the whole focus was on changing the motorists mindset.

A few personnel changes later, and the appointment of a CEO, has changed focus completely onto the cyclist SHARING the road, as if it's a walking trail and cyclists are encroaching.

Total lack of understanding of the dynamics of cycle safety or marketing.


If there is such a lack of understanding of cycling safety or marketing; why are so many cyclists enjoying this article?

As Patch has said - many different angles and approaches needs fo be adopted to change things. This is simply ONE of those.

Some of the worst driving I have experienced are by cyclists while on their way to/from races in their cars. It is not a cycling vs cars thing; it is a general problem in our current society where everyone has a sense of entitlement and couldn't give a rats ass about the next person - in all environments. Can you honestly say that you obey the traffic ordinances when diving? No speeding, no dangerous overtaking, etc, etc?

I'm sorry you had a bad day out on the bike; but don't bash attempts to try and help things. If you don't like the article, or things that PPA does, then simply don't read them. There are loads of people that did enjoy this read, and find it helpful.

This sense of entitlement is even seen with you know trying to flog your side to death; why not simply state what you want, and let others enjoy the freedom to express theirs.

LeoKnight, Nov 16 2016 07:12

As a cyclist and motorist I really enjoyed the article. Like most things in life you first start with being more aware of your own actions before telling someone else to change their behaviour, my opinion and personal view is that if more motorist perceive that cyclist in general are trying to be responsible on the road there will be an increased likelihood that the future messages and campaigns by the cycling structures will be heard by motorists.

It is not a valid argument or mature defence, when motorists say why should they change if cycling structures don't even talk or address their own members. But just because it is not valid does not mean it is the reality.

As I mentioned, I enjoyed the article a lot and even became aware of more things that make sense.

J∆kk∆ls, Nov 16 2016 07:42

Start at schools. Teach the next generation of road users to be respectful of each other. Get speakers to talk about their experiences.

Incorporate cycling awareness into k53.

-Az-, Nov 16 2016 08:18

it is a general problem in our current society where everyone has a sense of entitlement and couldn't give a rats ass about the next person - in all environments.

This..

nothing to do with cyclist/motorcyclist/motorist

Same thing we deal with as the Think Bike campaign :(