On Sunday, thousands of cyclists will be taking to the streets of Johannesburg to race the Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge. Here are some tips that hopefully will keep both you and those riding around you safe.
1) Realize that because this is a popular race, many on the roads do not have a clue about cycling etiquette. You cannot afford to relax at any stage.
2) Observe the basic rule of the road, ride left, pass right.
3) Carefully replace your water bottle after a drink. A falling water battle poses a major danger to those riding alongside you.
4) Never look behind you. There is a chance that you slow down as you do so and have the person behind you ride into you. You also run the risk of not keeping your line and veering either left or right.
5) Keep your hands near your brakes at all times.
6) Avoid riding toward the sides of the road. That’s where the sand and glass normally end up and so you increase your chance of a puncture.
7) Try to get an idea from the cyclists ahead of you where the route leads. This will enable you to slow down sufficiently for corners.
8) Watch out for pedestrians, especially as you go through Joburg city center.
9) Warn people behind you about upcoming potholes. Shout, ‘pothole’ while pointing with one hand to the pothole. Do the same for loose sand.
10) Shout ‘heads-up’ if something happens ahead of you that poses a threat to the safety of those around you.
11) Be really careful when approaching water points, there is always a chance of a thirsty cyclist suddenly veering across the road to get a sip of water.|
12) If you are not feeling well, stop. Get medical attention.
We wish you all the best. Have a safe and successful race.