Words: The Cycle Tour Media Office
The Pedal Power Association today announced the launch of the PPA Toyota ‘Ride for your Life South Africa’ Tour scheduled to take place in September in support of their ongoing safety campaign, ‘Cyclists Stay Alive at 1.5m’ which urges motorists to pass cyclists with a safe berth of 1.5m.
A group of cyclists will embark on a three-week, three-stage cycling tour starting in Johannesburg on 8 September. They will pedal their way through a number of towns and cities to arrive in Cape Town on 28 September 2013. The purpose of the tour is to increase awareness of the ‘Cyclists Stay Alive at 1.5m’ campaign by encouraging national awareness of the safe passing distance between motor vehicles and cyclists.
Chairman of the Pedal Power Association, Steven Hayward says, “With the shocking number of cycling-related deaths on our roads in recent times, the launch of the ‘Cyclists Stay Alive at 1.5m’ campaign in the Western Cape last year created critically important awareness around cycling safety. By launching the ‘Ride for your Life South Africa’ Tour, we aim to expand on the campaign’s success and reinforce safety and tolerance amongst drivers and cyclists on all South Africa’s roads.”
Hayward points to an increasing number of cyclists using South African roads, adding that many of them are infrequent riders who are unaccustomed to cycling on busy roads. The PPA’s safe cycling campaign was launched in the Western Cape in 2012 and achieved significant awareness using a variety of channels including bumper stickers and licence disk holders on cars, branding of vehicles, and cyclists wearing bright red and yellow cycling jackets promoting the message.
“Our message is simple: if a vehicle is 1.5m away from a cyclist, that vehicle cannot hit the cyclist. Aside from activating across these channels, we will also be gathering signatures for a petition to legalise the 1.5m rule and we hope to secure over 1000 signatures during the duration of the Tour. When the group arrives in Cape Town on 28 September, we plan handing the signed petition to the National Ministry for Transport for consideration.” concludes Hayward.
Kerry Roodt, General Manager of Marketing Communications at Toyota, Title Sponsor of the ‘Ride for your Life South Africa’ Tour, says they are extremely proud to be associated with such an important cycling initiative. "Safety, relating both to vehicle occupants and pedestrians, has always been one of the core aspects in the manufacturing of a Toyota vehicle and we are delighted to be able to partner with PPA in promoting the importance of safe cycling on South African roads. Over the past few years, safety and appropriate passing distances between vehicles and bicycles has been a major concern for cyclists all over the world and we are pleased that we can do our bit to promote this worthy cause,” she remarked.
‘Ride for your Life South Africa’ Tour Stages
The first stage of the event sees cyclists leaving Johannesburg on 8 September, stopping off in a number of towns along the way before arriving in Bloemfontein on 11 September. Stage two departs Bloemfontein on 14 September and reaches the beautiful town of Oudtshoorn on 20 September. On the third and final stage, the cyclists will depart from Oudtshoorn on 23 September and make their way to arrive in Cape Town on 28 September.
A series of activations will take place along the route, including mass rides from Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and Oudsthoorn on departure days including celebrities, pro cyclists, local businessmen and eager amateur cyclists driving the safe cycling message home. They will accompany the Tour participants to a predetermined spot along the Tour where a ‘ghost bike’ – a bicycle painted white – has been erected in memory of those cyclists who have lost their lives on the country’s roads. Thereafter, the Tour participants will continue and those participating in the mass ride will return to the departure point.
For more information on how you can get involved in the Tour or to find out more about the Pedal Power Association and its various safety projects, please visit www.pedalpower.org.za.