running the tarmac gauntlet

Opening image by  Gary Perkin

The last couple of years have certainly led to a much more noticeable roller-coaster ride in our life journey. From a global pandemic, as if that hasn’t been enough, to the potential of world war due to essentially one megalomaniac. Closer to home there are our everyday challenges between load shedding, the national governments pastime of corruption and significantly the ever increasing fuel price which tangibly affects us daily.

Even closer to home is the blatant disregard for cyclists by motorists on our roads. Yes, I am aware that we (cyclists) act irresponsibly too on occasion but folks we are comparing a man or woman clad in lycra and a helmet, on a machine that weighs as much as your spare wheel to a 2 ton plus vehicle that is easily propelled up to speeds in excess of 60km/h by the push of a pedal. I would challenge you to stand on the pavement while a car passed you doing 60km/h (the residential legal speed limit in most areas) and then imagine that same vehicle hitting you at that speed. The results are pretty catastrophic. With a lot of weekend warriors trying to get a few kays under the belt before the world’s largest timed road race things have been pretty busy around the Cape Peninsula, it happens every year. Please just CHILL OUT! You will get to wherever you need to be and I promise you the 30sec to 1 minute delay is not the reason you will be or are already late!

I would like to give my (the Full Sus team and I am sure the entire cycling community) sincerest condolences to Sharon Piehl and her family. The loss of Andre Piehl, husband and Dad to two beautiful children, a well-known Ironman and cyclist, who was hit by a motor vehicle while training, is devastating and there just aren’t words to express the sadness and loss. The cycling community mourns once again. Justice needs to be served and I hope that the perpetrator is punished severely and that this serves as a warning to other motorists. That however is small solace to a family devastated by a senseless tragedy.

Please keep calm when you see cyclists on the road. No one minds a gentle hoot to say you are there, and most will clear a path immediately. Unfortunately a lot of our roads don’t offer big verges or dedicated cycle lanes. Be considerate and I would like to think that the majority of cyclists will be the same in return.

The year, despite still being early, has also brought along some incredible highs! Most of which are as a result of the relaxing of restrictions brought on by ‘Rona. Events coming back are a particular high point. It is so wonderful to see familiar (and some new) events being filled up by super keen participants. It is clear that we like to have our routes chosen for us, having hearty water tables available, having a training carrot, seeing fellow cycling buddies in the chutes, hearing Paul Valstar waxing lyrical, getting quirky race briefings, scrambling through your goodie bags for the “free” shirt that we paid for, getting our earplugs ready for a night in the tent village, swopping war stories over our complimentary Devils Peak lager or chocolate milk and hugging our partner after our achievement of finishing another multi-day marathon stage event.

I can’t wait to see you all under a gantry in some beautiful part of the country that our amazing trail builders have managed to turn into a tapestry of mountain bike nirvana. Take care on the roads – whether inside or outside the car.

See you on the Trails