Organisers of Pretoria’s two big cycle races have started the engagement with the Tshwane Metro to erect a memorial wall in the city to pay tribute to all cyclists who have lost their lives on the road.
Race organiser Mauritz Meyer, of Hectic Promotions, said he would like to establish the Bestmed Tshwane Classic as well as the Diamond Classic, presented by Ultimate Office National, as cornerstone events to act as annual remembrances of cyclists who have died on the road.
“We will also launch an awareness campaign for safe cycling in Pretoria and we are inviting everyone to get in contact with us and submit the names of loved ones who have died riding their bikes.
“We would like to establish the races as annual gatherings where we think of those who have lost their lives. Cycling is a healthy sport which has ended in sadness for many people who have had to offer up loved ones to the sport. We will pay tribute to them with every staging of the events.”
The Tshwane Metro has pledged its full support to the Bestmed Tshwane Classic as well as Ultimate Office National Diamond Classic to create safe passage for riders on race days. “We are extremely thankful for the way in which the Tshwane Metro supports these events.
“It enables us to create a safe cycling environment and to ensure cyclists don’t feel intimidated on the roads.
“We are inviting riders from all over the country to take part in these events to help us make the authorities and road users aware of the fact that cyclists are road users and have rights. We simply just can’t stand by and do nothing.”
Meyer has likened the races’ initiatives to the “Stay Wider of the Rider” campaign which the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust has been driving very successfully in Cape Town for the past few years.
“Someone needs to assume the responsibility in Tshwane. We will work with the Tshwane Metro to launch a campaign and get the messaging out to road users in Tshwane,” said Meyer.
At the Diamond Classic, riders will receive special medals to commemorate the death of Andrew Randall, who was killed while out riding in Centurion two weeks ago, and the event will observe a moment silence before the start.
Meyer confirmed that a senior government official will address the field before the start of the Diamond Classic and that the Bestmed Road Rangers motorbike marshals will wear black armbands.
“The Road Rangers play a huge part in ensuring cyclists’ safety during our events and it was no surprise when they immediately pledged their support for the initiative,” said Meyer.
“We will also, in particular, think of Dr Willie Fourie, who passed away last week after being hit by a truck on the West Rand last Sunday. This is also very tragic,” said Meyer.
The Diamond Classic, which takes place next Sunday at the Baviaanspoort Correctional Centre, already boasts an entry total of more than 1000 cyclists and Meyer is expecting the first edition of the event to attract more than 2000 riders. Entries for the event close on Wednesday evening.
“The Baviaanspoort facility is wonderfully suited for riders and families to spend some time after the race. There will be lots to eat and drink and riders can spend some time reminiscing about their ride with their families.
“The venue also boasts very neat braai facilities at the dam which families can use for a R20 donation at the entrance gate to the dam. There’s lots of shaded seating, so it creates a relaxed and comfortable environment.”
For more information about the race, go to www.hecticpromotions.co.za
For enquiries email email@example.com
Meyer has asked for the names of killed cyclists to be mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or for the public to respond on the Facebook page on @tshwaneclassic.
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RELEASED BY DE VILLIERS CYCLING EVENTS, ON BEHALF OF THE TSHWANE DIAMOND CLASSIC.
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