I want you to think for a minute. Do you know someone or heard of a person that has been hit by a car whilst on a bike? Sadly, I am sure your answer will be yes. Any official statistics will grossly understate the truth as only a fraction of accidents are reported and luckily most do not result in the ultimate cost. My brother has been clipped twice and unfortunately now, I have an experience of my own to tell. Whilst out on a Saturday 50km ride, a driver on the left of me didn’t stop at a give way sign onto a main road. We all swerved in different directions and unfortunately one of us, Ashlee Bailie, wheel was clipped sending her flying into the windscreen of the car and into the air. Hearing and seeing the impact of what happened was certainly a shock to the system. She was one very strong, brave and lucky girl – fortunately, I did not add to her injuries as at some points I was holding her hand tighter than she was holding mine! She has come out with stitches, bruises and hopefully not too much of a scarred memory of what happened. Luckily bikes are very replaceable but the lives of people aren’t!
The accident has certainly reinforced with me how important it is as a rider on the road to make yourself as visible as possible to cars. Sometimes they don’t actually realise how fast we are going. I want to share a few tips
as my little bit towards improving
the safety of riders.
· Use lights especially in dusk and dim conditions to enhance your visibility.
· In a two lane road, especially with a group, take the lane to make yourself more visible to cars. If cars beep you, well generally it’s because you look good in your lycra.
· One big thing I have learnt is that no matter how hot or cold it is wear an undershirt. It acts as a second layer to your skin. I thank Jamie for enforcing this one as I have not gone a day without wearing my extra layer of protection as the day that I don’t wear it something could happen.
April has felt a bit like Christmas with a lot of new gear for the 2013 season. You can’t miss my new bike on the road. Thanks to SPEARMANS CYCLES Wollongong and LIV/GIANT for my new Giant Envie. I would be envious too - the bike not only looks good but is a dream to ride! The photo does not do it justice. With a new bike comes a brand new bag to put it in. Thanks to SCICON for the new bike bag for the 2013 season and I look forward to working with the company in the future. To make sure I am fitted correctly on my bike, a big thanks for Aaron Lean from Cadence Cycling for my retul bike fit. COMPRESSPORT also have been great to me with new socks and compression wear to keep me in order overseas and looking good when I train and race. Add all this to my latest HUUB wetsuit and I am ready to go.
In a few days, I start my big adventure again, 158 days to be exact! First stop is Yokohama WTS! April started well with a successful 10th place at Auckland WTS race. No doubt I have been training hard all month and I am excited to see what Yokohama will bring. Although I am excited to head overseas, get my dish maid and roomie back (Grace Musgrove), buy our blow up pool for recovery pool parties, explore the world, challenge myself…this list could go on. But who wouldn’t want to end their day with views like this?