Rider safety – where to?

Written by Dave Norton on . Posted in News

The committee has felt it necessary to respond to the flood of comment on Facebook as a consequence of Alise Farrelley’s unfortunate cycle accident. Fortunately it appears that although very shaken Alise is in good spirits and I’m sure we all join in wishing her a very speedy recovery. It should be made very clear that the accident can in no way be attributed to lack of riding discipline or etiquette. The members of the group were very experienced riders, which unfortunately highlights the uncontrollable cause & occurrence of riding accidents.

Some of the train of comment on Facebook seems to be heading towards putting the onus on the committee to take ownership of rider safety and member medical training. The scope is so big and complicated that there is no simple fix. But let us start by making all members aware of the measures the Club has in place to  give some sort of discipline to our cycling activities.

Firstly: At every season start at the new members “meet & greet” expo, I (Dave Norton ) do give a rather aggressive address on the safety and etiquette standards expected on Club rides – I have in fact more than once been told to tone it down because I  intimidate new members and scare them off joining the rides. I make no apology for the content of my address and I will continue to present it in it’s current vein. More members should be encouraged to attend the “meet & greet” if only to be reminded of the riding standards expected by Club and if nothing else to realise that the situation is taken very seriously by the Club committee.

Secondly: All Club endorsed rides are pre-empted by a thorough briefing which includes etiquette, the route and possible hazards. Participants must arrive in time to  hear these briefings. Unfortunately even those present are often observed to be inattentive and chattting amongst themselves during the briefing. As a courtesy please be on time, please be silent during, and please listen to the briefings. There are many role model participants on our rides – my comments are not directed at you but they aim to assist your safety.

Thirdly: The accident did highlight the apparent lack of First Aid experience amongst the membership. The good news is that there is now a very real awareness, yet the question must be asked  – who’s going to do something about it? The answer is simple – each and every member of the Club should be taking ownership – we should all be asking yourselves  “Why haven’t I enrolled myself in a F A course, I’m out there participating in a dangerous sport – I need to be qualified”. The Club can’t guarantee you a qualified first aider on every ride as we do need to be wary of over regulating our activities. (If we do they will just become too difficult to manage). So the solution lies with each and every member – do something about it. There are many First Aid courses available, including courses facilitated by our sporting partner Sorrento Surf Club. These courses will naturally have a cost, so you will be required to make an investment – probably one of the smartest investments you’ll ever make.

I will in conjunction with Sorrento Surf Club arrange a training session in the very near future. Please look for details as they come to hand via the website. I encourage all members to come forward and enrol, and for the designated training session make it a priority activity. On that day, put all other activities aside – that is if you have concerns about needing first aid training.

Your Club President

Dave Norton