Today was the "Awareness Ride"- intended to draw attention to the numbers of cyclists using our roads for recreation, commuting and sport and hopefully to foster better relations with other road users (read motorists).
Last year there were nearly 1000 cyclists in the inaugural ride which was brought together after a young lady who was in training for a MTB event was struck by a car and left for dead on the side of the road. Vicki survived and last year's ride came together to draw attention to an increasing number of vehicle/bicycle incidents and to raise money to assist with Vicki's rehabilitation.
This year the ride was again aiming to raise awareness amongst other road users and funds raised would be donated to the "Amy Gillet Foundation". Unfortunately, many cyclists were "unaware" the ride was taking place today. Organisation of the ride was left a bit late and so numbers were down considerably on last year.
The other factor I query is the route the ride took. Yes, it was along a scenic stretch of the beachfront road and traffic controls were in place to ensure safe passage of the cyclists; however, not very many motorists would have been aware that this was taking place as the route avoided any major traffic areas (we're talking 8:00am on a Sunday morning so traffic is not going to be very heavy to begin with) and it would have been "business as usual" for those off to the markets or brekkie with the rellies.
I guess it's a fine line between having an organised ride and being a nuisance to other road users. Police permits have to be obtained and if the ride is going to be an inconvenience, then it's probably going to be a bit more difficult to make your case and get the permit- after all, we're not trying to have a "Critical Mass Ride".
All in all though- a good week 220+ km's for the week and hopefully a motorist or two out there who may have seen us today and spared a thought for our safety.
Cheers- ride safe