SA cyclist Burry Stander dies
"He was returning from a training ride in Shelly Beach, on the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) south coast, and was hit by a vehicle," said CSA spokesperson Mylene Loumeau.
Stander, 25, was fifth in the men's cross country race at the 2012 London Olympics.
Four years earlier, at the Beijing Games, he had proved his ability when he finished 15th in the cross country event at the age of 20.
The following season he rose to prominence on the global stage when he won the under-23 title in the Mountainbike World Cup series.
In 2011, Stander became the first South African to win the Cape Epic stage race in the Western Cape, with Swiss partner Christoph Sauser, and the pair defended their title in 2012.
He was married to elite road cyclist Cherise Taylor in May last year, just three months before he narrowly missed out on a medal at the London Olympics.
An emotional Loumeau said Stander, who was raised in KZN, would be missed by the SA cycling community.
"I had seen him come through the ranks since 2006," she said.
"He was a fantastic role model, and at the same time he was humble at it."
HAVE YOUR SAY: What was your best memory of Burry Stander? Also send your condolences to Stander's friends and family to Sport24.
SA Olympic mountain biker Burry Stander killed in accident
“He was returning from a training ride in Shelly Beach, on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, and was hit by a vehicle,” said Cycling SA spokeswoman Mylene Loumeau.
Stander, who held the title of UCI Mountain Bike World Cup under-23 men’s cross-country champion in 2009, competed in several races around the world since 2008.
He won the Absa Cape Epic race with team partner Christoph Sauser last year and in 2011, and in 2010 he came third in the Mountain Bike World Championships held in Quebec, Canada.
At the Beijing Games, Stander finished 15th in the cross-country mountain bike race. Last year, he reached fifth place in the same event at the London Games, narrowly missing out on a medal.
An emotional Loumeau said on Thursday that Stander, who was raised in KwaZulu-Natal, would be missed by the South African cycling community.
“I had seen him come through the ranks since 2006,” she said. “He was a fantastic role model, and at the same time he was humble at it.”
Hundreds of messages of sympathy were posted on social network Twitter, including by Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille, who said it was a “tragedy”.
Gideon Sam, president of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc), said he was “shattered” by the news.
“Burry was the epitome of an Olympic athlete — talented and ultra-competitive but at the same time extremely humble and a true gentleman,” he said. “Sascoc, the cycling fraternity and the entire South African sporting community mourns his passing and sends our prayers to his wife and family.”
Stander married elite road cyclist Cherise Taylor in May last year.
Mr Sam said an effort had to be made to protect athletes using South Africa’s roads. “I’ve said this time and again but it is really time to work even harder at protecting both our runners and cyclists who use the roads daily to do their training.”
Cycling and Road Safety
A key element in promoting cycling and making it an attractive alternative to car use is that it should be safe. The National Cycling Forum (1999) states that “making the roads safer is a powerful incentive in persuading people to cycle more”. People will not choose to cycle unless they see it as safe to do so. Fears of safety can become a major obstacle therefore, to promoting and encouraging non-motorised modes of transport (Eltis, 2003). A survey by MORI showed that nearly half of those questionned said they would cycle for short journeys if roads were safer (National Cycling Forum, 1999). Often there is little real safety risk, but perceptions of danger may still persist and efforts must me made to ensure such misconceptions are allayed (Preston, 1990). Even where fear of risk does not deter the cyclist, professionals should seek to minimise it so as to reduce the resulting social and economic costs of death and injury (European Transport Safety Council, 1999).
Safety and Cycling:
•There has been a tendency to see the two objectives of promoting cycling and improving road safety as conflicting and mutually incompatible.
•However, it has been shown that it is possible to both increase cycling and also improve cyclists’ safety (Krag, 2002).
•In fact, it has been shown that the safety of cyclists improves as the number of cyclists increases (Krag, 2002). For example, in Copenhagen and Odense, an increase in cycling has been brought about with a corresponding decrease in the number of accidents involving cyclists (Krag, 2002).
•This may be attributable to the introduction of specific safety measures but may also be partially explained by the fact that the higher the level of cycling, the more cyclists on the road and the more car drivers become aware of and pay attention to cyclists (Krag, 2002).
•The more cyclists there are therefore, the potentially safer the individual cyclist (Jensen, 1998 in Road Directorate, 2000).
•The scale and scope of safety measures that have been introduced to help non-motorised road-users, varies significantly between countries.
•Countries which have introduced specific measures for different types and ages of road user have been successful in reducing the relevant death rates (Preston, 1990).
The facts and figures:
•The risk of being killed in traffic per kilometre travelled, is over 4 times higher for pedestrians and cyclists than car drivers (ETSC, 1999).
•Walking and cycling have much greater risk levels per hour than travel in public transport vehicles (ETSC, 1999).
•One of the greatest road safety problems in Danish urban areas is linked to cycle traffic. In Denmark in 1993, 1/3 of all road users killed/injured were cyclists (Road Directorate, 1994).
•Between 1984 and 1993, total numbers of those killed and injured dropped. However, figures for cyclists have remained almost level (Road Directorate, 1994).
•Cyclist safety varies substantially between countries. This may be partially explained by national levels and patterns of cycling which vary reflecting the different social, economic, infrastructural, topographical and climatic contexts (ETSC, 1999).
•In 1996, the percentage of national road deaths represented by cyclists was 19.7% in the Netherlands; 17.1% in Denmark; 1.9% in Spain; and 1.6% in Greece (ETSC, 1999).
•The numbers of cyclists killed/injured varies spatially and temporally. Most accidents occur on weekday afternoons and the risk of cycle accidents is 4-5 times greater in darkness than in daylight (Road Directorate, 1994). Some casualties occur in rural areas, but most occur in urban areas (European Transport Safety Council, 1999).
•Increasing efforts are being made to promote cycling. Therefore, there is also a need for corresponding increasing effort focusing on the safety of cycling and aiming to ensure that urban traffic systems provide for vulnerable road users (ETSC, 1999).
•The crux of the cyclist safety problem centres on the fact that there is lack of planning providing for cyclists and that the traffic system is designed predominantly with car-users in mind (European Transport Safety Council, 1999).
The European Transport Safety Council (1999) identifies 7 key problems for cyclists in the urban traffic system:
•‘Vulnerability’: Cyclists pose little threat to drivers and hence drivers have less reason to be aware of them. Speed is key in determining severity of outcome. If collision speed exceeds 45km/hour, there is a less than 50% chance that the cyclist will survive. Even at low impact speed, cyclists can be badly injured. Helmets offer protection but helmet use varies by age, gender and location. Speed management is therefore crucial in a safe traffic system aiming to provide for vulnerable road users.
•‘Flexibility’: Motorists can never be sure when or where to expect cyclists – often cyclists flout road rules to make gains.
•‘Instability’: Cycle mistakes or failures are dangerous when they occur near other motor traffic/road users.
•‘Invisibility’: Cyclists are difficult to see and can be hidden, especially at night.
•‘Differing abilities’: Cyclists of all abilities and experience are present on the roads.
•‘Consciousness of effort’: Cyclists seek quick, easy, direct routes, so as to minimise effort.
•‘Estrangement’: Cyclists are often treated as nuisances on the roads, with little regard paid to their status as road users with equal rights.
•Cyclist accidents rarely result from one of these problems alone, but typically arise when several of them combine (European Transport Safety Council).
•An understanding of these key problems might help provide a framework on which to base planning for cyclists. The solution:
•The European Transport Safety Council (1999) identifies three main kinds of risk in the safety of cycling:
1.‘Risk from traffic’;
2.‘Risk from falling’;
3.‘Risk from crime’.
•It notes that these 3 types of risks can be managed respectively by:
1.Managing risk from traffic in 3 ways:
1.Separating different road users to reduce potential of conflict;
2.Creating safer conditions for integration of road users in shared spaces; and
3.Minimising consequences of collisions when they do occur.
2.Ensuring high quality design and maintenance of cycle surfaces.
3.Crime can be a social problem but transport problems can attempt to minimise risk by ensuring provision of well-lit, well-maintained, well-visible cycle routes and reducing risk of theft of cycles by providing secure, visible storage.
European Transport Safety Council (1999).
•Following on from this, the European Transport Safety Council (1999) outlines six key action strategies which can help improve safety:
◦Managing the traffic mix by separating different road users to reduce potential conflict. Danish research indicates a fall in cyclist casualties of 35% after the introduction of cycle tracks along urban roads.
◦Where separation is not practicable/desirable, ensuring safe conditions for the integrated use of shared road space is necessary. This includes road safety engineering measures and traffic and speed management schemes such as speed zones.
◦Changing attitudes and behaviour of motorists through information, training and enforcement of traffic law.
◦Consulting and informing cyclists about changes being made to fit their needs.
◦Minimising consequences of accidents when they do occur through crash protective design and encouraging use of protective equipment such as cycle helmets (particularly in high-risk groups), safer car fronts and HGV sideguards.
◦Changing priorities of policymakers/professionals responsible for the traffic system.
•In addition to this, the National Cycling Forum (1999) recommends four key actions which will increase cyclist safety whilst simultaneously increasing cycling levels.
1.Reducing motor traffic: this can make cycling safer since it reduces the potential for conflict with motor vehicles.
2.Reducing motor traffic speed: traffic claming measures can be cycle-friendly, e.g. speed cushions.
3.Implementing physical measures: e.g. cycle specific features (cycle lanes/ASLS), or general features (e.g. redesigning junctions and traffic calming.
4.Influencing behaviour and attitudes: e.g. road safety campaigns and teaching cycling skills, maintenance and safety.
•An effective safety campaign must seek to both create a safer environment for cyclists, whilst also encouraging responsible behaviour by both cyclists and drivers.
•The majority of cycle accidents involve cars and often in specific locations. Campaigns aiming to improve cyclist safety could therefore focus on reducing certain types of accidents and also preventing accidents in locations which are prone to accidents (National Cycling Forum).
European Local Transport Information Service (ELTIS) (2003) Walking and Cycling. At http://www.eltis.org/en/concept2.htm accessed on 17/04/2003
European Transport Safety council (1999) Safety of Pedestrians and Cyclists in Urban Areas.
European Transport Safety Council, Brussels.
Krag, T. (2002) ‘Urban Cycling in Denmark’ in McClintock, H. (ed.) Planning for Cycling: Principles, practice and solutions for urban planners. Woodhead Publishing Limited, Cambridge, pp.223-236.
National Cycling Forum (1999) Safety Framework for Cycling. National Cycling Stragey, April 1999.
Preston, B. (1990) ‘The safety of walking and cycling in different countries’ in Tolley, R. (ed.) The greening of urban transport: planning for walking and cycling in Western cities. John Wiley and Sons Ltd., Chichester, pp.47-63.
Road Directorate – Denmark Ministry of Transport (1994) Safety of Cyclists in Urban Areas: Danish Experiences. Traffic Safety and Environment – Report 10. Danish Road Directorate, Copenhagen. Road Directorate (2000) Collection of Cycle Concepts. Road Directorate, Denmark.
(Info provided by www.benbikes.org.za)
•Cycling Safety Suggestions for South African Conditions
•Cycling safely on South African roads and mountain bike trails
Cycling Safety Suggestions for South African Conditions
The beautiful South African scenery allows for much enjoyment on the road and the number of competitive cyclists is also on the increase. Competitions are well organized and there is careful attention to safety details - it is however during training that cyclists have to deal with the dangers caused by other road users, harsh conditions of nature and the perils of bad road conditions.
Cycling safety has become a major concern on the South Africa roads as there has been a significant increase in the number of fatal accidents involving cyclists. At the suggestion of the MTN OFM Classic we have decided to focus on some hazards specific to South Africa and provide suggestions on how to prevent cycling accidents.
What are the problems facing cyclists in traffic?
Planning your route and time of training
What is the best time to cycle and how should I plan my cycling training?
Internationally the numbers of cyclists killed/injured varies spatially and temporally. Most accidents occur on weekday afternoons and the risk of cycle accidents is 4-5 times greater in darkness than in daylight.
The crux of the cyclist safety problem centres on the fact that there is lack of planning providing for cyclists and that the traffic system is designed predominantly with car-users in mind. In South African driving conditions and especially with deteriorating road conditions is becomes even more important to plan ahead and find the best possible road for your training.
It is important to recognize that there is strength to be found in numbers. Do not go on the road alone and rather find a regular partner able to keep up with your training schedule. This will be very important especially in the event of an emergency.
Inform friends and family when you will be cycling, the road you will be cycling on and when you can be expected to return. Carry a fully charged cellular phone with you so you can request assistance in the event of an emergency.
Equipment and Clothing
Regulation 311 - Riding on pedal cycles
Reg 311. (1) No person shall ride a pedal cycle on a public road unless he or she is seated astride on the saddle of such pedal cycle.
(2) Persons riding pedal cycles on a public road shall ride in single file except in the course of overtaking another pedal cycle, and two or more persons riding pedal cycles shall not overtake another vehicle at the same time.
(3) No person riding or seated on a pedal cycle on a public road shall take hold of any other vehicle in motion.
(4) No person riding a pedal cycle on a public road shall deliberately cause such pedal cycle to swerve from side to side.
(5) No person riding a pedal cycle on a public road shall carry thereon any person, animal or object which obstructs his or her view or which prevents him or her from exercising complete control over the movements of such pedal cycle.
(6) A person riding a pedal cycle on a public road shall do so with at least one hand on the handle bars of such pedal cycle.
(7) Whenever a portion of a public road has been set aside for use by persons riding pedal cycles, no person shall ride a pedal cycle on any other portion of such road.
(8) A person riding a pedal cycle on a public road or a portion of a public road set aside for use by persons riding pedal cycles, shall do so in such manner that all the wheels of such pedal cycle are in contact with the surface of the road at all times.
Safe Cycling Techniques
Even if you are a well experienced and prepared cyclist – accidents do happen. You should be able to answer the following questions: