Spreading the cycling safety message

A METRE MATTERS: Roadsafe NE’s Michelle Armstrong, local cyclists Ann McDonald and James Boal, and WISAC community development officer Jackie Hobbs are keen to spread the cycling safety message during the Tour de Wangaratta.

A METRE matters when cars have to allow room to pass cyclists on the road and from this week, also when riding an exercise bike.

In a joint initiative to encourage a shared respect between cyclists and motorists, the YMCA will help RoadSafe North East deliver its “a metre matters” message, during the Tour de Wangaratta.

The month-long challenge at the Wangaratta Indoor Sports and Aquatic Centre (WISAC) starts Saturday and involves people in Top Ride classes clocking their distances during time trial, mountain and flat sessions that mirror the Tour de France.

Amy Gillett Foundation and RoadSafe NE banners will be on display during the competition, plus code of conduct brochures with tips for motorists and cyclists will be available.

RoadSafe North East spokesperson, Robert Allen, said the opportunity to communicate safety messages to WISAC members and visitors will help raise awareness and understanding of the benefits of sharing the road.

“As the agency responsible for cycling safety issues, RoadSafe NE is currently implementing targeted prevention programs to reduce the incidence of serious cycling injuries on north east roads,” he said.

“The Tour de Wangaratta promotion is a great way to kick-start our cycle safe community partnership with WISAC.”

The “metre matters” banners will provide a visual reminder for motorists to leave a metre gap when overtaking bike riders, and for all road users to look out for each other on the road.

WISAC’s health and wellness co-ordinator, Mike Paul, said the event will hopefully provide added interest to Top Ride classes over the next month.

“A lot of locals take a keen interest in the actual tour,” he said.

“We hope that the Wang tour will provide a bit of fun and give an opportunity for people to challenge themselves by working harder or perhaps taking on extra classes.”

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