CYCLERS ASSEMBLED (JUST NOT ON THE ROAD!)
Cycling is getting more and more popular these days. What used to be our means of transports as kids, now is being caught up by professionally working adults. People spend up to tens of thousands on bikes and accessories, investing hours daily in their hunts for the first (and subsequent) ‘century’ rides.
Unfortunately, the crazier we are about something, the lazier we tend to be in taking precautions to our safety. Despite all the accident stories on the news, people get somewhat more careless. In 2021, there have been 150 road accidents involving cyclists around Malaysia, with 71 deaths, 24 critical injuries and 55 light injuries. Ironically, more cyclists are found on the roads and highways each day, even though cycling on the highways has been banned by the PDRM, where one could face up to RM 5000 in fine or imprisoned for up to 12 months.
Of course, every cyclist has pledged to be extra careful in their rides, but this is not enough. We need to have stricter laws when it comes to cycling on motor roads, because despite the ‘extra care’, cycling naturally comes with many harms.
Let’s be honest – we are not visible enough! Not with our much smaller size, the non-existence of side mirrors or whatever mirrors there are, and of course the significantly smaller and least obvious bicycle lights. Motorcyclists can relate to this; because even their up-to-standard bright lights are not enough to alert other drivers of their existence.
Our small size also means we move slower, brake slower, and respond slower. By the time you see some vehicles rushing at you, it is almost usually too late to do anything.
What safety bumpers?
What can we do if we are hit by something? We are not equipped enough to avoid the harms caused by impacts with other vehicles. What is there to ensure us to be injury-free when we fall to the ground? Well, can we even do anything to avoid falling, in the first place, especially when meeting our ‘best friends’ – the potholes, that are notoriously haunting almost every motor road there is. Just what can we do, with our tiny wheels and our tiny helmet or elbow or knee pads (if you do wear any)?
Cycling is undeniably fun and healthy, but there’s a proper place for it. Recreational parks are aplenty, especially if you live in an urban area. Just keep your bikes in your car UNTIL you have reached the parks. Do not cycle to the parks – well, simply avoid existing on the roads altogether.
You can still organise convoys or group rides, but please go through the proper channels. You may apply with the authorities for permits and get ample supervisions or even ask for escorts.
Everyone wants to be fit and healthy, and nobody is standing in your way to achieve that. Just remember – the bragging right on achieving your ‘century’ ride would only mean something if you’re still alive after!