Road cycling is the most widespread of the various cycling disciplines, as it not only includes funrides and racing on the road, but also commuting and general recreational cycling. Road cyclists are generally expected to obey the same traffic laws as other road users, including cars, buses and taxi’s.
GENERAL ROAD CYCLING INFORMATION
Cyclists (riding for sport, recreation and for transport/commuting) have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists – and the SA Road Traffic Act even defines a cyclist as a driver of a motor vehicle. South African roads are public spaces, and cyclists have the right to ride on them, and the responsibility to obey traffic laws (just like motorists do).
Cyclists have the right to expect motor vehicles to overtake them safely, and look out for them at intersections. The Road Traffic Act is clear: drivers must take other road users into account in whatever they do. Cyclists also have the right to the left-hand side of the road (not the extreme edge of the left-hand side).
But it’s not always easy to share the road with a slower-moving vehicle, especially if you’re not a cyclist yourself. Please refer to the SAFE CYCLING section for tips on how to use the roads safely, tips on commuting, and the like.
Are you new to road funrides? Firstly: Welcome! We hope you will enjoy many years of doing events on the PPA funride calendar. What do you need to know about PPA funrides?
1. BRING YOUR MEMBERSHIP CARD ALONG
At some events, you’ll have to show your PPA membership card in order to qualify for the PPA discounted entry fee. Your membership card can be printed off the MYPPA section of the PPA web site as and when you need it. Please register yourself with MyPPA if you have not yet done so, and follow the prompts. Your membership card is one way of proving that you are a paid-up PPA member.
2. BRING YOUR PPA FUNRIDE NUMBER ALONG
Amongst others, as a paid-up PPA member, you will receive a seeded funride number to enable you to start ahead of non-members at road and MTB funrides.
You need to wear your seeded funride number at all PPA events (road and MTB). Pin the number securely to the back of your cycling jersey, without folding the number in any way.
If you forget your number at home, you have two options: a) Buy a temp (unseeded) number to use on the day, and start with the unseeded riders. This number costs R5 and can be obtained from the registration tables. (b) You can also buy a seeded number for R30 to use on the day, from the PPA Mobile Office at the event.
Reseeding is done regularly and will be announced. Please check your seeding on the PPA web site on a regular basis, and contact the PPA office if you qualify for a higher seeding, and wish to upgrade your seeding. Please note there are reseeding costs applicable and that you will be required to return your existing number in order to get a new one. You need to obtain your new seeded number (if you qualify for a higher one) before you can start in that higher seeded group – you can line up only in the group that corresponds to the number on your back, or a lower group.
3. BRING YOUR TRANSPONDER
Remember to always wear your transponder (timing chip) if you wish to be timed for a PPA funride. No transponder – No time! Please wear your transponder around your right ankle and make sure that you ride over both the start and finish mats. Transponders are affected by metal, so if you attach your timing chip to your bike (other than via the approved bicycle mount available from PPA), your chip could possibly not register. Please check as you cross the mats and listen out for a “beep”. If you do not hear the “beep”, immediately speak to the timing crew at the mat.
4. HOW DO ENTRIES & REGISTRATION WORK?
PPA oversees a full annual calendar, with over 60 road and mountain bike events. When you enter a PPA-approved event, you know that the event conforms to certain safety and organizational standards. Please be aware that events sometimes do get cancelled, while routes may on occasion change due to, for example, road works in the week before an event. These changes will be announced on our web site and in our weekly email to our database of paid-up members. It is therefore important that you notify us should your email address change.
You can enter PPA funrides either by Pre-, Online or Late (on-the-day) Entries. In general, online pre-entries are the cheapest way of entering an event. While most events do charge the recommended PPA entry fees, some events charge different fees due to the costs associated to the event. These are indicated as such on the calendars.
On the day of the event, you need to go to the Registration tables at the funrides. You’ll then receive an event sticker or other form of confirmation of payment to show to the start group marshals. For road events, the event sticker must be placed on your back number in the bottom left corner, as indicated.
5. STUDY THE FUNRIDE RULES
In order to make PPA-approved funrides as safe as possible, there are several general funride rules to adhere to when you participate in a road or off-road event. While the most important rules relate to the fact that cyclists will be disqualified for not wearing a helmet or for crossing the centre-line to ride on the “wrong side of the road”, other rules relate to minimum age categories for young riders. Please visit the “PPA FUNRIDE RULES” section on our web site for the full list of rules.
Lastly – if for whatever reason you do not complete the route you had entered for at a funride but turn short, please do not cross the timing mats when you finish, and immediately inform the timing crew that you had not completed the full distance.
6. THE START OF THE EVENT
Once you’ve registered at the event, please make your way to your designated start group (as per the PPA seeded funride number which you must pin securely to the back of your cycling shirt), which will be indicated by the start category boards. These boards will be placed in alphabetical order, with “A” being nearest the start line.
The first group will leave at the time advertised for the ride and the rest of the field will follow at staggered intervals. Please note that you do have to line up with your seeded group. While you may start with a “lower” group, you will be disqualified if you start with a “higher” or faster group. For example, if you currently have a “V” seeding, then you can ride with a friend in “X”, but not with a friend in “G”. Our PPA ride marshals will be on hand to assist with this process – please do ask them should you have a query in this regard.
Please note that the starting times indicated on the calendar are a guide only, and a start may at times be delayed for safety or other reasons. The cut-off time for a road event is calculated at roughly 20 km/h from the estimated starting time of the last group to leave in the long route, while the cut-off time for MTB events are calculated based on the degree of difficulty of the route. If you are uncertain as to whether you’ll complete the long route within the cut-off time, we recommend that you participate in one of the shorter routes instead.
7. AND THE NEXT EVENT…
Lastly, please ensure that you do provide us with your current email address upon registration, as most of our communication takes place electronically – for instance, we send out a weekly email with event information. If you do not have access to email, you can also read the newsletter on our website (just follow the link off the home page).
If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our contact details are as follows:
Monday – Thursday: 08h30 – 16h30
Friday: 08h30 – 16h00
Tel: (021) 689-8420
Fax: (021) 689-8490
Visit us: 9 Hill Park Lane, Mowbray
Snail mail: P O Box 665, Rondebosch, 7701
Email: email@example.com (general queries)
or firstname.lastname@example.org (membership queries)
We really look forward to seeing you at our funrides!