The Pedal Power Association’s (PPA) Neil Robinson and the cycling community are saddened by the murder of Heinrich Hamm (58) of Benoni.
The Hoërskool Birchleigh teacher was shot and killed near the R25 on November 18.
At the time of the incident, Hamm was riding with his brother-in-law, Charles Botha, and nephew, Carlo (18).
“It is a sad reality that as South Africans, we cannot engage in outdoor recreational activities without fear,” said Robinson.
“Cycling is about more than just staying fit. It is an opportunity to destress, unwind and appreciate the beauty our country has to offer.
“Unfortunately, criminals have become aware of the monetary value of bicycles, and we are seeing a spike in bike-jackings.”
According to Robinson, it is suspected that many stolen bicycles are dismantled before being transported across the border to neighbouring countries.
In light of the most recent incident, Robinson reiterated the importance of becoming a PPA member.
Fees from memberships allow the association to expand its Safe Cycling and Bike4All initiatives.
Reports of criminal activity and accidents involving cyclists further help to identify hotspots. The information is made available to riders.
Safe riding tips further include:
• Do not ride alone
Cyclists are advised to ride in groups of six to 10 riders. Power in numbers could be a deterrent for criminals.
• Opt to ride during peak cycling times
“Do your homework,” said Robinson.
“Ride when other cyclists are most active. This again ensures criminals in desolate areas do not target you.”
• Wear bright and reflective clothing
Visibility ensures riders are visible to other road users. This prevents accidents, and in the event of bike-jackings where the riders might have been assaulted and left stranded on the route, it may make it easier for other riders to assist.
• Identify hotspots
The PPA continuously updates its website and social media pages with hotspot information. Follow these pages for updates and alter your routes when it is necessary to avoid them
A life is worth more than any sports equipment. In the event of a bike-jacking, comply with the assailants’ demands.
• Report crime
Use the PPA Whatsapp number to report incidents of crime. Ensure your message contains vital information such as the exact location, vehicles used and registration numbers where possible.
Send messages to 081 043 9890.
For more information or to become a member of PPA, go to www.pedalpower.org.za
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