CYCLISTS from across Cornwall will be taking part in an 'awareness ride' next weekend in a bid to improve relations with drivers – and essentially reduce the number of casualties on the county's roads, writes Lee Hall.
The ride is being organised by David Wring, chairman of Newquay Velo Cycle Club, who, after losing a friend in a cycling accident with a car recently, decided it was time to act.
Wring is keen to improve relationships between drivers and cyclists, and make sure both are made fully aware of the dangers on Cornwall's roads.
He said: "Having recently lost a friend in a needless cycling accident (involving a car) I felt it necessary to start something more proactive than continuing the one-sided blame culture argument.
"Road cyclists are constantly bemoaning the poor attitude of many vehicle drivers with frequent stories of danger by hasty and inconsiderate drivers.
"The fact of the matter is that cyclists of all types are being killed and injured on our roads and I feel a system of awareness for all parties has to be put in place.
"Cyclists must be made aware of how their actions affect the driver, cyclist relationship as much as drivers need to be educated as to our presence, and how to deal with the growing numbers of cyclists on our roads.
"More cyclists have died on our roads in the UK this year than soldiers in Afghanistan, which is a sad and scary statistic."
The ride is due to take place on Sunday, December 9, starting from Penair School in Truro at 8.30am, where around 100 cyclists will make their way along the A390, finishing in St Austell town centre.
Cyclists will then gather and applaud those who have lost their lives recently in cycling accidents.
Wring said: "The apparent cyclist versus driver war is unnecessary and one which we must avoid fuelling.
"Instead, we must strive to raise awareness and educate all parties as to how we are better able to protect one another."
The event is being organised through British Cycling, meaning the ride has its own insurance, while cyclists will also be protected by the presence of motorbike outriders along the route. The ride is expected to take 1hr 30mins (15 miles) and is just £2 to enter.
For more details and how to register for the 'awareness ride' visit www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/84635/Cycle-Awareness-Ride-