Does social ride helps you to have the confidence to take the streets?
The more you ride on the road, the more confidence you become. You will understand the challenges and dangers of commuting on the road as well as how traffic responds to cyclists. Personally, I feel that all those social rides with the marshals and police escort will not help much for you to gain the confidence when you are riding alone on the road.
Yes, I could agree on the security point on view. However, during social rides with marshals and police escort around, with all the roads closed, we tend to enjoy more on the ride rather than thinking much about learning to negotiate with traffic. Social rides for recreational purposes are not meant to educate so much about road safety. It’s just, we wanna have fun thingy.
How about social rides without all those helps? The group rides organized by those informal groups and clubs. As far as I know, all those rides are meant for sports and recreational purposes. It focuses more on performances and burning fats rather than on road safety. Yeah, maybe it might help in a small way but personally I think we need something more formal to teach people on how to ride safe on the road. We need a classroom sessions like the one when we are getting our driving license. We need practical trainings in a simulation situation. Remember long time ago we had the Shell Road Safety Contest?
When we have social ride with all those escort, we tend to send the message to other road users, Hey...look… it's fun to ride a bike, so come and join us! NOT so much to tell them, Hey...look…we are part of traffic, so do respect us when we cycle alone...yea. The problem here is we are marketing cycling as a sport and recreation thingy. Not so much as an alternative need transportation.
Will the cyclists clad in lycra clothing really earn the respect of other road users? Actually there is no need to. Just wear your daily clothes when you cycle. To earn the respect of motorists here, when we ride alone, we need to send the message that… Hey...I ride because I choose to ride not because I don't have a choice like the migrant workers. It will take time to change that kind of perception, and the way to do that is by marketing bicycle as an alternative need transportation.
Riding as a transport
Riding as a transport