Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Sponsors appoint an " Ad Agency " to handle most , if not all aspects , of their efforts to garner " Visibility " at a variety of Sporting Events ! That " Sponsoring " costs a lot of money is not in dispute , but one wonders WHY when having spent millions they ALLOW drivers that have no respect for those whom they are supposed to win over to their " Employers' Services and products "?

Driving for a Sponsor usually requires the driver to have " Accreditation " ! This " Dog collar " does not absolve the wearer from the responsibility to behave like they are required to do by the Driving regulations of the countries in which they are working ! Bad driving with or without " Accreditation " has consequences , it can not only involve other vehicles but also innocent bystanders/spectators ! Nobody comes to stand beside the road to applaud the Race Participants with the expectation of a visit to a Medical Facility ! But there are the occasional " Accidents " and even more so those caused by " Sponsor Vehicles Drivers !

Last year i called on " Not so Fat anymore , Mc Quaid of the UCI " , to introduce a " Drivers Code " and " Mandatory Testing of ALL that seek accreditation  , at UCI Road Cycle Events " . This appears too difficult for the UCI to think about , yet alone implement ! All expecting to drive at the ProTours seem to ONLY have to say they have a " drivers Permit " to gain the " Accreditation " . Does anyone really care if their " Drivers permit " is currently VALID ?

Too many incidents over 15 seasons of riding these Cycle Tour Routes come to mind , some have caused me cuts and bruises , some involved me in a shouting match with the Driver and then their employer . Suffice to say that each time i confront one of these  " Could not care less drivers " they and their passenger plead ignorance regarding their behaviour , AND THEN , tell me , that if i had not been on my bike there , then i would not have found myself in that situation !

People often ask me why i wear NO Accreditation . Fact is i don`t need to do so , just about every person involved with Cycle Racing , Rowing and Skiing knows who i am and MOST have forgotten WHY i am there ! Daily at these events i see people nudging their companions and pointing me out , no doubt relaying the fact that they have seen me elsewhere . Rarily people will come and thank me for " Advocating Sponsorship of Para Athletes "! Some will introduce me to a variety of personalities of all persuasions . Meeting Senior Politicians and Service Personnel seems to be a daily event , but on the other hand , i get reports from people , telling me they have been warned to stay clear of me since their colleague has reported their version of some incident .

Whenever i find myself the " victim " of aggressive driving , i do my best to find and chastise the perpetrator , since , if they do it to me , then they di it elsewhere ! Drivers in their " tonne " of metal , think they are safe until i tap on their window and " ask for an explanation " of their errant behaviour ! some will rewind their window but a very few will apologise and say that they will remember the points i make ín future behaviour in the proximity of Cyclists !

The latest case , Tuesday on the road to Olten during the Tour de Suisse , passed into a 50kph zone , through an assortment of corners and then followed the road up the hill . Turned on the " Hazard lights when i saw a speeding " Sponsor Vehicle " fast approaching . The vehicle passed me on a left curving corner , without vision of oncoming traffic , regardless of those lining the narrow road !Having returned to the RHS of the road , braked hard to arrive beside a knot of " spectators " to pass out samples of their " Gruyere/Emmantel Cheese " ! Blocking the road caused me to have to wait until the " Van/people mover " moved on . He then turned up onto the pavement a few metres along the rpad to do some work in the vehicle . When i walked back , the three people were opening boxes of " Sponsors` samples ".

When i tapped on the driver's window , to ask for an explanation , it was " PISS OFF BACK TO OZ , we don`t need you here "!  I then went around to the pavement side , to speak to the passengers  , to ask if they felt safe with this type of driving , or wished to lose their " Drivers' Permit for condonning the driver's behaviour ? Yes , in some countries you the passenger , are also responsible for the Driver's behaviour ! The driver then threatened to get out of the vehicle and assault me , alone , no problem , but three up , shaking their " fists " , i decided , " enough was enough " ! Of course i will see these mongrels again and i did at the Arrivee last night but then i was on the bike , helmeted in the rain . This post will also go to their " Sponsor's CEO , who will be thrilled with the publicity they generated with his " Logoed Vehicle "!

Just about ALL French roads leading over a " Pass/ Col " now have at the bottom of the climb , a sign with " Je Depasse 1 1/2m " installed ! Hopefully more of these signs will be installed further up the climb since a drivers ' attention span , declines after a few corners . France seems to lead the world in their efforts to educate vehicle drivers but the Cyclist should NEVER EVER ride with " earphones or a Mobile clapped to their ear ! Personally as a Cyclist , i hate to see those " showoffs , riding no hands , on the mobibe , not wearing a helmet ( frequently used to protect the handlebars ) , riding three and four abreast ! As a driver , i come up behind Cyclists and put on my " Hazard lights " until i am past ! Rarely will i use my klaxon until past , even if i know the riders . Approaching Cyclists in ANY Situation , i am able to judge where they will be when i am within 50m of them , so have the choice to go wide with signals OR slow down with " Hazard lights " until safe to pass .

Those that find this too hard to do , need to reeducate themsellves , time is running out for those that regard Cyclists as road furniture or in extreme cases , as " ROADKILL "!

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