Busy Season Puts Spotlight On Cycle Safety
Media Release December 2007
BUSY SEASON PUTS SPOTLIGHT ON CYCLE SAFETY
Cycling is one of the safer sports Kiwis get up to – ACC records show rugby is 31 more times more risky than cycling, which ranks alongside golf on the injury scale – but Kiwis are being urged to keep the nation’s cyclists safe this holiday season as both cyclists and drivers ready themselves for December getaways by packing and stocking up on new bikes and crucial equipment.
Consumer research has shown the importance of buying some accessories, such as helmets, brand-new rather than from second-hand sources such as online auction sites, because earlier accidents may have damaged the helmet’s structure. Safety advocates recommend getting advice on helmet purchases from specialist stores, where staff can ensure a correct fit.
This advice comes at a time when cycling is booming in popularity, with three-quarters of a million of us – about one-fifth of the population – cycling on a monthly basis, and around one million cycles being imported in the past five years. The reasons? A combination of steadily improving infrastructure, increasing fuel prices and environmental awareness, and general attention to health and fitness, says Tony Rogers, Group Marketing Manager for Avanti.
“The boom does mean, though, that there are many more vehicles on our roads, both cars and bikes, particularly during the month of December. Although there’s a bit of a myth that cycling is unsafe, which the statistics don’t bear out, the Christmas holiday period can be a dangerous time of year for riders. There is the additional factor of a lot of cycling-related purchases being made for others at this time of year – people are buying for the cyclist in the family, for example, and may need some input from a cycling expert to be sure they’re buying the right item for the rider’s needs.”
Cycling Advocates’ Network Media & Marketing Coordinator Stephen McKernon urges all road users to keep safety top of mind, and says cyclists can maximize their protection on the road with reflective clothing, such as jackets or simple ankle and waistbands.
With a variety of quality equipment on the market, the stocking up on reflective material need not be costly; Mr Rogers says good helmets, for example, can be bought new for less than $50.
All new helmets must be certified to a standard approved by Land Transport New Zealand, and must carry a sticker showing that certification.
Mr Rogers says as for all retailers, the lead-up to Christmas is a busy time for Avantiplus stores, with riders and gift-buyers seeking out new cycles, apparel and accessories. “People are often looking for guidance or advice, and an important thing our staff always emphasize is safety – people’s needs vary depending on how, when and where they ride, and especially if they ride in traffic. Avantiplus staff are cyclists, and many of them compete, so they can give good advice on the right equipment, which is particularly important in December when many people are buying for others.”
Founded in New Zealand more than 50 years ago, Avanti is a leading cycling brand, retailing bicycles, parts and accessories across the Australasian market. The retail brand Avantiplus is a network of independently-owned outlets throughout Australasia. Avanti is a key supporter of cycling infrastructure and competitive cyclists, and works with a number of New Zealand charities.