On 3 January this year, South African cycling great, Burry Stander, lost his life when he collided with a minibus taxi as he was completing a training ride. Burry was just 25 years old.
We lost a true legend that day and the entire nation and the cycling world mourned. Most of us are still mourning. A part of all of us died that day – even those who had never met Burry. His courage was remarkable, his influence broad and his legacy will live in our hearts for all time.
We will never forget Burry, but we must ensure that his death isn’t just another statistic. This great loss MUST yield some sort of gain for cyclists on our roads. We cannot bring Burry back, but we can possibly prevent others from being taken away too soon by raising awareness of and respect for cyclists on our roads.
The best way to do this of course is to manage our own behaviour as cyclists. We cannot demand respect if we don’t obey the rules of the road when riding our bicycles. If we all do this, motorists will notice. And that’s the first step in raising awareness and earning respect. Our behaviour and attitude is the one thing we CAN control…
Next time you approach an intersection, even if there’s little traffic, think about Burry. Think about your family hoping that you’ll get home safely. Think about the motorists around you and what they will think of cyclists as a whole if you disregard the law and skip the red light. Just think.
On Friday, the one-year anniversary of Burry’s death will roll around. Not surprisingly, roadies and mountain bikers will come together to remember our great champion. We’ll pedal in the large groups in various parts of the country to pay our respects to a truly great young man.
We’ll be pedalling on public roads and we need to know that even if we have police escorts, we need to consider other road users and obey the rules, unless otherwise directed by the traffic officials.
But don’t only be on your best behaviour on the memorial ride. Make your own statement on every ride, every day. And wear a helmet. Not only is it a South African law, it’s just sensible. – SEAN BADENHORST
Planned Burry Stander Memorial Rides
This is a roster of rides that we have compiled from various sources. We are not organising the rides, but encourage you to find out more about the ride near you to ensure you have all the relevant information.
Friday 3 January, 17h30. From the church at the top of Church Street. Christoph Sauser will lead this ride.
Friday 3 January, 17h00. From the Cape Town Stadium underpass (where the #moonlightmass starts). We will follow the route of the Moonlight Mass rides and end at Greenmarket Square. For more info, call Andrew on 0825989178.
Friday 3 January, 07h00. From Simola/N2 intersection (MTB ride).
Sunday 5 January, 07h00. From Engen Garage Buffeldoring Road. One road group and one MTB group. For more info, contact Romke de Jongh 0834539846 or Leon Viljoen 083 2876483.
Friday 3 January, 18h30. From Groenkloof Plaza and ride up Fort Klapperkop.
Friday 3 January, 17h30. Starting and finishing at Fairy Goth Mother, 32 7th Street Linden. Ghost bike to be raised as a memorial.
Friday 3 January, 10h00. Sabie Downhill Course.
Saturday 4 January, 08h30. From Karkloof Country Club.
Monday 6 January, 17h30. From Holla Trails. Ghost bike to be raised as a memorial, Cherise Stander to attend.
Friday 3 January, 17h00. Starting and finishing at Burry Stander Ghost Bike memorial, corner of Marine Drive and Stott Road. Stander family to attend.
Saturday 4 January, 07h30. 30km outride starting and finishing at the Burry Stander Bike Park, St Faiths Road, just outside Port Shepstone. Registration is from 05h30. R50 per person gets you a Burry Stander Bike Park number board, which can be used at any time to ride at the park, much of which is on the same trails Burry used to train on. For more info, call Amanda Stander on 0794937499. Stander family to attend.
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