Around the middle of 2005, a number of bikers were using an online forum to discuss the alarming number of unnecessary motorcycle accidents; avoidable accidents caused by inattentiveness, ignorance, incompetence and failure to exercise due care. The Think Bike sticker campaign that had been started by Tony Day of Cape Town in the 80’s came up in discussion, and it was decided there and then to revive the campaign and expand on its goals and methods.
Thanks mainly to the dedication, hard work and leadership of the now late chairman, Brian Cannoo, the Think Bike Campaign now offers a membership option, a community forum with thousands of contributors, a busy Facebook page and group, 2 Twitter accounts, sponsors from a number of business sectors and has to date distributed over 180 000 leaflets, over 160 000 bumper stickers, and reached literally thousands of road users with its message.
The campaign is run by volunteers that are based all over the country and is registered as a Not for Company (NPC). Think Bike volunteers have also established teams of highly trained marshals in Gauteng and the Western Cape that assist at various events such as the 94.7 Classic Cycle race and The Cape Rouleur. These Marshalling Teams are also involved in numerous other cycling and biking events around the country such as the annual Toy Runs, Pedal Power Association's League Cycling and offer escorts to motorcycle bike runs.
This campaign is intended to help educate the general public about issues of safety when sharing the roads with cyclists and bikers, without pointing fingers or accusing anyone of negligence. The campaign is also aimed at the biking and cycling community, to educate about safety issues and encourage the use of protective as well as high visibility clothing.
Almost every motorcyclist and cyclist who has been in an accident with another vehicle will have heard the inevitable "But I didn't see you!” Think Bike recognises that as a problem, and has come to realise that this is because road users don't know how to look or what to look for. Think Bike, through it's volunteers and supporters, aims to do all it can to help educate the public in what to look out for, how to evaluate what it is they see, and how to act in accordance.
Make sure people can see you! While it's illegal for motorcycles in South Africa to ride with headlights off, some bikers do.
Day or night, bikers and cyclists are also urged to wear bright or reflective colours, and follow the rules of the road!
Get some training!
If Google isn't giving you enough choices, there are also links to training schools on the Think Bike Forum that cater to all levels of experience - beginner to advanced - and are a worthwhile investment into your own safety.
Wear protective clothing.
The right gear will probably do more than just save your life, it will also save you months of pain, skin grafts and surgery. If you think you can't afford proper protective gear, consider what the long term medical costs might be.
Help spread the word.
Become a member. Join the Think Bike Forum. Get a Think Bike sticker on all your vehicles. Get a DNR (Do Not Remove if Rider is injured) sticker for your helmet. Wear the t-shirt. Email your friends. You may just save a life. And that is worth everything, isn't it?