The Think Bike Marshals were formed back in 2006 when a small group of Think Bike Marshals got together as they realised there was a need for a "Marshalling Service" with a focus on control and safety.
More and more frequently these early Marshals were being requested to provide a safety escort for groups such as funerals, motorcycle rides and cycle races – to name but a few.
These early Marshals were few in number but what they lacked in numbers and equipment they made up for in spirit, enthusiasm, passion and commitment. Their numbers increased as did the demand for their skills and over the years that "happy band" grew into the Think Bike Marshalling Service we have today.
Who we are
The Think Bike Marshals are all volunteers who have joined the Marshals for a variety of personal reasons – the most common being a belief that too many people (particularly cyclists and motorcyclists) die on our roads daily. This belief is usually supported by the desire to "put something back into" motorcycling and road safety.
They are a mixture of all ages, colours, creeds and genders – in Think Bike Marshals there is room for everyone! Most Marshals are active "bikers" although there are a few who do no ride but provide backup support in other ways.
They are not angels and are definitely not above being a little "naughty" from time to time! They are not judgemental, nor superior – just ordinary "bikers" who are very conscious of road safety and trying to make the world a better place at all times.
How to Become a Marshal
Anybody who meets the following criteria can become a Think Bike Marshal:
- You must be a paid-up member of Think Bike.
- Your bike must be roadworthy (Licensed & Legal).
- You need to attend introductory sessions, with a mentor, covering area specific routes.
- You must have a valid motorbike licence or learner licence valid for at least 6 months after the date you joined as a Trainee Marshal.
If you comply with the above-mentioned criteria then all you have to do is complete the necessary documentation that will be forwarded to you.
- You will be a Trainee Marshal for a minimum period of 6 months and a maximum period of 1 year.
- You must attend at least one marshal training session that will consist of theory and practical skills. You will be evaluated on your riding skills. Any improvement areas with your riding skills will be communicated to you.
- While you are a Trainee Marshal, you will receive on-going training.
- You must have a full licence to become an accredited Marshal.
- Most important of all these points: HAVE FUN.
On joining Think Bike Marshals, you will be provided with a Mentor who remains with you for life. You join as a Trainee Marshal and then progress through the levels of Marshal and Senior Marshal to Deputy Head and Head Marshal. Progress is not rapid, as we believe that experience and thorough training is essential.
If you believe you would like to become a Think Bike Marshal or support Think Bike Marshals or simply wish to chat with us please click the link and send us an email.
Our Mission and Purpose
Think Bike Marshals have the following mission and purposes:
- We are the public face of the Think Bike Road Safety Campaign. As a result of what we do and our relatively high public profile, we are very often the face of the campaign that the public most often see. Because of this we demand and try to maintain the highest standards of safety and ethics.
- Think Bike Marshals provide Safety Marshalling and Traffic Control for many varied events. We are available whenever companies, clubs or groups of people require assistance in moving from one geographic location to another. This may involve so-called "static marshalling" when Marshals are positioned at intersections, to short and long distance "rolling roadblock" marshalling, when Marshals control traffic over sometimes literally thousands of kilometres.
- We have the duty of providing funding for the Think Bike Road Safety Campaign. The assignments we take up are both paid as well as unpaid and the funds raised by the paid events go towards Campaign and Marshalling costs. Our unpaid or volunteer assignments are used to support a wide range of charity events supporting anything from animal welfare to assisting people in need.
Think Bike Marshals have intensively trained in a variety of skills …… apart from the obviously required high and low-speed riding skills.
Internal as well as external training courses are run at least once a month and cover many different topics, among them:
- Two-way radio usage;
- First Aid skills to level 3;
- Event Leadership skills;
- Joint Operations Management skills;
- Defensive Riding skills;
- Mentorship skills;
- High and Low-Speed Riding skills;
- Risk assessment skills;
- Road safety.
We assist in moving groups of people from location to location safely. This may involve weekend cycle club training events, international open road UCI registered events, corporate cycle riding events (both on and off-road) as well as mass motorcycle events such as the Kyalami Mass Ride and the Tshwane Toy Run.
We are also called on to provide a Rapid Response Team at pedestrian crowd events like the 702 Walk the Talk.
Marshal assignments may be static intersection marshalling all the way up to national open road events, covering thousands of kilometres of the open road – examples are the Cape Rouleur and the Sasol Solar Car Challenge. We work closely with traffic police and have a very close relationship with the OFF Road Rescue Unit (ORRU).
Location and Structure
We are presently active in Gauteng and the Western Cape.
We are part of Think Bike (The Campaign) a registered "Not for Profit" organisation and as such any contributions enjoy certain tax benefits.
Think Bike Marshals have a relatively flat structure, being headed up by Head Marshals, Deputy Head Marshals and Senior Marshals. The 6 pillars of Think Bike Marshals are:
- Training; and