Olympic Cycling Track Safety Campaign

Qatar Cycling Federation has petitioned cycling groups in Qatar to support them in encouraging safe cycling – particularly on the Olympic Cycling Track.

The ‘OCT’ has become a victim of it’s own success. It has contributed hugely to the development of cycling but there are now many novice cyclists. There have been accidents and QCF is receiving complaints from those who have found themselves facing on-coming groups racing across the full width of both lanes. It’s time for the community to help spread the safety and responsibility messages.

Secretary General of Qatar Cycling Federation, Mr Thani Al Zarraa, has launched the campaign by sending a letter to all local groups, requesting assistance to establish seven basic safety rules:

  • Keep right to allow faster cyclists to pass safely.
  • Ride no more than two side by side
  • Always ride in the right-hand lane unless crossing the centre line is necessary to pass. When passing:
    1. Pass only when safe
    2. Consider riding single-file when passing
    3. Use the minimum space when outside your lane (do not ride in echelons)
  • If your group is too large or inexperienced to stay in lane, split into smaller groups
  • Front and rear lights are mandatory in low light and after dark.
  • Cycling helmet must be worn.
  • Racing is not allowed except during officially sanctioned events.

The letter further urges all users to take responsibility for the safety and enjoyment of all using the track and is accompanied by images promoting the message ‘Plenty of room on the track if…’

 

The key message in each is to keep to the right. This applies as much to solo riders and pairs because cycling along the centre line forces others to cross into the opposing lane to pass.

Groups must not stay in echelons to pass. As far as possible cyclists must stay in their lane.

Sometimes this will require the group to form a single-file line. Especially if the group is large or there are on-coming cyclists.

The bigger the group and the more inexperienced the cyclists (larger gaps between them), the greater the likelihood of drifting outside the lane. To stay on the right, your group may have to split into multiple echelons or even decide to set off the ride in smaller groups.

Everyone enjoys the speed thrills of cycling in a group but everyone must take responsibility for forming safe and respectful cycling habits.