Police in North Yorkshire are warning cyclists visiting the area to take care on the county’s roads following a serious collision at the weekend.
A 48-year-old man, from the Bradford area, suffered life-changing injuries when his bike collided with a car on Carpley Green Road at Askrigg on Saturday 5 April 2014.
There was a further collision involving a cyclist over the weekend and officers are keen to avoid any more casualties.
North Yorkshire’s picturesque and challenging routes are very popular with cyclists, particularly in the summer months, with people coming from neighbouring counties to enjoy the roads around the Yorkshire Dales.
However, North Yorkshire’s rural highways can be dangerous to inexperienced cyclists who are unfamiliar with the steep and winding roads.
There are other hazards to bear in mind as well, which even experienced riders may not have encountered before, such as cattle-grids, sheep and other wildlife in the road, mud from agricultural vehicles, loose gravel and undefined kerb lines.
Officers are distributing leaflets and posters around bike centres, café stops and assembly points throughout the Dales in an effort to get their important safety message across to cyclists.
Traffic Sergeant John Lumbard, of North Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Group, said: Unfortunately, a cyclist was badly injured in the Yorkshire Dales at the weekend and with the roads likely to get busier and busier with cyclists over the next few months it is important that we try and prevent any further casualties.
The narrow country roads and steep hills in the Dales can be very challenging, even to experienced riders, and it is vital that cyclists are aware of this before they visit North Yorkshire.
It is not uncommon for long straights or steep descents to be followed by tight bends or t-junctions and it is imperative that cyclists have the skills and knowledge to negotiate these obstacles. Please ride within your limits and don’t ride beyond your capabilities.
Bike maintenance is also an important consideration and well maintained brakes are vital if you need to stop suddenly when going down a steep hill at speed.
Wearing a helmet could save your life, so please wear one and ensure you carry enough kit to help you deal with any change in weather conditions.
North Yorkshire County Council’s Road Safety and Travel Awareness Team, in conjunction with colleagues from across the region, have produced a “Cycle Yorkshire: Ride the Routes” free app for cyclists.
Designed for novices and those less experienced in rural cycling, using maps and videos, it highlights sections of certain routes which may prove challenging, as well as offering safety advice for all cyclists.
The app is available for download on the iTunes and Google Play stores.
Honor Byford, Team Leader for Road Safety and Travel Awareness at North Yorkshire County Council said: We are working in partnership with British Cycling to bring a host of free cycling opportunities to the county through their SkyRides programme.
Together our shared commitment and passion for cycling is inspiring people to get on their bikes and it’s great to see. We are all keen to encourage cycling and to provide people with the information they need to get back on their bikes and to do so safely.
We would urge clubs and informal groups and friends who are looking to cycle all or part of the route to take ten minutes to plan ahead for every eventuality.The more experienced riders have an important role in looking out for the less experienced, less confident and, perhaps, less fit riders within their group.
Cycles need to be in good condition, recently checked brakes, tyres etc. Human and cycle maintenance are equally important on these demanding routes. More tips and information about the routes are available from our website and by downloading our App.
For more information about cycle safety and cycle routes in the Yorkshire Dales, visit www.roadwise.co.uk/cycling
Cycle safety leaflet attached