With cycling having become a popular sport throughout South Africa, the Bestmed Road Rangers perform a critical role to ensure the safety of all parties during the many events they marshal.
Made up of volunteers who have a passion for cycling, the Road Rangers will be out in force when the Bestmed Satellite Championship takes place at Maropeng in North West Province on Saturday.
Organisation chairman Craig Bezuidenhout said the Road Rangers were formed in 2009 and had formed a partnership with ASG Events and the Bestmed medical aid company.
The association with Bestmed ties in with the company’s five wellness pillars.
“One of them is being safe,” said Bestmed marketing and sales executive Chris Luyt. “This is the reason for our involvement with the Road Rangers.”
Bezuidenhout said training, focus and dedication were all contributing factors in the success of the Road Rangers.
“This group of volunteers dedicate their time, energy and very often their personal resources to the promotion of safety in the sport,” he said.
“We focus specifically on providing a higher degree of security for cyclists and these dedicated marshals have become beacons of safety during cycling events.”
He added that cyclists needed to be constantly alert on the road.
“Many collisions occur when a cyclist is on the inside of a vehicle turning left. Don’t assume the vehicle is going straight just because it is not signalling left; it’s always better to hang back.”
Bezuidenhout said that although the Road Rangers underwent continuous training in various aspects of a race, they were not qualified medics.
“In the event of an incident our first goal is securing the scene. Thereafter other assistance will be provided as best as possible.”
His essential advice to race participants was to follow the marshals’ requests at all times.
“As Road Rangers we are there to look out for them and when we ask them to get back in line and obey the rules of the road we are not trying to be awkward or inconsiderate, but just doing our best for their safety.