By Quintin van Jaarsveld
The Burry Stander Foundation hosted a successful and insightful cycling safety meeting at the Burry Stander Bike Park on Thursday.
In the wake of Burry’s father Charles Stander’s crash, which saw him break two vertebrae in his neck and two in his back as well as two front teeth, Burry’s mother Mandie arranged the meeting where Med-Evac paramedic Glen Preston shared his expertise with the local cycling fraternity.
Aside from the common safety regulations and the importance of wearing a helmet, Preston said it’s vital for all cyclists to wear a sticker detailing their contact information and focused on the proper ways to assist a fellow rider in the case of an accident or a snake bite.
When attending to an injured rider, Preston stressed that the initial treatment is the most significant as it could either help or severely hamper the rider.
It’s paramount to contact paramedics right away, Preston said, and emphasised not to move the rider, as this could potentially prove catastrophic in the event of a spinal cord injury.
Only if the cyclist is vomiting should one carefully, while stabilising his/her neck, turn the person on his/her side.
Keeping the rider conscious is also crucial, he said, as well as to check – without touching the person – for possible injuries.
With regard to snake bites, the key is to ensure the person stays as calm as possible, as poison moves through the body faster when a person is frantic.
Bandaging the wound depends on the severity of the pain. In most instances, a bandage above the wound is necessary, however, in the case of a person suffering an intense burning pain, it’s better not to bandage the wound as it’s likely a puffadder (or similarly venomous snake) bite and would then worsen the situation.
Preston also urged cyclists to see a doctor should they get bitten by a dog.
Mandie said she’s confident cyclists will be safer, more alert and better equipped to handle any situations that might arise following the meeting.
“I’m sure those who attended are now more confident about what to do when you are in the unfortunate situation with a man down,” she told eHowzit.
“It was a very interesting lecture and the braai afterwards was a huge success. It gave us all time to interact and discuss the topics of the meeting.
“Thanks to Glen, BT King from Hospice, Andre Beneke from the Lions. Petro from CCSABCO, Mark from One-Way Promotions, Roy from Mad Ant and Jeandre, who’s standing in for Charles in the Concept Cyclery store at the moment.”
Also discussed was the new safety board outside the bike park warning cyclists to remember that the dirt roads around the park are operational farm roads.
As such, all heavy duty vehicles, bakkies, tractors or other vehicles have right of way. These vehicles are often loud and drivers often wear earplugs, thus, cyclists should be alert and stay well clear of these vehicles.
“We’re very fortunate and grateful that cyclists are allowed to use these roads and we’d like to thank the farmers for allowing cyclists to ride through and around their farms,” said Mandie.
She added that everyone can contribute towards cycling safety and urged business and non-cyclists to support the foundation’s various projects.
“As a community project, we want to see if companies would get involved in sponsoring helmets to everyone commuting on bicycles.
“We’ve also launched the ‘Burry bumper sticker’ [pictrued below]. It costs just R20 and all proceeds will go to road safety projects.
“They’ll be available at Concept Cyclery in Shelly Beach and Bobby’s Cycles in Shelly Beach and Port Shepstone.
“Anyone interesting in making them available at their business can contact me on 079 493 7499,” said Mandie.