There are codes that cover rail trails, bush trails and tracks and road use. There is even a code of conduct for bicycle couriers. None of these codes isare enforceable, but they all share a common sense approach based on mutual respect.
There’s a lot of attention on cyclists who ride on the road, perhaps they’re more visible to people in cars. The Amy Gillett Foundation works to educate both cyclists and motorists about the need for mutual respect. The Foundation’s code of conduct urges cyclists to obey the road rules, be predictable and communicate their intentions. It asks motorists to be patient and cautious when driving near cyclists. (See http://www.amygillett.org.au)
Share the Road was a joint project of VicRoads, RACV, Victoria Police and Bicycle Victoria. A pocket-sized card lists the special road rules that apply to cyclists and their rights and responsibilities. It too asks all road users to look out for each other. (See http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au – click Information about Pedestrians and Cyclists)
The Shared Respect code was developed in response to the huge number of cyclists using Beach Road in Melbourne as a training run. (See http://www.bikenow.com.au/tac/) This code is targeted squarely at cyclists and urges responsible bunch riding.
While all the codes list the rules and recommend responsible behaviours, this last code also talks about cycling skills. All cyclists needs to make sure they have adequate skills to keep them and other road users safe, it says.
What if you’re not riding on the road? Well, there are also codes that cover rail trails and mountain bike tracks.
Most rail trails have their own simple codes that are usually posted along the route. Keep to the trail, they urge. Take care with horses, pedestrians and stock. Leave gates as you find them. Remember that native plants and animals are protected.
Mountain bike codes are fairly similar. Keep to the tracks. Try not to skid in order to prevent damage to the trail and surrounding areas through soil erosion. Take care of gates and stock if trails go through private land.
It all boils down to being mindful of other people using roads or trails and upholding the good name of all cyclists.
See you on the road soon, God willing.