Be a fan, not a pylon

Ben Jacques-Mayne, a three-time finisher of the Tour of California who rides for BISSELL Pro Cycling, has some suggestions for staying safe and upright while watching a road race. Here are his three top tips:

Yield the road

“We’re going fast, stand back. We use every inch of the road. We don’t pay attention to the painted white lines on the side of the road. It’s not like we don’t use the shoulder. We use every available inch of pavement on both sides of the road. The course is cleared for a reason. We use that road. So people are standing on the white line expecting us to use the driving lane. We don’t think that’s reasonable. If there’s pavement, I’m riding on it. So people are shocked that they have to jump back quickly.”

Zoom out

“Live in the moment and watch it with your eyes. Don’t try to take pictures. The biggest source of hazard I’ve seen is someone looking through the viewfinder of a camera. It becomes very myopic, and they don’t really realize there’s a huge mass of humanity barreling down upon them. They can’t tell how close we really are until people start screaming at ’em, or God forbid hitting them. But there’s always someone standing out in the middle of the road with a camera up to their face. They don’t realize that they’re about to get creamed.”

Take charge

“If you’re there with a dog or your family, please keep track of your little ones. It would be absolutely tragic if a child was excited and ran onto the course. They have no comprehension of road traffic and danger of cars, let alone the danger of bicycles. It’s a parade to them, but we’re really much faster than that. And dogs can become very excited, and maybe will join in or begin to chase us or whatnot. But those are the kinds of hazards that can only end tragically.”