Aroon Patel speaks about his friend and cycling partner, Craig Diedericks.
Durban - “Even now when we ride down hills, if I close my eyes and have a vision in my mind, it’s Craig leaning down on his bike and going as fast as he can; the Craig moment.”

This is how Aroon Patel remembers his close friend and cycling partner Craig Diedericks, who died when a minibus taxi hit him on the M4 in January.

Patel was speaking to the Independent on Saturday about a planned silent protest on April 29 at the Verulam court where the accused taxi driver will face a charge of culpable homicide.

Cycling clubs in and around Durban are expected to take part in the protest to raise awareness of the danger cyclists face on the roads.

Patel said the other objective is to put pressure on authorities to act in cases of this nature. There will also be a 25km awareness ride on April 27.

The slow ride will start at Cycle Lab in Cornubia Mall, on to the uMhlanga and La Lucia area, and back to the mall.

“In incidents involving cyclists, historically, cases have been swept under the carpet or sentences have been very low even though people have died. That is unacceptable. Cyclists have equal rights as road users,” Patel said.

He noted that a 1m law had been passed in the Western Cape in 2013, forcing cars to keep a distance of 1m from cyclists.

He said he believed the law could be implemented in KwaZulu-Natal, but that it should be 1.5m.

Independent On Saturday