• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team.

    In the meanwhile, please use the Report option if you see a post that doesn't fit within the forum rules.


Safety issue

Jun 28, 2009
Visit site
A couple of weeks ago, one of my team-mates lost his life during a race. It was raining, and when he lost control over his bike, he slided under a truck coming the opposite direction. This is about as sad as it gets IMO, but the race manager couldn't have done more for the safety of this race.
But what I'd like your opinion about is this:
Do race cyclists need some type of driving license?
This question came up after the accident, and it's already endorsed by quite a few local cycling club leaders.
The idea is not something as heavy as a driving license for car, but something simpler. In Norway, you have to pass a test and get a license to be allowed to drive a light motorcycle at age 16 (i.e. less than 50cc and max 45 kmh).
The point of this is that also 16 years old light mc drivers have to know a minimum of traffic laws and behaviour before they can safely be a part of the traffic.
The question got me thinking; an amateur race DO require a UCI license or similar (for insurance purposes), but you actually don't have to have any other licenses. Hence, there COULD be riders without any formal knowledge about traffic laws in any race, and most amateur races I've participated this year state that normal traffic law applies...
If insurance IS required, how come documentation of traffic law knowledge is NOT? And who haven't seen the kamikaze type that rides as if neither traffic laws nor natural laws applies to him - both training and race?
I've not made up my mind on this, but after a laughing first reaction to the question I have to admit that I see some sense here. Maybe it just isn't doable? Or maybe this is the next step of the bike helmet discussion?
What do you think?
Mar 16, 2009
Visit site
CycleViking said:
What do you think?

Very sorry to hear about your teammate. Sounds like it was a freak accident rather than poor bike skills...as to your question, my answer:


There are millions of licensed drivers of cars and i believe i can speak for the entire world in noting that licensing does not necessarily make people good drivers.
I really do not think this would help during racing. Training is when there is the greatest chance of getting killed when riding. Requiring a driver's license to ride a bike sort of creates a situation for most people like what came first, the chicken or the egg.
I'd be against licensing bicyclists but the idea has some merit. Just like taking a drivers-ed class or a motorcycle safety class, there's a lot to learn about the machine you'll be piloting and the conditions you'll operate in.

But no amount of experience is going to eliminate all accidents. I'm very sorry to hear about your teammate who was obviously a good cyclist with the requisite skills for racing. Accidents, occasionally tragic, will always happen.