Summer Sunday Series sponsored by the Mansfield Coffee Merchant
This coming Sunday sees the last of the Summer Sunday hill climb races. And the Mansfield Coffee Merchant are sponsoring it!
As it's a separate series to Thursday nights, there'll be a presentation to Sunday's winner and the overall series winner at the Merchant this Sunday after the race.
Safe road racing
After a bit of an incident last week, which could have been nasty but thankfully wasn't, the road committee has decided we'd like everyone to get to Thursday night's race (starting at the Botanic Park) on time this week.
We'd like to go for a ride just to make sure everyone is confident with riding in a bunch so we can keep everyone safe.
In the meantime, with thanks to the Bathurst Cycling Club and Cycling Tips, we've cobbled together a bit of a rundown of what we should all know.
In a handicap road race, each group/bunch should be:
To avoid confusion a senior or more experienced member of the group should take control in dangerous situations or sections where rules should be observed, eg neutral zones, overtaking other groups, etc.
The group should discuss this before the start and decide who will take the role for the race. If there is a problem after the event the senior rider might be asked to assist in the enquiry. Senior rider will also report any wrong doings by any riders in the race (such as crossing centre line, unsafe riding, etc.)
To have any reasonable chance of success in a Handicap Race, each bunch or group needs to work together as a team. Once you get close to the finish, remember the old adage: “Team mates till 200” – is this instance, 200 metres from the finish... THEN you can think about results within the group.
The group should talk together to set some goals (e.g. work hard to get to the hill before the backmarkers) then all members should form a relationship and commit to that goal and look after each other.
The Bunch should work smoothly and communication is really important for this to happen.
It is recommended you ride as a paceline, doing ‘track turns’ - as groups usually aren’t large enough in MMBCC Handicap races to warrant rolling turns.
This link is to a good explanation of sharing the workload in various ways and conditions.
Just as importantly, use correct bunch etiquette, such as minimal braking, no bombing through to do your turn, taking care getting out of the seat and making no unexpected direction changes or rotations is essential! This is really important.
Communication within each group is vital and is required to determine the side to change depending on the wind, and the correct time to change.
Plus, here are a few terms you’ll probably hear and should understand...
Up the road: towards the centre line of the road.
Down the road: towards the left hand edge of the road.
Track turns: see the link above.
Rolling turns: see that link again.
Echelon: and again.
And here’s a good trouble-shooting guide to working as a group.
The Bunch should try to be aware of the race situation and the relative distances to the group/s ahead and behind.
The lead rider of a faster group approaching a slower group should call out to warn the slower that they are approaching; make sure the call is loud enough for the slower group to hear and early enough for them to have time to respond the right way.
The slower group should heed that call, move to the left and allow safe overtaking.
The slower riders can then accelerate and try to get on to the back of the faster moving group, but only when safe to do so. (Veering right towards the faster group before all the group has passed is only asking for trouble!)
The faster group is only allowed to overtake on the right hand side, as the slower riders should be on the left, and ONLY when it is safe to do so!
Remember too, it’s uncool to cut into a rotation spot when you are unsure whether you can maintain the faster pace of the overtaking group.
We all realise, even in social activities, sometimes “things get said”. Any arguments that develop on the bike need to be resolved directly after the race. If not, both parties may be disciplined. Shouting and swearing is a definite no-no and all participants are asked to show a bit of control and decorum.
The MMBCC is ‘the social club with a cycling problem’ and at the end of the day, it is only a club event; as the Starter says at the start line at every race, “We’re not racing for sheep stations!”