Mansfield Tour volunteers
With the Tour only just over a month away, many of you may already have received an email from Wil, our Volunteer Harassment Officer/Coordinator.
Please respond to his email - or just send him one now!
If not, you might get a very unpleasant role - the role of ‘toilet cleaner’ is still to be allocated apparently.
It appears there was a bit of a ‘to-do’ in last week’s road race about Neutral Zones at U-turns. So we probably need to clarify the rules we use.
A neutral zone is about fair play; about keeping a race together in a slow section so no-one is disadvantaged by their positioning in the bunch - a rider up the front is likely to be faster around the u-turn than a rider down the back. Therefore we neutralise the turn so that the riders who enter the neutral zone together also exit the neutral zone together; and then racing starts again.
It’s particularly used in Graded Scratch races where you’re actually racing against the rest of your group for the whole race.
While a Neutral Zone in a Graded Scratch makes sense, we’ve never seen the need to police a neutral zone at a turnaround in a Handicap Race.
Some clubs do, others don’t.
It’s because of the old saying about Handicaps - Team mates till 200* or Team mates till 2k* - it doesn’t make any sense to drop anyone at a turnaround in the first half of the race; you’re all trying to work together, to catch the groups ahead and increase your chances of winning. Dropping riders from your own group at the turnaround probably decreases your chance of success.
Work together as a team, encourage each other, trust each other, call warnings for each other, help each other; then you’re much, much more likely to succeed.
Once you get close to the finish, it’s every rider for themselves.
However, with the confusion this has caused recently, we’ve taken the decision to include a Neutral Zone of 100 metres at u-turns from now on in ALL Handicap and Graded Scratch Races.
So now there’s no confusion at all.
One more thing related to a turnaround - a red flag means STOP. There is absolutely no confusion about that either.
* Don’t take the distances mentioned in these sayings too literally; it just means work together till near the finish.
Merida road bike for sale.
Mitch Greenway is upgrading and has his very well looked-after Merida up for sale.
Interschools Mountain Biking
Entries are now open for the Interschool Mountain Bike Event at Falls Creek on Friday 1 March. Entries are available online here.
This is a cross country mountain bike event and you do NOT need to be MTBA registered to enter, so it’s especially good for kids you know that ride but aren’t (yet) a member of the club.
8-12 yrs - 9am - 45 min race
12-13 yrs - 10am - 1 hr race
14-15 yrs - 11.10am - 2 hr race
16-17 yrs - 12.30 - 3 hr race
Accommodation is available for approx $40 per person per night at Howmans Gap, Falls Creek cabins on the night of Thursday 28 February. Please email Janine Appleton or give her a call on 0428 150 800 for more information.
High Country Charity Ride
This ride has been going for a few years now as part of the Tour de Cure; it’s 500km over 4 days from Wangaratta to Bright, Omeo, Mt Beauty and back to Wangaratta - yes that means climbing Hotham and the back of Falls Creek.
It’s not far away but apparently two entrants have had to withdraw, so there are now two spots available.
Here are the links for more information and entries.
Congratulations to Ruby Dobson for winning the first Dirt Crits race of 2019, starting the new year in similar form as 2018. Results soon…
Headline pic is one of a number of images shot by Tourism North East and sent out in a Ride High Country email last week. Other images from the campaign include billboards of Kian at Tullarmarine Airport and animated GIFs recently on Cycling Tips including Josh, Lou and Dan