Good riding was had over the weekend, with good turn outs for both bunch rides on Saturday and Sunday. Welcome to newcomer and racer Adam Ferris.
Saturday's ride saw a decent size bunch head out for the fast paced coffee ride out through Forrest Reefs, Tallwood and back to Bills Beans for coffee. Plenty of holes in the road saw all the boys on the look out and having to keep their wits about them. Add in the bit of wind that picked up.
Sunday saw a bunch of 8 do the Milthorpe Coffee ride. Sprints were won by Mick Troy and Gus Tobin and KOM went to Owen Macphillamy at the KOM just before Orchard Road.
A big reminder to all riders:
1 Don't forget to point out the holes. There are holes on the road big enough to swallow cars, let alone bikes.
2 It is the responsibility last rider in the group to call "Car Back". This may well mean that the bunch needs to go single file on the narrow roads around Orange. It is easier and safer to single up then to just continuously slow down.
3 Riders are only suppose to be 2 riders abreast at all times.
4 No need to yell at new riders who do not know the ways of the bunch. Cycling is an open sport for all and we as riders want to be accepting of all riders. If a rider does something against the flow of the group, just politely let them know how the group operates.
5 When at the front of the bunch, do not change your speed drastically unless it is necessary. Keep pedalling. This includes when you are rolling turns. When you move over into the slower line, keep pedalling, don't just sit up. Remember the difference in speed between the fast line and slow line in a group rolling turns needs only be 1 or 2 km/h. It is a fine art judging the difference in speed, but something that we all need to learn. Keep an eye or two on the wheel in front of you for any changes in direction or pace. It is a senario like this that saw Charlie and Owen fall in the Wagga-Albury race and we all know the result of this with Charlie. We do not want such an accident to happen around here on a bunch ride. It is difficult with the number of pot holes and wind, but safety is incredibly important. If you need to stretch, have something to eat or have a nature break, make your way safely to the back of the bunch where there will be no one to run up the back of you.
6 On bunch rides, it is courtesy to wait for riders, help them get back on, especially on the harder parts of the bunch rides, such as the drag up to Orchard Road, the pinch at the back of Tallwood and the two climbs before Spring Terrace. This is not to say ride slowly up them, but when the bunch does splinter, sit up and wait for the riders at the top, but do it safely, on the left hand side of the road, not like Browns Cows all over the road. You never know it may be you suffering one day…
Remember Safety first.
A good reference article can be found at http://www.tourdecure.com.au/docs/BunchRidingEtiquette.pdf
The only note to make is regarding point 7; Rotating the Lead.
In and around Orange, due to the roads being so narrow, we do not generally rotate the lead like so. There are two options, the first is that we move up in a pace line style, with one line moving up 2 riders so that one rider stays on the front but swaps side and a new rider joins him on the front. This way there the bunch is always only two riders wide.
The other option is if there is not traffic and there is plenty of visibility in both directions on the road, both leading riders move to the centre of the road and drift backwards to the rear of the bunch quickly and safely, leaving the riders sitting in second wheel on the front of the bunch.