Road racing?

by mwharris   September 24, 2012  

I was having a chat with a fellow dad at my son's football match on Saturday and was asking him about the Tour of Britain. He lives in Princetown and unfortunately his view of it was the inconsiderate parking of spectators! What a shame!

Anyway, he then went on a bit of a rant about cyclists and although some of it was a bit OTT, I thought he did have one good point. Apparently, some local cycling clubs have the habit of using Princetown as part of a road racing circuit. This means they tend to fly down the hill and through the 'town' at speeds well over 30mph. And yes, you would go that fast - I do.

Now while it might be OK to do this as a single rider, and I hold my hands up once more, is it right that large numbers of club racers should? The Dartmoor Classic 'races' through Princetown but there are large numbers of marshalls to help prevent accidents. Do other clubs do this?

Another point would be that we would NOT allow motor vehicles to race on open roads, so why do we allow bikes too?

I'm not suggesting any more than this might be a talking point for some clubs when setting up races. I am interested in others views though.

BH

15 user comments

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It shouldnt be allowed and the local club should have a serious bollocking. Racing isnt allowed on the open roads.

posted by Darthshearer [141 posts]
24th September 2012 - 12:49

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I'd imagine it's club-runs rather than races. Not sensible from a PR point of view but if they aren't going significantly faster than the rest of the traffic, is it really a problem? Would anyone object to a group of motorbikes going through at 30mph, or the local classic car club tootling past?

posted by Mr Will [88 posts]
24th September 2012 - 12:54

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I thought that Cyclists couldn't be pulled up for speeding: No obligation to carry a speedo. Thinking

Sir Velo

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posted by Raleigh [1728 posts]
24th September 2012 - 13:28

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Some interesting thoughts. P'raps I ought to have mentioned that the speed limit is 30 but it is perfectly possible, if not probable, to do more than 30, unless you try and slow down.

DarthShearer has probably got a point regarding the club needing a talking to; Mr Will is certainly correct regarding PR; Raleigh - I think you'll find you can be done for speeding.

Hopefully someone from a club who uses Princetown will reply. Not likely though is it. MDCC who organise the Dartmoor Classic put a lot of time and effort into making the sportive go well. I hope others don't spoil it for them.

Thinking

posted by mwharris [6 posts]
24th September 2012 - 14:56

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Just checked and you can be 'done' for speeding on a bike. Ignore all web posts regarding cycling furiously. Road Traffic Act 1988 sec 36 is what you need pertaining to obeying all traffic signs and signals.
Smile

posted by mwharris [6 posts]
24th September 2012 - 15:05

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mwharris wrote:
Just checked and you can be 'done' for speeding on a bike. Ignore all web posts regarding cycling furiously. Road Traffic Act 1988 sec 36 is what you need pertaining to obeying all traffic signs and signals.
Smile

You can't be 'done' for speeding like a motor car, because you're not legally obliged to have a speedometer. so don't ignore all those web posts about cycling furiously *quite* yet Thinking

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7257 posts]
24th September 2012 - 15:54

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Coming back from a club ride on Saturday got caught in a traffic jam caused by cars doing a hill climb on a public road (is that not racing?) but the strange thing was nobody was sat in their cars fuming, I wonder if this had been a cycling hill climb what their views would have been? As for the speeding issue I have been pulled over and told off for speeding this made my day in one respect but only delayed me further and once round the corner had to go even faster!

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posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [572 posts]
24th September 2012 - 17:35

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I have an issue with "down the hill and through the town" I am very familiar with Princetown and there is no hill to come flying down! The main roads in the town of Princetown are flat! I seem to remember riding up into Princetown and Princetown being on a hill? Maybe it just feels uphill because of the wind? Or is he talking about an organised road race? One of the problems of living somewhere where there is a popular and recognised race circuit is that you get regular races! (no shit sherlock) I imagine that this is a problem for some. Added to this area being popular with cyclists anyway... Sounds like a huge exaggeration to me, as usual Yawn

posted by SideBurn [765 posts]
24th September 2012 - 18:02

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Sorry Sideburn but you are incorrect. From the roundabout by the vistor centre the raod then climbs up past the prison before levelling off up to Rundlestone. Its not huge but big enough.

Road racing is allowed by bikes or cars if authority has been given.

posted by mwharris [6 posts]
25th September 2012 - 9:14

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We will have to agree to disagee on this one; a 20-30 metre climb/fall over 1 km! That is up/downhill admitted; but to call it a climb?

posted by SideBurn [765 posts]
25th September 2012 - 10:10

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I actually referred to it as a downhill not a climb.

But I think we're arguing about the wrong thing. It's not whether or not we consider it to be a big hill or small hill. Its if we should go as fast as we can through a residential area as an organised event. Is Princetown a recognised racing circuit? If so, recognised by who with whose agreement. Would you be happy to wake up one day to find that the Lawnmower Racing CLub has decided to make the field behind you a racing circuit? Yes I'm being facetious but I sometimes feel that we believe we have a right to behave how we want if we think we're not hurting anyone.

My point is simply this - perhaps residential streets are not the best place to have regular races. Particularly if we don't consult those who live there.

posted by mwharris [6 posts]
25th September 2012 - 12:45

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Darthshearer wrote:
It shouldnt be allowed and the local club should have a serious bollocking. Racing isnt allowed on the open roads.

Is this true? I'm pretty sure its not. Certainly isn't on the Isle of Man where I race, we pretty much exclusively race on open roads, road races, time trials, hill climbs. I'm sure when I've raced in the UK roads have been open?

Back to original question, Its usually fine as most races are on quiet circuits but occasionally there are issues with riders crossing the white line, especially when it comes to the sprint. In reality we don't have much of a choice, closing roads is an expensive job, the cost and effort would kill grass roots racing.

posted by Manx Rider [18 posts]
25th September 2012 - 14:27

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"fly down the hill and through the 'town' at speeds well over 30mph" Your words. I suggested this was an exaggeration. If I was to claim that I rode up a 30 metre climb in 1 km (1:300 average gradient?) people would die laughing! People cannot resist exaggerating whether it is speed or gradient! Next time I am in Princetown I will fly down the "hill" and see how fast I go; if I can get to "well over 30mph" I will put a pint behind the bar of The Plume of Feathers for you, how is that?

posted by SideBurn [765 posts]
25th September 2012 - 15:35

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Ah Sideburn. I don't want to argue over gradients with you. As even I can manage to push 18-19mph on dead flat, I'm sure that a with the aid of even a small hill you'll hit 30 without much effort. The other day, after climbing up from Merrivale and therefore with little energy left I managed 28mph. GPS track on Strava says so.

Now take a GOOD club rider and I bet they'll manage!

Good luck though. I'd prefer Jail but they don't sell it.

posted by mwharris [6 posts]
26th September 2012 - 15:42

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Manx Rider wrote:
Darthshearer wrote:
It shouldnt be allowed and the local club should have a serious bollocking. Racing isnt allowed on the open roads.

Is this true? I'm pretty sure its not. Certainly isn't on the Isle of Man where I race, we pretty much exclusively race on open roads, road races, time trials, hill climbs. I'm sure when I've raced in the UK roads have been open?

Back to original question, Its usually fine as most races are on quiet circuits but occasionally there are issues with riders crossing the white line, especially when it comes to the sprint. In reality we don't have much of a choice, closing roads is an expensive job, the cost and effort would kill grass roots racing.

I always thought a license was needed, although that could be for riders of over a certain number? I heard / read somehwere of a number of 100 was allowed with a license but something considerably less maybe not needing on?

posted by Darthshearer [141 posts]
26th September 2012 - 16:58

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