No-one has ever been able to explain to me what they mean by 'safety'. Typically tandems fall within the spectrum of performance of single bikes in anything that can be measured.
Unless the authorities intend to start applying qualifying standards of performance to enable people to race there isn't much of an argument on safety grounds.
I can imagine licence testing for everyone now, stopping distances, weaving between cones, U-turns, riding along a white line etc. Whilst it would certainly improve safety in racing if people were better at handling their bikes, any suggestion of doing so would be met with howls of indignation. I can confidently predict that John and I could outperform at least some members of our club in any test. The point is that currently there is no move to exclude people from riding single bikes based on them being too slow, too wobbly or because they do dumb things in a bunch. Experienced, skilful and conservative cyclists are always the safest people to ride in a bunch with, but when you turn up to a race there are not many who will tick all three boxes. When you look at the people who volunteer to be tandem pilots they are almost always experienced and skilful, and the added responsibility of looking after a co-rider tends to make a pilot more conservative even if they are reckless by nature.
It would be interesting to know the general stats on how many crashes people have per 1000 races, I bet the insurance companies would know. I would be very surprised if the numbers for tandems either in mixed or segregated racing are even close to being as bad, let alone worse, simply due to the nature of the riders. We at least have some numbers with 166 crash free tandem races. Getting runs on the board is a pretty powerful way to refute the lack of safety notion (but that requires you to get the opportunity first).
Whilst not relevant to the AVCC, it appears with the disc brake rule that they do pay attention to the positions that are taken by the UCI and CA.
[url=CA Technical Regulations]http://cycling.org.au/Portals/10/Rules%20and%20Policies/2013%20Technical%20Regulations%20update%20as%20at%2001042013.6.pdf[/url]
CA Tech Regs wrote:
1.3.010 The bicycle shall be propelled solely, through a chainset, by the legs (inferior muscular chain) moving in a circular movement, without electric or other assistance.
Except where stated to the contrary, the following technical specifications shall apply to bicycles used in road, track and Cyclo-cross racing.
The specific characteristics of bicycles used in mountain bike, BMX, trials, indoor cycling and Para cycling for riders with disabilities are set out in the part regulating the discipline in question.
3.5.01 All bicycles ridden in competition shall comply with the UCI Bicycle Regulations as outlined in Annexure 6 of these regulations unless special circumstances are granted from time to time by the CA Board of Management.
3.99.15 GUIDELINES FOR MIXED COMPETITION WITH ABLE BODIED AND ATHLETES WITH DISABILITY
Y Yes allowed to ride with able bodied N Not allowed to ride with able bodied
SR Sanction is required for persons to ride with able bodied (this must be done with the appropriate people i.e. Chief Commissaire, promoter, State body and any of the contacts listed below)
C A Club competition as determined by the State concerned
*** A chart showing that tandems are allowed to race in individual road TTs, and in club events for road races and criteriums ***
* Para-cyclists should be started after ABA’s in an IRTT and have a following car if open roads are used.
3.99.16 If a Club affiliated to CA requires or wishes to hold a Club event (as determined by the State) which contains visually impaired and able bodied riders in the same event they must allocate and register a suitable circuit or course which would be appropriate for mixed racing with single and tandem cycles.
If there is a road or criterium race which is held on a different circuit to those allocated, then the Club involved with that particular race should seek written permission from the State Technical Commission, providing a description of the circuit to be used, for tandems to race that circuit
1.3.010 refers to the 'part regulating the discipline in question' In relation to tandems 16.14.006 is silent as to the requirement for particular brakes. "Bicycles,tandems,tricycles and hand bikes used in road events must have two independent braking systems. Bicycles and tandems must have an independent brake on each wheel."
3.5.01 Even if the above does cause bikes with discs to be excluded, this allows for specific exemptions. I note that one way or another tandems with disc brakes have been allowed to be used at the para-cycling nationals. 16.14.006 of the UCI Tech regs is silent regarding disc brakes.
3.99.15 I must admit to being a bit puzzled why CA doesn't allow at least integrated club competition for the individual track events, TT and pursuit, and maybe the team events like team sprint and team pursuit, however I suppose it is one step at a time. I'm less surprised about the scratch race or keiran, but one battle at a time I guess.
3.99.16 I note that there is a requirement for a club to register at least one 'suitable' course. After that it would appear that all that is required is to seek permission, rather than to have any particular outcome from that request