Tales from the Heavy Tandem

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Re: Tales from the Heavy Tandem

Postby ironhanglider » Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:42 pm

Daccordi Rider wrote:Hi Cameron,

Can you provide more info on AVCC meeting that has disappointed you? More probs with intergration?

We have heard that the Para Nationals will be in Adelaide next year. Hope so and maybe you guys can come down for some fun!

Cheers,

Simon.


Hi Simon,

The Para Nationals aren't on my radar, partly because I'd need a CA license which suddenly makes it a pretty steep entry fee, since I am only allowed out once per weekend and for the moment that is with the Vets because it is much cheaper to get a license and also to race. Besides we are not at the same level as the people who would really go there to race, so we wouldn't even be making up the numbers if we got dropped 20km into a 100km race. However if we get our weight down and improved our climbing we'd do much better.

All the information I have from the AVCC meeting was that which was reported in our newsletter:

The Bleat wrote:6. Motions moved by president

• equipment and clothing clause of rules be amended to prohibit cameras being attached to helmets and bikes. ACT vigorously opposed ban on cameras being attached to bikes (to enable recording of ‘aggressive drivers’). Carried - we can still have cameras attached to bikes, but not helmets.
• equipment and clothing clause of rules be amended to prohibit disc brakes on any road and time-trial bike in AVCC events until their use is sanctioned by UCI. ACT sought an exception to this rule for racing tandems. This was not agreed and it opened up a previous meeting's discussion on tandems racing with single bikes. The AVCC executive advised that mixed tandem and single racing should be banned on safety grounds. ACT vigorously opposed such ban before we had consulted with ACT tandem racers. Outcome: ACT was given a 6 month extension to allow mixed racing to continue in this jurisdiction and to present a case for it's continuation at September GM following consultation with tandem riders.
• equipment and clothing clause of rules be amended to prohibit mobile phones, headphones and radios being used while racing - carried.


As I said I think that there is a strong case to be made for the proper inclusion of tandems.

My impression is that the council makes some pretty poorly thought out decisions based only on the opinions of a few, rather than as the result of an informed debate. Hopefully that can be addressed in September.

Cheers,

Cameron
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by BNA » Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:23 am

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Re: Tales from the Heavy Tandem

Postby Daccordi Rider » Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:23 am

Safety grounds? What a crock! We have not got very far with inclusion here. There is much buck passing and wanting someone else to approve it first, this won't help. Keep us updated with any developments. Thanks.
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Re: Tales from the Heavy Tandem

Postby ironhanglider » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:27 pm

Hi Simon,

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]

Useful regulations:

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.
Technical specifications
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 :roll:

Cheers,

Cameron
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Re: Tales from the Heavy Tandem

Postby ironhanglider » Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:00 pm

26 July 2014 Lookout Hill – Tidbinbilla Return E grade.

Well there has been quite a break from race reports recently. John had is dog training, there have been a number of races cancelled, and I’ve been on holiday in a land of fabulous cheese, wine, beer, chocolate and whisky. (Some will recognise the destination from a clue below and for those who don’t, well I’m sorry but you’re missing out.)

After such a long break, John and I were very keen to get out there and mix it. Despite the holiday, where I found some of the weight I’d lost over the last couple of months, I was still a lot lighter than the last time I raced with John. As a result I’ve been climbing better and was hoping that this would translate to better climbing on the long bike. Despite this we were still expecting to be dropped on the climbs, and hoping to chase back on the descents.

Terrain:
The race was 25km out and back which started at the top of Lookout Hill and is on one of those roads with no flat bits on it, except for the tops and bottoms of the hills. There are 3 significant climbs, Asthma Hill near the start, the Corin Intersection climb, and the Birrigai climb on the return. Significantly the last 3.5 km involve the descent of Asthma Hill, a fast run down a gentle slope leading into a 500m false flat to the base of Lookout Hill. There are 3 marked finish lines on Lookout Hill, a rarely used one at the bottom for the pure sprinters, one half-way up for the strong riders, and one at the top which favours the climbers. It is only about 500m to the top line but quite steep and that is where the finish for this race would be.

Weather:
Sadly there was a bit of cloud and rain around beforehand which is likely to have scared off many of the more soluble club members. This was a real shame as recent changes mean that the club has to pay for professional marshals, and the less well attended races cost the club money. As it happened there was only a light sprinkle of rain during the race itself, the temperature was in double figures so quite pleasant and there was little wind to speak of. All in all pretty good for racing.

The Plan:
It is important to have a plan, it gives you something to change. Ours was pretty simple, ride the final descent as hard as we could and build up a lead to the bottom of Lookout Hill that we could hopefully defend. Of course this relied on us being with or near to the others at the top of the last descent and our record on hilly courses isn’t terribly good.

The Race:
A small turnout of 9 bikes took to the line, including John I. and Bob who proved to be better climbers than me in my last race at Orroral Valley. Not surprisingly we rolled to the front from the start, we took at least one Klingon with us, and it may have been the whole group but I wasn’t looking around much. In any case the bunch was together at the start of the steep bit of Asthma Hill which was already encouraging since we have been dropped before getting to that point before. Up the climb we were pleased to find that we were not the first dropped, Phill took that honour and he wasn’t destined to see the bunch again. There was also two others John and Steve who dropped off the bunch in our vicinity.

Once we got to the top we were able to pick up the pace and chase back on to the bunch on the downhills, were able to pick up one of the stragglers and towed him back to the bunch but he didn’t come with us when we went around them. We built a lead into the drop to the bottom of the Corin Intersection climb. As expected we were caught about half-way up but we were really pleased when we got to the top, and were only about 10seconds off the pace. Another descent let us catch and pass the group again and we held a lead at the top of Birrigai.

This was a key bit of road for us since if the others had held on and sucked our wheel down the fast bit our advantage would be obliterated. We built a lead which we were able to hold all the way down to the turn and back to the climb back up Birrigai. This time there was only four who got past us as we turned ourselves inside out to restrict the deficit. Linda managed to catch us near the top and I encouraged her to stay with us but it didn’t happen. We got to the top of the Corin Intersection hill again only about 10 seconds off the pace and with a fast descent we were able to carry momentum and pass the others on the climb out the other side.

We briefly rode with the group until the dip before the final climb, which was going to be the key point of the race. Fortunately there were no big attacks put in up the climb and with a bit of effort we were still with the others at the top. By this stage we were feeling pretty good about our chances but there was no point in taking any tactical risks. I gave John the silent signal to go and we launched as the road started to tip in our favour. After that it was a matter of powering up the 55X11 until we topped out, did our best impression of a coat of paint on the top tube down the steep bit, and then powered down the final grade to the foot of the Lookout Hill. From that point we set a PR to the top where we discovered that we managed to hold on to a 37s lead from John I., Bob, Ian and Kirsty.

It was a thoroughly satisfying first road race win for the Heavy Tandem in E grade, and I celebrated with a Wizard Smith ale.

Some proof.

Cheers,

Cameron
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Re: Tales from the Heavy Tandem

Postby Daccordi Rider » Mon Jul 28, 2014 3:21 pm

Great stuff Cameron, well done on the maiden win. I hope you had more than one beer after that.
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Re: Tales from the Heavy Tandem

Postby ironhanglider » Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:11 pm

Daccordi Rider wrote:Great stuff Cameron, well done on the maiden win. I hope you had more than one beer after that.


I had a XXX Ale as well. :D

After so many races of chasing vainly after the first decent climb it was nice to put our opponents to the sword for a change. If this keeps up, the smart riders will slow to our pace up the climb in order to clamp themselves onto our wheel for the descent in the expectation that we'll tow them into the lead and let them jump away when we run out of downhill. Fortunately experience tells me that they are not that smart so we'll be able to take full advantage of our downhill prowess for a while yet.

Cheers,

Cameron
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Re: Tales from the Heavy Tandem

Postby find_bruce » Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:30 pm

ironhanglider wrote:Fortunately experience tells me that they are not that smart

And apparently don't read your reports here :D

Well done Cameron enjoy your glory for however long it lasts. Speaking of which, nice to see Kieran Modra & Jason Niblett doing well, although they are probably disappointed to have twice just missed out on gold
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