Centennial Park arvo bunch rides?

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Centennial Park arvo bunch rides?

Postby Jace » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:14 pm

I know there is a collection of cyclists on a few afternoons a week from a random collection of clubs that ride around Sydney's Centennial Park. Does anyone know anything about it? Surely someone here rides with them or knows about it?

Had a bit of a search on the internet but couldnt find much out. Where do they meet? Days? Times? etc.

Thanks!
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by BNA » Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:37 am

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Re: Centennial Park arvo bunch rides?

Postby donncha » Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:37 am

Tues & Thurs evenings, riders start showing up
from 5, gradually form into a bunch which gets faster & faster & faster.

They're the No.1 cause of problems for cyclists with Centennial Park management, so you're not doing cyclists any favours by riding with them.


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Re: Centennial Park arvo bunch rides?

Postby sogood » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:08 am

Said bunch starts to form a little after 4 even. Small and reasonable but gets bigger and bigger after. Pretty incredible and looks more like a peloton than a training bunch. Although the park is typically very quiet at that time of the afternoon, the speed and size of the bunch is quite formidable for walkers as well as vehicles.
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Re: Centennial Park arvo bunch rides?

Postby skull » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:45 am

I thought they enforced speed limits to cyclists in the park.

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Re: Centennial Park arvo bunch rides?

Postby sogood » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:02 am

skull wrote:I thought they enforced speed limits to cyclists in the park.

At 30km/h limit, there would not be any cycling training of value in the park. 30km/h up the Sprinters Hill maybe. Let's just keep this out of the discussion here. ;)
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Re: Centennial Park arvo bunch rides?

Postby skull » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:06 am

I remember 20 years ago when I was a Sydney sider they cracked down on the bunches in the park. As a speed skater we too had also copped the wrath of the law for going faster than the posted limit.

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Re: Centennial Park arvo bunch rides?

Postby biker jk » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:10 am

I ride in Centennial Park regularly and there are numerous crashes involving these bunches. There was another on Tuesday morning with an ambulance in attendance. They ride way too fast for the conditions, often include inexperienced cyclists to bunch riding (with little, if any training provided) and cut in way too early after passing slower cyclists (I have had my front wheel almost taken out). If the frequency of these bunch ride crashes continues, it wouldn't surprise me if the Centennial Park authorities again push for speed humps, etc. to be introduced which will hurt all cyclists using the park.
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Re: Centennial Park arvo bunch rides?

Postby sogood » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:50 am

Cycling accidents in CP are not too different to elsewhere ie. Size of bunches (eg. Inexperienced riders in wheel touches) and involvement with motor traffic. Then there are occasional issues with wildlife crossings.

At 30km/h speed limit, there'd be no training for most of the ITT and club riders. With bunches, the authorities have sequentially reduced the maximum size of bunches. However, these afternoon bunches are formed by loose association. As such, it just grows and grow. AFAIK, all clubs have been quite aware and responsible in limiting the size of their in-park bunches.

In any case, I think the rangers take a lenient attitude to cyclists during the early and late afternoon quiet periods but are more strict during peak usage times when families and more people are about. In any case, it's suicidal for cyclists to ride fast during those times.
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Re: Centennial Park arvo bunch rides?

Postby schroeds » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:44 am

I always have a giggle on cruising back into the park from waterfall ride at 9.30 how often you see guys on full TT rigs, head down, windtunnel approved...trying to avoid the gathering circus of kids, joggers, ducks, rollerbladers, cars parking and unparking, dogs off the leash....hardly Cancellara country. I simply won't ride there after about 8am. Never tried the midweek arvo sessions but hear they are very fast and quite aggro....our equivalent of melbournes hell ride? I understand the max allowed bunch size is 15 which seems right given the environment and fwiw I believe the rangers are entirely right to apply speed limit leniency to bikes early morning but they should enforce the limit during busy times.

It's true there are regular accidents there, last one yesterday morning, so common sense and care is required.

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Re: Centennial Park arvo bunch rides?

Postby sogood » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:57 am

Yeah, 9:30am on weekends is a completely different scene in CP. Just a few weeks ago I had a mid Sat morning ride while my charge was at a school sport event there. 10am, the amount of motor and foot traffic was incredible when compared to the 6-8 time slot, even to 8-9. I have also visited CP during the weekday late afternoons for various reasons. A very quiet time, even more so than summer 6-7. Very few cyclists and that's also part reason why the bunch forms and can go at that kind of speed, largely incident free.
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Re: Centennial Park arvo bunch rides?

Postby autumn acid » Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:52 am

A peak hour bunch ride sounds like a recipe for disaster. Heck even an early morning bunch ride gets hairy the closer you get to 7.
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Re: Centennial Park arvo bunch rides?

Postby sogood » Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:16 am

Weekday afternoon is not peak hour.
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Re: Centennial Park arvo bunch rides?

Postby biker jk » Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:12 pm

Another bad crash this morning in CP. Ambulance in attendance. One rider strapped to back board with helmet still on. Bondi FIT member.
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Re: Centennial Park arvo bunch rides?

Postby g-boaf » Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:30 am

Bad news. Hope the rider recovers well.

I'm going to guess that other people will immediately point the finger at the rider and say, too fast... :|
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Re: Centennial Park arvo bunch rides?

Postby biker jk » Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:30 am

g-boaf wrote:Bad news. Hope the rider recovers well.

I'm going to guess that other people will immediately point the finger at the rider and say, too fast... :|


Speed is a factor when combined with the inexperience of many participating in these bunch rides. These clubs don't properly educate the newbies in bunch riding. Then there are the morons who have experience but still do the wrong thing. I have riders passing too close and cutting in after passing all the time in CP. I tell them they are passing too close and remind about the accidents but they know better. :roll: My worry is that if the accident rate keeps rising then measures to slow riders (such as speed humps) will be introduced so that we all lose.
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Re: Centennial Park arvo bunch rides?

Postby g-boaf » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:36 am

I think we should give the club a chance to speak for themselves in the interests of balance don't you think?

All a bit of one-way traffic here and there is always two sides to a story. I'm not a triathlete and have no affiliations with that club at all.

Unless I'm not mistaken, we've ridden together before quite quickly on a shared-use-path at around 34km/h through Greystanes. At least I was and you were keeping up with me. :wink:
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Re: Centennial Park arvo bunch rides?

Postby biker jk » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:48 am

g-boaf wrote:I think we should give the club a chance to speak for themselves in the interests of balance don't you think?

All a bit of one-way traffic here and there is always two sides to a story. I'm not a triathlete and have no affiliations with that club at all.

Unless I'm not mistaken, we've ridden together before quite quickly on a shared-use-path at around 34km/h through Greystanes. At least I was and you were keeping up with me. :wink:


Yes I too would like to hear what caused that crash. It's not all clubs that behave badly in CP. DHBC, for example, are fine. There are a couple of clubs that seem to be over-represented in crashes but then this is anecdotal from riding in CP three or four times per week (either my better half or myself).
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Re: Centennial Park arvo bunch rides?

Postby sogood » Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:54 am

Wheel touch is probably the most common mechanism of a rider coming down in CP. Happens at all speeds.
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Re: Centennial Park arvo bunch rides?

Postby schroeds » Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:22 am

Three bad CP crashes I know of:

1. slow rider on left does sudden u turn out to right without looking...takes out overtaking rider
2. Car parked in the bike Lane no stopping zone rider goes straight into the back of it
3. Car drove through give way into bike in the middle area of the park

All above were hospital jobs. No similarity at all between them. Beware generalizations

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Re: Centennial Park arvo bunch rides?

Postby sogood » Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:40 am

True. I've seen at least half a dozen through the last few years. Even in a case where a vehicle is involved, it was the wheel touch that brought the rider down. Does vary.
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Re: Centennial Park arvo bunch rides?

Postby george-bob » Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:28 pm

Saw that crash, it looked really bad. Check the bondifit facebook, looks like she is ok, just pretty beat up.

As far as the cause - now this is total speculation - I suspect it may have been bunch riding in aerobars. I have been looking for a tri club and I decided against bondifit purely because I saw them in a bunch will several on the aerobars.
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Re: Centennial Park arvo bunch rides?

Postby marc2131 » Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:18 pm

schroeds wrote:3. Car drove through give way into bike in the middle area of the park. All above were hospital jobs. No similarity at all


That happened to me at the corner of Loch Ave and Grand Dr early last year. Nasty. Luckily didnt break anything but badly bruised and some nerve damage to left arm, but all okay I believe. Strangely enough the accident was minor in comparison to how the police reacted. Fined me, not sure why. Took them to court and won. Now expect that offending driver has some very high CTP premiums to pay.
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Re: Centennial Park arvo bunch rides?

Postby skull » Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:49 pm

Fined you?

What with?
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Re: Centennial Park arvo bunch rides?

Postby TREKKER_MIKE » Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:59 pm

I think all cycling needs to be with respect for locals and traffic

So if the bunch rides start to take over the park and become dangerous, perhaps they need to try and regulate this.

But some common sense needs to be used. If the bunches are too big, going alot faster than the conditions are, perhaps backing off and going a bit slower is better than a trip to hospital

Same as i have a friend who says "we are legally allowed to ride 2 wide" That is very very true, however i would still rather keep as far off the road as possible to give passing motorists more space. Being legally in the right does not mean anything when you are 6ft under.

I like the bunch rides at homebush, but i wouldn't go if they started to get really dangerous

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Re: Centennial Park arvo bunch rides?

Postby marc2131 » Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:26 pm

skull wrote:Fined you?

What with?


Riding bicycle negligent (sic) ...... Police talk for 'I didn't bother to examine the video evidence provided to me by a fellow rider in the group with a go pro on his helmet'. No doubt the margistrate was not impressed.
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