Gong Ride

AndrewCowley
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Gong Ride

Postby AndrewCowley » Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:17 pm

I'm wondering how feasible it is to cycle to the start of the Gong ride from Sydney's north? I'd be coming from Lane Cove. Once you get to the city (this being the bit I'm very familiar with) what's the best route and how far is it?

tez001
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Re: Gong Ride

Postby tez001 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:27 pm

Just go down George st where you can to City Rd and straight down through Newtown.
I'll be doing the ride and I'll just be heading into the City from Victoria Rd, through Glebe, past RPA and down King St.

I'm guessing youll be heading to St Peters pretty early so traffic on the roads should not be an issue.

thomas1987
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Re: Gong Ride

Postby thomas1987 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:13 am

This will probably be frowned upon but I was just wondering is it possible to ride Syd to Gong without registration?

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Derny Driver
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Re: Gong Ride

Postby Derny Driver » Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:36 am

You'll stand out. Riders all have numbers on their helmets and a tag on their bikes.

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Alex Simmons/RST
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Re: Gong Ride

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:11 am

thomas1987 wrote:This will probably be frowned upon but I was just wondering is it possible to ride Syd to Gong without registration?

1. they are public roads, so you can do what you like (within reason of course)

2. those that jump into an organised ride without having paid for the privilege of access to all the ride support infrastructure are in effect stealing. It's just really poor form.

3. riding the same route but not following the course precisely (e.g. riding outside of the designated lanes) is a really crummy ride in any case.

4. you can ride the route any other day of the year that you so choose

I've been accidentally caught out in years gone by when riding my normal morning training ride and then realising when I hit the Princes Highway section that it was Gong ride day. I'd then deviate away from the Gong ride route as soon as I can sensibly do so. Normally those not doing the Gong ride make plans to ride elsewhere that day (typically go north).

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familyguy
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Re: Gong Ride

Postby familyguy » Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:58 am

The National Park (Waterfall to Stanwell Park) is effectively locked out for Gong Ride, so you'll only get so far.

And really, you wouldn't want to. If I wasn't riding it already I wouldn't ride that route on that day. There are a LOT of casual riders. Much of the time is spent avoiding other people. It wouldn't be my choice for a selected ride on that day with those riders.

Jim

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SheikYerbouti
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Re: Gong Ride

Postby SheikYerbouti » Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:25 pm

AndrewCowley wrote:I'm wondering how feasible it is to cycle to the start of the Gong ride from Sydney's north? I'd be coming from Lane Cove. Once you get to the city (this being the bit I'm very familiar with) what's the best route and how far is it?


I'm riding with a casual bunch from Willoughby. Straight thru Nth Syd over the bridge, down the cycleway to central, then through Newtown to the start.

AndrewCowley
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Re: Gong Ride

Postby AndrewCowley » Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:31 am

Is this the first year that people have been given a start time?

Wondering how that's going to work? Surely there's a lot of people who will want to meet up with other riders who have different times or who just want to leave at some other time.

I think it's a good idea in terms of trying to make the start less chaotic but in practice I'm not sure how well it will work.

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familyguy
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Re: Gong Ride

Postby familyguy » Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:18 am

They give start times every year, based on your estimated ET. Slower people start later. In reality, a lot of people start at all times. They don't really control it, it's a self-styled issue. Start early if you want to get clearer road.

Now with the second start point now you get an influx at Heathcote/Waterfall of slower riders.

Jim

AndrewCowley
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Re: Gong Ride

Postby AndrewCowley » Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:36 am

Oh I see. For some reason, I thought the 15 minute block start times were new for this year.

Thanks for the clarification.

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Re: Gong Ride

Postby gerardvok » Thu Nov 03, 2016 10:46 am

Do you think there would be trouble if i pinned the number to my jersey as we used to do? Why are they asking to put a cardboard wall on our handle bars? Maybe people were !! BAN ME NOW FOR SWEARING !! about pinning to their active wear? ;) Possibly some other reason?

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Re: Gong Ride

Postby SmellyTofu » Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:35 am

Boycott the ride then :D

I've paid but TBH, I CBF dodging the randoms now. Feeling quite apathetic about these mass rides even though the cause is good. Definitely won't be "wasting" my money on something I could have otherwise got a tax deduction for.

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Re: Gong Ride

Postby gerardvok » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:16 am

SmellyTofu wrote:Boycott the ride then :D

I've paid but TBH, I CBF dodging the randoms now. Feeling quite apathetic about these mass rides even though the cause is good. Definitely won't be "wasting" my money on something I could have otherwise got a tax deduction for.


Get on the front then. You get the faster riders there and they tend to be more experienced and safer in pace lines etc. Its a good cause and you dont have to be in the middle of the groups that are riding in gorilla suits and unicycles.

phil_
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Re: Gong Ride

Postby phil_ » Sun Nov 06, 2016 11:42 am

Perfect weather for the Golf ride although the wind really picked up heading into Wollongong.

Saw a few tumbles. Someone took a dive at Sydney Park before it even started (just a graze) and another after climbing out of the National Park.

However a more serious one was near Heathcote on the Princes Highway. I was riding behind 2 guys and something happened up front. Evasive braking didn't stop one rider going over the handlebars and doing a roll and another actually went over the railing, bike and all! Ended up what looked like quite far down.

A few of us had stopped but I continued on as they were in a group. Hopefully they're both OK!

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Re: Gong Ride

Postby timbo » Mon Nov 07, 2016 6:36 am

I did my first Gong Ride for a few years yesterday. The start was a bit chaotic, with people not really sticking to their designated start times, but once we got rolling, it was good riding. The ride was more free flowing than the Spring Cycle (as much as you can with 10000 riders on the course), and I felt rider behaviour was better too.

tez001
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Re: Gong Ride

Postby tez001 » Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:14 am

phil_ wrote:Saw a few tumbles. Someone took a dive at Sydney Park before it even started (just a graze) and another after climbing out of the National Park.

However a more serious one was near Heathcote on the Princes Highway. I was riding behind 2 guys and something happened up front. Evasive braking didn't stop one rider going over the handlebars and doing a roll and another actually went over the railing, bike and all! Ended up what looked like quite far down.


You must have been basically riding just next to me as I saw the same guy stack it before the start line (it was more just a clip stack) and then again the collision on the Pacific Hwy too. The ditch down looked like a fair way too!

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familyguy
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Re: Gong Ride

Postby familyguy » Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:01 am

I think the guy at Heathcote was part of a friends team. Reports were broken collarbone, broken ribs and a punctured lung. Might not be the same guy, but chances are high.

There was also a guy down heading north (away from the finish) at North Wollongong. Ambulance on scene as I went past, but didn't hear anything.

The start felt a little more cramped than last year, with one chute and two entry points, but once things got rolling it was better than I've experienced it for a while. Even leaving at 6:45 in the past has meant slow traffic till at least Sans Souci, but not this year.

Wonder where the next start point will be once the motorway kicks in?

Jim

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Re: Gong Ride

Postby rdp_au » Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:40 am

Did the ride this year with my son in law. He’s an experienced club cyclist but this was his first mass ride, and I think he found the lack of discipline a shock. I thought it ran pretty well compared to previous years. Unfortunately he was caught up in a crash on Captain Cook Bridge and went down with four others. Rider was pushed wide and hit a traffic cone and went down, others following went down and son in law who was behind had nowhere to go. Amazingly no one was seriously hurt, although there was a fair bit of bike damage. He escaped with some bruises and scratches to him and his bike.

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Derny Driver
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Re: Gong Ride

Postby Derny Driver » Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:52 am

rdp_au wrote:... He’s an experienced club cyclist but this was his first mass ride...

and probably his last.
My son's girlfriend signed up for it, got sponsors, the jersey, the numbers, the whole lot. Shes never actually ridden a bike before. I built her a flat bar bike to train on and ride the event. She never rode it or trained as she was too busy with Uni work, but she was still going to ride the Gong-a-thon yesterday. Thank goodness she changed her mind at the last minute and didn't do it.
These are the people you are riding with. People who have no idea and pull some old clunker with perished tyres out of their shed the night before.
If you want to ride from Sydney to the Gong, there are 51 other perfect weekends to do it. And if you want to support a charity, support a cycling charity which is doing something for us. The MS society is the greediest of all the super-charity corporations.

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familyguy
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Re: Gong Ride

Postby familyguy » Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Derny Driver wrote:
rdp_au wrote:... He’s an experienced club cyclist but this was his first mass ride...

and probably his last.
My son's girlfriend signed up for it, got sponsors, the jersey, the numbers, the whole lot. Shes never actually ridden a bike before. I built her a flat bar bike to train on and ride the event. She never rode it or trained as she was too busy with Uni work, but she was still going to ride the Gong-a-thon yesterday. Thank goodness she changed her mind at the last minute and didn't do it.
These are the people you are riding with. People who have no idea and pull some old clunker with perished tyres out of their shed the night before.
If you want to ride from Sydney to the Gong, there are 51 other perfect weekends to do it.


The same can be said for the AGF Gran Fondo, Around the Bay, or any mass participation event. I've seen people pull out after 5km, as well as people who seemingly had no right in making it get all the way to the finish. Wonder if she's going to tell the people who probably sponsored her in good faith that she didn't ride?

Derny Driver wrote:And if you want to support a charity, support a cycling charity which is doing something for us.


Like who? AGF? BV?

Derny Driver wrote:The MS society is the greediest of all the super-charity corporations.


Curious...got info? Not wanting to start a flame war here, just want to know the where and how of this. Might impact my future rides.

Jim

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Re: Gong Ride

Postby Derny Driver » Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:17 am

Look I know my views are not popular. Im not trying to start arguments. I am in the minority with my views on charity rides and Gran Fondos.

My sons girlfriend had good intentions. Her mum has MS. The people who donated don't care whether she rode the bike or not. They were donating to the charity, not to her. It was wise not to ride.

I don't like AGF ...I wont go into that here. I like the Ben Mikic Foundation and try to support that.

The MS society - as well as somehow getting permission to run this ride and raise something like 3 million dollars, they also have somehow managed to get permission to run the MS readathon in around 5000 schools in Australia since 1979 to present. Its worth another 3 million or so. Joe Citizen has only so many charity dollars to give, and there are so many worth causes out there. MS is a worth cause. But somehow they manage to take the lions share and leave other charities the scraps / nothing.
Just my view.

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Re: Gong Ride

Postby familyguy » Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:31 am

Derny Driver wrote:Look I know my views are not popular. Im not trying to start arguments. I am in the minority with my views on charity rides and Gran Fondos.


I'm not seeking to start one. I don't think your thoughts are Robinson Crusoe on these charity rides though, especially among 'serious' riders. It's when you expect them to be trouble-free they become a problem. It's the cumulative 'moments of inattention' leads to what happened on Sunday. It's a more tiring 90km than a solo 90km, definitely.

Derny Driver wrote:My sons girlfriend had good intentions. Her mum has MS. The people who donated don't care whether she rode the bike or not. They were donating to the charity, not to her. It was wise not to ride.




Derny Driver wrote:I don't like AGF ...I wont go into that here. I like the Ben Mikic Foundation and try to support that.


Again, I know you're not alone there. BMF will grow over time, but even they have been overshadowed by AGF and personnel within, not always in a good way. There is that history in Australia of 'doing something for something else', like walking for cancer, riding for MS, running for whatever. I think the City2Surf has evolved from an event to a fundraiser for non-specified organisations, which is a somewhat unique model here now.

Derny Driver wrote:The MS society - as well as somehow getting permission to run this ride and raise something like 3 million dollars, they also have somehow managed to get permission to run the MS readathon in around 5000 schools in Australia since 1979 to present. Its worth another 3 million or so. Joe Citizen has only so many charity dollars to give, and there are so many worth causes out there. MS is a worth cause. But somehow they manage to take the lions share and leave other charities the scraps / nothing.
Just my view.


Fair points.

All in all, I enjoyed number 16. But rethinking will start again soon.

Jim

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Re: Gong Ride

Postby sertse » Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:45 pm

Climbing up I realised how much stronger than casuals or once a year riders are, but so many others are stronger than me. Even at the lowest gear and a decent cadence I would eventually spin up the climbs..

The descents were the more scary part, and I was probably one of the offenders. How do you go between going too fast and burning your brakes?

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Re: Gong Ride

Postby phil_ » Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:51 pm

Couldn't believe the number of aero bikes that were around. They're not even allowed on group rides with experienced cyclists, let alone 10,000 other weekend warriors or once a year participants.

Some of my friends got held up at the Sea Cliff Bridge when they closed access to allow an ambulance through for a downed rider. Not sure how they're doing.

I may opt to start earlier next time so I can get clearer roads. Even though I was supposed to start at 6:15, I didn't get through the gates until 6:30. First time riding it and finished with a 3:20 time... something to be improved upon next time.

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Re: Gong Ride

Postby g-boaf » Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:11 pm

phil_ wrote:Couldn't believe the number of aero bikes that were around. They're not even allowed on group rides with experienced cyclists, let alone 10,000 other weekend warriors or once a year participants.

Some of my friends got held up at the Sea Cliff Bridge when they closed access to allow an ambulance through for a downed rider. Not sure how they're doing.

I may opt to start earlier next time so I can get clearer roads. Even though I was supposed to start at 6:15, I didn't get through the gates until 6:30. First time riding it and finished with a 3:20 time... something to be improved upon next time.


As for TT bikes or Triathlon bikes, I see no problem with them so long as you don't use the aero bars. And I'd guess that a P5X might be rather decent for stopping power with its disc brakes. It's up to the rider to ride with care.

Aero bikes on the other hand are perfectly legal in group rides and races. Giant Propel and Cervelo S5 are testament to that.

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