Road closures in rural areas for bike rides

djw47
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Road closures in rural areas for bike rides

Postby djw47 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:57 pm

As you may have seen, Bicycle Network have organised a ladies only event called The Ascent in April, which will wind its way around the Dandenongs: https://www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/the-ascent/

As a resident of the Dandenongs, I know lots of locals and get to hear their opinions on cyclists in the Dandenongs. In general, most people are fairly neutral on the subject of cyclists but can see the benefits of having hundreds of people coming to the area every weekend spending money in bakeries and the like, of course there are the usual "make them pay rego and keep off the roads" minority but they are generally silent and do not cause any issues for people out for their weekend rides.

However, Bicycle Network have really stirred things up with this ride. It is going to cause road closures across a large swathe of the area and its not popular with locals who won't be able to access their homes, businesses who will potentially lose out on trade, and the emergency services who have raised concerns that their volunteers won't be able to get to the CFA stations in the event of an emergency. Now obviously a lot of these reactions are extreme and in reality the impact is likely to be less severe than the perception but it is a big imposition on a rural area to close roads for 4 or 5 hours on the weekend. There is also a belief that the event is unlikely to bring any local benefits - riders are starting from a field outside of all the major townships and the event is being catered by an external company so no local eateries or caterers will benefit.

What are the collective thoughts on this? I'm torn. I think its great to see cyclists encouraged but I think that the organisers have blundered by imposing this event on an area that already supports cycling and will cause significant disruption for locals.
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RonK
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Re: Road closures in rural areas for bike rides

Postby RonK » Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:36 pm

Sounds like a beat up to me...
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BJL
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Re: Road closures in rural areas for bike rides

Postby BJL » Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:25 pm

Definitely a beat up. This event has been public knowledge for months now and all of a sudden it gets a little attention. The emergency services will always have access to the roads, closed for a cycling event or not. In any case, what emergency services should be worried about is how they to and from the CFA stations on weekends when the roads up there are congested with motor vehicles. Funny how that never comes up. I'm pretty sure most cyclists would get off the road to allow an emergency vehicle through.
It's also a matter of concern that the roads up there were never designed for the amount of traffic which is blatantly clear given the continued deterioration of some major roads which judging by Vicroads recent efforts, can be fixed by a bit of patch work here and there and painting new lines. Since it's the business's who largely benefit from all the traffic on weekends, maybe they should be the ones to pay for the entire tourist road to be resurfaced from Montrose to Ferntree Gully. Hey, you've got to spend money to make money.

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Re: Road closures in rural areas for bike rides

Postby biker jk » Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:34 pm

RonK wrote:Sounds like a beat up to me...


A very massive one indeed. NIMBY motorists, who would have thought. :roll:

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Re: Road closures in rural areas for bike rides

Postby BenGr » Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:03 pm

The comment about the CFA volunteers being unable to get to the station is a valid concern, as they won't have sirens and lights. However if they do need to get to the station then the organises would have to consider stopping the event anyway. The traffic controllers should also be aware so a quick conversation should make it clear the urgency of the situation.

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marty_one
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Re: Road closures in rural areas for bike rides

Postby marty_one » Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:47 pm

I don't understand how the road closures for this event will be any different for cycling events done in the following areas

Geelong (Cadel Evans People Momentum Ride, Otway Classic, Amy's Gran Frondo(this one is completely closed off))
Whittlesea (ex-Genovese Challenge, Cycling Victoria Whittlesea ride)
Warburton (Giro della Donna)

They all seem to be able to handle public cycling events without too much of an issue. I personally would like to see more cycling events in and around the dandenongs and outer lying areas.
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Re: Road closures in rural areas for bike rides

Postby danny the boy » Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:26 pm

Im a bit bemused by a lot of aspects of this ride. As far as I can tell the 1:20 is the only road closure and the thing I am bemused most by is are they going to stopping any cyclist who is not part of this ride (ie: any male) from riding up it? Think I have read figures like 6000 people ride up there on any Sunday morning so any traffic control person standing next to the barricade hoping to stop any bloke on a bike for his weekly ride might need to be armed. I have no idea why BV chose this location for this type of ride, getting from Wandin to the bottom of the 1:20 is going to result in riding on some pretty dangerous roads, for a ride aimed at getting women on bikes they seemed to have missed the mark in a lot of areas.

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Re: Road closures in rural areas for bike rides

Postby Machoman121 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:16 pm

First of all - closing 1-20 is not as crazy as it seems. The mighty beach road gets closed fairly regularly for events. But I do question 100KM for women - the last time i looked i thought they were the weaker sex - i don't know any female capable of riding 100KM - up some mountaings. So only the elite females will join - and 1-20 is not a typical girly route - first timers or beginners are gonna ride themselves off the cliff.

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Re: Road closures in rural areas for bike rides

Postby BenGr » Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:52 pm

Machoman121 wrote:First of all - closing 1-20 is not as crazy as it seems. The mighty beach road gets closed fairly regularly for events. But I do question 100KM for women - the last time i looked i thought they were the weaker sex - i don't know any female capable of riding 100KM - up some mountaings. So only the elite females will join - and 1-20 is not a typical girly route - first timers or beginners are gonna ride themselves off the cliff.

I guess your name says it all. This is far from an elite only ride. Sure it will test some people, but there are plenty that would manage to complete it. There is also a shorter version. What would put me off is the $189 entry fee.

On a slightly related note: I wish event companies would release maps that are actually useful.

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Re: Road closures in rural areas for bike rides

Postby BJL » Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:53 pm

But the ride was meant to attract women to cycling. Neither the short course or the long course is suitable for novices. Those who turn up on the day with little or no training are in for a rude shock.

I'll forgive them for the course between Wandin and 1/20. Dangerous roads but the early morning start on a Sunday should mean the roads are quiet. Why they used Clegg Rd instead of the Warby trail is a mystery to me.

The short course on the other hand takes the riders along Monbulk road which won't happen until later in the day, when the road will definitely be busy. Newbies on the long course will not like what they come across on Beenak Rd, Yellingbo nearing the end of a long ride.

At least the course notes warn of the water that's usually across the road on Sherbrooke Rd, Kallista. I hope they all read it.

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Re: Road closures in rural areas for bike rides

Postby BenGr » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:07 pm

From my quick read there will be at minimum a lane closure along the full length, so traffic shouldn't be a problem. The warby trail is not suitable for a large group ride, and is definitely unsuitable for a mass participation ride.

I think we should wait and see how things go. Given motivation and good pacing a novice should be able to finish it. Just because they're new to riding doesn't mean they are unfit.

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Re: Road closures in rural areas for bike rides

Postby nezumi » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:15 pm

Machoman121 wrote:First of all - closing 1-20 is not as crazy as it seems. The mighty beach road gets closed fairly regularly for events. But I do question 100KM for women - the last time i looked i thought they were the weaker sex - i don't know any female capable of riding 100KM - up some mountaings. So only the elite females will join - and 1-20 is not a typical girly route - first timers or beginners are gonna ride themselves off the cliff.


Wow. Just wow.

To put paid to this *ridiculous* assertion, one of the girls I ride with did a lazy 100kms on Saturday in Geelong to introduce a friend to distance rides.
In addition to being a medico, she is currently ~26 weeks pregnant.
She also managed to conquer Donna Buang at 20 weeks pregnant.

You might also want to let the 20 women who everested Donna Buang a year ago that they are weak.
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BJL
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Re: Road closures in rural areas for bike rides

Postby BJL » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:41 pm

BenGr wrote:From my quick read there will be at minimum a lane closure along the full length, so traffic shouldn't be a problem. The warby trail is not suitable for a large group ride, and is definitely unsuitable for a mass participation ride.

I think we should wait and see how things go. Given motivation and good pacing a novice should be able to finish it. Just because they're new to riding doesn't mean they are unfit.


Just gave it another glance. They do say that there will be 100kms of 'closed' roads and they also talk about cut off times and traffic management so it's not like the entire course will be closed all at once. I wish they went into more detail other than the 1/20 being completely closed.

Given the controlled start, Warby trail at Mt Evelyn is wide enough the handle a large participation event. 300 showed up to Mt Baw Baw the other week and the controlled start there was enough to thin the field out. A long as they didn't ride more than 2 abreast on the trail, it'd be fine. If they let them go all at once, it would be chaos. It's just a much gentler climb to start off with than Clegg Rd.

Whatever happens, I hope it's a good day for the girls.

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Re: Road closures in rural areas for bike rides

Postby RonK » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:54 pm

BJL wrote:If they let them go all at once, it would be chaos.

I doubt it - they're women, they're unlikely to be riding over each other trying to be first.
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Re: Road closures in rural areas for bike rides

Postby dalai47 » Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:03 am

danny the boy wrote:are they going to stopping any cyclist who is not part of this ride (ie: any male) from riding up it?


Just ride one of the many other ways up the hill that week? Personally avoid climbs when events are in the area such as Donna etc. No interest in riding with hundreds of others...

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Re: Road closures in rural areas for bike rides

Postby dalai47 » Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:06 am

Machoman121 wrote: i don't know any female capable of riding 100KM - up some mountaings.


You seriously need to get out more. :roll: Plenty of women will smash this ride...

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Re: Road closures in rural areas for bike rides

Postby queequeg » Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:20 am

dalai47 wrote:
Machoman121 wrote: i don't know any female capable of riding 100KM - up some mountaings.


You seriously need to get out more. :roll: Plenty of women will smash this ride...


Indeed, and at this stage we have two women riding with us to over the blue mountains to Lithgow (and back) this weekend, a lazy 220km!
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Re: Road closures in rural areas for bike rides

Postby g-boaf » Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:37 am

Machoman121 wrote:First of all - closing 1-20 is not as crazy as it seems. The mighty beach road gets closed fairly regularly for events. But I do question 100KM for women - the last time i looked i thought they were the weaker sex - i don't know any female capable of riding 100KM - up some mountaings. So only the elite females will join - and 1-20 is not a typical girly route - first timers or beginners are gonna ride themselves off the cliff.


Nice trolling! You almost got me. ;)

I know quite a number of ladies who'd be happy to take on 200km rides with 4500m elevation or more. Relish the challenge in fact.

queequeg wrote:
dalai47 wrote:
Machoman121 wrote: i don't know any female capable of riding 100KM - up some mountaings.


You seriously need to get out more. :roll: Plenty of women will smash this ride...


Indeed, and at this stage we have two women riding with us to over the blue mountains to Lithgow (and back) this weekend, a lazy 220km!


That sounds like a damn good ride.
Last edited by g-boaf on Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Road closures in rural areas for bike rides

Postby BJL » Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:51 am

Okay, just read what all the fuss is about in the local rag and I'm far from happy.

BenGR - The comments regarding emergency vehicles may be valid but it's no less valid on weekends when the roads in the Dandenongs are clogged up with motor vehicles. So why bring it up now?
I suppose everyone whose thinking of driving a car up there on the weekend registers with the local CFA so that they'll know approximate traffic numbers and be able to make alternative plans. Pigs might fly.

The Basin CFA claims they have not been informed about any road closures. The Ascent is not just a BN event. The website is plastered with RACV logos and the event organizers must have gained permission from VicRoads for any road closures. So whose fault is it that the local CFA stations were not informed? There's failure all around in this neck of the woods. My cynical guess is that they were informed but only raised it at the eleventh hour when not much can be done about it aside from cancelling the event entirely (which in my mind is what they really want). It was bemusing a while ago when the local CFA's complained about the possibility of cyclists blocking emergency vehicles in the Dandenongs, accompanied by a photo of a fire truck behind a motor vehicle!

As others have said, no problems having road closures for other cycling events. I didn't see any complaints about road closures for the Jayco - Hun Tour. The locals living within the Dandenongs come across as a bunch of selfish pricks who think the roads are there for them only. Shouldn't be allowed to host an event up there unless it benefits them is the message, loud and clear. That's correct folks. It's okay to block the Dandenongs with hundreds, if not thousands of motor vehicles every weekend as long as it is to the benefit of the locals, but a cycling event is a dangerous menace to society.

They're all prepared to sit there and complain about a few cyclists but what would you prefer to navigate around in a emergency? A bunch of cyclists riding to the left of the road or the gridlock of cars blocking Olinda or Sassafras entirely on a regular basis? Cars generally driven by morons whose attitude will be 'Well, I can't move because of all the cars in front so tough luck'. And then go on to blame cyclists for the trouble.

The whole thing smacks of incompetence by a number of organizations.

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Re: Road closures in rural areas for bike rides

Postby biker jk » Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:13 am

^^^
Well said.

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Re: Road closures in rural areas for bike rides

Postby danny the boy » Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:27 am

Ok heres the list of road closures, wasn't aware it was so extreme. :shock:

Fully-closed roads:
Queens Rd – Cherry Lane to Beenak Rd – 6am-8am
Queens Rd – Wandin East Rd to Cherry Lane – 6am-8am
Beenak Rd – Queens Rd to Wandin East Rd – 6.30am-8am
Beenak Rd – Wandin East Rd to Warburton Highway – 6.30am-8am
Stradbroke Rd – Swansea Rd to Sheffield Rd – 7.05am-8.40am
Sheffield Rd – Stradbroke Rd to Glasgow Rd – 7.10am-8.45am
Glasgow Rd – Sheffield Rd to Liverpool Rd – 7.10am-8.50am
Mountain Highway – Basin-Olinda Rd/Forest Rd to Mt Dandenong Tourist Rd – 7.20am-10.05am
Sherbrooke Rd – Mt Dandenong Rd to Kallista-Emerald Rd – 7.45am-10.20am
Kallista-Emerald Rd – Monbulk Rd to Emerald-Monbulk Rd – 7.55am-10.50am
Emerald-Monbulk Rd – Kallista-Emerald Rd to Main Rd – 8.20am-11.05am
Moore St – Main Rd to McAllister Rd – 8.35am-11.25am
McAllister Rd – Main Rd to Old Emerald Rd – 8.35am-11.30am
Macclesfield Rd – Old Emerald Rd to Swales Rd – 8.45am-11.50am
Swales Rd – 8.50am-11.55am
Avon Rd – Macclesfield Rd to Healesville-Koo Wee Rup Rd – 9.05am-12.20pm
Monbulk-Seville Rd – Beenak Rd to Old Baker Rd – 10am-1.40pm
Parker Rd – Old Baker Rd to Monbulk Rd/Silvan Rd – 10.05am-1.50pm
Queens Rd – Monbulk-Silvan Rd to Cherry Lane – 10.15am-2.10pm
Old Emerald Rd – McAllister Rd to Monbulk Rd/Silvan Rd – 9.50am-11.20am

Partially closed roads:
Warburton Highway – Beenak Rd to Clegg Rd – 6.40am to 8am
Clegg Rd – Warburton Highway to Silvan-Monbulk Rd – 6.40am-8.20am
Monbulk-Silvan Rd – Clegg Rd to York Rd – 6.50am-8.20am
York Rd – Monbulk Rd to Swansea Rd – 6.55am-8.30am
Swansea Rd – York Rd to Mt Dandenong Tourist Rd – 7am-8.45am
Liverpool Rd – Canterbury Rd to Glasgow Rd – 7.15am-9am
Liverpool Rd – Glasgow Rd to Mountain Highway – 7.15am-9am
Mountain Highway – Liverpool Rd to Basin-Olinda Rd/Forest Rd – 7.20am-9.15am
Mt Dandenong Tourist Rd – Mountain Highway to Sherbrooke Rd – 7.40am-10.10am
Emerald-Monbulk Rd – Belgrave-Gembrook Rd to Kallista-Emerald Rd – 8.20am-11.05am
Macclesfield Rd – Swales Rd to Avon Rd – 9am-12.20pm
Macclesfield Rd – Beenak Rd to Swales Rd – 9am-12.20pm
Healesville-Koo Wee Rup Rd – Avon Rd to Parslows Rd – 9.20am-1.20pm
Healesville-Koo Wee Rup Rd – Belgrave-Gembrook Rd to Avon Rd – 9.20am-1.20pm
Parslows Rd – Healesville-Koo Wee Rup Rd to Macclesfield Rd – 9.50am-1.20pm
Beenak Rd – Parslows Rd to Monbulk-Seville Rd – 9.55am-1.35pm
Monbulk Rd – Old Emerald Rd to Queens Rd – 10am-1.55pm
Monbulk Rd – Main Rd to Old Emerald Rd – 10am-1.55pm
Old Emerald Rd – Wards Rd to McAllister Rd – 9.50am-11.20am

[url]http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/outer-east/cyclists-get-right-of-way-for-racv-ascent-with-closure-of-mountain-highway-worrying-the-basin-cfa/news-story/2eb2be11a6a28946423a9016f5fb3210?sv=da12efbd73d44fcccc47796ae867b6f0
[/url]

To be honest I think this overkill and completely ridiculous for a recreational ride. Completely agree with business owners that this event will bring no economic benefit to the area and cause traffic chaos. Sun Tour had record crowds this year and bought spectators to those areas, this ride will have none of that. Furthermore the bottom of the article says BNV have made an application to Vic Roads which was being reviewed so it seems that not all these closures have been approved. There is absolutely no way the entry fee will cover the costs of traffic management of this level so next year when ATB costs $500 to enter it will be easy to figure out why.

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Re: Road closures in rural areas for bike rides

Postby BJL » Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:12 pm

I agree with you that it's ridiculous for a recreational ride. Monbulk Rd for example is the only major road between Mt Evelyn and Monbulk and the only viable alternatives are also affected (by the long route).
But I'm not going to side with business owners when it's business's that largely cause traffic chaos throughout the Dandenongs every other weekend of the year. It's a hypocritical stance. Years ago when it was just the B&B's and a few iconic restaurants (The Cuckoo, etc), traffic was fine. Then the whole bakery / cafe type business model came in all of a sudden there's a gridlock up there every weekend there's nice weather. But as long as someone's making money, everyone turns a blind eye.
I'm not going to buy the whole 'no economic benefit' argument. What right does the business community have to profit of every little event that goes on around town? None.That's what. The business community have put nothing towards this event as far as I know so they can bugger off.

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Re: Road closures in rural areas for bike rides

Postby djw47 » Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:03 pm

Machoman121 wrote:First of all - closing 1-20 is not as crazy as it seems. The mighty beach road gets closed fairly regularly for events. But I do question 100KM for women - the last time i looked i thought they were the weaker sex - i don't know any female capable of riding 100KM - up some mountaings. So only the elite females will join - and 1-20 is not a typical girly route - first timers or beginners are gonna ride themselves off the cliff.


Wow, that's a staggeringly sexist attitude there mate. There are heaps of female recreational cyclists who would put most male cyclists to shame. Have you ever actually ridden the 1 in 20? Firstly, it's not actually that big a climb, it's certainly not steep and first timers and beginners will manage it just fine. Also, there are all sorts of people ride up there (both genders), everything from elite, pro cyclists to painfully slow sloggers. But they all manage it and credit to anybody who takes it on and does it for whatever motivation drives them.
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Re: Road closures in rural areas for bike rides

Postby RonK » Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:16 pm

djw47 wrote:There are heaps of female recreational cyclists who would put most male cyclists to shame. Have you ever actually ridden the 1 in 20? Firstly, it's not actually that big a climb, it's certainly not steep and first timers and beginners will manage it just fine.

1 in 20? That is a grade of just 5%. Big deal.
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Re: Road closures in rural areas for bike rides

Postby djw47 » Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:27 pm

BJL wrote:But I'm not going to side with business owners when it's business's that largely cause traffic chaos throughout the Dandenongs every other weekend of the year. It's a hypocritical stance. Years ago when it was just the B&B's and a few iconic restaurants (The Cuckoo, etc), traffic was fine. Then the whole bakery / cafe type business model came in all of a sudden there's a gridlock up there every weekend there's nice weather. But as long as someone's making money, everyone turns a blind eye.


I hear your point but you'll find that there is always a great deal of concern about the volume of traffic that clogs up the roads in the Dandenongs on a regular basis from locals and the council who are concerned that in the event of a major incident (remember it is a very high risk bush fire area) the roads could not cope with the volumes of traffic. To give you an example, there was an event at the Rhododendron Gardens in Olinda a couple of years ago (a free event so nothing at all to do with businesses causing traffic chaos) that was advertised in the Melbourne press and attracted over 16000 visitors over a weekend. The entire mountain road network was at a standstill for hours and it brought home to many who live there that the roads are our only lifeline in the event of an emergency and if they are blocked, many of us could be at risk.

I'd also say that there has been little to no communication about the event locally. It only came to many people's attention last week when the local paper reported it, there have been no notices posted locally in public areas.

I'm still in two minds about the event, I can see the benefits for the participants, although the route leaves a lot to be desired, and I can hear what people say about other areas managing to accommodate these sorts of events, but at the same time, the level of consultation with the community from BN has been non-existent and it feels like the event has been poorly thought out with little to no thought about how it could work with the community to create something that could be a benefit to all. Would it not be great for the local community and the cycling community of Victoria if this was an annual event that celebrated cycling in the hills rather than being dumped in a field outside of any townships and with absolutely no benefit to the community?
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