2010 Tour Down Under Challenge Tour

Re: 2010 Tour Down Under Challenge Tour

Postby alltorque » Sun Jan 24, 2010 6:16 pm

Pics are gradually going up now guys :) The Gorge Rd gallery is complete so far.

http://www.epsomrdstudios.com.au/index.php?cPath=7457
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by BNA » Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:24 pm

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Re: 2010 Tour Down Under Challenge Tour

Postby Dahondude » Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:24 pm

My sentiments echo those of most of the previous posts..

the start was a balls up - only two people checking bags in, only 10 toilets (apologies to the person whose front yard I watered), and that stupid electronic tag system that caused an almighty bottleneck (we didn't get through it until 640am).

I feel sorry for that poor guy whose rear wheel got shredded before he even climbed the gorge road. We saw him and only found out later what had happened.

Hats off to the two guys who rode the full distance on fixie's. We saw them on Saturday and they reckoned they did it in under 5 1/2 hrs!

No sunscreen at any of the stops...isn't that negligent?

The water stop just before Mt Barker...2 taps and about 150 cycles jostling for water

Almost every water/refreshment stop was too close to the road, leading to cyclists stopping/starting all over the road. I saw tonnes of near misses.

The layout of the refreshment stops was terrible and lack of signage caused bottlenecks (the Lenswood one was a classic example...the official water taps were almost unused while people qued up to get water from a tap at the bowling green and at the apple store, the Milang stop had inusufficient water pressure to drive most of the taps, and too many water stops had run out of water).

The "food" at Strathalbyn was a joke. Two bananas...last year there were at least 2 food stops and they all had fruit, cake, biscuits, tea, coffee, milo, juice, water and powerade.

The shop owner at Milan needs to go to business school. 8000 cyclists passing their front door and they ran out of cold drinks and change. They could have been charging 5 bucks a can of coke and I would have paid it!

The only good thing that happened to us all day (from an organisational point of view) was that we spent so much time waiting at the refreshment stops waiting for water and/or a slower rider in our group to catch us, that we didnt get to Goolwa until just before the pros. So the roads were closed for the last 10km which meant we missed all the traffic jams. Having said this, a mate just missed out on riding through the finish arch and got directed down a side road, and he then had to spend 20 minutes trying to find the oval. No signage, no help, and when he finally got to the oval he was told that they had closed the electronic tag system (so why did they even bother using it?) He was well pissed.

I have ridden in a number of big cycling events, as have several guys in our group, both in Australia and overseas and we universally agreed that the organisation was the worst we had experienced.

Needless to say I will ride the route next year, but I won't be paying the $135 entry fee for an ill fitting jersey, and two bananas. We rode down to Willunga on Saturday, did 100km, sourced our own food and water, stood at the KOM on Willunga Hill and had a ball. Total cost: $7. No comparison to Friday.

Coast to Coast and the BikeSA Grandslam series are looking very tempting now :)

I think Tourism SA have really shot themselves (and cycle tourism in South Oz) in the foot.
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Re: 2010 Tour Down Under Challenge Tour

Postby feeltherush » Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:50 pm

Dahondude wrote:
Coast to Coast and the BikeSA Grandslam series are looking very tempting now :)


+1

My thoughts exactly... BikeSA's rides are better organised and more enjoyable without all the logistical nightmares that go with the MCCT.

Don't get me wrong that it is a huge buzz to be apart of such an event but this year in particular I think the cons outweigh the pros (jersey sizes/broken wheel/lack of food, drinks, sunscreen/sharing finish with cars etc) and I will be thinking very seriously about participating next year.

The whole week has been fantastic and the only downside has been the shortcomings on Friday which seems a pity to have that take the shine off an otherwise great event.

PS: Will be posting some more pics from some other stages shortly.
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Re: 2010 Tour Down Under Challenge Tour

Postby U2adam!!! » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:27 pm

OK, so I wasn't part of the ride this year but is there some official way in which all of this feedback can be given to the organisers either through letter, email etc?

I only ask as reporting what went wrong (and right) on this forum is one thing but getting the organisers to listen to the views here so the same mistakes can't be made again should be a priority.

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Re: 2010 Tour Down Under Challenge Tour

Postby feeltherush » Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:06 pm

I know last year that there was a survey done after the event so hopefully the same will happen again so that our feedback can be heard.

Some pics for everyone to enjoy...
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Re: 2010 Tour Down Under Challenge Tour

Postby Biffidus » Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:11 pm

Wow, sounds like a real cluster. Anyone tempted to return their ill-fitting jersey and ask for their money back?
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Re: 2010 Tour Down Under Challenge Tour

Postby Dahondude » Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:46 am

According to the Ride Guide (or something else I read), the MCCT was run by Events South Australia ( http://www.events.southaustralia.com/ contact details are:

Events South Australia
GPO Box 1972
Adelaide South Australia 5001
AUSTRALIA

Telephone: +61 8 8463 4500
Fax: +61 8 8463 4718
Email: [email protected]
Website: events.southaustralia.com


and they in turn are "owned" by the South Australian Tourism Commission ( http://www.tourism.sa.gov.au/ )

I am planning on writing to Events South Australia, but trying to offer as much constructive criticism as possible, without it sounding like a tirade of abuse. I know that their first response will be that the weather conditions were out of their hands and were much worse than predicted. In fact, if they had know what the weather was going to be like (it was 38 degrees max at Strathalbyn on Friday and someone has already posted the wind gust strengths..65km/h I think) then I reckon they would never have let people start in the first place.
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Re: 2010 Tour Down Under Challenge Tour

Postby Patdys » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:26 am

If my maths is correct, they made in excess of a million dollars through registration. They would let us ride. In fact, I was surprised about the 40 degree cancellation policy.

[eta] Given how much they made, I am truly wanting my pieces of cake, fruit and cuppa.
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Re: 2010 Tour Down Under Challenge Tour

Postby pavo » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:24 pm

Here's what I wrote to the following email address I was given:
[email protected]

TO WHOM IT MAY (OR SHOULD) CONCERN

I took part in the 2010 TDU Mutual Community Ride from Norwood to Goolwa on Friday. Even though it was a tough day, we expected that, and fully accepted that the weather, both wind and sun would make for tough conditions.

What we didn't expect was to experience such a shameful lack of proper organisation. For me, and many others, this spoiled the day.

I'll be specific:

1) Jersey sizes. Way too large. And no, we live in the real world where we don't have time to take an afternoon off to 'try one on'. I buy stuff over the internet all the time and never have a problem like this. Half the riders looked as though they were wearing nightshirts.

2) Norwood (and other start venues) tag on. How pathetically slow and inefficient. I do the Great Perth Bike Ride. 5000 riders, we wear ankle transponders and simply ride over a mat. And there are clear directions for handing them in at the end. Easy, plus we get to see our times which are published within a couple of days.

3) Strathalbyn, advertised as a food station. Just bananas. And that thanks to one of the tireless and unsupported volunteers who used his initiative to deliver them when the system failed. Is anyone there aware of the dangers of inadequate nutrition on a ride? The vast numbers of riders cramped up on the side of the road about 60 kms further on was due, in part to your failure to provide adequate food.

4) Intermediate (unmanned) water drops. When I see a "water - 200 metres" I assume that's what I find. So I consume most of what's left so I can fill up. Except that there was just a pile of empty casks - no water, with 10 km to go until the next stop. This isn't just careless, it's plain dangerous and irresponsible.

5) Milang. The guys at Strathalbyn told us there would be food at Milang. Well, there wasn't. Just a water tap which dribbled at a rate of a bottle every five minutes.

6) Finniss. Bananas had run out and the SES and St Johns were busy trying to keep people decramped and hydrated.

7) Goolwa. I arrived before the pros but after the main street was closed, so was directed down a side street. Then no directions at all. Found the tag off station to be informed they were closing it down, there was a secondary station but he hadn't been told where it was. Searched high and low, and finally handed my tag to a volunteer.

Many people couldn't find the food tent because it wasn't signposted. Got some lunch and went to the tent where chairs and tables were being stacked up around us. The massage personnel were packing up too.

Let me just say the volunteers were great. But they were in unison with their embarrassment at being associated with such an utter debacle. Additionally, EVERY RIDER I have spoken to has voiced the same concerns.

I understand that bicycle SA had been involved in the organisation of this event previously. Their absence was clearly missed.

If I were to do this event ever again I doubt whether I'd fork out $145.00 for an oversize shirt, two bananas and a few spoonsful of Powerade. I'd simply fend for myself and tag along. At least I'd know who to rely on.

I hope you take these criticisms seriously. We are visitors from interstate, who spend money, swell the numbers and should return to Perth as ambassadors for South Australia, and for the Mutual Community Ride. At this stage, should anyone ask me whether they should participate in the ride, I'd say the jury was very much out.


I am also sending this email to the Hon. Jane Lomax-Smith the Minister for Tourism, as I'm sure she would wish to be informed of these concerns.



Regards


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Re: 2010 Tour Down Under Challenge Tour

Postby AndyZ » Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:26 pm

I agree with some of the comments regarding the organisation however I must also comment that it was again a great experience. The feeling of accomplishment on reaching the finish line, especially after the 30kms of torture either side of Milang, was amazing. Congrats to everyone who completed the ride, even those who tried and couldn't get to the end. For me that 30kms was the hardest conditions I have experienced and it was a mental rather than physical battle to get through it.

Regarding the organisation, I must agree that the police turn out was amazing, much improved on previous years, made me feel very safe. With respect to the jerseys, we all must have short memories as in previous years the jerseys have been way too small. I'm not sure if it is the organisers fault or he manufacturers but it needs to be improved, by whoever the organiser is. The major downfall was the lack of food at Strath as mentioned previously. Nothing but bananas was very poor. I would also question if there was an option to warn riders of the difficult conditions after Strath and recommend strongly to take the shortcut straight to Goolwa.

All in all, a great day and experience.
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Re: 2010 Tour Down Under Challenge Tour

Postby dr ti » Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:56 pm

Thats a great letter Ian, do you mind if I copy some of it too send as well?
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Re: 2010 Tour Down Under Challenge Tour

Postby Moza79 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:12 pm

Well it was in interesting event to say the least. Completed the ride in just over 6hrs due to recovery from injury and that dam wind. Up till the hard right after Langhorne Creek I was averaging 35 km/h, after the stretch to Finnis it dropped to 26km/h. It was great traveling down from strath between 40-70 km, I clocked a top speed of 74km/h. Bike SA grand slam 4 was good training for the wind as on the second loop we coped similar strong winds.

The organisation was poor compared to last year, I'm glad I carried along sunscreen and food. The drink stations were chaos especially at littlehampton, like a football scrum.

My main gripe was with the coach transfer and the transportation of the bikes. We were waiting at the parade grounds for approx 1 hr and 15 mins for the bikes to arrive. The trucks should have followed directly behind the buses.

Overall I enjoyed the ride and congratulate anyone who completed the full stage from Norwood as it was a big effort.

I'm looking forward to completing all the Bike SA Grand slams to conquer the almighty 200 as well as the coast to coast.
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Re: 2010 Tour Down Under Challenge Tour

Postby eeksll » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:26 pm

alltorque wrote:Pics are gradually going up now guys :) The Gorge Rd gallery is complete so far.

http://www.epsomrdstudios.com.au/index.php?cPath=7457


I give up !!! Everyone looks the same !!! hahaha. It is impossible to find myself. I found my two riding partners, we finished at the same time, but none of me there. I dont know what time i got to the other sections either.
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Re: 2010 Tour Down Under Challenge Tour

Postby alltorque » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:02 am

Yeah trying to find a snap of yourself on that site is a real task! Apparently a site upgrade is in the works.. At least you have all of today off to go through them though :P
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Re: 2010 Tour Down Under Challenge Tour

Postby Tale » Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:03 am

Cycling Central has published the story of my ride as a blog: http://www.sbs.com.au/cyclingcentral/bl ... llenged-br
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Re: 2010 Tour Down Under Challenge Tour

Postby Dreama » Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:09 pm

Good one Tale !

Does anyone know the time of the first amatuer that went across compared with the what the time was the professionals did it in?

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Re: 2010 Tour Down Under Challenge Tour

Postby Baldy » Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:35 pm

Its a real shame because the numbers of people that rode are very impressive!! Better day...better run it could be the most fun you could have with your pants on 8)


Do I remember reading about bikeSA being miffed at losing the ride? I think there was some animosity there? If I remember rightly it had a vibe of bikeSA wanting the event to fall flat on its face, well...

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Re: 2010 Tour Down Under Challenge Tour

Postby brauluver » Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:01 pm



Perhaps one of you participants who sends your thought s to this addy should also include a link to this thread, so they understand you are not just one complainant, but many voicing their opinions on a national forum.
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Re: 2010 Tour Down Under Challenge Tour

Postby rustychisel » Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:50 pm

that's been done, to the Minister of Tourism.

Trouble is, no-one knows if she reads it.
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Re: 2010 Tour Down Under Challenge Tour

Postby Strawburger » Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:51 am

Just got back from the trip down to Adelaide. Really enjoyed the ride, albeit waiting in lines for food / water and dodging traffic throughout the entire ride.

There seemed to be a huge amount of punters out there doing the 160kms. Personally i spent the first 100kms passing riders and there were riders around me doing the same thing. I hear that the organisers started letting riders go off at 6am. What happened to grouping the riders in order of speed? This also showed up when heading into the wind for the last 40kms. Speaking with people after the ride, the consensus was that this was a hard ride for the seasoned campaigner, so who knows how the punters coped with the ride (i can guess - some ending up in the ambos that kept flying past in the opposite direction!). There were a lot of riders out there that aren't experienced in bunch riding - I saw quite a lot of near misses and the remains of crashes in locations where there shouldn't have been crashes. I didn't feel safe with the large numbers until the stop at Strathalbyn spread everyone out.

Do you think there should be a similar ride or rides to qualify for the big one (say for instance, last year's 110km, or a similar ride in your home state)?
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Re: 2010 Tour Down Under Challenge Tour

Postby rustychisel » Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:31 am

Glad you made it home safely, and glad you had a good time.

Qualifying rides? No, no I don't. This is a mass participation event, open to all who think they can do it. It's not a race. It should not be a timed event unless conditions of entry are changed. So no, I don't think a qualification for the event is correct, but having a mass participation ride brings with it a duty of care for the organisers, and in the case of this years ride it appears they abrogated their responsibilities to some extent. (thank God for the police, Ambos etc then).
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Re: 2010 Tour Down Under Challenge Tour

Postby bella26 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:36 am

I was down for the week and participated in the 111kms from Woodside. I don't really have that many complaints but can see where the people organising the event got it horribly wrong. Jerseys are just one of many gripes had. When we got to Strathalbyn there was no food - didn't find the banana truck but maybe it was hiding somewhere. Thankfully I wasn't relying on food being available and brought my own otherwise I don't think I would have had a chance of making it. We had to wait ages for water at Milang - with many just resorting to going to the taps on offer in the caravan park and there was a long wait for water once again at Finnis after battling through that horrendous 15kms section! A comment was made that all the riders looked like zombies and I think that is a pretty good way of describing us. Never ridden through anything like that in my life but am glad to say I managed to keep going with all the carnage building up on the side of the road. The highlight of the ride for me was certainly the last run to the finish with everyone in the crowd cheering us on - felt like a real racer - and in hindsight the adverse weather conditions made the sense of achievement so much more.

A lot of the gripes woudln't have been present had the weather conditions been more favourable but this only highlights the serious lack of worse case scenario planning on the behalf of the organisers.

I've posted pics of various stages of the TDU up here for people to see. http://worldtour.smugmug.com/Tour-Down-Under-2010/2010-Tour-Down-Under/11056955_jnGb2#773912862_3Bkhf
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Re: 2010 Tour Down Under Challenge Tour

Postby deryans » Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:39 am

I came up from Sydney also to do the ride, and overall I thoroughly enjoyed it, I suspected the wind would be a problem and I was mentally prepared for it, though my bling bling retro shamals forced me to stay prudently downwind :shock: .... and 1 meter upwind at an crazy angle of 30 degrees when overtaking! :shock: :shock: :shock: so much for the cool look....... :oops:

I have to agree with strawburger, there seemed to me at least, to be an aweful lot of people who just did not look comfortable/efficient/prepared , my wife who picked me up at Goolwa said she saw numerous cyclists lining the road from finnis to currency creek and on. I saw quite a few on the run in, and perplexingly a number of stacks on dead straight roads (maybe wind) :?:


Saw numerous dangerous undertakings, Crazy one on a downhill run to strathalbyn by a guy on a trek at 75km almost into the barrier, the sheer numbers going over gorge and fox creeks did not really thin out the field as much as I thought it would. We just could not get past the volume of riders many of whom were walking (how'd they get up there before us at 0630 was explained as they left at 0600??)......More & Longer hills next time please!

I carried all my own food, and in retrospect would have gone to a shop to get water as i also carried my own powdered electrolyte, waiting around at the water stops for 15-20 mins a time was just cramp-fest waiting to happen,at Milang I stopped, stretched and carried on.

Thanks to the sturt ,Uni SA , conti cafe ??? and other groups who took me through the last 60km of windy sections......

saw plenty of solo souls on that last section struggling on their own, that must have been hell for them.....


No issues with the jersey, the start could have been better organised into the three speed groups as previously mentioned, had a great time , met Phil the voice liggot and caught up with a friend in the UCI, superb stuff!
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Re: 2010 Tour Down Under Challenge Tour

Postby Dahondude » Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:26 pm

deryans wrote:Saw numerous dangerous undertakings, Crazy one on a downhill run to strathalbyn by a guy on a trek at 75km almost into the barrier,


That could have been me :) although I wasnt doing 75km/h at the time, just cresting a small rise in the road. When people interpret "two abreast" as meaning one person riding in the middle of the lane and the other on the double white lines in the middle of the road, and they sit up on a descent, it doesn't leave too many other options for getting past them safely, especially with traffic coming the other way at 100km/h. I'd quite happily pass people on the right if they rode on the left hand side of the road and "two abreast" was riding almost shoulder to shoulder. I lost count the number of time I was forced to ride out onto the wrong side of the road to get past groups of 2-3 riders poodling along and weaving all over the place when I shouted out "rider passing".
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Re: 2010 Tour Down Under Challenge Tour

Postby steveoc » Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:24 pm

Dahondude wrote:... I lost count the number of time I was forced to ride out onto the wrong side of the road to get past groups of 2-3 riders poodling along and weaving all over the place when I shouted out "rider passing".


Anyone else find that after the ride, when they are just walking down the street to do the shopping or whatever - you find yourself calling out "passing right", or "car back", or crossing the road and calling out "clear", or making little hand gestures to notify people behind you of impending obstacles, broken glass, etc ?
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