I think a lot of fast riders do not have experience riding in a group, also bad attitude. What they want is to beat their PR in Strava to compete with others. Worse still, the organiser was very inorganised. This is an epic failed event. I will not participate next year.
On hearsay this seems to be an issue every year.
Were there any restrictions set on who could be in the lead of groups at the 30km and 70km rides? Or who could join packs in any way? Any guidance or restrictions at all?
I understood that in a previous year they did introduce some form of restricting the opportunuty for flat bars to mix with drops in groups for example.
I never noticed any group pile ups btw. Those I saw down were singles and could have been exhaustion for I could see. And no ambo attendances.
I am relativity new to road cycling and entered the Mid Hike from Currambine and thoroughly enjoyed the day. I was riding a flat bar road bike and left in the fast group 3/4's of the way back.I only saw two people crashed on the side of the road(didn't look too serious) and did not feel in any real danger for the whole ride which I managed to complete in 1 hour and four mins. Keeping left was not the order of the day for at least the first 7klm's that was for sure.
The organisation at the start was pretty lackluster as the PA system had failed up until 5 mins before the start so it was a little unorganized (Jetz Fitness seemed the most organized water bottles everywhere!). There was definitely no restrictions as to what group you could join and there was some interesting combinations in the fast group to say the least including one small child that I saw.
Would I run the event again.....yes I would.
I saw 3 ambos. Two were for pack pile ups prior to Thomas Rd and one was closer to perth. I think one issue arises when faster packs meet slower riders and if they make a poor decision about how to get around them or hit the brakes in all flows back and causes the stack. I had one group swallow me up and go either side of me at approx 40km/h and I was hugging the left hand white line on the left lane and told to keep left. There was only another metre of road before the dirt and a lane and a half to my right. The releasing of groups was the big issue from Mandurah I think. With the big delay everyone just got out the gate anyway they could and got in each others way.
I think for next year as part of the receipt or other correspondence they could mention some riding tips eg. Keeping left where possible so quicker people can overtake. Releasing the groups in a better fashion will probably help a lot too. I don't think the ride was too bad, just a chain of events led to a less desirable outcome.
Saw two bad stacks, one involving the ambos. I've commented on the RAC site and think others should as well. Some cones and signs saying slow lane/fast lane like in the swimming pools would have worked along with a staggered release. I noticed that organisers on the road side had hand held radios so they could have passed on that the fast group were approaching. When you're travelling quickly in the middle of a bunch you can't see the slow riders until you're right on them. The speed over the Narrows hit the mid 50s and it was like the end of a race, and the entry to the finish was very narrow and dangerous. I spent more time avoiding things than actually enjoying the ride and the awesome weather. I also won't be entering this next year but I will enter spotifs so that I don't have to play dodgems. If you cater for all then you have to cater for all!!
We were part of a group who took part in the full hike. I got what I wanted from the ride in the end which was a finish in under two hours. My view of it was that it was a pretty poorly organised and executed event with a number of hazards for all riders. Saying it wasn't a race is correct, but no doubt many of the faster riders had goals they wanted to meet which cannot be achieved on the PSP infrastructure we have available. To expect seasoned cyclists (exactly those people who the full hike was advertised as being ideal for) to simply participate in an organised 70km wander is a bit rich.
I have written to the organisers and my concerns have been added to their discussion points for the next event. Once we understand that there are only 4 people employed by Bikeswest it is easy to see why there are so many failings in this event - not that that makes them acceptable.
My email went along the lines of the below - edited only to remove my details and those of the group I was with:
I have just taken part in the 2013 Bike Hike and whilst I love the concept, it proved to be the single most dangerous thing I have ever done on a bike. I understand that it is not a race, but many riders are competitive animals and most of us who are serious like to ride at high speed when possible which obviously has hazards in itself.
A few of my thoughts and observations follow:
[list=]From a pre event planning point of view I recommend that some details (which train station you might use is all that is required) should be collected at time of entry for those electing to use public transport for the event. This might make planning the number of trains/carriages better and enable a smoother start.
Secondly, the holding areas for riders at the start point need to be made larger. This should surely have been known prior to the event. It was not helped by a small number of cars parked in the holding bays. There are three parking areas at the station. Surely more than just the most southerly section could be used.
Allocation of riders to the different speed groups needs some greater consideration. There are many ways for riders to prove their ability and enable some sort of seeding to be implemented.
Closure of the roads needs to be effected promptly. The delayed start from Mandurah had significant consequences which could have proven disastrous.
Pre-event education of slower riders keeping left needs to be enhanced. This won’t be such an issue if riders are seeded and started in a more orderly fashion.
A large number of slow group riders by-passed the start arch exiting from the back of the holding bays to be in front of the fast riders
Riders should probably be released in waves of 100-200 at any one time with gaps between, particularly with the fast groups
If there is a delay starting the Mandurah riders, or any of the other start points then the subsequent shorter rides should be held for an equal length of time. The delayed Mandurah start meant that fast riders arrived at Bull Creek after families had been released. To mix 40+ kph road riders with youngsters weaving all over the freeway resulted in chaos and a lot of ill feeling between both groups. I am amazed that I didn’t see any spills at this point.
The Mount Henry Bridge expansion joint should be covered in some way. Probably a strip of insertion rubber (about 1.5mm thick) could be laid across this hazard for the event. With most of the road bikes running 19-23mm tyres this hazard came up as a big surprise to many.
There was a very dangerous narrowing of the road on the final leg from the Narrows down to the finish line. Due to the works in the area there was a fence blocking off the right hand shoulder of the freeway on ramp (being used as an off ramp here obviously). The fence came out at right angles to the bike riders and there was no warning of it being there. This may not be present next year as the works in the area change, but it highlights the importance of a pre-event risk assessment and implementation of control measures.
The area beyond the finish line was overly congested, perhaps due to the delayed start and concurrent arrival of many groups. Trying to turn every rider up Victoria Avenue clearly did not work and I feel that if the riders were taken down Riverside Drive and then into Langley Park via Plain Street there would be a lot more room for all players.
The water stations were not clearly visible. With most riders travelling at over 30kph we need some forewarning of upcoming water stops so that riders can make their way to the appropriate side of the road if they require a drink. This led to some radical manoeuvres as riders came across the pack with little warning. Personally, I would simply scrap the water stations and make all riders become self-sufficient which isn’t all that hard for a 2 hour ride. One less thing to organise which frees volunteers for other tasks and one less hazard can only be a good thing.
The number of toilets at Mandurah was woefully inadequate. The number of riders stopping for a relief break in the first 15kms was a hazard in itself which could easily have been avoided.[/list]
The organisers responded promptly and appear genuine about fixing the problems.
At the risk of being rude, if you have anything to add to that list then i suggest that you should get in touch with the people who can try to fix them for you rather than just posting here. email address that you can use is as follows: Jana.Zivadinovic(insert at symbol here)transport.wa.gov.au
I was one of the faster riders, me and a friend of mine completed the full hike in around an hour and a half.
We did our best to keep single file and spent most of our time on the RHS emergency lane. We formed a decent group which was working well together, signalling etc and so there weren't any hairy moments. We slowed down at the section where all the kids were - some others behind us were weaving through them which wasn't great.
I got the whole ride on my gopro: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HALMZln8hFE
It does look like there's a little bit of weaving (particularly at the start) but when the video is replayed at normal speeds it's really not that bad.
Dan I founda pic of you at http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/gallery-e6frf7jo-1226604424797?page=12
I got in at about 10:10. I got a slow start as I had a less experienced unicyclist to hold back with until he looked like he was comfortable. I was keeping an eye out for you.
I was at / close to the front of the group you joined at 6:34 (that's me going past at 8:02 - I was thinking the same thing as you). A small group of us managed to catch up to the bigger group who then tried to jump on board. By that stage there were too many people around so the pace eased off a bit. Still managed to average 44 km/h and do it in an hour and a half which I was happy with given I rode down from the city before hand.
I was wondering whether anyone from BNA would feature in the video! You flew past!
The RAC Freeway BikeHike mob have posted the following tweet ...
which links through to Facebook where they have posted ...
I did the Currambine hike and thoroughly enjoyed it. Plenty of space, family atmosphere, perfect weather, not too strong a headwind. I caught the train from the Esplanade and felt sorry for the people left behind at Stirling and Whitfords due to the full train - more trains next year please Transperth. The breakfast looked like an obvious rip-off so didn't buy.
I think that if people set out to race this event, or even go as fast as they can, it can only be a recipe for disappointment and danger. Perhaps next time the organisers can institute a 'race category', a bit like the City to Surf - but logistics (and entry fee) would require it to be much more expensive I guess. Anyway, had fun and keen to do it again.
Photos can be found here
http://www.marathon-photos.com/scripts/ ... ike%20Hike
If there is no photo found, you can click on find more photo's to see all of them and try to locate yourself that way. You can search by colour of clothing, bike etc.
I can't find myself on there either.
I haven't been in the previous years (or some similar version?) but considered it and paid attention to the self seeded speed brackets for groups A 40kph+/B 35-40kph/C 30-35kph and D rest of release etc.
Sounds like new organisers have lost experience of the past, and suffered additional major error of the Mandurah delay.
Fast riders riding fast ahead of slower riders isn't a problem, the average speeds people have done in groups are impressive (as a non-competitive commuter myself), and as said is a highlight attraction of having the freeway glimpse of the new world order where cars are parked at stations and bikes rule the earth =D Respect for athletes would be nice like fun-runs to get pro-am time triallers as the headline on back of Cadel Evans, Green Edge etc. to raise the charity profile.
People can ride fast responsibly, so we shouldn't tar them all with the same brush that mindless "speed kills" propaganda.
I'd rather support the "cater to all" attitude they're still carrying than close the door to settle for "too hard lowest common denominator".
i was in the second lead group for the first 10km. At about the 10km point 3-4 guys went down in front of me and i was left with no where to go.... off i came. Still managed to finish but with a very sore wrist. Awaiting my xray results as i type... with one hand.
I dont think you are ever going to be able to stop people from going down in a pack. No one knows how to ride in a pack and one false move can send over 10+ riders. I didnt agree with the idea of letting the slow riders and children mix with the full hike participants. This was a recipe for disaster and a road bike going at 40km/hr hitting a child would of killed them!
This problem can be solved - i dont believe they should operate a mid-hike or mini-hike on the same side of perth as the full hike. The full hike should start in mandurah and the mini and mid should start north of the river. It could then be alternated each year. The delayed start times stuffed it up this year but i still dont believe it to be safe to mix road cyclists going 30+km/h with children. Especially when the children are entering the freeway on the right and have to merge to the left.
RAC are meant to be all about road safety and this event was not a safe as it could be.
Corp Sports run the city to surf events too - same guys. I know adding a race category has a significant impact on the logistics particularly as it starts to change the insurance proposition.
House - RAC didn't organise it. They are just sponsors and would have very little to do with the logistics of it, neither would chan 9, 6 PR, Baker's delight etc.
I agree the delayed start at Mandurah caused some real issues. Especially when the PA was hurrying people out of all groups all exits as soon as the quicks got a green light. Not sure there's really room to point the finger at the sponsors though.
Interesting that you should say they also run the City to surf as it was a complete shambles last year due to similar issues.
They had self seeded start groups, I entered in wave 1A so should have been in the first group out after the seeded runners.
Everyone assembled in their groups in the convention centre and were supposed to be called out in order up to the start line, No call came and I noticed about 20,000 people rushing for the doors. I joined the horde and ended up starting about 5-600m from the start line next the a few walkers and some kids on razor scooters. It was the same for everyone and led to a lot of clashing between faster people interested in setting times and people who probably stopped for coffee on the way.
It was so bad that I don't plan on entering it again this year.
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