2017 Cycling fatalities

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jules21
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Re: 2017 Cycling fatalities

Postby jules21 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:28 pm

as a rule we don't close roads for races in Vic. we're not allowed to. the rule is to stay on your side of the road. obviously there are circumstances where it's not a choice.

under these circumstances it's important that riders call out "car up" or "back" - to give riders a chance to double check they are in position and not commence any maneouvre or reach for food.

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Re: 2017 Cycling fatalities

Postby g-boaf » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:53 pm

jules21 wrote:as a rule we don't close roads for races in Vic. we're not allowed to. the rule is to stay on your side of the road. obviously there are circumstances where it's not a choice.

under these circumstances it's important that riders call out "car up" or "back" - to give riders a chance to double check they are in position and not commence any maneouvre or reach for food.


We have the same rule as regards to staying on your side of the road, because even with a temporary closure, there is always the chance a motor vehicle might make it through from one intersection to the next.

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Re: 2017 Cycling fatalities

Postby lone rider » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:01 pm

Would of thought State Champs would be bit better setup than a local clubbie race but obviously not. Some of the road courses Southern Masters race on are really questionable nowadays. I know they have been racing on these roads for years but the urban sprawl is making some of these courses quite unsafe for racing nowadays.

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Re: 2017 Cycling fatalities

Postby lone rider » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:08 pm

I dont know how to post it but the google earth street view of Thwaites rd is frightening. There is a point where the Google car is passing an oncoming car and you can see the vehicle needs to drive in the gravel to get passed. The lanes are not even a car width wide.

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Re: 2017 Cycling fatalities

Postby trailgumby » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:25 pm

jules21 wrote:as a rule we don't close roads for races in Vic. we're not allowed to.

That's a problem.

Am I correct in assuming this is a result of Pollice not giving permission to do so?

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Re: 2017 Cycling fatalities

Postby find_bruce » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:58 pm

It's the same problem in NSW - the refusal of Police to give a rolling road closure on the Hume Highway was the main reason given for cancelling the Goulburn to Sydney race in 2013

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Re: 2017 Cycling fatalities

Postby AdelaidePeter » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:40 am

So tragic. My condolences to the man's family, and to all involved.

I note this accident happened on early Sunday afternoon. But surely there is less traffic in the morning? Back in the day when my knees worked, I ran instead of cycled, and there were regular fun runs that got road closures. But as far as I remember, these runs were always on a Sunday morning (as is still the case for City-Surf, City-Bay etc). I wonder if there would be a better chance of cyclists getting a road closure if it was early Sunday morning instead of afternoon.

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Re: 2017 Cycling fatalities

Postby jules21 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:44 am

trailgumby wrote:
jules21 wrote:as a rule we don't close roads for races in Vic. we're not allowed to.

That's a problem.

Am I correct in assuming this is a result of Pollice not giving permission to do so?

I'm not 100% sure. A race permit must be approved by police and road managers (council, state). The police are primarily concerned with the safe running of the event. I'd guess they would be in favour of a rolling road closure, if it increased safety (which is reasonable to believe). But councils must consider amenity of local residents. The risk is that they agree a road closure is safe, but inconvenient for residents. They can decline the permit on that basis. It's like treading on eggshells.

The other reason is that the resources for a rolling road closure increase the costs dramatically.

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Re: 2017 Cycling fatalities

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:47 am

AdelaidePeter wrote:So tragic. My condolences to the man's family, and to all involved.

I note this accident happened on early Sunday afternoon. But surely there is less traffic in the morning? Back in the day when my knees worked, I ran instead of cycled, and there were regular fun runs that got road closures. But as far as I remember, these runs were always on a Sunday morning (as is still the case for City-Surf, City-Bay etc). I wonder if there would be a better chance of cyclists getting a road closure if it was early Sunday morning instead of afternoon.

It was a masters championships which takes all day to run. There are races for each of the age categories and you can only run so many races on a course at once.

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Re: 2017 Cycling fatalities

Postby jules21 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:49 am

AdelaidePeter wrote:Back in the day when my knees worked, I ran instead of cycled, and there were regular fun runs that got road closures. But as far as I remember, these runs were always on a Sunday morning (as is still the case for City-Surf, City-Bay etc). I wonder if there would be a better chance of cyclists getting a road closure if it was early Sunday morning instead of afternoon.

there are a lot more club road races than City to Surfs. I think you're right, but not because of the time of day. the races are usually in the morning though - are you sure this one was in the arvo? but there are heaps of road races in Vic on any given weekend and closing the roads would have broader implications than for a major event like City to Surf. this hasn't gone unnoticed by bike racers. I'm unsure what road racing will look like in 10 yrs time, and if it will look the same as is it does today.

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Re: 2017 Cycling fatalities

Postby jules21 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:50 am

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:It was a masters championships which takes all day to run. There are races for each of the age categories and you can only run so many races on a course at once.

I think they run them simultaneously though. Bunches overtaking each other is a regular occurrence here.

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Re: 2017 Cycling fatalities

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:13 am

jules21 wrote:
trailgumby wrote:
jules21 wrote:as a rule we don't close roads for races in Vic. we're not allowed to.

That's a problem.

Am I correct in assuming this is a result of Pollice not giving permission to do so?

I'm not 100% sure. A race permit must be approved by police and road managers (council, state). The police are primarily concerned with the safe running of the event. I'd guess they would be in favour of a rolling road closure, if it increased safety (which is reasonable to believe). But councils must consider amenity of local residents. The risk is that they agree a road closure is safe, but inconvenient for residents. They can decline the permit on that basis. It's like treading on eggshells.

The other reason is that the resources for a rolling road closure increase the costs dramatically.

Traffic control plans must be approved well in advance of any cycling event on public roads. The strategies employed will vary based on a range of factors. Rolling closures are not always practical or appropriate - it depends on the specific circumstances.

e.g. a championship is typically run on a large circuit (~10-20km) and traffic control plans involves a combination of road closures, traffic control points, roads deemed one-way for duration of event, escort vehicles for the public that require access and so on. Local residents are all meant to be individually contacted well before hand to advise of the event and traffic controls and there will also be race day signage on course and often also in the lead up to alert people to the upcoming event.

Rolling closures can only be run by police as they are the only ones with authority to require drivers to stop and pull over - there's no way that's practical for running of multiple races simultaneously around a circuit. When running a rolling closure you have to be able to manage at least two race envelopes for the one race (something like a dozen police are required). Now multiply that by several races on the course at once and you can see why that won't happen.

That's why courses need to be carefully selected for suitability with traffic control measures appropriate for each section of the course. Where possible I've always operated on the principle of where we can close a road, then close it. Where not then control traffic movement and avoid contra flow scenarios, especially if the section of road presents a sizeable risk due to terrain, road type, traffic volume, type of vehicle encountered on that road etc. If that's not possible then rethink the circuit chosen.

As someone else said earlier, even with the best plans, traffic leakage can happen (you can't patrol every driveway) and hopefully those in the race vehicle convoy in front of and behind the race can also mitigate risk in such circumstances.

I presume it'll be reviewed by the State Coroner as are many road fatalities.

It's terribly sad and condolences to all touched by this incident.

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Re: 2017 Cycling fatalities

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:26 am

jules21 wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:It was a masters championships which takes all day to run. There are races for each of the age categories and you can only run so many races on a course at once.

I think they run them simultaneously though. Bunches overtaking each other is a regular occurrence here.

Yes but only a few races at a time. It still takes all day even running several races at once when each "wave" of races is going to take a few hours to complete. There are not enough commissaires and escort vehicles or road space to run a dozen races simultaneously.

I developed the masters road race championships race management planning strategy which has been in use for the past decade in NSW (the original challenge was World Masters Games with 18 races held on a 10km circuit). It's worked well at the masters championship races held at Gunning, Goulburn, Griffith and Orange.

It's a complex balance of various elements - how much time you have traffic control in place for, how many races, how long each race is (different categories have different race distances), how many competitors in each race, expected race speeds and what if any race overlaps are expected (avoid where possible, or plan for them to occur at times and locations that are both safe and won't impact either race outcomes), how many commissaires and race escort vehicles are available (lead, spares, sag, commissaires x 2). Then the various "what if" scenarios need to be thought through.

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Re: 2017 Cycling fatalities

Postby g-boaf » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:34 pm

lone rider wrote:Would of thought State Champs would be bit better setup than a local clubbie race but obviously not. Some of the road courses Southern Masters race on are really questionable nowadays. I know they have been racing on these roads for years but the urban sprawl is making some of these courses quite unsafe for racing nowadays.



The problem then becomes if you keep moving the races further out or away from the urban sprawl, then you risk alienating the competitors who won't want to travel very far for racing. It's a fine balancing act.

And as Alex Simmons pointed out, getting everything to work right is a very complicated balancing act and even despite your best efforts, someone can still get through (as I pointed out earlier).

It's also really hard to get a lot of commissaires and other supporting staff. Having enough accredited traffic controllers is another important thing. You need them at every junction where the riders pass through. Sometimes it can be hard to get enough of them. And running a road race also needs the agreement of not just the authorities, but the residents too.

On completely closed courses you can still have intruders getting on the course. I've seen people try to open the barriers so they can take a short cut rather than walking around the perimeter, or worse a vehicle trying to cross the course (despite the barriers - luckily no harm done). You almost need security people / minders every 20 metres to stop people opening the barriers.

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Re: 2017 Cycling fatalities

Postby jules21 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:59 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:That's why courses need to be carefully selected for suitability with traffic control measures appropriate for each section of the course. Where possible I've always operated on the principle of where we can close a road, then close it. Where not then control traffic movement and avoid contra flow scenarios, especially if the section of road presents a sizeable risk due to terrain, road type, traffic volume, type of vehicle encountered on that road etc. If that's not possible then rethink the circuit chosen.

with urban sprawl, circuit selection options are becoming more limited. in theory, we can address that by moving further out of the city, but we're already ~70km out and participation starts to drop off if the drive time increases. the other problem is that you are then talking courses that are only partially sealed. personally I think this is something we may need to start embracing, but I'm unsure that's how most road racers see it.

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Re: 2017 Cycling fatalities

Postby fat and old » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:19 pm

Are Sandown and Phillip Island used? What about Broadford?

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Re: 2017 Cycling fatalities

Postby jules21 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:29 pm

Sandown is used for criteriums (or kermesses). Phillip Island race track has been used - but my guess is that it's booked up for motor sport a lot and would be pricey to gain access. I'm unaware of Broadford race track being used, but there are road races out there.

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Re: 2017 Cycling fatalities

Postby find_bruce » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:46 pm

Noise restrictions prevent most racetracks being used for motorsport prior to 9am. Eastern Creek Raceway has been used for bike events with an early start. Downside is that it limits the duration of any event

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Re: 2017 Cycling fatalities

Postby jules21 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:48 pm

I'm certainly aware that motorsport circuits are an option, but let's be honest - they aren't real road racing.

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Re: 2017 Cycling fatalities

Postby craigg » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:48 pm

I see that Stephen Wooldridge has died but his cause of death has not been reported. Anyone know how he died?

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Re: 2017 Cycling fatalities

Postby jules21 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:55 pm

craigg wrote:I see that Stephen Wooldridge has died but his cause of death has not been reported. Anyone know how he died?

yes. it wasn't suspicious.

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Re: 2017 Cycling fatalities

Postby g-boaf » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:47 pm

find_bruce wrote:Noise restrictions prevent most racetracks being used for motorsport prior to 9am. Eastern Creek Raceway has been used for bike events with an early start. Downside is that it limits the duration of any event


And besides, billiard table smooth race circuits are not anything like actual road races where there can be serious elevation changes and sometimes awful road surfaces.

Eastern Creek is nice enough, but it's not the same as a real road race. We cannot just shunt all road cycling onto little loop the loop criterium tracks or racing circuits, we have to have decent on road races as well.

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Re: 2017 Cycling fatalities

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:31 pm

craigg wrote:I see that Stephen Wooldridge has died but his cause of death has not been reported. Anyone know how he died?

Sad news however it's unrelated to the topic of this thread.

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Re: 2017 Cycling fatalities

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:38 pm

jules21 wrote:Sandown is used for criteriums (or kermesses). Phillip Island race track has been used - but my guess is that it's booked up for motor sport a lot and would be pricey to gain access. I'm unaware of Broadford race track being used, but there are road races out there.

Tour of Gippsland had a stage on Phillip Is about 5 years ago, I was driving a race vehicle that day, funny sitting on pole position and occasionally needing to fang it around the circuit. As a cost and logistics exercise though, it's not a particularly viable option. Beyond early morning you are restricted to mid-week. Just the form filling in for every single person was enough to drive you nuts.

I have a perfect race circuit near where I live and I would hope we can run a championships on it in future.

Anyway, we are drifting a bit OT.

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Re: 2017 Cycling fatalities

Postby trailgumby » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:17 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
jules21 wrote:
trailgumby wrote:That's a problem.

Am I correct in assuming this is a result of Pollice not giving permission to do so?

I'm not 100% sure. A race permit must be approved by police and road managers (council, state). The police are primarily concerned with the safe running of the event. I'd guess they would be in favour of a rolling road closure, if it increased safety (which is reasonable to believe). But councils must consider amenity of local residents. The risk is that they agree a road closure is safe, but inconvenient for residents. They can decline the permit on that basis. It's like treading on eggshells.

The other reason is that the resources for a rolling road closure increase the costs dramatically.

Traffic control plans must be approved well in advance of any cycling event on public roads. The strategies employed will vary based on a range of factors. Rolling closures are not always practical or appropriate - it depends on the specific circumstances.

Thanks for the clarification Jules and Alex.

Heartbreaking.

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