Regulation of Sportives

The_Gate
The_Gate Posts: 9
edited July 2013 in Road general
Just seen this article

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-surrey-23224320

I must say, it makes absolute sense to have them regulated. I took part in the FT Human Race last weekend, and there was another large event coming the other way up Box Hill. If I lived on those streets, no matter how well behaved the cyclists were, I would find it frustrating, and I don't think this is a case of "The Hill was there first, you should have known when you moved there....a la Heathrow", as using Box Hill as part of organised sportives seems to be a recent trend.

Discuss.
«13

Comments

  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Seems to make sense to me too. I've done a couple of events out Cheshire way and you'll get events crossing each other. One day there was a tri and two sportives going round the same roundabout - that made it quite interesting.

    Is Box Hill that exciting ? Its all Cycling Weekly have been banging on about for the past few years - I cant recall it being mentioned ever before it was announced as the Olympic road stage route. Whats the Northern Equivalent of it ?
  • monkimark
    monkimark Posts: 1,501
    I'm pretty suprised that a company can go and arrange a cycle event with a couple of thousand people and not have to notify anybody. All depends on what justification is required to reject an application but some kind of regulation seems sensible.

    This line made me laugh though - "A lot of them, particularly in Box Hill, are older people who feel intimidated driving through large numbers of cyclists."
    You're meant to drive around them.
  • Wunnunda
    Wunnunda Posts: 214
    As someone who lives in Haywards Heath (on the usual BHF L2B route) I can confirm that the town is effectively cut in two for most of that day. Also the route is used for many other smaller events (of varying quality of organisation) throughout summer. In fact it's getting unusual to have a weekend WITHOUT some sort of ride, especially as they like to head down to Ditchling for the hill. In addition the many local lanes, especially West of the town, also get used by an awful LOT of charity rides and sportives, again of varying quality of organisation.

    There is not much doubt that people-in-general are starting to find it very irritating. It's not cyclists 'per se' (although there are always the usual lunatic fringe) just the sheer frequency of large scale events. It's pretty relentless. And we all know the problem of mixing 'serious' cyclists with pootlers out for joy-ride....a potentially dangerous cocktail. I hope it doesn't take a major accident.
  • roger_merriman
    roger_merriman Posts: 6,165
    The_Gate wrote:
    Just seen this article

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-surrey-23224320

    I must say, it makes absolute sense to have them regulated. I took part in the FT Human Race last weekend, and there was another large event coming the other way up Box Hill. If I lived on those streets, no matter how well behaved the cyclists were, I would find it frustrating, and I don't think this is a case of "The Hill was there first, you should have known when you moved there....a la Heathrow", as using Box Hill as part of organised sportives seems to be a recent trend.

    Discuss.

    the other sportive was Capital to Coast so a charity ride, only people who could regulated it since Box Hill is a National Trust site, and the road doesn't seem to be public ie so they could require sportives etc to register etc.
  • pkripper
    pkripper Posts: 652
    given some of the appalling riding I've personally witnessed on sportives around box hill, and the seeming "i've paid for this and I'm racing everyone, and hence road rules and standards of riding don't apply in my pursuit of my time" attitude which seems to be evident in more than a handful of participants, I think it is about time for some sort of limit on the numbers that are either participating, or there are only a designated number of weekends available, and notified early in the calendar year. Oh, and that established sportives in the area retain preference.

    It's pretty much got to the stage that as a surrey local, I'll avoid the area if the weather is remotely ok, or at least be there and out very early or very late in the day, so have a lot of sympathy for the residents.
  • A sportive came near me a few weeks ago, all the cyclists were friendly and considerate. Nearly got run over by the support vehicle though.
  • chrisaonabike
    chrisaonabike Posts: 1,914
    The_Gate wrote:
    I must say, it makes absolute sense to have them regulated.
    It's inevitably the direction things will go as cycling gets more and more popular.

    A lot of people doing the same thing in the same place at the same time will inevitably cause chaos for everyone else if it's a free-for-all, so increasing regulation is inevitable.

    Usually increased regulation means increased costs, so events will get more and more expensive if either the number of events, or the number of participants is restricted. Either that or more ballots and hence more disappointed people - in fact both, probably.

    :(
    Is the gorilla tired yet?
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    The idea of motorists being intimidated by large groups of cyclists I find rather ironic...

    Having been involved with running races for several years, the amount of regulation and risk assessment is extremely high and permission has to be given. I'm surprised that cycling doesn't have the same degree of regulation given its greater capacity for disruption and injury
  • crikey
    crikey Posts: 362
    The lack of regulation is a reflection of the oft stated but equally often ignored concept that sportives are not races.

    As long as weekend warriors think they're in the Tour, you'll have problems.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Getting permission for a road race isn't too difficult - about time the same applied to Sportives such that you wouldn't get multiple events sharing the same road - trouble is many Sportives are purely money-making ventures so that'll give organisers an excuse to stick another tenner on the entry.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    There are thousands of miles of road in the UK which are 'too busy' for cycling because of too many motor vehicles.

    These roads are 'too busy' for motor vehicles due to too many cyclists.

    Tough.
  • Initialised
    Initialised Posts: 3,047
    There are thousands of miles of road in the UK which are 'too busy' for cycling because of too many motor vehicles.

    These roads are 'too busy' for motor vehicles due to too many cyclists.

    Tough.
    +1
    I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    I was under the impression that ones like ukce were organised with the police and council consultation and concent.
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    Mikey23 wrote:
    The idea of motorists being intimidated by large groups of cyclists I find rather ironic...

    Having been involved with running races for several years, the amount of regulation and risk assessment is extremely high and permission has to be given. I'm surprised that cycling doesn't have the same degree of regulation given its greater capacity for disruption and injury

    The key there is the word 'race'. Because sportives are not billed as races (quite rightly), they can avoid most of the permissions and risk assessment that goes into planning a road race. Which is why you will not usually see post-event sportive times given in chronological order. I say 'usually' - there are always a few that do.
  • There are thousands of miles of road in the UK which are 'too busy' for cycling because of too many motor vehicles.

    These roads are 'too busy' for motor vehicles due to too many cyclists.

    Tough.
    +1
    I take it you've spent a lot of time in the area then?
    Mangeur
  • navrig
    navrig Posts: 1,352
    I know what you mean.

    I went out last night for a quick 25 miles before bed time. I was passed by at least 3 cars and I met another 2. That level of traffic is just too much to expect.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    I want to ride in Sweden. A colleague was telling me they went there for their holidays recently. They drove for 50 miles one day- before realising they were on the wrong side of the road. Now thats a quiet road.
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    I take it you've spent a lot of time in the area then?

    No but I've experienced roads like it in Mallorca, you know they are busy cycle routes and adjust your driving and expected journey times accordingly.
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    Imposter wrote:
    The key there is the word 'race'. Because sportives are not billed as races (quite rightly), they can avoid most of the permissions and risk assessment that goes into planning a road race. Which is why you will not usually see post-event sportive times given in chronological order. I say 'usually' - there are always a few that do.

    I don't think Sportives should be timed at all really, individual riders will always time themselves of course.
  • navrig
    navrig Posts: 1,352
    Imposter wrote:
    The key there is the word 'race'. Because sportives are not billed as races (quite rightly), they can avoid most of the permissions and risk assessment that goes into planning a road race. Which is why you will not usually see post-event sportive times given in chronological order. I say 'usually' - there are always a few that do.

    I don't think Sportives should be timed at all really, individual riders will always time themselves of course.

    I suspect that if you don't offer a timed event then the number of entries will drop - it's all part of the day.
  • Navrig wrote:
    I know what you mean.

    I went out last night for a quick 25 miles before bed time. I was passed by at least 3 cars and I met another 2. That level of traffic is just too much to expect.
    In a way, that's the irony of it. I went for a similar ride last night in the area just south of the hills and I doubt whether I was passed by ten cars, and saw a grand total of four cyclists. About the closest things came to traffic mayhem was getting involved in a Courtesy Battle with a tractor... after you mate, no, after you, no after you, etc. The problem is the Sunday morning mayhem.
    Mangeur
  • Wunnunda
    Wunnunda Posts: 214
    Yes - during the week it's not really an issue (just the usual problems of people driving too fast down lanes... :cry: ) the weekends, however... My sympathy for the locals is not a car v bike thing, it's that these lanes are where they live. As in so many walks of life, when people gather in numbers they generate their own 'mob' mentality, and cyclists (or perhaps I should say 'people on bikes'!) are not immune from this. It manifests itself in a tendency to spread out across the already-narrow lane and to assume that, just because theres is 10 of you in a group, everyone else has to give way.

    The other problem with cycling, as opposed to, say, running, events is that, quite naturally, they can cover serious distances. In SE England it doesn't take much for a couple of sportives, starting 20-30 miles apart, to overlap at some point, especially given the tendency to use the same tried-and-tested routes. Throw a couple of local charity rides into that and it's going to be very hard to manage at times.
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    Box Hill was always going to be a problem; an already popular cycling route then gets used on the Olympics, every local cyclist and every local Sportive is going to want to use it for that reason.
  • drlodge
    drlodge Posts: 4,826
    cougie wrote:
    I want to ride in Sweden. A colleague was telling me they went there for their holidays recently. They drove for 50 miles one day- before realising they were on the wrong side of the road. Now thats a quiet road.

    I've done it, and driven to the Arctic circle. Drove for hours without seeing a soul.

    You do have to choose your season for cycling in Sweden though, its gets pretty cold and dark during the winter.
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
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  • djm501
    djm501 Posts: 378
    There are thousands of miles of road in the UK which are 'too busy' for cycling because of too many motor vehicles.

    These roads are 'too busy' for motor vehicles due to too many cyclists.

    Tough.
    +1

    +2

    The roads are open and free to be used by anyone - end of story for me. Sportives require you to obey the rules of the road and that should be adhered to - beyond that I see no need for regulation. Slowing down the roads a bit is a good thing frankly. I'll be those car drivers frustrated by the cyclists arrived at their destinations within minutes of when they would have done anyway.
  • djm501 wrote:
    Sportives require you to obey the rules of the road and that should be adhered to
    PMSL.
    Mangeur
  • pkripper
    pkripper Posts: 652
    djm501 wrote:
    Sportives require you to obey the rules of the road and that should be adhered to

    There's a requirement to, however, in my experience it's clearly not getting through. And if it takes regulation for that, then so be it.
  • djm501
    djm501 Posts: 378
    Well as has oft been said - cyclists are not the only ones to flagrantly disobey the laws of the highway, car drivers should maybe take a look in the mirror before spouting off on that one - but that's another topic oft discussed.

    How will regulation enforce riders to obey the rules of the road?
  • chrisaonabike
    chrisaonabike Posts: 1,914
    Navrig wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    The key there is the word 'race'. Because sportives are not billed as races (quite rightly), they can avoid most of the permissions and risk assessment that goes into planning a road race. Which is why you will not usually see post-event sportive times given in chronological order. I say 'usually' - there are always a few that do.

    I don't think Sportives should be timed at all really, individual riders will always time themselves of course.

    I suspect that if you don't offer a timed event then the number of entries will drop - it's all part of the day.
    If this is true then it's a bit sad IMO. For the RL100 I couldn't give a toss whether my time is listed on a web site somewhere. I'll press the start button on my Garmin when I start and finish (obviously I'll totally eat my words if I forget!) and that will hopefully be that.

    I want a medal though :)
    Is the gorilla tired yet?
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    pkripper wrote:
    djm501 wrote:
    Sportives require you to obey the rules of the road and that should be adhered to

    There's a requirement to, however, in my experience it's clearly not getting through. And if it takes regulation for that, then so be it.
    As DJM501 asks - how is regulation going to make the rider obey the highway code?


    Regulation will be all about form filling and payments - form filling for the health & safety "risks", checking other events in the same area and the payments will be to "administer" the forms. All it will do is add a cost to the organisers (then passed on to the riders/sponsors).

    As I said above - I believe some events already do consult the local council & police force - it was mentioned in the UKCE New Forest event. The UKCE/Wiggle French sportives close roads in Dover to get riders from the carpark to the ferry port - you cannot do that without the agreement of the local authorities.