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Old 03-15-09, 07:36 PM   #1
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Would you ignore the centerline rule if everyone else was?

That was my dilemma today. ~4 mile circuit on narrow roads, nearly full cat 4 field. The officials made a big point before the race that the centerline rules would be strictly enforced, and there was even a moto ref. Once we got underway, more and more people would cross the centerline, increasingly blatently. It got to the point where we were setting up for turns well in the other lane hundreds of meters beforehand. As far as I know, nobody was DQ'd.

It was particularly annoying because it was very difficult to move up with so many people on such a narrow road, but I was doing a good job of moving up and holding position only to have people constantly moving up in the other lane pushing me back or blocking me in. I would surf the line but did not want to move up in the other lane. It wasn't just one or two people, it was constant and lots of different guys, although a few were worse than others. It seemed increadibly unfair and certainly put me at a huge disadvantage.

So, what would you guys do? If you knew they weren't going to penalize anyone, would you just do what everyone else was doing, or would you stick to your principles and the rules? And yes, I spent a good amount of the race off, on, or near the front.
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Old 03-15-09, 07:53 PM   #2
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I most likely would not cross the yellow line purposely (moral issue), that being said if it was as bad as you say I would definitely bring it up after the race with the officials. That sucks to hear how it turned out.
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Old 03-15-09, 07:55 PM   #3
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"The Center Line Rule will be enforced by oncoming traffic"

Best thing I ever heard an official say. Breaking the centerline rule puts the entire pack at risk. You should never do it.

It sucks if the officials don't enforce it, but killing yourself or others is not worth the risk for an amateur bike race.
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Old 03-15-09, 07:55 PM   #4
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i'd do what you did then either you or your team manager put forward a complaint to the ref, preferrably with another team or teams that felt the same.
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Old 03-15-09, 08:00 PM   #5
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i'd do what you did then either you or your team manager put forward a complaint to the ref, preferrably with another team or teams that felt the same.
The problem was that it pretty much became that the majority of the pack wasn't caring about the centerline. When we set up for turns I didn't have any choice but to follow the lines I was given, but otherwise I stuck to the proper lane. The courses on both days (omnium) were sketchy... I don't think I'll ever do it again. They should have just given us the whole road; I understand they did that for the upper categories, last year anyway.
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Old 03-15-09, 08:01 PM   #6
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Oh yeah, the moto ref caused (or contributed) to an accident at one point apparently. That's what I was told... I was off the front at the time.
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Old 03-15-09, 08:05 PM   #7
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When we set up for turns I didn't have any choice but to follow the lines
Around here the ref typically will tell us we have the whole road in corners. (where there are often course marshalls). If you're not advancing position, the road is clear, and it's accepted practice condoned by the ref, then I don't see a problem.

However, breaking the centerline rule where you can't see up the road can and has caused fatalities and really needs to be taken seriously.
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Old 03-15-09, 08:15 PM   #8
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was there a lead police car holding up traffic as you went?

in MABRA, there is always the centerline rule*, but in my observation, the police know the score and the lead car will hold up oncoming traffic on the back country twisty roads, and the officials will enforce accordingly. when that's occurring, yes, I'll take what's given. any time there's an actual yellow line on the road, the police cant hold up the oncoming traffic and the officials vigorously enforce the centerline rule. I've been in a field that was stopped mid race for centerline infractions (it was a P123 race too, not a newb field), and I've heard of races where fields were dq'd because of centerline rule infractions, but have never been involved in that.

honestly, evaluate your own safety and act accordingly regardless of what everyone else is doing.

*aside from jeff cup
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Old 03-15-09, 08:25 PM   #9
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Around here the ref typically will tell us we have the whole road in corners. (where there are often course marshalls). If you're not advancing position, the road is clear, and it's accepted practice condoned by the ref, then I don't see a problem.

However, breaking the centerline rule where you can't see up the road can and has caused fatalities and really needs to be taken seriously.
The refs said that we had the whole road for the sprint at the end but otherwise centerline rule strictly enforced. No mention of corners. There were corner marshalls. I was not concerned so much about the cornering as I was about advancing position. That said, the road had good visibility and I never felt it was really a safety issue so much as a "letter of the law" issue. The officials did also make an extra point before the start to tell us that the crest of the feed zone was blind and to especially stay to the right there.

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was there a lead police car holding up traffic as you went?

in MABRA, there is always the centerline rule*, but in my observation, the police know the score and the lead car will hold up oncoming traffic on the back country twisty roads, and the officials will enforce accordingly. when that's occurring, yes, I'll take what's given. any time there's an actual yellow line on the road, the police cant hold up the oncoming traffic and the officials vigorously enforce the centerline rule. I've been in a field that was stopped mid race for centerline infractions (it was a P123 race too, not a newb field), and I've heard of races where fields were dq'd because of centerline rule infractions, but have never been involved in that.

honestly, evaluate your own safety and act accordingly regardless of what everyone else is doing.

*aside from jeff cup
I've certainly had races where we had the whole road. There was a lead police motorcycle. It was a sparsely populated residential area and there was one oncoming car during the entire race. Some of the roads had yellow lines and some did not.
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Old 03-15-09, 08:30 PM   #10
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centre line rule sucks. Enforcement is inconsistent in my experience.
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Old 03-15-09, 08:33 PM   #11
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We were using the entire road in the Pro1/2 and pretty much ignoring the moto ref. It just wasn't possible on that course to have 130 riders in 1 lane with no shoulder.
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Old 03-15-09, 08:41 PM   #12
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Suck. My life and family are too important for me to risk anything by ignoring the centerline rule. I'm already a loser so I have nothing to gain by ignoring it.
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Old 03-15-09, 08:58 PM   #13
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It happens...

But that doesn't make it right.

Saw a guy hit a van head-on just three or for meters from me in a race once.
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Old 03-15-09, 08:59 PM   #14
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Oh yeah, the moto ref caused (or contributed) to an accident at one point apparently. That's what I was told... I was off the front at the time.
Yeah that was the second crash. It was just before a right turn going across a bridge (the one before the lefthander) the MotoRef was coming up to do his thing and guys looking one way at the ref, and the turn was the other way. Whoops.

Guess the Ref got trigger-shy after that? Didn't see himthe rest of the race. I wish he would have kept on it and DQ'ing. Way too much moving up.

BTW- Nice job putting on the hurt, definitely felt it at the back.
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Old 03-15-09, 09:22 PM   #15
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Yeah that was the second crash. It was just before a right turn going across a bridge (the one before the lefthander) the MotoRef was coming up to do his thing and guys looking one way at the ref, and the turn was the other way. Whoops.
I wasn't completely clear on how many crashes there were. I don't know how many started either but there were about 90 registered. I was told that there was a crash on the first lap when I was off the front. There was a crash on the gentle grade before the second corner (took out crash), a guy got a flat on one of the rollers but I don't think took anyone out, and of course the crash on the second to last lap that took out semaj and held me up.

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Guess the Ref got trigger-shy after that? Didn't see himthe rest of the race. I wish he would have kept on it and DQ'ing. Way too much moving up.
I never saw him except when he was right behind me when I was chasing back on after the crash. After I got back into the pack I could hear the motor until I moved forward a bit in the pack.

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BTW- Nice job putting on the hurt, definitely felt it at the back.


How did you do?
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Old 03-15-09, 09:55 PM   #16
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guy got hit in Chattanooga this last year in the 3s race when he crossed the center line and went head on with a Harley....

i try to avoid it.
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Old 03-15-09, 09:58 PM   #17
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guy got hit in Chattanooga this last year in the 3s race when he crossed the center line and went head on with a Harley....

i try to avoid it.
I think some of you guys are missing the point of the question... if the road is clear, good visibility, and pretty much everyone else is ignoring the centerline, would you follow? Or would you stick to the letter of the rules even if it was safe?
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Old 03-15-09, 10:11 PM   #18
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I think some of you guys are missing the point of the question... if the road is clear, good visibility, and pretty much everyone else is ignoring the centerline, would you follow? Or would you stick to the letter of the rules even if it was safe?
I would cross. I follow the bikes not the lines on the road. If out, front I try to follow the rules.
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Old 03-15-09, 10:19 PM   #19
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I got dropped too fast PCK to have an opinion
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Old 03-15-09, 10:55 PM   #20
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The centerline rule is the reason people don't favor road races. Even though I am usually the one to be spit out the back first, I'm starting to think road races should have a tough climb near the start to break up the field.
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Old 03-15-09, 11:08 PM   #21
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It just wasn't possible on that course to have 130 riders in 1 lane with no shoulder.
It was plenty possible. It just wasn't convenient. They shove that many people up the Koppenburg every year.

Umd, no, I wouldn't.
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Old 03-15-09, 11:15 PM   #22
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From testimony of other riders, the center line rule isn't enforced when setting up for a turn for obvious reasons.

Other than that I think it's imperative that center line rule is enforced, unless in circumstances where riders are being pushed out by the peloton.
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Old 03-15-09, 11:15 PM   #23
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I would follow the pack. If the pack is TRYING to obey the rule I'll do the same. If they are blatantly ignoring it I'll do that to. I'm always looking up the road so I don't see it as a problem. A blind turn would be the only exception.
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Old 03-16-09, 01:02 AM   #24
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I think some of you guys are missing the point of the question... if the road is clear, good visibility, and pretty much everyone else is ignoring the centerline, would you follow? Or would you stick to the letter of the rules even if it was safe?
I have/will IF IT'S TO ECHELON. When you are about to pop and die, especially in a break, I wouldn't hesitate to go all over the left side of the road. As long as you can see clearly, and there is no immediate danger, anway.

I will not however if it is simply a way to get around people. If you are echeloning, you can usually move right back over very quickly if need be because no one wants to be in the windy void.
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Old 03-16-09, 03:24 AM   #25
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I wouldn't violate the centerline rule, even if it seemed "okay". There's a reason for it, and it's all about the racer staying healthy.

Also it's just easier following the rules. Violating the yellow line is like violating the Jr gear limit when there is no rollout. If someone (not an official) says they're not enforcing rollout, and you verify that there is, in fact, no rollout area, what would you do? I kept my 53x15 on, my teammate slapped on a 12. I think the first 8 or 10 finishers at the race were disqualified when they failed rollout (set up during the race), including my teammate. And he had the gaul to be mad about being DQed.

cdr
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