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Old 10-16-11, 07:51 PM   #1
MinnMan
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Fitz's Challenge - Helmet verification?

I"m an American temporarily living in Canberra and I'm eager to do Fitz's Challenge at the end of October. I note on the information web site that registration requires the following:

"Show an event official that your helmet complies - has an Australian Standard AS 2063 five ticks or Snell label attached"

I have a perfectly good helmet from the US, but it has neither of these labels. Are they really likely to check and prevent my participation for lack of the label? I don't really want to spend $100 to buy a helmet that I don't need.
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Old 10-17-11, 12:50 AM   #2
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I almost didn't start a race in Australia because of this!

I'm an Australian, but I mostly live in Hong Kong - hence a helmet purchased there. The officials walked along the line and looked at every helmet in the pack. The fact that the exact same model was available in AUS (Giro) wasn't relevant - no sticker, no ride.

Luckily for me someone else had a spare they would loan me!

Perhaps the officials might not look, but not worth the risk of dissappointment.

- borrow a helmet for the day from a friend
- peel the sticker off a friends helmet and put it in yours
- buy a new cheapo helmet (even a kids one!) from Kmart and peel the stickers off that (and age them a bit!).
- ask the LBS. They might help out as they've seen this before (ie with stickers etc).
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Old 10-17-11, 06:51 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
I"m an American temporarily living in Canberra and I'm eager to do Fitz's Challenge at the end of October. I note on the information web site that registration requires the following:

"Show an event official that your helmet complies - has an Australian Standard AS 2063 five ticks or Snell label attached"

I have a perfectly good helmet from the US, but it has neither of these labels. Are they really likely to check and prevent my participation for lack of the label? I don't really want to spend $100 to buy a helmet that I don't need.
Man, you want to practice your hill climbing BEFORE taking on the Fitz's clallenge. There are some BIG hills out there and if ever reach Fitz's hill itself its a MONSTER.

Yes they will check your helmets. Its an insurance issue. There are some not particularly safe roads and gradients out there and the event probably runs on a wing and a prayer from the point of view of getting insurance to hold the event. I remember a year or 2 ago a member of the veterans racing club had a VERY nasty accident when descending Fitz's hill. He would have been descending at speeds of 70kmh plus when a sheep ran on to the road in front of him. He ended up in a bad way.

Apart from that I don't want to put you off and have fun.

EDIT: Back when I was younger, fitter and MAD I went over Fitz's hill, down the other side and back again. I was light touring on my racing bike and the descent back down Fitz's was just insane. I think I easily exceeded 80 kmh (no speedo back then) and half way down I remember bunny hopping to clear a level change in the bitumen. I didn't like the idea of hitting it at speed. Not far past the base of the hill and still with a LOT of speed on you cross a timber bridge with length wise planks so it's a case of "pick a plank" at some insane speed.

I think the road is better now.

Anthony

Last edited by AnthonyG; 10-17-11 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 10-17-11, 04:42 PM   #4
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Man, you want to practice your hill climbing BEFORE taking on the Fitz's clallenge. There are some BIG hills out there and if ever reach Fitz's hill itself its a MONSTER.

Yes they will check your helmets. Its an insurance issue. There are some not particularly safe roads and gradients out there and the event probably runs on a wing and a prayer from the point of view of getting insurance to hold the event. I remember a year or 2 ago a member of the veterans racing club had a VERY nasty accident when descending Fitz's hill. He would have been descending at speeds of 70kmh plus when a sheep ran on to the road in front of him. He ended up in a bad way.

Apart from that I don't want to put you off and have fun.

EDIT: Back when I was younger, fitter and MAD I went over Fitz's hill, down the other side and back again. I was light touring on my racing bike and the descent back down Fitz's was just insane. I think I easily exceeded 80 kmh (no speedo back then) and half way down I remember bunny hopping to clear a level change in the bitumen. I didn't like the idea of hitting it at speed. Not far past the base of the hill and still with a LOT of speed on you cross a timber bridge with length wise planks so it's a case of "pick a plank" at some insane speed.

I think the road is better now.

Anthony
OK, then I need some helmet strategy, I guess. Maybe I can figure something out.

Assuming I can get a regulation helmet, I'm on the fence between doing the Tharwa ride, which seems quite tractable, to the full Fitz, which seems damned challenging. I went up Corin Rd. on Sunday with the Pedal Power group. That didn't kill me, so I was beginning to think about Fitz's. It's definitely steeper than Corin, but perhaps I'm foolish enough to try....
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Old 10-17-11, 04:50 PM   #5
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EDIT: Back when I was younger, fitter and MAD I went over Fitz's hill, down the other side and back again. I was light touring on my racing bike and the descent back down Fitz's was just insane. I think I easily exceeded 80 kmh (no speedo back then) and half way down I remember bunny hopping to clear a level change in the bitumen. I didn't like the idea of hitting it at speed. Not far past the base of the hill and still with a LOT of speed on you cross a timber bridge with length wise planks so it's a case of "pick a plank" at some insane speed.

Anthony
My 14 y.o. daughter has a crappy helmet that someone gave us - it has the official sticker. Even though it doesn't really fit me, I was thinking of wearing it for the ride. But after reading this, I think I should have a proper helmet to wear.

I was worried about getting up Fitz's Hill, but it's clear I need to think also about getting down it.
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Old 10-17-11, 06:41 PM   #6
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My 14 y.o. daughter has a crappy helmet that someone gave us - it has the official sticker. Even though it doesn't really fit me, I was thinking of wearing it for the ride. But after reading this, I think I should have a proper helmet to wear.

I was worried about getting up Fitz's Hill, but it's clear I need to think also about getting down it.
If your helmet is a model also available in AUS, then just take the sticker out of your daughters helmet and put it in yours.

IIRC there are a few brands not OK for sale in AUS - Catlike is one.
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Old 10-17-11, 07:56 PM   #7
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If your helmet is a model also available in AUS, then just take the sticker out of your daughters helmet and put it in yours.

IIRC there are a few brands not OK for sale in AUS - Catlike is one.
Yeah- thinking about making the switch. Maybe a bit of rubber cement from my patch kit will do the trick. Mine's a Giro - it's a couple years old, so I don't know if the model was sold here, but it probably was.

For a while Catlike was not approved in the US (for the racing association, for example), but I think maybe now it is.
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Old 10-18-11, 01:51 AM   #8
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If you are careful the sticker should just peel off and then stick to the other helmet just fine. If you do need to glue it in try a very thin type (or thin double sided tape) so it doesn't look too bodged to the officials.
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Old 10-24-11, 08:50 PM   #9
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My problem is solved. My wife arrived in Canberra a couple of weeks after me and decided that she needed a bike to commute to the Uni. We have no car here, after all. She's not a roadie, like me, and in fact, I was thrilled to hear her say she was going to start riding, even if just for a commute. But of course, she needed to buy a helmet and the one she bought fits me......

She says I can borrow it so long as I don't sweat in it. Sure, honey.

Before this happened I was with a bunch of local roadies the other day and asked about the helmet check. They've all done Fitz's a bunch of times, and to their recollection, there was one year when there were aggressive helmet checks, but they thought it to be rare. They told me not having a "legal" helmet was a poor excuse for foregoing the challenge.

Now all I have to do is climb those hills.
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Old 11-01-11, 12:07 AM   #10
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Just to close the thread- I had a great ride on Fitz's Classic. They WERE checking helmets and though I think it would have been possible to avoid the check or to give them a mate's helmet, I had my regulation helmet with me and that was lower stress than trying to pull a fast one.
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