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  1. #1
    Has opinion, will express
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    Road racing banned in NSW

    I've posted this in General, because the topic represents the insipient dismantling of our society as we know it through fear of litigation, the fudging off of responsibility, and just plain stupid red tape.

    Anyway, I received an email this morning that says the government in New South Wales has, on the advice of the Crown Solicitor, banned club-level road racing because (and get this) bikes are classified as vehicles. Vehicles are banned from racing on open public roads under a law that may also have application right across the country.

    Cycling New South Wales is working on the case. This webpage provides more details:

    http://www.nsw.cycling.org.au/files/..._approvals.htm .

    Cyclingnews.com is supposed to have an article, a copy of which was sent to me, but I am unable to confirm this with the link that was supplied. I also won't post the cyclingnews.com text because of copyright implications.

    However, the article indicates that the only circumstances where a road race can be held, under the advice given, is if the roads to be used are "sterile'', that is, closed to all other users.

    It means that club-level racing is out. It may also have implications for randonees, and for competition riders in other States as well.

    The article makes the point that the interpretation was given on request from the NSW Police, which referred to the Crown Solicitor a standard application for police permission to run a race. It apparently was not generated out of public angst in regard competition cyclists on the road or any injuries, etc. However, police concern about insurance risk has been cited as a reason for seeking the ruling.

    'Tis indeed a sad day for cycling, whether you're a competitor or not.

    R
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  2. #2
    MaNiC! NZLcyclist's Avatar
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  3. #3
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    That is why we do so much time trialling in the UK. There are practically no massed start races on the public roads.

  4. #4
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    My first reaction when I heard this was something like "those bastards!" However, now, I'm not so sure. On the one hand, it will be bad for racing, there is no question about that. However, I'm not sure the other consequences (i.e. organised rides etc) will suffer as much as everyone thinks.

    We need to read this law as it is written: i.e. "Vehicles are not allowed to race on open roads". With regard to organised rides in particular, most of these (around here at least) have police permission and even have the roads closed off for the first 5km or so, allowing cyclists to spread out. In any case, this is not strictly racing, so I'd like to see any judge try to rule it out.

    We also need to be aware of the desire that most cyclists have to be classified as vehicles. Think about this for a moment, we all ask for the same rights on the road as drivers of cars have, we all expect drivers to be held accountable if they run down a cyclist (the same as they would if they took out another driver). We have to be realistic about this, too.

    To be honest, I'm wondering if we, as cyclists, should start choosing our battles.
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  5. #5
    Bike Happy DanFromDetroit's Avatar
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    First, if club members are obeying all posted traffic regulations (including speed limits), the only thing that makes it a race is an official time. If you don't time it, then it is a ride not a race. Rides are legal still, yes ?

    Secondly, motorcyclists have this problem where I live. They are not allowed to race on public streets, so what the clubs do is host road rallies. These rallies have a start, a finish, and several waypoints where you pick up flags or playing cards. There is no official time or published route. Each participant makes up the route on his/her own.

    Sorry to hear your legislators are so clueless.

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  6. #6
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    People (turds) out my area have been trying to get the cyclists off the roads for years.

    Most of the on-road races are conducted in quiet industrial areas or on National park roads at 7.00 on Sunday mornings anyway , where there is little or no traffic. These roads though public , aren't really thoroughfares . The races are signposted and marked.
    Next will be restrictions on general riding , whether it'll be a restriction on riding during certain times or roads or rego fees or some ridiculous safety regulation.

    What about training rides? and other organised rides??
    Last edited by Malvern star; 06-26-03 at 08:05 AM.

  7. #7
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    Mind you, it said, no racing, it didn't say no RIDING. Cyclists are allowed to ride on the roads, from what I understand. So it's not like they're being chased off the roads altogether.
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

  8. #8
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Malvern star


    What about training rides? and other organised rides??
    Read my post above. The legislation deals with "racing", not riding. There is nothing preventing vehicles of any kind from using the road in any other capacity. From what I can tell, you can still run an organised ride but not a "race". Same thing with training rides - as these are not "races" there shouldn't be a problem.

    I think a lot of people are over-reacting to this. I don't particularly support the law, but the ramifications of it are nowhere near as widespread as a lot of people seem to think.
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  9. #9
    MaNiC! NZLcyclist's Avatar
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    as discussed in an NZ forum
    http://www.cyclingnz.co.nz/forums/re...=417#reply_417

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  10. #10
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    Originally posted by Chris L
    I think a lot of people are over-reacting to this. I don't particularly support the law, but the ramifications of it are nowhere near as widespread as a lot of people seem to think.
    There are a LOT of competition cyclists who get out on Sunday mornings to race on country roads. Veterans are amongst them here in Tasmania. Triathlons with bike legs on open public roads are affected. Basically, every single RACE that until now has been conducted on open road conditions is banned unless the roads can be closed to all other traffic and police permission obtained.

    I'd say there are thousands of riders who won't get their race fix in NSW this Sunday morning.

    It does not affect normal road riding or training.

    However, the ramifications may go further with the law in question because time trials are also considered racing under the law in question. This may affect randonnees, although an argument could be put up that they are tours with a time limit.

    I worked for a major motor sport event, Targa Tasmania, for three years as media manager (and a few other things), and a similar problem emerged. The competition stages were on closed roads and were OK, but the transport stages had time limits. There were questions raised about the validity of the transport stages. The boss argued that if the transport stages were regarded as trials because of time limits (and therefore insurance and police permission to run the event would be affected), then buses should be banned from the road because they ran to time limits called timetables. He was successful in putting his case.

    R
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  11. #11
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Rowan
    There are a LOT of competition cyclists who get out on Sunday mornings to race on country roads. Veterans are amongst them here in Tasmania. Triathlons with bike legs on open public roads are affected. Basically, every single RACE that until now has been conducted on open road conditions is banned unless the roads can be closed to all other traffic and police permission obtained.

    I'd say there are thousands of riders who won't get their race fix in NSW this Sunday morning.
    Agreed. Look, I never said I actually support the ban. I just pointed out that it only affects one facet of cycling. It won't stop people training, it won't stop randonees, as these are not races. Virtually every vehicle on the road has a time limit. Heck, I had one when riding to work this morning. Any judgement that ruled this out would virtually rule out every other vehicular trip as well.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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  12. #12
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    I don't see why this is a bone of contention. Motor vehicles, runners and horsemen aren't allowed to road race either.

  13. #13
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    In southern California, the only road races I have seen, including the cycling and running sections of triathlons, are conducted on temporarily-closed roads. It does not make any sense to permit racing (as opposed to law-abiding club riding or rallying) on open public roads with cross traffic, stop signs, signals, etc.
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  14. #14
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    I've since spoken to someone from Murwillumbah cycling club (that's in NSW for those who don't know). I now realise just how ridiculous this whole ruling really is. Here is some background:

    Apparently some time ago a 15 year old kid was killed in a closed circuit criterium (note: these are still allowed under the law as they are not on open roads) when he ran off the circuit and hit something. Apparently his parents decided to sue somebody important for allowing the race to take place. As a consequence, some beaureaucrat (sp?) in the NSW parliament decided to do something that, by their misguided logic, would supposedly prevent this from happening again.

    If this is all they're worried about, why not simply ask cycling clubs to sign a waiver saying that they won't sue the council if something happens during one of their races? Or maybe ask the police and the council to approve somewhere that there will be minimal or zero disruption? Can we allow a little common sense to prevail?

    In southern California, the only road races I have seen, including the cycling and running sections of triathlons, are conducted on temporarily-closed roads. It does not make any sense to permit racing (as opposed to law-abiding club riding or rallying) on open public roads with cross traffic, stop signs, signals, etc.
    John, as Rowan said above, these races are generally conducted on extremely quiet country roads where there are no traffic signals on Sunday mornings when there is virtually nobody around. Remember, we're not talking about cities where most of the clubs probably have their own facilities (or really should do). We're talking about country towns where this isn't the case.
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  15. #15
    It's in my blood Pete Clark's Avatar
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    Sometimes the rights of the few can be protected if they press their case.
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  16. #16
    Gravity Is Yer Friend dirtbikedude's Avatar
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    That blows. I can see how "technically" they are correct but it still blows. Especially on back country roads where there is little traffic.

    Hey John E, guess you have not seen this ride in Simi Valley

  17. #17
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    May I invite all affected by this utmost silly ban to come and cycle in South Africa. Visit www.cycletour.co.za for a taste of the Cape Argus held in April of every year. We had a start of 35 000 cyclists this year and have a full road closure!!!!!! There are many other races held in our breathtaking scenery that is worthwhile to explore. Contact me through the forum for more leads. Also visit www.supercycling.co.za for more info on races. Come and enjoy our spledour, friendlyness as well as good exchange rates!!!!!

    Keep those wheels spinning!!!!!

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