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Ethics Question #3

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Old 06-29-10, 04:36 PM
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EventServices
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Ethics Question #3

You're in a long hilly road race on a big loop. You (and 5 other sprinters) get popped in the first three miles on a big climb. The main field has a lot of horses.
You form a rotating line and work together to chase for 20 miles but steadily lose ground.
Eventually, your group decides it's OVER.

You know a shortcut up ahead that will make up the lost ground.

Your intention is to regain contact with the main group simply to make it easier to get back to the starting line and get in some fast miles at the same time.

Do you take the shortcut?

Add this element: It's very foggy. Cars can't see you until they're right on top of you. You'd be safer in the main field that has a lead and follow car. Out here on your own, you're in danger.

I'll explain what really happened later.

By the way, there was no yelling involved.
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Old 06-29-10, 04:40 PM
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Of course not.
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Old 06-29-10, 04:53 PM
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My thoughts: Take the shortcut, do not make contact with the main group. If it's over, there is no reason to stay out any longer than needed, especially given the weather conditions. But, at the same time, even attaching to the back of the main group could change the race for some of the guys still in the race.
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Old 06-29-10, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by EventServices View Post
Your intention is to regain contact with the main group simply to make it easier to get back to the starting line and get in some fast miles at the same time.
If the only goal is to finish the ride in the group, then sure, why not. I don't see the point in strict black/white codes of conduct.
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Old 06-29-10, 04:54 PM
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Do the full loop, count it as training.

It's your punishment for being dropped, not fair to cut the punishment short just because you're a "sprinter."
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Old 06-29-10, 04:55 PM
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i don't think so. maybe if i was by myself, i would tear off the number (maybe even tear it up), and take the shortcut. no way i am wearing my number and short cutting solo. if i was with other riders, i am not so sure what i would do. likely, i would bounce the idea off of them and see what they thought. if there was an obvious majority one way or the other, i would do that with the caveat of tearing off my number before short cutting. if there was no majority, i would probably just stay on course with whoever else was going around the long way.

why can't they just turn around and go 23 miles back?

Last edited by fly:yes/land:no; 06-29-10 at 04:56 PM. Reason: reason for editing: redundancy and repeating the same idea twice.
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Old 06-29-10, 05:06 PM
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Short cut back to the start is fine. Any contact with the main group (guys still racing) is not.

Added in edit:

This can happen if you short cut in a race:


Last edited by mollusk; 06-29-10 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 06-29-10, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by fly:yes/land:no View Post
i don't think so. maybe if i was by myself, i would tear off the number (maybe even tear it up), and take the shortcut. no way i am wearing my number and short cutting solo.
+1

Unless you want to risk disqualification or suspension, you should make it obvious that you are withdrawing from the race if you take the shortcut. Once you've withdrawn yourself from the race, you have no business interacting with any racers still in contention. <shrug>

1Q3. Rules and Course. ...Riders may not take any other route or short cut [disqualification; 30 days suspension if apparently deliberate and the rider crosses the finish line].

11Q11. Non-Competitor on Course. A rider may not be on the track or course during a race for which he or she has not entered or registered, or from which he or she has withdrawn or been directed to withdraw. [relegation or disqualification if entered in another race in the event for which the results are not yet final; 10 days suspension if flagrant], except as noted elsewhere in the rules.

3B4. The responsibility of keeping on the prescribed course rests with the rider. A rider may not leave the prescribed course unless ordered to do so by public authorities or a race official.
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Old 06-29-10, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mollusk View Post
Short cut back to the start is fine. Any contact with the main group (guys still racing) is not.
this gets my vote.
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Old 06-29-10, 05:32 PM
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I think its ok to hitch a ride on the pack as long as hang out at the very back, tell the people there are are out, and don't cross the finish.
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Old 06-29-10, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by mollusk View Post
Short cut back to the start is fine. Any contact with the main group (guys still racing) is not.
Same. Contact with the group, even if it's clear you're not in the race, is not acceptable and muddies the event for those still participating.
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Old 06-29-10, 05:46 PM
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Good lord do not take a short cut and latch on to the back of anyone. If you just take the short cut on your way to tell the judges you have dropped out (and you DO tell them) then it is ok. Any type of contact with any riders who did not ride the shortcut with you (whether they were ahead of you or behind you when you started the shortcut) is impacting the race and you should never do something like that.

If you're too much of a wimp to make it back to the starting area,.. well.... what were you doing there? And with the fog thing,.. I assume it was foggy when you decided to start the race, correct? If that's the case, the fog is not an acceptable excuse to cheat and impact the race outcome.
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Old 06-29-10, 05:47 PM
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You could take the short cut but you have to declare DNF.
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Old 06-29-10, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by tmiller9909 View Post
If you're too much of a wimp to make it back to the starting area,.. well.... what were you doing there? And with the fog thing,.. I assume it was foggy when you decided to start the race, correct? If that's the case, the fog is not an acceptable excuse to cheat and impact the race outcome.
Hanging out at the back of a road race will not affect the outcome...
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Old 06-29-10, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
Hanging out at the back of a road race will not affect the outcome...
Not true.

In a RR I was gapped just after being OTF early on and had to chase for 7 miles. It turns out that a guy at the back of the pack was not in our race but just riding around. That means I had to chase one bike length less than I should have. It doesn't sound like much but after chasing for that long it was. I ended up Top 10.
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Old 06-29-10, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by tmiller9909 View Post

If you're too much of a wimp to make it back to the starting area,.. well.... what were you doing there? And with the fog thing,.. I assume it was foggy when you decided to start the race, correct? If that's the case, the fog is not an acceptable excuse to cheat and impact the race outcome.
wow. Are you serious?
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Old 06-29-10, 06:11 PM
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If the conditions were really bad and I was just trying to get home, sure, I'd take the shortcut. I know what it's like to be the sprinter dropped early in a climb. But I'd take my number off first (and insist that everyone in the group do the same) to make it clear I was out of the race. I would avoid crossing the finish line. If there was any question at all regarding my race status, I'd go and report to the head race official to ensure I was recorded as DNF.

Don't know if I would rejoin the group... kind of depends on how epic the conditions are, how "pro" the field is, and the seriousness of the race. I mean, if it is kind of a low key race and you know most of the guys in the peloton, then by all means... but if it's natz or something, then no way I would rejoin the field.
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Old 06-29-10, 08:03 PM
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You guys did the right thing in the race by agreeing to not contest the rider who stayed with the group, I also think you were much safer with them. It was dangerous enough out there in the pelaton let alone being in a small group. Near the top of Marquette Mountain you couldn't see more than a few hundred feet.
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Old 06-29-10, 08:19 PM
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I'd take the shortcut if I was feeling wussy about the miles / weather, but I would not make contact with any group.
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Old 06-29-10, 08:35 PM
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Taking the shortcut is ok but not riding with anyone still racing. You're done so stay out of the way.
Removing the numbers to make it clear is a good idea.
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Old 06-29-10, 08:53 PM
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Take off the number, take the shortcut, don't make contact with the group. Let the officials know what happened.
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Old 06-29-10, 09:02 PM
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tuesday night worlds?

then I say anything goes.

otherwise forget it.
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Old 06-29-10, 09:10 PM
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how do you know you'll catch the group by taking the short cut?
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Old 06-29-10, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
how do you know you'll catch the group by taking the short cut?
Exactly.

...and no. Take the short cut if you want but stay out of the race.

In general I would disagree with this whole-heartedly and wouldn't be able to process the gentle nuances of the ethics involved while racing. I would simply look at whomever was suggesting it like they were speaking a foreign language and if the group turned off I would continue on as normal. Justify away, but in the heat of it I usually know right from wrong and I would assume that any deviation from the race course would be "wrong".
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Old 06-29-10, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
It's your punishment for being dropped, not fair to cut the punishment short just because you're a "sprinter."
There's punishment for being dropped beyond being dropped?

Originally Posted by streetspirit View Post
1Q3. Rules and Course. ...
11Q11. Non-Competitor on Course.
3B4. The responsibility of keeping on the prescribed course rests with the rider.
Letter-of-the-law vs. Spirit-of-the-law. I think safety trumps the rules. So does common sense.
For example, to follow 11Q11 means we would have to call a cab. Is that really feasible?

Originally Posted by tmiller9909 View Post
If you're too much of a wimp to make it back to the starting area,.. well.... what were you doing there?
I assume it was foggy when you decided to start the race, correct?
Who said anything about making it back to the starting area? We just wanted to get the miles in.

And no. You assume incorrectly.

Originally Posted by umd View Post
Hanging out at the back of a road race will not affect the outcome...
I agree completely, and can vouch for this. We never got between any of the riders who were in the main field. We never inter-mingled. We sat on the back having no effect.

Here's what happened:
Once we were dropped and clearly out of contention, we just wanted to get the miles in. The shortcut was on familiar roads from past races. We took it and actually ended up in front of the group and waited for them.
They caught us. We stayed on the back of the group. In the last few miles, we dropped off the back and just rolled to the finish. And as soon as we crossed the line, we talked to the Chief Ref. He concurred.
There was no need to remove our numbers. There was only 7 of us; we know each other by name.

I'm a spirit-of-the-law person. There are situations in which hard-and-fast compliance with the rules is unrealistic and sometimes dangerous. This was one of those times.

At one point when we were strung out in a long line, we actually couldn't see the front of the line due to the fog. Again, I think we did the right thing by combining the groups.
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