Newsletter - 2005 Archive

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Things I Learned At The Flatlander
by Harold Bridge

        All organized sports & pastimes have rules. Randonnées are no different. But they do carry an added responsibility in that they use the public highway system & as the roads are not normally closed to other traffic for our events the rules of the road have to be observed.

        I always thought that everyone knew the rules. But it amazed me on Sunday morning how many people turned up without lights mounted on their bikes. John Bates patiently scrabbled around to fix his spare lamps on the recalcitrant bikes so their owners could start the event. That was fair enough for the newcomers, but the experienced riders should been told to get lost. Not very friendly I know, but then turning up intending to flout the rules isn't very friendly either.

         Some years ago I was coming west along 7 toward the finish of, I think, a 300. A triathlete caught me & recognized I was a randonneur & asked if I was riding an event. When I said yes he replied he would stay behind so as not to compromise my event. So it seems the rule about not riding in company with a non-registered rider is known outside our club. Despite that I was told a story at the Fort Pub on Sunday of a couple of riders trying to get a 6:59 time & asking a triathlete to tow them into the finish. He declined.

        There seems to be an expectation that rules can be relaxed for a 200. Well they are; riders are not asked to display their spare bulbs & spare batteries. Admittedly that rule becomes more & more arcane as lighting technology progresses. But the spare bulbs & spare batteries rule does still exist I believe.

         So, the Flatlander is an end of season social occasion I was told. Good! But it is still an official Club event & the rules that are in place still apply.

         Could change the rules, but getting ACP to change anything would be like mating elephants. How about: Do away with the lighting rules & disqualify any rider found riding unlit during lighting up time? Fraser & Bonner doing a 400 about June 21 could probably get round in daylight. AUK run a "Daylight 600" in the north of Scotland. How about something like that Wim?

An Apology:

        After the pre-ride of the Flat & High lander routes we reverted to the detour originally put in to by-pass the aboriginal blockade that was on Ferry Road by the Rosedale Bridge. We did this due to the fact we finished up with 199.5 back at the Fort. So, I think the original route that passed under the Rosedale Bridge enroute to Popkum was always short.

        However, although I correctly inserted the Bustin Road bit I failed to correct what had been a "R" onto Yale Road East & make it an "L". Somehow the "Camp River Road / Ferry Road", on the Flatlander route only, became just "Camp River Road".

        On the Highlander route, "saved as" from the Flatlander file & revised where required, I failed to change the "R" onto North Parallel to an "L".

        In looking things over I found a few other things too that nobody mentioned.

        I have often wondered what it was like to make a mistake?



September 19, 2005