home › Forums › Challenge rides on ARC agenda › ARC Alpine Challenge 11th-12th Feb 2023 › Reply To: ARC Alpine Challenge 11th-12th Feb 2023
What an outstanding weekend! Weather was near perfect.
Fri Mt Buffalo 75km 1500m, Sat MtHotham Anglers 139km 2600m, Sun Anglers MtHotham 139km 2200m, Mon (Recovery!!) 72km 1250m.
Explored a couple of wineries – Pizzini was definitely worth the visit to the King Valley.
Well done and thank you Brad & Helen – great planning and execution!!
Thank you Helen, Marg, Libby and Lindee for driving and supporting!
And a big thank you to all the riders for an outstanding weekend (plus a day or two)! Lots of fun, a bit of pain, brilliant views and great company!!
Looking forward to next year already.
Bunch riding tips (because I can’t help myself… this is all about riding safely and I wanted to put this out while it was still in memory)
We had a great bunch ride into Bright on Sunday after our descent from Mt Hotham – always a fun way to finish as a bunch cruising, at speed, into Bright.
However, bunch riding increases the potential for a big pileup (we saw this a few years back on beach road with not insignificant injuries).
A couple of pointers to improve our bunch riding and safety – please read:
– smooth, consistent riding and pacing in the group is a must for safety. Surges, slowing, braking and other sudden changes in speed and/or direction can lead to accidents and injury.
– maintain 2 abreast, each pair of riders aligned
– good spacing between to the two lines – not more than about a metre apart (too wide and you lose some of the wind break advantages)
– stay out of the gutter, shoulder and debris. If the shoulder is ‘sketchy’ and the lane is clear, take the lane. As a well ordered group we will be visible.
– lead riders are the eyes of the group for potholes, debris etc – call it out.
– rear riders are the eyes and ears of the group for vehicles coming up from behind – call them out.
– good spacing to the rider in front, 0.5-1.0m from rider in front with enough room to slow/stop, don’t overlap wheels!
– when on the front maintain pace with the other lead rider, don’t half wheel in front and start a ‘speed chase’.
– if you are unable to maintain the group pace while on the front move SAFELY out of the line and take up a position in the rear of the bunch. This means calling out and signalling that you are moving out of the leading position.
– what is the ‘group pace’? Tricky question. It is what it is BUT when it is established the objective is to maintain that pace and/or effort smoothly and consistently (not start chasing speed). If the ‘group pace’ is, say, 30kmh on the flat, this might increase to 35kmh on a descent and reduce to 20kmh on a rise. Intent is to keep the effort smooth and group together (and not about getting the bunch moving faster and faster).
– ‘Rolling 1’ is a formation we have been using on Short Black and Long Black rides during the week, and is a variation of ‘rolling turns’. The lead 2 riders hold position for a distance (500m, 1km…), when one or other of the lead riders want to ‘roll off’ they CALL and SIGNAL ‘rolling 1’. The lead right rider SMOOTHLY accelerates (say +2-3kmh) and when clear moves left and takes the lead left position and smoothly SLOWS back down to the group pace. The right line follows and moves forward. The second rider on the right line moves into the lead right position.
– SMOOTH accelerations and decelerations are critical to reduce potential for rubber band impacts back within the bunch.
– if you are not feeling strong enough to lead the bunch either stay at the back of the bunch or rotate through the front position relatively quickly (and smoothly)
– if you are not familiar or comfortable with bunch riding, rolling turns, maintaining a smooth consistent pace take up a position in the rear of the bunch and enjoy the tow. – Riders unfamiliar with bunch riding, rolling turns is less likely to be smooth and consistent – sit at the back enjoy the tow, watch and learn.
– PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT and better safety!
[some might ask why I keep posting these, haven’t I posted enough of them… especially given that we actually ride pretty well as a bunch? 1) I do not look forward to being in, and/or picking up riders, from a bunch crash (we are all getting older and the bitumen harder), 2) we have new riders joining the group and/or riders who do not usually ride with our week day bunch, 3) we can always improve our riding and our safety, 4) not everyone reads all the posts…]
More info in the BLOG: https://ashburtonridersclub.asn.au/2020/06/06/principles-for-arc-bunch-rides/
That said we had great rides over weekend. No injuries!!! No mechanicals. Not even a flat tyre. Outstanding! (Thx Brad – brilliant job!)
PS don’t forget to order your kit!