I finally took the courage to take my bike riding to the next level. The Road Race.
Here's how the day panned out.
5:45 am - Get up, eat vanilla slice for breakfast. Drive 3 hours to Gunning.
9:00 am - Arrive at small Australian Country town.Buy coffee and ANZAC biscuit at local cafe. Ask for directions to show ground.
10:00 am - Get to hall, sign in. Forget my license, go back to car to get license. Realise the lady's talking about my racing license which I haven't received yet. Buy a race tag holder for the bike ($2.50), pin number to back and side. Head off to start.
10:15 am - Look for other women and hang around in their vicinity.
10:20 am - Get briefed about the "neutral zone" - the area where we're not racing, lead by our lead car to the "safe zone". More details here - http://www.bathurstcyclingclub.com.au/index.php/site/road
Racing Etiquette - know hows
Where to get Race Info (for NSW races)
One night last week I saw a post on Facebook calling out for more female participants in the Goulburn Great Divide Race. The organiser was appealing to the women's cycling group for more participants to support the event so it could continue.
So, being all obsessed with cycling as I am, I thought this might be an interesting experiment.
I set myself a challenge to find out what it takes to be a competitor in a cycling race and what it takes to organise one.
What I want to know about the race before signing up.
As a first time racer before getting myself into anything crazy, I had a few things I wanted clarification:
Sign me up already
When it came to actually registering for the race it was all a bit confusing.
I was sent to the race event website but then couldn't enter the competition because I wasn't registered as a race.
So first you need to register with Cycling Australia and nominate a membership "type". The website's a bit confusing but the types are:
The Steps to register in a race:
What should you do when you stuff up your registration?
I stuffed up the Cycling Australia membership and couldn't enter the race. But I was able to call up the office and was relieved to find a real person offering help.
Registration complete but where is the info pack?
I received the registration complete email, but still waiting on the complete details of the race. Details are to be released the tuesday before the race, so the wait begins.
Not sure what time I start, what I need to bring, where I should be meeting people.
Some info I found
Strava activity from last year's participant: http://www.strava.com/activities/178669297/segments/4178269918
Route I created in mapmyride: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/829471375
Last year's results: http://nsw.cycling.org.au/Events-Results/Results/2014-goulburn-great-divide-road-race-results - First place time was 1h21 mins. That's fast.
So the 1 week countdown to the race....
I forgot how scary it can be to cycle in Sydney until I started riding with my best mate 2 weeks ago. This girl who has been terrified of bikes all her life, finally had the courage to cycle into work and asked me if I could help her. That's what it took. Someone to physically lead the way and show her how to ride, where to ride, tell her if she was doing alright, help her get confident.
So the challenge we had was to ride to work.
Distance to work: 4.2 kms
Route: There's a dedicated cycleway about 500 metres from her house, the challenge is to get there without freaking her out.
Things I learnt about helping someone to ride:
Other things that can help:
When you're cycling your hands aren't always free to access maps and get directions. So what happens when you're on a journey and kind of have an idea about where you need to go and where you need to turn off. But then the road changes because of road works. What the?. Panic. Freak out. Having detour/diversion signs mean so much to the touring cyclist who's unfamiliar with the area and not confident about the bike friendly paths. The M4 diversion signage was very well erected around the Parramatta area.
Tips for good Signage:
Today I set out on a mission to get my best friend out on a bike on the streets of Sydney.
Some of the challenges I faced:
I've been organising bike rides for the past few months now and growing frustrated with the lack of mapping technology that allows me to find a bike route and GPS navigate it on a ride.
Most maps the councils provide are pdfs so not very interactive. So I find myself either trying to take photos of a map and trying to memorise it or using google maps to guide me as best as I can.
I'm looking forward to Google's Mapmaker relaunch this month - which should make adding more mapping data easier.
News and Announcement made here - https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!category-topic/map-maker/news-and-announcements/fY-Cu6355pM
My first mission once it gets relaunched is to add more bike paths to help people cycle around on safer streets and with more confidence.
Check out this NYC mapper mapping bike and walking paths -
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