Time Trialling in Bad Weather

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Bernard Lamb
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Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 8:37 am

Time Trialling in Bad Weather

Postby Bernard Lamb » Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:23 am

I met a chap yesterday and he asked me if the Hemel had run an event a couple of weeks ago.
I said yes, it was the hilly TT.
He drives over part of the course almost every morning so knows the conditions well. He stopped to talk to a marshal and pointed out that many of the riders did not have lights and were very hard to spot when approaching from behind in a car. He is not the type of person to sound off with an anti cycling rant, he just wanted to make the point.
That morning I rode home from Cambridge and early on the visibility was very poor due to the rain. I was riding on wide open fairly straight roads so I would think conditions on the hilly course would have been worse and thus accept that the chap had a very good point.
Basically should the event have been held under the conditions that prevailed on the day?
Should the club add an SC regarding the mandatory use of rear Lights?
Some clubs will run an event in almost any conditions while others will stop an event for the slightest problem. I have experienced both extremes. I have even been at an event where the organizer wanted to run it but the riders said no and forced an abandonment. My personal view is that as we ride on public roads we need to be seen as acting responsibly
Bernard Lamb

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Paul Thomson
Posts: 1615
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 2:02 pm
Location: (H) Milton Keynes - (W) Hemel Hempstead

Re: Time Trialling in Bad Weather

Postby Paul Thomson » Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:46 pm

I was first rider off. It was raining quite hard and there was standing water on the roads. However I did not think that it was poor visibility. I had glasses on (otherwise I wouldn't have been able to see anyway!) and I wasn't badly compromised by the rain. There was not that much traffic around (due in part to the fact it was before 9am on a Sunday, and the poor weather would have put off people from venturing outside anyway).

CTT already have a blanket recommendation for fitting rear lights for events. But they have not got it as a regulation as it has been proposed a number fo times and failed because of many different reasons. CTT National Board are also unhappy at clubs using the Special Conditions facility to attempt to force through regulations that have failed to go through Nationally too - and lights and helmets are 2 of those. SC's are not there to do that and it was never envisioned when they were introduced as an option that things like this would be put in under the SC provision. There are moves to try to make it impossible to do so too.

I have also seen on so many occasions people who do have rear lights on... but you would be hard pressed to see that as the lights were more than useless. Even this year and so far I have only ridden 3 events.

The accident stats that CTT collect also do not support the reasoning that lights prevent collisions from the rear by vehicles - almost all such recorded incidents in the last few years showed that lights were being used by the cyclists, but obviously did not prevent the collision from happening. The reason therefore is that the drivers are simply not looking and no amount of lights will prevent such incidents. The numbers of incidents have not dropped much if at all either, despite the fact that it is estimated that at least 65% and often a lot more of riders use them now. So the fact that you can see someone, often from a reasonable distance away, does not actually prevent incidents taking place.

I should also say that the reason why numbers are bright//flouro is because they give a much better visual warning to vehicles coming up from behind than people would give credit for. It is why the Reg for fixing numbers states to put it where you should put it - facing backwards on the bum, not halfway up your back (or worse) that a few still do.
And for me - there has never been a time where I could see a rear light but could not see the rider too... at least in daylight - and I do include poor weather in that.

Paul Thomson
Racing Secretary

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