That was the comment my business partner made to me today, he lives in the hills and whilst not affected by the closure couldn't see the point of it. I'm inclined to agree with him. We strive week in and week out to co-exist on the roads with motorists, but when we (or Bike SA) want a special bike ride, they close off the road, Highway 1 no less, to the vast majority of the travelling public. How to win friends and influence people. How many motorists were inconvenienced yesterday, and what will their ongoing opinion of cyclists be, as a result?
I discussed the Amy's Gran Fondo ride with my g/f over the weekend as I might do that this year (call me a hypocrite) and her reaction was "What if you are an overseas tourist and that day you planned to drive the GOR and can't because it's closed for a bunch of wannabe Cadel's" (subtlety is not her strong suit).
If we want to be taken seriously as legitimate road users, maybe we just need to "suck it up" and ride with the cars.
I'm with P O'K on this. Why close a 3 lane freeway when there is a perfectly good and almost-car-free alternative that runs alongside? As a cyclist I just can't understand why BikeSA and the AGF continue to put bike rides on major highways. When roads are closed for other events they are almost always the only option (you could argue that the City to Bay could be run on the footpath) but that ride on Sunday had a perfectly usable bike path/road that has been used in the past (Coast to Coast and RLC both handled several thousand riders without issue). I think car drivers have the right to ask WTF? There can be only one reason why the the ride went up the Freeway - a sales gimmick - and sadly it appeared to work. While BikeSA may be picking up lots of new riders with these sorts of "hey come and ride a super ugly piece of 3 lane bitumen and we'll throw in some music in a tunnel just for fun" they aren't catering to people like me who are looking for a challenging ride on roads less travelled. Those options died with the Sea to Vines and Coast to Coast.
Agree Frank, they closed a heap of streets and a bike path around the east of the city for a week for a car race and they closed off East Terrace for a pissup outside of PJ O'Briens on Saturday night.
Everyone gets a turn is only fair eh ?
Bike path works for RLC, although admittedly it struggles with 3000 riders. Why close the whole freeway, could they not have closed one lane and allowed cars in the other, at say, 25kph. Probably not sexy enough as a marketing tool.
Also, while all the emphasis is on the freeway, I believe other roads were closed in the hills as well. Why is no one focussing on them?
As a cyclist it would be great to ride on closed roads, even if only for a day. I'm a bit bemused how Bike SA think that this will promote cycling though, it seems to me they are preaching to the converted with this ride, and any non cyclist will find further reason to dislike the "lycra warriors".
Any new rider who rode yesterday because of the traffic free roads is in for a rude awakening if they decide to ride the next bike SA ride which I think is the Grand Slam around Mt Torrens.
For RLC a lane of freeway is closed as far as Devil's Elbow. you'd never get all of the riders up that first bit.
Sorry, got the bit between my teeth on this. After Devils Elbow there is not only a bike lane but an entire road as well. If single lane roads are good enough for the rest of the ride why not the Old Freeway? My issue is not road closures, but closing freeways (South eastern and the Southern Expressway) for people to ride a bike on. I am not disputing that the Sunday ride probably captured 100's or maybe even 1000's of people who don't normally ride in the hills - this can only be a good thing - its the fact that the ride was sold on what I consider to be a gimmick (ride up the freeway) that only serves to anger car drivers because closing the freeway was unnecessary when a perfectly good alternative exists. I've also not got a problem with road closures - riding up Greenhill Rd on a closed road would be fantastic - I'd sign up for that in an instant, as is riding up the traffic free Gorge Rd on the TDU Challenge Ride.
personally 25K zones would likely not be respected by some drivers.
do you think it would make car drivers feel better if the department of transport used this as an opportunity to do some routine maintenance once the main group had past?
While I have not participated in a ride like this I would imagine that the hill to the Heysen tunnels would have spread the group out enough that if road crews wanted to do some work that 2 lanes would have been adequate.
I must admit that a few hours on a Sunday morning if people cant cope with this level of inconvenience they must be hard to please.
It seemed well publicized.
would some sort of staggered start also reduce the initial crowd?
Yes I felt bad for all the hills dwellers who couldnt exit their houses at all until 2pm or so. Could have just had Montacute closed for the 50km riders, as rest of field were spread out on the return. And contrary to the antics of some, its a ride not a race, so people could just be a little safer on the descents.
Bring back coast to coast from the dead, you have been sorely missed
+1 for C2C. Perhaps we could organise our own. I enjoyed the ride, beautiful day.
However, I also told a number of riders to move over and allow cars to pass all through the hills- It doesn't help promote cycling goodwill when courtesy isn't shown to drivers by cyclists. I was surprised to see quite a few riders in the left lane of the freeway before the turnoff- the police did a great job to get those back onto the right side of the traffic cones before the cars came through.