Just wondering if anyone has experience or knows if it's possible to ride TDU stages before the road is closed? I.e. ride in watch the stage and ride out.
Also looking at the Stage 4 community ride, has anyone ridden the closed route ahead of the challenge in previous years?
All the roads stay open til 30 or so minutes before the race and there are rolling road closures as the peleton rides thru, so yes you can ride the route along with the normal road traffic.
As Mark says, you can ride all the TDU stages right up until the pros come through. On stages such as the one finishing at Stirling you can even move around on the route (for example between Stirling and Mylor) on closed roads as long as the pros arent within a few hundred metres. We go up to the Stirling stage every year and stop at different places on the side of the road between Mylor and Stirling and there are normally hundreds of people lining the roads, most of whom give you a clap and a cheer as you ride past. About the only place you CANT ride is through the finish line (at least at Willunga and Stirling this has been my experience)
As for the Challenge Ride, you can ride this before or after the actual paid-up riders start (though expect howls of protest from some people). Very few of the roads are actually closed to traffic (in previous years the police have closed the Gorge Rd for a while, when most of the bulk of riders are heading up the climb) and as long as you don't take water or food from the rest-stops then its all public roads. Last year I rode the Challenge Ride route as far as Hahndorf (we started about 30 minutes after the last person left Norwood). We stopped at Hahndorf for a nice lunch, then watched the pros come through and rode home again. I'll be doing the same next year, but because the trains aren't running to Gawler, we may drive to Williamstown or Lyndoch, ride the route to Tanunda, stock up on bakery treats, ride back up to Menglers to watch the KOM, then fang it back to Tanunda to hopefully catch the finish.
Thanks for the info mr D. It's interesting you say that for the challenge ride, most of the road is still open, despite the need for a road closed pro stage... Fully closed road was what I was keen on.
As luck would have it, I"m moving to Adelaide the week before TDU, and have the TDU off before work starts, so am planning to ride most of the stages. WIll be a good way to learn the area. If I'm still fresh by stage 4 (Tassie is cooler :P), leaving before the 6:30 start in norwood sounds like the go to avoid rider traffic....
Thanks for the input. Will probably pick your brains about the area closer to the week!
Nic, I left well before the official TDU community ride start last year along with hundreds of others. If you want to avoid rider traffic I's stay away altogether ;)
I will probably do something similar to Dahondude next year, ride to Kersbrook or Gumeracha, have lunch, watch the pros, ride back.
Good to know I'm not the only one! I don't mind riding in a bunch of 30 or so Patrick, but in my experience groups bigger than that with folks who are less experienced, and getting tired, can lead to crashes. After Cadel won and the weather warmed up here, bunch sizes blew out to 70-80 and there were crashes every week.
It's great to see more people take up cycling (I support a beginners racing series with coaching), just like my skin where it is :)
Anyway, riding out to a mid stage point looks like the go! Thanks for your advice.
I will do the TDU community ride and start early and start from home which is about 15km out from the official start, did the same last time and got plenty of encouragement from mates passing such as Pat, Jim and Con. If you're out to do a PB this is defiantely not the right ride, but if you ride according to conditions and traffic, it's good fun.
In referring to PB's, is that because of traffic?
I don't mind about times, just want to ride smoothly with no incidents to stay injury free :)
You'll be riding with 5,000 + cyclists on the same route, 50% will have a wide variety of inexeperience, and the rest have ridden a bicycle at some time, regularily or frequantly. Ride sensibly, give obvious beginners and very slow riders a wide berth. Don't draft anybody unless you know them. There are remarkably few accidents on these big rides but most accidents seem to involve high speed.