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when was this enforced? is this a new thing?
Cycling SA have juniors racing - http://www.sa.cycling.org.au/?ID=34146
I'm divided on the issue, but following a recent review of the club rules, the GW organisers have seen fit to introduce this change. The reasoning conveyed to GW members by AC mail follows:
The reason for the change is primarily a safety precaution as the Gawler Wheelers regularly ride along suburban, town and country roads where the speed limit can range from 25 km/h up to 110 km/h.
A rider who is 16 years or older is of the required age to apply for a Learners Permit driving licence and as such the Gawler Wheelers have adopted the same age limit.
Just being out on the road can present some very real dangers to the cyclist under certain situations, not to mention the complexities and dynamics of a Social Group Ride in the company of vehicular traffic on country roads.
It is for these reasons that we felt it necessary to change the Young Rider Policy.
The updated policy may mean your child is now too young to attend the majority of Gawler Wheelers events. All children, however, will eventually reach 16 years of age and they will be able to resume riding with the Gawler Wheelers.
Please feel free to contact the Gawler Wheelers organisers in regard to this matter.
IIRC the previous rule was that minors must be accompanied. It's probably worth noting the group is predominantly a social group, not a race or a training ride - whether a rider is physically capable or not is irrelevant. The group is not affiliated with CyclingSA so their rules are their own. My reading of this is that the organisers see this as a safety issue, though they may wish to comment further.