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question on the yellow line rule(11 posts)

question on the yellow line ruleweiwentg
Jun 10, 2002 4:55 PM
actually I asked this in my post below, but none of the 90 people who saw it have responded, so here goes. are there any reasons for race organizers not to close off the whole road during the sprint finishes? the last race I was in, they didn't. due to oxygen deprivation, inexperience, and lack of space, I went way over the centerline and got disqualified. which was a pity because I was probably in the top 15.
mea culpa, of course, and I should remember that the next time. but I would like to know if it's that hard to close off one small section of the road - does it affect the organizer's insurance premium or something?
I've done just one "Yellow line rule" race but...biknben
Jun 11, 2002 6:39 AM
It's kinda tough to justify closing the entire road for a bike race. The one race I did was on some back/farming type roads. It was an 8 mile circuit and there were houses along the route. Even if you closed the road to thru-traffic someone is going to want to leave their house. You'd end up with some random cars with drivers who may not know there is a race. It's easier for the promoter to just enforce the yellow line rule than try to control all the possible situations that may come up if they were to close the road. The public could bitch and moan making it harder for the organizer to get permits next year.

In that one race I did, they had marshals/officers at all the intersections instructing traffic to look out for cyclists. If the pack was coming up they stopped traffic untill we went by and then let them continue.

IMO: The yellow line rule sucks. That being said, I realize that it is a neccessary evil. I think that's why crits are so popular. It's much easier to find a mall parking lot or corporate center who will allow a race while no one else would be there anyway.
re: question on the yellow line rulebrider
Jun 11, 2002 8:09 AM
I believe the centerline rule is a good thing -- it allows us to have more road races. That said, however, I've seen a lot of crashes at the finish due to both scenarios. Open at 200 meters -- people jump to the oncoming lane and take out some one else who's holding their line. Centerline in effect to the finish -- people running up on slower riders in the sprint and have no where to go. I think it's usually either that the organizers didn't think to permit a closure at the finish (and only on the final lap), or weren't permitted to do so if they asked. In either case, it SHOULD be announced at the start, and if there is no announcement, make sure you ASK. It's the ref's resp[onsibility to communicate these things to the racers, but they're human and can forget these things. That's why it's important to make sure you can HEAR the ref at the start with their instructions, and if you don't hear something, ASK about it.
brider is right, here's an idealonefrontranger
Jun 11, 2002 8:48 AM
If you KNOW the centerline is in effect for the final sprint, and you also know you have the strength to be in there for it, then you have a certain amount of responsibility to take charge in the field with the other strong guys to string it out. The faster you go, the skinnier the field gets, and the fewer bodies there will be left at the end to dodge around. This will most likely require you to either have good team support, or work in collusion with strong riders not on your team for the final 5K to shell it out. This is vastly preferable to the usual Cat 4/5 methodology of sitting in until the final 200 meters, letting things get clustered and dangerous, unfortunately it's not usually done.

I saw an excellent example of the strong team taking responsibility at Sara Kay earlier this year. The promoter for some unknown reason runs the Women 4/35+ concurrent with the Men's 35+. The Women 4/35+ are one of the slowest fields, and the Men's 35+ is one of the largest and fastest. This creates a situation where you have 70-80 guys lapping a couple dozen women at 150 - 200% of the slower field's speed, multiple times during the race. SimpleGreen/Mazda is a *very* strong men's Master's team in our area, and each time they realized they were going to lap us, the entire SG team went to the front and attacked to stretch their field out. This may sound counterintuitive but it meant they were only passing us 1-2 wide through the corners, rather than 8 or 9 wide, and because they were at attack speed, it took them a lot less time to blow through.
to clarifyweiwentg
Jun 11, 2002 9:06 AM
I knew EARLIER ON that the centerline rule was in effect. at the finish, due to oxygen deprivation and adrenalin, I forgot. as I said, mea culpa.
I was near the front for the final 5K, but couldn't really get up (a case of not enough energy). aside from that, the guys up front just sat up. we were going 15mph in some spots. no idea why. but we'll see about next time; got to train harder :)
Go off the frontFender
Jun 11, 2002 8:19 PM
If you go off the front, you won;t have to worry about centerline rules!!! =)
if your independent, find two or more independents before the race and tell them about going of the front from the start. Nobody chases anyone in the first mile or two.

yellow line rule sucks in the final miles, but I've raced in mexico where it is not enforced and you'd have American riders attacking at oncoming traffic so nobody would jump on there wheels. no accidents, but still scary!!!
I'm not Lance Armstrong :p nmweiwentg
Jun 12, 2002 6:29 AM
then why not "play" him at the weekend crit?lonefrontranger
Jun 12, 2002 10:54 AM
Seriously, what have you got to lose? This is what your first season or two should be all about: experimentation to figure out what your talents and limiters are.

Okay, okay I know you're new to racing. But, once you've established that you're strong enough to ride in the field until the end, why just ride around in the field until a sprint that you may or may not be that good at contesting? Why not try to mix it up a little and learn what you're truly good at. Hook up with some other strong guys and make 'em hurt at the next race. You learn more about tactics and reading a field by riding as a domestique or lieutenant for a stronger rider anyhow.

Some of the most fun I've ever had in races was when I knew I didn't have the training and/or form to hang in until the end, or else I just wasn't interested in the finale. So I spent my effort (and got some great hard training done too) by dropping lactic hand grenades on the pack until I either died (typical result) or got in a breakaway that stuck because the field got disgusted and quit chasing (I call this the Jacky Durand effect). Sometimes I do this for the benefit of a teammate, and watching them ride serenely away from the splintered remnants of the field is a considerable reward even as I get ignominiously spit off the back.
why not, indeedweiwentg
Jun 12, 2002 4:30 PM
for some reason, I seem averse to going all out when I know it won't work. but you're right, I think I need to start taking crazy risks just to learn. not a single person in Cat C in the Midwest conference does that.
I actually went off the front in one race, but blew up on a short climb. I managed to claw back in, though.
why not, indeedFender
Jun 13, 2002 8:41 AM
is that collegiate racing your doing??
I was doing collegiate racing last year in the C's and later B's, and I would go off the front all the time. Even if you don't forma breakaway, at least you'll be putting some pain on the group. One tactic I use when I'm just doing a training race, especially in crits, is attack and let the group catch me, then wait 1 minute, and attack again. I'll do this 3-4 times in a row then rest for about 3 minutes mid-pack. Then I'll repeat. Sometimes you'll bring along a few people so its even better cause you'll get a breakaway going and you might just win.
Don't be afraid to do this. It's lots of fun and pain, but after a few races, there will be a difference in your race smarts and shape!!!
yes, I am doing collegiate racingweiwentg
Jun 13, 2002 4:28 PM
and the thought of ending up out of the points does, I must admit, disturb me a bit. because I can definitely place in most races. but then again, the experience is probably worth the risk.