April 29, 2006 – The first Road OCUP of the year was huge! Almost 550 participants pedaled around the Mosport track on April the 15th. Aside from the OBC Grand Prix (which is technically a Quebec event), Ontario has not seen numbers like that in quite some time.
These large numbers did stress our infrastructure and some of the new participants to road racing further complicated the day due to a lack of understanding of the rules.
In order to improve the upcoming events, the OCA will be taking several steps to mitigate the potential problems.
OCA office will put together an educational piece highlighting several rules and regulations involved in Road Racing. This will be distributed via e-newsletter, OCA website, Pedal and Canadian Cyclist websites, via photocopy at upcoming Road OCUPs, and inside our next Magazine. One of the rules to be highlighted in this communiquÃ© is the “No readable number, No placing” regulation. At Mosport, there were at least 40 to 50 participants who’s numbers were unreadable by our finishing cameras. Some athletes wore jackets over their numbers; others put them on upside down; while others put them in the wrong place. In our communiquÃ©, we will illustrate some of the problems experienced by our timing crew, and also demonstrate proper number placement.
With the larger fields experienced, our race officials will be enforcing the rule that any rider more than 10% behind the leader will be pulled from the event. These people will be listed in the results as finishing “outside the time limit” (Not a DNF). We will explain this rule further in our communiquÃ©. The number of lapped riders who continue to ride and re-integrate into the various peletons create tracking / results problems. Yes we know Chip timing would speak to this problem, however Chip timing is a controversial issue that can be addressed at another time. (Has to do with event logistics, cost, vehicles and more)
OCA will replace all issued numbers with new tyvek numbers, at no cost to the members. We are going to order two sets of all numbers and reissue the numbers at upcoming Road OCUPs. If a rider loses their new tyvek numbers, their duplicate set will be issued to them at a cost of $15.00. If this second set of numbers gets lost, forgotten or misplaced, then a new number will issued at another cost of $15.00. We are also going to implement frame plate numbers as a trial for select categories; master women, cadets, and master D.
For all future Road OCUPS, Women will not race at the same time as BCDs. The women will start at the same time as the Senior 1/2 men. MB’s may have their own start time. This is positive because there were no longer nine categories on the road at the same time. Since the senior men tend to stay together, it allows the commissaires the time to track the women which was very difficult before when also tracking Bs, Cs, Ds and cadets.
In order to meet the needs of each event, the OCA will now mandate each Road OCUP organizer supply extra volunteers. We realize that you can never have enough volunteers and at most successful events there is a direct correlation between number of volunteers and a well run race.
Commissaires have been taking a lot of unnecessary flak at the events. Our membership must understand that these people are donating an enormous amount of time to ensure safe and fair play. We currently have a shortage of Road Commissaires and its becoming increasingly hard to find new people to step up and officiate. It can be a thankless job and the poor treatment of our officials by a select few does not lend well to future officiating. We ask that all members respect the commissaires. Should you have a complaint regarding the officiating, please do so in writing to the OCA office: email@example.com.