Author Topic: RUSA insurance issues  (Read 1319 times)


  • Not Small
Re: RUSA insurance issues
« Reply #25 on: December 06, 2019, 10:15:12 am »
Some people just like to chat.

Well true, but...

"It's in the e-mail I sent yesterday"
"Ach i didn't read that"


  • Mostly Harmless
Re: RUSA insurance issues
« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2019, 12:20:20 pm »
This is not straightforward in the case of old established permanents.  The Cambrian Series rides cover 1000s of kilometres of Welsh roads.  I inherited them in 2007, but they were already established events well before 2002 when I started riding Audax events.  The guidance sheet that I send to all first-time Cambrian Permanents has a generic risk assessment and instructions that "These Permanents are for Experienced Randonneurs" and "It is the Entrants’ responsibility to ensure that any roads and route chosen are suitable for them".  However, over the years junctions will have been altered, previously pristine pieces of tarmac will have generated into gravel-strewn potholes, etc, introducing new specific risks.  It is impractical for anyone to survey such a set of routes on a regular basis and provide specific warnings.

Define experienced?

One of the problems that can arise is that those who have been doing it longer can have a higher tolerance of shite conditions than the newer, meaning that poor routing is tolerated more. I scratched from a 300 this year because I was fed up with Belgian Drivers trying to kill me. I notice that the route, unchanged, is back on the calendar for 2020. If I was route checking it, I would not put it forward for rider of any experience, and I have a pretty high threshold for dealing with crap drivers.

In the past the basis for Audax riding has was one of commonsense, riders were expected to make judgments of the conditions and their state and decide whether they were fit to continue.  Minimalist lighting, reliance on paper route sheets or strips of map, etc, required a high level of concentration and, I would argue, alertness to hazards.  Today's lighting, GPS tracks, and better clothing, make it easier to follow the route (without undermining the audaciousness of the achievement) but arguably make the rider more dependent on that route.  In which case the argument, "I crashed and broke my next on that dreadful potholed descent because of your route" becomes more tenable. 

Surely the improved lighting makes it easier to avoid the potholes? Surely not having to focus on the cryptic text on a vibrating set of handlebars, means that a rider is more able to look around them and basically keep their eyes on the road. A descent modern GPS gives you the same field of view as the strip of map.

The difference is that many people will just load a GPX and go, they won't put it on a map and see where it goes. Where as the strip of map people have gone to the effort of plotting and cutting, and should have taken in some basic awareness of the route in the process. But loading a GPX onto a wahoo, is no different from sticking a route sheet to the handlebars and following it.

As the courts continue to redefine and extend 'duty of care', it could be a worry.  I would be interested if there is some useful advice on generic warnings we could give to riders to alert them to the risks and ensure that they are prepared to take proper precautions.  In the meantime, I will continue to offer the Cambrian Series, but  I will ensure that attention is drawn to the potential risks of the event in the covering email.  And I will probably suspend my project to create GPS tracks for the events to avoid the inference that  these become a mandatory route.

A GPX and a route sheet are effectively the same thing, they are just different ways of encoding the same data. Not publishing a GPX as it may come cross as being a mandatory route, yet publishing a route sheet does not follow logically. If you don't want it to feel like a mandatory route, publish only the list of controls, and no route sheet/gpx.

I do wonder if the shift from riders with a touring background to riders with a sportif / racing orientation has made some (less experienced) participants to have a much higher expectation of the organiser of rides in general and perms in particular. Equally perms may take riders over routes that would be fine on a 'traditional' Audax bike (I'm sure you know what I mean) may not be wholly suitable for a very lightweight steed and minimal luggage for a rider in summer downland clothing.

The main thing with the fine for a calendar event but maybe not for a perm, is the question of timing. When riding as a calendar event you may get to a certain section of road, typically at about 2000 on a Saturday night, but if you did the perm at another time, maybe you hit it at 5pm on a weekday, when the traffic is a lot worse.

The guy I'm organising the 200 with in March did a route check of a section recently, and commented that it was quite busy. My first question was "what time of day did you do it?" My Saturday check had much better traffic than his weekday one.

That said, the lightweight steed and minimal luggage of your example may be equally bad on the calendar event. How often do we hear reports of people being stuck on a hill as the weather closes in because, feeling really cold and wet as they didn't pack the right clothing? A Perm doesn't make this any more likely than a calendar event.

Beer, bikes, and backpacking

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: RUSA insurance issues
« Reply #27 on: December 06, 2019, 01:02:09 pm »
And the kind of bike you ride  and the clothes you wear are just a personal lifestyle choice.  They have no bearing whatsoever on competence, success or failure, or accident-proneness.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.