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TTT - Safety protocol?

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 8:18 am
by LouiseF
What a beautiful morning for the TTT today. I love this ride and wish I could get there more often.

Today we had a situation (that was safely handled and didn't become a real issue at all) but I personally would like to know what to do in future similar situations. The group I was in was beginning to pass a slower group ahead of us on the rise/hill area of the ring. As our group was switching up the lead and beginning to initiate our pass someone from our own group yelled that another group back was approaching. I don't think anyone in our group knew what to do, particularly since we had already moved out and begun to overtake the group ahead and we knew that at the top of the rise the road narrows with curbs on each side. Someone called out to stay where we were or something like that so we essentially neutralized and merged into the slower group we were passing. It felt a bit messy and was probably not appreciated by the slower group who likely felt swarmed. The faster group then passed us and we were eventually able to pull back out and resume our speed/pass.

My question is which group was responsible for neutralizing? Should it have been us as the group in the middle, or the faster group approaching from the back? Should all groups automatically defer to the faster group (like on a freeway) and get out of the way, or should the faster group back off since they can actually see what is going on, neutralize until they have a clear and safe lane for passing?

I realize this wouldn't have been as much of a problem on a wider stretch of road but regardless it seems like something that would be good to have a guideline to follow.

I have my own opinion on what could be the safest course of action but not sure it is the correct one.

Re: TTT - Safety protocol?

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 8:58 am
by AJ Neale
I'll chime in on this one, because it does seem to happen once or twice a year. And my intuition tells me my opinion will match yours on this one Louise! I think the fastest group approaching from behind should yield and reduce speed as required. It also doesn't seem fair for the middle group to have to neutralize, as they were ahead of the faster group and showing an intention (?) to overtake the group ahead. They shouldn't be made to feel "squeezed" in. It is quite likely the first group doesn't even know a 3rd group is approaching from behind, whereas the faster group, as you say, can not only see 2 groups collecting together, they also know the road narrows, and there simply isn't room for 3 groups to pass safely. Additionally, if they are a stronger group, let them slow down, and then show off their collective power by passing the 2 groups when it's safe to do so!

It SHOULD be safe for ONE group to pass another group at the curb/curb area, even if a front rider is drifting back ..... as long as everyone maintains a tight formation. The curb/curb area at the stop sign is really the only "dangerous" part of the TTT route, so I think it would be wise for everybody to know the protocol. If we could get some opinions from the faster riders, maybe we could come up with some guidelines and make an announcement at the beginning of the next couple of TTT rides?

Thanks for bringing it up Louise!


Re: TTT - Safety protocol?

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 10:17 am
by trevor

The faster group has the best line of vision of the action ahead and traffic behind. They need to make the right call to overtake when safe for everyone.

Perhaps a kind reminder next Thursday is in order.

Re: TTT - Safety protocol?

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 10:49 am
by LouiseF
Thanks Andrew and Trevor.

Re: TTT - Safety protocol?

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 4:10 pm
by John D
Yup, the slower group (i.e. that is being overtaken) should simply holds its line. It is not their responsibility to get out of the way to make room for the overtaking group. If it's not safe to pass, then the faster group needs to back off until is it safe to pass safely.


Re: TTT - Safety protocol?

Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 3:29 pm
by Andrew
The fastest group needs to wait until it is safe as they are the only group that can see what is going on. There needs to be good (I.e. loud but respectful) communication from the passing group that they are coming through. If the middle group is has been notified that they are being passed they should hold their line and not pass the front group. IMHO we should not pass in that section where it narrows and there is a stop sign and potentially merging traffic. We would largely eliminate this issue if the A group first with the other groups following in succession. The rest breaks would not change.