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london duathlon - a little moan.

great race, thoroughly enjoy it and its my third one.

However I can't count how many times I had to break suddenly or pull suddenly to the right when someone on a mountain bike or a bike with a basket pulled out in front of me. I'm going to have to complain about the lack of awareness and consideration from a lot of what look like first timers.

As the event grows in popularity, and being the "worlds most popular" it is sure to continue, i think the people who organise is should put a few more stringent ground rules down on those who enter it. Its a very narrow course and i think a number restriction should be put in place rather than a cut off date and consider putting the first timers near the end of the day. Thats why they start the elites so early.

I never saw the the accident, near the water station at the roundabout, but arrived soon after and saw what looked to be a fairly pro rider laying on the ground next to a guy who had been riding a mtb. I can't say who caused it but after completing the course i know who my money would be on. I myself also fell off my bike at the same point after a guy came to a full stop right in front of me on the loose gravel.

All it takes is a quick look over the shoulder before coming out of transition and the same when you pass someone... a little bit of fellow consideration to avoid some nasty accidents.


  • Seems to happen a lot especially when there are a lot of novices in the race. In my last triathlon I had one guy who decided to go through the gap between me and the person I was overtaking and a bit later he tried to overtake me on the inside! Sadly although he might not have done triathlons before and he may have not competed on a bike he had certainly done some riding and really should have known better.
  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    To be fair to first timers, if you haven't ever riden in an event, or in a group/club ride then you may not know the basics. I'm sure on my first tri i was making all sorts of mistakes, but I was not aware of them - I know i was riding too far to the right at some points. That said, some of the more experienced (club kit)people are as bad, i had one in my first tri who undertook me on the first (left) bend of a small chicane, then as they had a bad line jumped on their brakes as soon as they were in front of me as they couldn't make the right hand turn at the speed they were doing. i had to jump on my brakes and almost crashed (in to a wall) as a result and I then over took him as he was still in the wrong gear and couldn't get his legs turning. A little bit of patience, or even a shout to let me know he wanted to pass would have prevented a problem for both of us. Just saying - it isn't always the newbie (although for the most part it probably is)
  • Frogger, I echo your post. This is only my second year doing it and it is a great event, very enjoyable, however, a lot of the people taking part need to show more awareness!
    I was about 10 metres in front of the accident you mention. I didn't see much other than him having to pull wide and going over his handles into the running lane (all in a split second), but I definitely heard the guy shouting 'coming through', then two seconds later a big shout of sheer panic as what I can only guess was the mtb'er pulling out into his path. The 'pro' guy was travelling at some speed but that section of the course running up to the roundabout is just too narrow.
    Did you see how he was? Friend of mine who came past later said he was being given oxygen. It didn't look pretty when I saw him go over, but I was in front so there was no need to stop. Just hope he, the mtb'er and any runners that were hit were all ok.
    But it does question whether I'll do it next year... plus £52 is a lot of money for an event in a place I ride weekly! I would like to see as much of the running (on the sections which are shared with the bike run) on the grass next to the road or the pedestrian track running alongside the road.
    Beat my PB by 5 min... so overall very happy!
  • I bet they too have no idea how quick these guys can be!!

    No idea how the cyclists were. I got talking to someone in the transition area and when they rode past they saw a neck brace being put around one of them. Pre-cautionary hopefully !

    Yup, the park is huge. I reckon they could come up with a different route to seperate the cyclists and runners.
  • LexLex Posts: 65
    I did find it an issue. I dont like having to yell at people to move but at the third or forth shout of "on your right" I started to get irritated. I think its just the nature of the race that there are a lot of people who have borrowed bikes and rarely if ever actually cycle.

    Fair play though a great race. My first duathlon and I have to say that I found it tougher than triathlon.
  • Was also competing on Sunday. I'm really in two minds about this race, having raced last year also. Love the location and the fact that the roads are closed so you can 'legally' break the 20mph speed limit! However, the organisers really need to take the ability of those racing into consideration and plan accordingly if they want to make this a safer and more enjoyable event for all, regardless of how fast or slow you go.

    I didn't see the accident itself, as it happened between me running past the spot on the first run and starting the bike. But I certainly wasn't very surprised that it did happen. The main thing I noticed on the run (both this year and last) is that people weren’t keeping on the left, which meant you had to overtake too wide on the right. This was also happening constantly on the bike (and I did see at least one person going over to the run route) it was a case of when and not if a collision would occur.

    Also, I think there were too many people on the course at any one time. My number was in the 1500s and the start time stated was 10.10 to 10.15. I dutifully did my warm up and was ready to line up in the start pens at 10.06 only to look round and notice that most of the people around me were numbered in the 1700s. I was then encouraged to get in line and start my race. This, combined with no briefing on the start line about bike racing etiquette, contributed to making the race a bit more risky then it needs to be.

    The organisers really need to take a look at how this race is structured so that those taking part, whether they’re complete novices or super speedies, can get the most out of this great event. I really do think there should be some sub 2-hour waves to make it safer and more competitive. And enjoyable. I did make this comment in the feedback form, but it seemed that it was totally ignored. Hopefully they'll address the issue next year.
  • I took part on Sunday, and passed the accident when the ambulances were there tending to the people on the ground. Looked awful, I do hope they are okay. This was the first time i've taken part in a duathlon, and i'm not a particularly strong cyclist. Luckily I know some people who know about such events and could give me tips etc, but to be honest no-one mentioned cycling on the left. However, it seemed to me to be pretty obvious that you stuck to the left unless you were overtaking, and even then, you should only overtake if clear to do so etc. Needless to say, i'm not a pro cyclist, and only overtook one person when it was completely clear behind! I stuck to the left like a limpet, because I didn't want to get in anyone's way. I think it would have been helpful for the marshal at the start gate to quickly give a run down on what not-to do etc. I think it is important for these events to be open to everyone - lets face it, we all start somewhere - but I agree that people should know what to expect, and how to conduct themselves (so to speak) and how take part sensibly. I've always been a bit nervous of cycling in a massive group, but I found it okay. I went as fast as I could, kept out the way, and stayed out of trouble. I enjoyed the event and would do it again.
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