Lapping Etiquette

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Lapping Etiquette

Postby lewiszFX250F » Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:49 pm

Good Afternoon all,

As the Anthill classic approaches I have been thinking about the way in which us racers handle lappers. It is a topic that is not covered very often, however, I feel it should be addressed at every round, especially the Anthill classic. Hear me out.

It is inevitable that people will be lapped at every cross country event, seeing how it is a closed course loop with many riders on the track at the same time. Many racers are very courteous to being lapped, to which I always try to give a 'thank you' because it is honestly greatly appreciated. I understand that the racers being lapped are racing their own event and they do their best to let us faster riders by, but we need to generate a form of 'lapper communication' to avoid serious injury. The current convention for a rider being lapped is to hold their line while the faster rider finds a way around them, but this convention is outdated and works only 50% of the time. This only works when there are multiple lines and the slower rider is committed to a line, such a rut or a line around a tree. In open areas such as fields or 2 track trail, I have been on the receiving end of a lapped rider moving over to let me by, only to move over into the line that I am using to pass them without indication of them moving over.

For anyone who drives in traffic, this is like changing lanes without a turn signal for someone who is clearly travelling faster than you are. So you can see how this can result in a high speed collision because the convention is to hold your line, but it is courteous and popular for lapped riders to give faster riders space to pass.

An interesting solution to this problem would be for the slower rider to indicate which side they would prefer to passed on by kicking the respective foot out before the faster rider has approached them. This should be used in conjunction with the faster rider shouting 'coming through' to inform the lapped rider that they are in fact being lapped, and not just passed by a racer in the same class.

While many riders are experienced with being lapped by faster riders, the Anthill Classic is an event where the morning program is on the course at the same time as the afternoon program. This means riders who are not accustomed to being lapped by Pros/Experts/Vets etc. are likely to get anxious to let us by or they simply just feel pressured to ride faster which is a huge safety concern.

Also, in my personal experience, the final positions in the Pro class have been determined within the last 1km of the course for the past 3 years due to poor lapper/lappee communication, which eventually leads to some desperate attempts to pass by charging through the unknown tall grass. As we all know, hitting an unseen anthill at high speed can definitely lead to serious injury or worse. I am curious to know if anyone in another class has been in a similar situation.

I have a lot more to suggest on this lapper topic regarding where it is safe to pull over and the difference between passing in open areas or single track, I just think there needs to be a better understanding within the organization on how we need to approach this very real and frequent occurrence. I would like to include a lapping etiquette discussion at the rider's meeting, where everyone can communicate and establish a universal lapping language so everyone can have a safe race and return home with the vehicle in which they arrived. I would really like to hear everyone's opinions on this topic. It needs to be addressed before this Sunday's cross country.

Thanks,

Zach Lewis
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Re: Lapping Etiquette

Postby andredup » Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:31 pm

I agree with Zack when I get passed I always try my best to point to the person what line he should take to get pass me. Sometimes this is not possible but as soon as I can I move to one side and by a shouw of my foot or even sometimes I point with my hand. I always get a "thank you" from the guys that passes me!!
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Re: Lapping Etiquette

Postby PLMJCE » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:13 am

So far in my experience I have never had issues being passed by Pros/Afternoon riders as from my experience they are better at it. They tend to be faster at passing and more courteous in doing so. I have found far more issues being passed by less experienced, though faster than I, racers in the morning class. I find they are generally (obviously this does not apply to all riders as many are good passers/courteous) far pushier and less patient to give me a chance to find a spot that works for me to move aside. As a lapper I tend to feel that many riders lapping me forget how much time I lose every time I move over, particularly in locations or cases where I have to come either close to stopping or actually stopping. There have been many times where racers have been impatient and completed passes that are not safe for either of us.

I fully agree that for the safety of all we need a general run of thumb to follow and it needs to be an item brought up at every rider meeting. Particularly noting that areas like the steep down hills at PS it is in everyone's best interest to just wait before passing the slower rider.

Jenny E-M
Womens A
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Re: Lapping Etiquette

Postby Admin » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:53 am

I have extensive experience being passed, and I like to think that I am good at it :)

First off, I will pull over, mostly to the right, when it is practical to do so. If the terrain does not permit me to pull over, I won't do it, so the guy behind me will have to wait a little bit. I know you are there, just give me a chance to find a spot to safely pull over. I will usually wave with my left hand to pass if its not obvious I am pulling over. If I hear a bike behind, and I for some reason have slowed a little, I may turn up the wick a little to see if I can make some distance. If there I no progress from the guy behind, I will not pull over, but if he is consistently banging on my back door, I will. Its not uncommon in this situation for things to go quiet behind me as a rock or tree jumps out to block the aggressive rider on my rear end.

For the guy pulling over, make sure to look behind you before you get back on the track. Very often there are a couple bikes right behind the rider who just passed you. Check to make sure things are clear before you pull out possibly directly into another rider. Also if there are a couple riders bunched up, might as well let them all pass since you will simply have to pull over again in short time. This is better for both the riders being passed and the guys doing the passing. The guys passing remain bunched up and aggressively racing. The guy who pulled over only looses the time and rhythm of one pull over event and not two.

I have had only one race where I was forced off the track by the rider behind me. It was a very wet Freeflow event where there was only one slippery rut on this portion of the course, I simply had nowhere to pull over at that moment. The rider rammed me from behind, which surprisingly launched me and the bike quite aggressively into the bushes. Not a nice move, it took some time and effort to get myself unstuck. BTW, the track opened up maybe 10m further down, a few seconds later and I would have pulled over. I was not amused :evil:

Bryan Kowalchuk
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Re: Lapping Etiquette

Postby Seinfeld » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:52 pm

I see revisionist history is alive and well here too
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Re: Lapping Etiquette

Postby PLMJCE » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:12 am

I am sure there was a reason for it however; If i could make the suggestion that in the morning class the starting rows for the Women's A and Nov B be switched?
Or even have the Nov B's go out first as they are the largest class and not cause situations like at Anthill where I had to pull over for several strings of groups and consequently let some of the girls I was lucky enough to be ahead of by (the girls would have caught me anyway but no need to just give the spot back due to the Nov B's).

I feel this would make for a much more enjoyable race for all, as the Nov B's would not need to worry about passing the girls which for them can be frustrating at times when we are reluctant to pull over and lose the time for the majority of the Nov B's to clear through and stretch themselves out over the course. Once the Nov B are by and everyone has filtered into their own place and rhythm passing is not an issue but in the beginning it would improve the start of the morning race to give the Nov B's free reign on a clear track ahead and just their own class to worry about passing.
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Re: Lapping Etiquette

Postby Bean » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:34 am

Ladies A were put ahead so the faster girls didn't have to pass 20+ novice riders. I broke my hand a few years ago while battling for first (and the championship) while passing an inexperienced novice rider on the second lap. It is easier for the top novice riders to get past a few ladies as opposed to the top 4 girls trying to get past the back 20+ novice riders.
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Re: Lapping Etiquette

Postby PLMJCE » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:41 pm

Then move the Women's A to the afternoon race perhaps, if that was the reason, as there will always a potential risk of passing for riders regardless of lap or points. The lap times of the Nov B's are somewhat spilt in that 1/2 of them should be in front of the Womens A and half should be behind them.

Moving Women's A to the afternoon would alleviate this issue for both classes and take some of the congestion out of the morning class, and it would only be adding an additional 6-10 riders to the afternoon program.
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Re: Lapping Etiquette

Postby tricky60 » Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:04 pm

If the majority of the Women A riders would like to race in the PM, I am certain that the OO BOD would seriously consider the idea at the Fall directors' meetings. Relative speeds of classes may have changed since the starting order was last changed. If having Women A start behind Novice B in the AM makes better sense now than it did two years ago, then that option could be reviewed. Key to any change would be consensus amongst Women A racers.
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