IBRA Rule of the Week – The Centerline is your friend!
After a much needed break, the rule of the week is back, but I wish it was for a different rule…
This week I want to talk about “the centerline”. What is a center line, it is the middle of the road as you might drive down it, it can also be called the edge of the earth!
According to the book:
3B. Riding Conduct 3B1. Center Line. If a course is not closed to traffic, all competitors must keep to the right of the center line or enforcement line.
3B2. Rules of the Road. Riders shall, of their own responsibility, conform to all traffic regulations in force in the area where the race is held.
The Official has a few options for dealing with riders who “cross the line”, penalties for crossing the centerline start at a warning and go up to relegation, fines, and disqualification.
This rule is there for many reasons, but primarily it is there to protect YOU!!!!!! So who else does this endanger? Well I have been in a group of racers 2 miles from the finish of a long road race and one rider crossed center, passed the entire field and took off, all hell broke loose, because of the chaos that ensued, there was a huge pile up. Guess who did not get hurt…yep, the centerline violator. But one person spent the night in the hospital, and lots of people spent the next few weeks picking gravel out of the road rash.
I have also seen Motor officials endangered because the field would push them across the road into oncoming traffic, or to a point where they were almost pushed off the road. Racers complain that the officials are just being “jerks”, but no, we are trying to make it safe and fair. Should a rider who cheats by crossing the centerline should be rewarded with a better race position, NOPE.
In my eyes, the only grey area is the bump or slip where a rider pops out and then goes back in because they may have been pushed, but what happens if there is a car there when they get bumped. Two years ago, a young lady in Illinois was killed because she got pushed across the centerline and a trailer towed behind a truck struck her. That could be you!
At an Iowa race for the past two years, an entire field had to be stopped because the actions of the riders were ridiculously dangerous. The officials pulled the entire field of riders over and they were given a warning, get it together, or go home. I fully support this, and honestly, because it endangers dozens of people, there is No. Other. Option. To those riders who make disparaging comments at the official who are there trying to protect you, you deserve no voice, and disqualification might be just what is needed.
There is another thing you are endangering, the race itself. Last year at the Tour of America’s Dairyland (TOAD), a race was stopped mid-event by the police because of continuous centerline violations, they had been happening over the years and riders were often put in a very dangerous position. The officials might be to blame because maybe over the years they wanted to be nice and they did not want to enforce the rule and shut down a race, but I am sure it was not the officials who pushed the riders across the centerline. The Sheriff, after many years of safety issues, stopped the race, sent every ride in every field home, and the race will never again take place in that jurisdiction. The actions of those riders have ruined a portion of that event for 300-500 riders forever, and may cause the Race Director a portion of his or her livelihood.
Lets be SAFE, lets be SMART, and lets be ALIVE. I don’t want to call an ambulance, I don’t want to call the emergency contact number on your race entry form because you were stupid, or because someone else did it. If it is dangerous, as racers you can police this, let the officials know what is going on, we can DQ them 30 miles later if we have enough complaints, and honestly, we would be glad to do it, your lives are the most important!
OK, next week, lets talk about something less dangerous. Thanks for playing!