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Posted on: 7th April 2017

A Ride, or a Race

The Indian Pacific Wheel Race, Epic Ride or race? 

As the posts and comment continue to appear on social and various other media channels about the Indian Pacific Wheel Race I too have reflected on this unsupported race and the impact of another tragedy on cyclists and cycling. 

When this epic was launched I was asked by a friend to join him on the race. I was extremely surprised that he would even contemplate such an event and declined. I couldn’t imagine sitting on my arse for the hours required to be even slightly competitive let alone do the training. I also wonder at what compels folks to enter such an event – adventure aside.  

I looked at the race occasionally, it was passing my front door on the Great Ocean Road and I chatted to a Dutch participant in Apollo Bay as he passed through. The race was cancelled after a tragedy and the riders gathered in memory of Mike Hall’s death. In the aftermath there was consensus from a mostly European contingent that Australia was, in their experience one of the most dangerous places in the world, to ride.

Many riders have continued on, we just popped down the drive to see and chat to the youngest competitor, unfazed by the adventure and sporting a new toothless grin.

I also wonder at the impact of this tragedy on the wider community. The competitors, those involved in the accident and the organisers who, to be fair have tried to create an event/epic that could be financially viable for themselves.

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Written by Phil Anderson

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