An Otways road safety campaigner is concerned about the risk posed by more than 100 riders in an unauthorised cycling event along the Great Ocean Road on the weekend.
Organisers of the ride on Saturday went ahead with the rogue event despite advice from Surf Coast Shire Council and Victoria Police about the need for a permit.
Road safety advocate Juliet Beatty said she was concerned about the “potential traffic hazards” the event caused because the event course remained open to other motorists, and a lack of signs failed to alert motorists that an event was in progress.
The Colac Herald understands that the cycling event, promoted as the Great Ocean Road Cycling Derek “Disco” Josephs Classic Ride, involved more than 100 cyclists riding from Lorne along the Amy’s Gran Fondo course on Saturday.
Entry forms for the event advised cyclists, riding in teams of six, to “ride single file when cars are behind you; call the cars through (only if and when) it’s safe and clear”.
But Ms Beatty said marketing for the unauthorised event failed to warn participants about potential hazards that endangered the lives of the riders and other road users.
“I have read through the code of conduct and nomination form publications for this event and nowhere is there any information on additional hazards that are encountered when riding rural roads for recreational purposes,” she said.
Ms Beatty said hazards included narrow roads with unsealed shoulders, changing weather conditions impairing visibility and “stretches of tortuous road shared with large semi-trailers, school buses and tourist coaches”.
“Surely organisers of such events as the GORC Classic have a duty of care to the entrants,” she said.
A Surf Coast Shire Council spokesman told the Colac Herald on Friday that the council was aware of the “unauthorised cycling event” and had advised event organisers to lodge an event permit application prior to the weekend.
For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.