Newsletter – January 25, 2018

Thomas Price - 23/01/2018

Fleche Opperman (The Oppy) Saturday 24th March 2018

A reminder regarding the Oppy for 2018. If you are contemplating participating in the event, get in touch with the coordinators here: AudaxQld@gmail.com

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Remember you need:

  • 3-5 members (strictly: “3-5 bikes”)
  • a team name
  • a nominal captain (that does the registration etc)
  • a route that you design (must be at least 360km, can’t ride same road twice in same direction)
  • supporters (optional) (can only give support at controls)
  • sleep-stop (optional, but recommended) can be hotel, ditch, someone’s house…

Oppy Facts

Sir Hubert Ferdinand Opperman was Australia’s most famous endurance cyclist. He was the Patron of Audax Australia until his death at 91 in 1996, while happily riding his exercise bike. The Fleche Opperman All Day Trial (The “Oppy”) is named after him.

Oppy

Casually Deliberate: Thy name is Oppy

Opperman impressed at the 1928 Tour de France, but it was his performance one month later at the Bol d’Or (Golden Bowl) — a non-stop race over 24 hours — that galvanised his reputation.

During the event, his rivals sabotaged his bicycles, filing the chains so thin that they snapped under pressure. Forced to ride a heavy touring bike while his racing machines were repaired, Oppy lost valuable distance to his opponents.

Enraged at the foul play, he cycled on, refusing to leave the track in order to relieve himself. After hours of non-stop riding, spectators saw a golden stream flowing from Oppy’s wheel onto the track and into the path of his rivals. They roared in support and chanted “Oppy” all the way to his eventual victory.

Oppy had completed just over 950 km in 24 hours, but when he tried to stop at the end of the race Bruce Small (Oppy’s coach & later the Mayor of the Gold Coast) convinced him to continue riding to break the 1000 km record. The crowd chanted into the night, “Allez Oppy, Allez!” In 1928 he was voted Europe’s most popular sportsman.

The Bol d’Or was not quite the same as a modern day Oppy, as the 950 km ride in 24 hr was achieved in a velodrome. However, it does capture the determination and sheer craziness of the ride. Today, toilet stops are encouraged on the Oppy.

Paris-Brest-Paris 2019

18 – 22 August 2019 has been announced as the date for the next event. Continuing with our Oppy theme, the Great Man’s account of the 1931 PBP below.

PBP Was My Greatest Triumph,
Hubert “Oppy” Opperman

From Checkpoint 48 – Winter 2011

Read more here.

Ride Reports

11 out of 11 – 1 January 2018

Sensational video from Gayle and Kim. Kick back and enjoy.

Check it out here.

Colt45 – 7 January 2018

It was the second year for the Colt 45, and 102 cyclists descended on Tolga ready for action in our first Audax ride in FNQ for 2018.

Read the article here.

Road Safety for Cyclists

This is a vexed topic that seems to have been gaining increased exposure in the media recently. Bicycle Queensland kicked off their “white flag” initiative asking for cyclists to demonstrate solidarity for cyclist safety on the roads. This drew a mixed response across the community and the inevitable and predictable commentary in the media. Trolls swarmed in from everywhere to add their 2 cents worth – the outpouring of violent and hateful responses was – well, pretty normal by now really which is a concern.

Bicycle Queensland slyly assure us that this is part of a campaign to expose these attitudes and then work with the government to do something about it. There is a “watch this space” thing going on, rather than any reassurance this is leading somewhere. Here’s hoping they know what they are doing, rather than playing with fire.

Cameron Frewer is on a one man campaign to highlight the number of close shaves in his part of the woods with his Drive Safe, Pass Wide facebook page and reports that engaging the police to take action on people demonstrably breaking the law is a challenge. For the most part those reported are receiving a warning and that’s it. Some claim it wasn’t them, nothing more can be done without clearly identifying the driver. The police have discretion in these matters and seemingly prefer to issue warnings rather than enforce the law, although I can appreciate the challenges they face as well.

Australian Cyclist Threats Database is another take on documenting undesirable driver behaviour. And there are numerous others with various flavours of trying to raise awareness.

Although these sorts of sites make the situation appear dire, our collective experience suggests that incidents like these are not frequent and hopefully these and similar campaigns may bring about a much needed change in community attitudes and behaviours.

Meanwhile, stay safe out there.

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