What should be done about idiotic spectators?

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Lupi33 said:
i noticed no one is talking about the interference Rogers received higher up the mountain on several occasions from spectators who seemed to be trying to disrupt him deliberately. they didnt look like Italians either.
It happens almost every really, really big race that takes place on steep, tiny roads.

Again, I'm not saying it's good. But, it's one of elite cycling's intractable problems.
 
Dec 7, 2010
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IndianCyclist said:
The intention was good not malicious. Warning should suffice
To who, the guy who pushed Bongiorno? Even after causing a disruption, he continued his idiotic behavior, so a warning would achieve nothing (if that is what you are referring to).



Alex Simmons/RST said:
Another factor is the steepness of the climb. It slows the riders to a pace that idiots have far more time to interfere by running alongside (since the steeper it gets the closer bike and running speed become).

Are climbs that steep actually necessary? Seems to provide a rather dull spectacle to me and reduces the contest to W/kg only and lessens the tactical battle.
I think the obvious solution to this problem is...obvious.

Select only climbs that are even steeper. So much so that fans will be unable to run along at all—or even hold themselves upright.

Someone should put a call into Zomegnan. :cool:
 
movingtarget said:
One thing has to be made clear. You don't touch the riders. Also screaming in their face as seen with Roger's reactions is also over the top.
perhaps in line with this, some sort of announcements at the base of climbs as the punters are arriving to start trying to get the message across on hill-side etiquette?
Do not interfere with riders, Do not touch riders, Do not run alongside riders, etc...

Other things I'd suggest is a yellow/blue/pink line on both sides of the road as a demarkation type thing for spectators to stand behind. Folks will automatically do it - true, not all will, but if there it will have an effect.

Secondly the camera bikes - ride them slightly to the side of the riders instead of directly in front. This would naturally clear the sides of the roads, and it'd have to be a VERY thick person to step back from the bikes then go straight back to be in front of the riders, no?
 
Feb 10, 2014
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Gather a lot of volunteers on the climbs to warn the public about the dangers of running alongside the riders.

The worst spectators should get fines.
 
Archibald said:
perhaps in line with this, some sort of announcements at the base of climbs as the punters are arriving to start trying to get the message across on hill-side etiquette?
Do not interfere with riders, Do not touch riders, Do not run alongside riders, etc...

Other things I'd suggest is a yellow/blue/pink line on both sides of the road as a demarkation type thing for spectators to stand behind. Folks will automatically do it - true, not all will, but if there it will have an effect.

Secondly the camera bikes - ride them slightly to the side of the riders instead of directly in front. This would naturally clear the sides of the roads, and it'd have to be a VERY thick person to step back from the bikes then go straight back to be in front of the riders, no?
Well spectators have been run over by the motorbikes in the past. I remember one in the Tour who fell in front of a motorbike. I agree that the Motorbikes could be used better but there are so many on the road already re cameras and photographers not sure the organisers would want any more and if the riders are scattered, how many motos would you need. I think public announcements on the Tour caravan before the riders arrive, maybe mentions in newspapers etc.........but it's the nutcases that want to be on TV or are drunk etc...... they are the ones that are hard to control.

Maybe volunteers to supplement the police wearing some sort of uniform. But what happened on the Zoncolan just left a bad taste with many fans. I'm amazed that spectators don't get totalled by the motos more often considering that they are constantly squeezing through gaps between the riders, cars and the crowds.
 
movingtarget said:
Well spectators have been run over by the motorbikes in the past. I remember one in the Tour who fell in front of a motorbike. I agree that the Motorbikes could be used better but there are so many on the road already re cameras and photographers not sure the organisers would want any more and if the riders are scattered, how many motos would you need. I think public announcements on the Tour caravan before the riders arrive, maybe mentions in newspapers etc.........but it's the nutcases that want to be on TV or are drunk etc...... they are the ones that are hard to control.

Maybe volunteers to supplement the police wearing some sort of uniform. But what happened on the Zoncolan just left a bad taste with many fans. I'm amazed that spectators don't get totalled by the motos more often considering that they are constantly squeezing through gaps between the riders, cars and the crowds.
at the pace of the climbs I doubt anyone would get 'totalled' by a bike - slow moving with horns constantly going should be enough of a warning for spectators.
You don't really need more bikes, as the ones already in front of the groups should be enough. One each side creating a Y formation with the riders in the middle would work fine. We don't need directly straight on tv footage, do we? A 45' angle would be just as good.

Also, if there's a lone rider or two and no camera bike then you're also unlikely to have the muppets-r-us lot trying to get filmed.

should definately have all the announcements going as the caravan goes past, but then again, on Zoncalon, was there a caravan? Have to admit, that the races I've been to had the sirens on the lead cars but the announcements weren't in english - definitely need all languages covered
 
Difficult. If you over regulate then you run the risk of losing what watching a bike race live is all about. It saddens me that the top 2-3 k of MTFs is often fenced off nowadays.

I think that better control by police/stewards might be the way to go but done in a way that isn't overly officious. People are there to enjoy the race, not get shouted at by cops!

But I agree that it should be made clearer that touching riders or impeding them in any way is NOT acceptable. Perhaps identifiying obvious culprits after the fact and making an example of them might make a difference.
 
Arnout said:
Sorry for the stereotyping but some groups of Brits are some of the loudest and most obnoxious people you will ever encounter. It's the same when they come to "visit" the Netherlands.
Yes they are. Like all societies we're cursed with some truly horrible, classless people. And its the ones that make the most noise who you remember.

However, contrast this with the start of the Giro in Belfast. I watched the time trial on a busy corner and, to a man (and woman and child), everyone was thoroughly respectful and well behaved.

I've stood on the roadside for the TDF and marvelled at the utter dickeheadedness of young french lads on more than one occasion. As well as marvelling at the respect shown by the vast majority of locals (including an entire family group of 15-20 who interupted their lunch to encourage and applaud my little sister as she climbed to the top of her first col, the Colombiere, as a 14 year old!)

Just goes to show that these sort of national stereotypes are pointless. There are dregs in every society.
 
Okay, I've been thinking a bit about the whole barriers solution thing.

I don't think it's possible to have metal barriers (like those they have for the last K) on all the spectator hotspots, pretty sure I've seen them on the last K of a "big climb" as well, but what about the rest of the climb?
My suggestion is a simpler, cheaper sollution for that: stick some poles into the ground and tie some rope between them, creating a barriers (think they used it at the Arenberg during PR). This way people would know that they aren't supposed to go further out than the barriers allow, but it wouldn't make it feel as much as if they were "fenced of" as metal barriers would. I honestly believe that the majority of people running next to the riders doesn't do it out of any sense of malice, but rather from a feeling of:
"OMG! This is so awesome!" (and being drunk).
If a person jumps a barriers (metal or rope) anyway, well... Fine them!
 
DonMI6 said:
There must have been 500 police lining both sides of the route in the last 1km. Surely they could have been evenly spaced down the mountain to deal with the fans.
Correct ! On Zoncolan there appeared to be very poor allocation of resources by the authorities. Barricades in the final 2 kms and police or authorized security staff spread down the rest of the climb where there are the most crowds - moving around so morons are never sure when a cop is just behind ready to pounce and put them in the slammer to ponder over their idiocy.
 
Aug 9, 2009
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purcell said:
You think there should be 11 km of fencing on both sides of the road??

Who exactly do you think is paying for said 22 km of fencing? Give your heads a shake folks. If you want to kill the sport because the organizers can't afford to put it on, then have at it ....
Not 22km but they should be able to afford to at least double the amount of fencing going on. Either that or have a money prize for best tripping and/or clotheslining of a runner.
 
RedheadDane said:
My suggestion is a simpler, cheaper sollution for that: stick some poles into the ground and tie some rope between them, creating a barriers ...
If a person jumps a barriers (metal or rope) anyway, well... Fine them!
I'm not aware of any country in which walking on the public highway (on roads of the type under consideration) is a criminal offence, and if it is not against the law, you can't fine people. Temporary by-laws could be enacted, but I doubt the will of legislators to do so.

Education, example and encouragement, and the threat of unleashing Bernard Hinault on them, is about all our arsenal extends to.
 
Cookster15 said:
Correct ! On Zoncolan there appeared to be very poor allocation of resources by the authorities. Barricades in the final 2 kms and police or authorized security staff spread down the rest of the climb where there are the most crowds - moving around so morons are never sure when a cop is just behind ready to pounce and put them in the slammer to ponder over their idiocy.
How about you fund it?

More seriously, the fan access has good and bad features and has since well before my time following the sport.

More fencing is not the answer. Just head to the velodrome to see how that works out.
 
Sep 9, 2009
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The obvious solution is to carry the races out in private controlled locations.

The only practical way of doing that is indoors with walls to keep the nutters out. Obviously you couldn't find a warehouse large enough to do a point to point race in doors, but there must be some sort of way of building a loop people could ride indoors, even if you need banking to let people corner at speed.
 
DirtyWorks said:
How about you fund it?

More seriously, the fan access has good and bad features and has since well before my time following the sport.

More fencing is not the answer. Just head to the velodrome to see how that works out.
The Tour usually has fencing in the last kilometer - it keeps crowds away from the riders and usually seems to work. At the Zoncolan the problem was where the police were allocated - not how many. Not much use having them all at the top of the climb while morons do as they please 3 km down the mountain. It should not cost much more, if any.
 
Jun 2, 2014
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I'm sorry, unfortunately I disagree with most of the comments. One of the great things about cycling is that you can get up close to watch and its free. Fine fence off the last 1, 2 or 3 km that makes sense, but for me these fans add to the colour and atmosphere. Imagine how boring those mountain stages would be if we were all standing politely clapping as the riders go past. There will always be people who are a stupid or drunk and this is one of the hazards of the sport, just like crashing. I say they're professionals so live with it. Realistically, Bongiorno wouldn't have won anyway, I can't remember recently having seen a mountain stage where the result was changed because of a spectator. Though I do remember Moser being pushed most of the way up a climb in the Giro a few years ago. Cyclist race with multiple risks, crashes, road furniture etc. Spectators are just extra road furniture.
 
Apr 12, 2009
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Tour of Flanders isn't boring when fans are not running along the riders? Paris Roubaix isn't less exciting when there for once isn't a spectator crashing a rider!
 
Waterloo Sunrise said:
The obvious solution is to carry the races out in private controlled locations.

The only practical way of doing that is indoors with walls to keep the nutters out. Obviously you couldn't find a warehouse large enough to do a point to point race in doors, but there must be some sort of way of building a loop people could ride indoors, even if you need banking to let people corner at speed.
But then it wouldn't be road racing.
The great thing about cycling is the fact that it happens in the landscape and that spectators can get so close, all that would be lost if it happened indoors.
Besides; the majority of spectators are wellbehaved.

mambo1 said:
I'm sorry, unfortunately I disagree with most of the comments. One of the great things about cycling is that you can get up close to watch and its free. Fine fence off the last 1, 2 or 3 km that makes sense, but for me these fans add to the colour and atmosphere. Imagine how boring those mountain stages would be if we were all standing politely clapping as the riders go past. There will always be people who are a stupid or drunk and this is one of the hazards of the sport, just like crashing. I say they're professionals so live with it. Realistically, Bongiorno wouldn't have won anyway, I can't remember recently having seen a mountain stage where the result was changed because of a spectator. Though I do remember Moser being pushed most of the way up a climb in the Giro a few years ago. Cyclist race with multiple risks, crashes, road furniture etc. Spectators are just extra road furniture.
Yeah... that very special kind of road furniture that moves around and gets in the way of the riders...
 
Aug 9, 2009
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Waterloo Sunrise said:
The obvious solution is to carry the races out in private controlled locations.

The only practical way of doing that is indoors with walls to keep the nutters out. Obviously you couldn't find a warehouse large enough to do a point to point race in doors, but there must be some sort of way of building a loop people could ride indoors, even if you need banking to let people corner at speed.
If that's what you want I suggest you look into MTB.

mambo1 said:
...Imagine how boring those mountain stages would be if we were all standing politely clapping as the riders go past...
I imagine that and boring is the last thing that comes to mind. I'be free to watch them ride instead of being stressed thinking that some idiot will knock them down. In fact, that's exactly how I wish it was.
 

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