Caterpillar Relay

Caterpillar Relay

Last year I trialled a significant change to the relay rules to make The Gibb Challenge safer and more enjoyable for participants and other road users of the Gibb River Road. 

This year we're using the “caterpillar” transition again. As a team you can still determine your own transitions; distance (regardless of time) or time (regardless of distance). Some teams might prefer to send their rider out for 10 or 20 kilometre ‘turns’. Other teams might prefer to send their rider out for 20 or 30 minutes………the choice is yours as determined by your rider’s stamina and strength.  

The caterpillar transition will mean that regardless of which method of ‘turn’ (distance Vs time) your team uses – the support vehicle MUST NOT travel forward of the team’s rider. 

For example; Rider One goes out for 10 kilometres. At the 10 kilometre mark, the rider stops and pulls off to the side of the road at a SAFE LOCATION. The team support vehicle pulls in behind the rider and unloads Rider Two. 

Rider Two can commence riding straight away once they’re ready (helmet, sunscreen, water, iPod set to rock ’n’ roll). They do not have to wait for the support vehicle. Rider One loads their bike onto the trailer or bike rack, dusts off the gear, gets a drink and a towel and then jumps into the support vehicle. The support vehicle then moves forward to locate your team’s on road rider and resumes rearward protection duties. Unless Rider Two is Cadel Evans, chances are with just moderate speed, the support vehicle will soon catch up to the on-road rider and the transition calculations and preparations can begin again. 

This more passive transition ought to reduce the speed of support vehicles and in turn, the amount of dust thrown up………..better visibility enhances your safety and less dust will make it more enjoyable out there. Remember; IT’S NOT A RACE. 

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