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Radio Use in WC DH? Legal?

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6/12/2016 10:25 AM

Watching the race this morning I thought how one might gain an advantage by utilization of a radio. I know, super geeky of me, but a rider knowing his splits could be incredibly useful as to knowing if he/she should push or sit up a bit.

Is it legal?

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6/12/2016 11:41 AM

jeff.brines wrote:

Watching the race this morning I thought how one might gain an advantage by utilization of a radio. I know, super geeky of me, ...more

Since that'd be anything but a tool to ensure rider safety (as with Auto Racing for ex.) there would be nothing gained from having radio communications on the track.

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We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.

6/12/2016 11:46 AM

jeff.brines wrote:

Watching the race this morning I thought how one might gain an advantage by utilization of a radio. I know, super geeky of me, ...more

Sesame Seed wrote:

Since that'd be anything but a tool to ensure rider safety (as with Auto Racing for ex.) there would be nothing gained from ...more

Not sure I follow. There would be a gain - knowing where you are with respect to splits would be an advantage - especially for the top guys.

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6/12/2016 12:19 PM

jeff.brines wrote:

Not sure I follow. There would be a gain - knowing where you are with respect to splits would be an advantage - especially for ...more

Having the potential for a rider being fed track conditions and tips on line choice by way of multiple channels as opposed to this being a safety apparatus (as in Auto Racing for ex.) would deregulate the sport as we know it.

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We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.

6/12/2016 12:30 PM

Sesame Seed wrote:

Since that'd be anything but a tool to ensure rider safety (as with Auto Racing for ex.) there would be nothing gained from ...more

jeff.brines wrote:

Not sure I follow. There would be a gain - knowing where you are with respect to splits would be an advantage - especially for ...more

Sesame Seed wrote:

Having the potential for a rider being fed track conditions and tips on line choice by way of multiple channels as opposed to ...more

It would change things but a lot of what you are suggesting is already happening, just not in real time.

EG: You better believe team managers are radioing/calling/texting conditions, line tips etc to their riders up until the moment they drop.

I highly doubt getting fed this info in real time while riding would help. Only knowing splits would be an advantage.

The question is "is it legal". if it is, I'm surprised nobody has utilized it yet...

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6/12/2016 12:49 PM

jeff.brines wrote:

Watching the race this morning I thought how one might gain an advantage by utilization of a radio. I know, super geeky of me, ...more

Lends itself to distraction.

Riding a bicycle should not be this complicated.

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We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.

6/12/2016 2:07 PM

jeff.brines wrote:

Watching the race this morning I thought how one might gain an advantage by utilization of a radio. I know, super geeky of me, ...more

You gain nothing.

They know the lines they want to pick.

They know the speed.

If its rainy, well its rainy.

The race is pretty short, its not race laps, so any call during that race run would be a distraction.

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6/12/2016 4:03 PM

jeff.brines wrote:

Watching the race this morning I thought how one might gain an advantage by utilization of a radio. I know, super geeky of me, ...more

Kusa wrote:

You gain nothing.

They know the lines they want to pick.

They know the speed.

If its rainy, well its rainy.

The race is ...more

it seems like it wouldn't help very often but take sam hill at val di sole worlds. he was up by 8 seconds and could have been radio'd to chill. that would have gained plenty.

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6/12/2016 4:23 PM

sspomer wrote:

it seems like it wouldn't help very often but take sam hill at val di sole worlds. he was up by 8 seconds and could have been ...more

That is not timed racing, turns each run into a layabout.

ESC had a race recently where results were DQ'd because some over-zealous Managers were running alongside racers in sections. Many times. Repeatedly.

Ridiculous to think on the fly radio contact is a benefit to the sport.

Remote Control Training Wheels for wobbily sections? How about track sections that take over suspension settings w/o reason to the terrain?? You know... like a House of Mirrors type thing. No, no, no no no. Rockets.

Narrow-Wide rockets to keep the track far away from the rider.

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We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.

6/12/2016 5:42 PM

jeff.brines wrote:

Watching the race this morning I thought how one might gain an advantage by utilization of a radio. I know, super geeky of me, ...more

Even if radios are banned, I suppose managers could go analog with the communication by standing in a predetermined location with a green card/red card based on a recent split, or even a pit board with a number on it. Pull up that rule book, buddy!

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6/12/2016 5:46 PM

jeff.brines wrote:

Watching the race this morning I thought how one might gain an advantage by utilization of a radio. I know, super geeky of me, ...more

back in the day Nico Vouilloz used to have guys on the side of the track to signal if he was up after each split.

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6/12/2016 8:09 PM

jeff.brines wrote:

Watching the race this morning I thought how one might gain an advantage by utilization of a radio. I know, super geeky of me, ...more

Riders are not allowed to have radio communication during their run. I read the rules a few days ago while checking if both wheels had to be of the same diameter (they do).
Knowing their split times would help riderrs a lot, so they dont continue to push hard and risk a crash if they are already up in the splits by a big margin. Sam hill in VDS is a great example as sspomer said.

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6/12/2016 8:33 PM

jeff.brines wrote:

Watching the race this morning I thought how one might gain an advantage by utilization of a radio. I know, super geeky of me, ...more

I remember Sam Hill saying his crash at the Hafjell worlds was due to someone yelling at him that he was 3 seconds up.
He went a bit slower, and got stuck in a hole he normally would've ridden over.

There's a helmet cam of Loic's final run at PMB in 2014, and for some reason they had put speakers in the final gully section. So coming into there (still a solid 30-45sec to go), he could clearly hear the announcer saying "he is 2.4s back!". That must be the most depressing thing you could hear after pedalling your life away on that horrendous track.

I think more often than not, radio communications would mess with the riders' heads

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6/12/2016 8:37 PM

jeff.brines wrote:

Watching the race this morning I thought how one might gain an advantage by utilization of a radio. I know, super geeky of me, ...more

I don't think that knowing if you are up or down at the splits would be helpful at all.

Let's say you are a racer who is on a team that will radio riders with their split times mid run. Right out of the gate you are giving 100% of your skill and speed to the run. You get to the first split, and you are up by 4 seconds!

Now, you had picked some pretty risky but fast lines in between splits one and two, and you feel good about them, but you know they still pose the risk of making you crash. Because of this and your solid lead, you decide to take some slower but safer lines. You get to split two, and you hear over the radio, "up by one and a half seconds."

Crap, you have lost most of your lead, time to pick up the pace again. Thankfully you also feel confident in your faster lines between splits two and three, so you put your head forward, and ride them all clean. You pass split three and hear, " Down by point eight (0.8)."

%!@?! the guy in the hot seat smoked that section! You only have two splits to the finish line, and the next section is not your favorite. You think of a line that may be faster, but you are not confident riding it. You wanted to do really well in the first three sections of the track so you could win without using that line. But you only need to find three tenths of a second to win, so you know that you need to ride it. But this gamble was too much and your rear tire gets bucked to the right, pointing your bike off the track.

You fight to regain control of your bike and stay between the tape. You succeed, but you know you have lost your momentum. You pass the last split, and are informed you are about two seconds back. You nail the rest of your lines, but the damage is done. You cross the line one and half seconds behind the leader.

Your heart sinks, you feel confident that if you had just stuck to your original plan, you could have won the race. But at least you finished, unlike your teammate who was distracted by the radio, and rode off the course and into a tree, snapping his handlebar in two and nearly breaking the camera of a middle aged media photographer with a beard. And at least your teammate didn't get hurt in that crash. Oh well, there is always the next stop.

In summary, the split times do not have enough context to help a rider make better choices during the run, and a radio in your ear my be more of a distraction than an aid.

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6/13/2016 8:12 AM

jeff.brines wrote:

Watching the race this morning I thought how one might gain an advantage by utilization of a radio. I know, super geeky of me, ...more

nehuen93 wrote:

Riders are not allowed to have radio communication during their run. I read the rules a few days ago while checking if both ...more

There we go! Thanks.

I do think Brandon's idea of analog communications may actually be happening at times for certain racers.

Again, its not appropriate everywhere or for every racer or every track, but I could see the advantage for certain racers in certain situations...

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6/13/2016 9:33 AM

jeff.brines wrote:

Watching the race this morning I thought how one might gain an advantage by utilization of a radio. I know, super geeky of me, ...more

A big time team manager once told me that they were considering using LED lights within the rider's goggles to signal split times being up or down. This was a few years ago. I dunno if it ever happened.

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MRP - VP of Business Dev.

6/13/2016 9:39 AM

jeff.brines wrote:

Watching the race this morning I thought how one might gain an advantage by utilization of a radio. I know, super geeky of me, ...more

NoahColorado wrote:

A big time team manager once told me that they were considering using LED lights within the rider's goggles to signal split ...more

Yeah. No offense to those who are saying "its too complicated, its just bike racing" or "its a distraction" but this is racing at the top level. We are a world apart from Formula One, I know this, but anything that can help has to be considered.

Remember Martin Whitley putting bikes into those "warmer tents" (or whatever) at the top of the run to get the fluids to temp prior to race? Team managers are always looking for an edge...

Communicating performance during the race is just more information, which for a guy like Nico, Minnaar, Gwin etc, would be great (or any top qualifier). A guy who rides the ragged edge? Maybe not so much as those types of riders tend to have "one speed".

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6/13/2016 2:12 PM

jeff.brines wrote:

Yeah. No offense to those who are saying "its too complicated, its just bike racing" or "its a distraction" but this is racing ...more

But this is only a concept applied to the last rider on the Track.

Race times stand provided the course does not change, and if it is to be top level racing the performance from each rider should be top level. So, no need to rely on play-by-play analysis to cross the timing light at the end.

All, or nothing.

I do stand by my Rockets however. These can help and, I myself consider them twice a Day.

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We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.