OAKLEY CYCLING TOUR 2016
For heaven’s sake, if you are a cycling event organiser, you should always put the safety of all the riders ahead of any obligations to the event sponsors. Of course, every event company has the right to make a reasonable profit, but never at the expense of safety. From what I could see, this event failed to provide effective precautionary safety measures to properly handle any emergencies, as well as to take necessary care of isolated and slower riders, throughout the ride, by not having in place the following:-
Adequate and effective road and mobile marshals.
Adequate route signages.
No sweeper trucks.
Is it fair that an event organiser can get away scot-free for their clear negligence and lack of adequate safety measures because all the participants have been forced to sign a waiver form? Whether it is fair or not, if anything happens to you during an event, no matter who is at fault, you are on your own unless you have a specific sports insurance coverage. Indeed, if you are active in sports, it is worthwhile to consult with the sports insurance expert, Reclaim, and find-out how to mitigate your risk-exposure to sports-related accidents and injuries. Ironically, Reclaim was also one of the co-sponsors of one of this least safety-conscious ride in the whole span of my 5-year cycling experience.
OAKLEY SHADES: The inaugural Oakley Cycling Tour consisted of 3 legs which were staged in Cyberjaya, Perak and Johor in March, April and May 2016 respectively. Under the invitation of the event co-sponsor, Reclaim, I was fortunate to be able join this event whose star attraction was the title sponsor, Oakley – the world famous sports eyewear.
Date: 27th March 2016
Venue: Setia Eco Glades Cyberjaya
CYBERJAYA U-TURNS: Admittedly, I still need to rely on street signs whenever I move around Cyberjaya. Sometimes, I make a U-turn because I am supposed to, and at other times, I have to U-turn because I am distressingly lost. Perhaps, it would be easier if Cyberjaya had one main city centre, so that logic-driven drivers like me can visualise other locations by using it as a reference point. Now, I just feel the Cyberjaya roads are going everywhere, but simultaneously, taking me nowhere!
NO SIGNS: So, it was not surprised that in the beginning of the ride, I ended-up lost and going around in big circles in Cyberjaya. I did stop to ask RELA volunteers for directions, but apparently, giving riders the right directions were not part of their duty. My last hope of getting back on the right track was to rely on the route signages. Unfortunately for me, this race organiser came-up very short when it came to road marshaling and providing adequate direction signages. It was the first time that I can recall of not being to trace the route. Rather than head back to the finish line early, I headed to Sepang and returned to the finish line 4 hours later in the heat. It would have been easy for me to have totally given up, but I was just not prepared to let some missing signages spoil my ride. In the worse case, I managed to clock 68 km and worked quite a sweat too, before joining the hullabaloo at the Finish Area of Setia Eco Glades with the rest of the gang.
HELP YOURSELF: I passed by a few stranded riders who had stopped at the side of the road because they had bike problems, and I knew dishearteningly that there weren’t going to get any help from the missing officials. I did, however, stopped to fix a slipped bike chain of one helpless looking female rider. She told me that she was a new rider, and as soon as I had fixed her chain, she sped-off cheerfully like a captive fish just released into a big pond. Well, if we could not rely for help from the officials, at least, the riders can support each other.
LESSON LEARNT: After the finish line, my consolation prize was a huge and heavy medal for my troubles. Looking back, I realised that I should not have let the brand Oakley influenced my expectations because at the end of the day, the proper management of an event depends on the organiser. Seeing Oakley as the title sponsor, I had naively presumed that Oakley Cycling Tour was going to be a quality event which would have accurately reflected their pretty awesome products. Sadly, this wasn’t the case, and in the end, it was difficult for me to get excited about the whole cycling experience because I felt like the event was a rushed job and many essential and finer details were left-out which left a bad aftertaste in my mouth. As a participant, I felt the organiser was so busy pleasing the sponsors and the VIP Guests that they forgot about taking care of the comfort and convenience of the non-elite riders. Perhaps, Oakley should NOT have opened this ride to the general public and instead, made it a by-invitation only marketing event.
TOO LOUD: The emcee had failed miserably to add any value to the proceedings for 2 main reasons:-
He was shouting so loud into the microphone that it made my brain ached.
He was talking gibberish most of the time, and his whimsical attitude had demonstrated how unprepared he was. I felt particularly sorry for the vendors because the emcee’s ad-hoc description of their offered products, services and promotions felt like he was selling vegetables in the wet market which must have made them cringe.
SILVER LINING: The only event people who were acting professionally and doing their jobs properly were the well-prepared exhibitors such as Casio Exilim Malaysia and the Reclaim team. When I visited their respective booths, I can clearly see that they had put a lot of effort into their displays, and their staff were all very helpful and courteous to the booth visitors.
SPORTS INSURANCE: If you don’t know, Reclaim is a new outfit in Malaysia, and they specialise in providing customised insurance coverage to athletes, sportsmen, and even to the general public who are active in sports. Obviously, when we take part in any sports, we are exposed to accidents and risks of injuries to a large or small extent. Reclaim is backed by a panel of sports experts and doctors who specialise in sports medicine and can recommend the best treatments for all kinds of sports injuries, and help injured sportsmen get back on their feet as swift as possible.
To the best of my knowledge, all of the information provided herein is accurate at the time of publishing and the views expressed are based on my own personal opinions and findings, and they don’t necessarily reflect the views of the Product Manufacturer, Event Organiser or any Third Party unless specified otherwise.
About The Author
Gus Ghani is a HIIT Fitness Coach and Ambassador for Elliptigo Malaysia, N8 Sports Nutrition and AfterShokz Malaysia.
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