Fleche Opperman: hints, tips and background
Getting a team together
Is your team short one rider? Or you're solo without a team? Talk to your local ride organiser. While ride organisers won't arrange a team for you, they might be able to match you up with another team. There's certainly no harm in asking!
Also get onto the Audax Google Group and make it known that you're looking for a team.
Working out a route
If you're stuck for route ideas, again talk to your local ride organiser and get onto the Google Group. And a little bit of web searching will find routes that other teams have previously ridden mapped out in various online maps.
Support crew tips
A good support crew can make all the difference to your team. Remember that supporting a team for 24 hours is as tiring as riding the event.
- Have good lines of communication with your support crew. Some small towns have more than one park, oval, toilet block etc. Do some research with online maps and region directories (e.g. in Victoria, Vic Roads has an excellent country directory that lists all amenities in each Victorian town.)
- It is not necessary to drive the route prior to the ride. We take the distance from the highlighted map that you supply.
- Try to keep at least one support crew member rested for the journey home.
- Give clear directions to your support crew with regard to food and your expectations.
- If your crew is new it may be necessary to explain just how fast a team of bicycles can travel between controls.
- During daylight hours when your team is strong, try to use a town as a "do it yourself" control, thus giving your support crew a rest.
- After the event profusely thank your team, buy them breakfast & a support crew souvenir and ask them would they like to support you next year.
Riding without support
You can also ride the event unsupported, in which case you will probably want to stop at towns that have 24 hour services. It's your choice: book your team a motel room for a few hours or ride for 24 hours straight. The challenge lies in having all members of your team complete the chosen distance and finish within the time limit. Set your distance and route realistically, based on the fitness and experience of the riders in your team.
The Fleche Opperman All Day Trial has been running since 1989 and is modelled on the Flèche Vélocio, held every year in France and begun by the father of randonneuring, Paul de Vivie (Vélocio).
The word flèche is from the French word for arrow, suggesting cyclists descending on the finishing point from all directions, like arrows to a target.
The event is named in honour of one of the greatest Australian sportsmen, Sir Hubert Opperman, OBE (1904 - 1996), whose endurance cycling feats in the 1920s and 1930s earned him international acclaim. Sir Hubert was the patron of Audax Australia until his death in 1996.
The event record was set in 1993 when a team of four Victorian riders clocked 770km in the 24 hours. See the list of winners of the Oppy Shield.
Back to Fleche Opperman All Day Trial.