Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to have a doctor on my team?

No. Austria is not America. The infrastructure here is so good that an ambulance can arrive just about anywhere within 15 minutes. In every community, there is also an on-call doctor, a Red Cross facility, and/or a hospital. Nevertheless, especially for the solo division, having someone on your team with a medical background is always a good idea.

Can you decide for yourself if you want to be in Start Group A or Start Group B in the Solo category?

No. Since Start Group A is reserved for cyclists who want to finish the Race in under the first three´s, the majority of cyclists are (automatically) placed in Start Group B. Keep in mind that cyclists in Start Group A have less time to finish the Race than cyclists in Start Group B.

How many cars do I need for the Race?

You must have at least one Pace Car (THAT CANNOT BE AN RV!) that always accompanies the cyclist. How other team/crew members are transported and where everyone sleeps is something that each individual team/crew has to figure out for themselves. At RAAM, each team/crew also has an RV. Having an RV in Austria can also be an advantage, but not necessarily. For instance, another option is to rent a room at a hotel or motel for a few hours or sleep in the back of the Pace Car or other support vehicle. A van, for instance, can be very comfortable to sleep in, depending on the set-up. Don't forget that the crew needs sleep, too. Consider sending one of your support vehicles ahead for 200 km so that part of your crew can get some sleep before continuing on, which can really help keep them fresh. Play around with some strategies on paper to think about what might work best for you. Please be aware that the Pace Car can only be changed in an emergency, such as a breakdown, since, unlike the other support vehicles, it is outfitted with the GPS tracker, the orange roof lights, and the warning stickers.

 

What about the measurements of the Pace Car? Is it possible to use a car which is only few cm bigger than the maximum allowance?

No, these measurements are maximum-measurements, if only one measurement is over the maximum, the car is not allowed to use. Reason is the possibility of overtaking for other cars which are not involved in the Race.

Can I change crew members during the Race?

Yes. The important thing is, all crew members who take part in the Race must have signed the Participant Release of Liability Form and that form must be turned in to the Race Office before the start of the Race. You can take care of filling out the form online. Simply go to "Downloads," print out the form, have everyone sign it, and bring it to the Race Office. During the race, you are free to add, drop, or change crew members as you wish or as need be.

Are mixed teams allowed?

Yes! There is no separate division for mixed teams, however, since history shows that very few mixed or all-female teams sign up for the Race and having a division with just two or three finishers is not very practical. Furthermore, since it's not just the cyclists who play a huge role in the successful completion of the Race Around Austria, but also the crew, it's becoming more and more difficult to draw the line between the advantages or disadvantages of having men or women on one's team.

Why are there no age divisions in the Race Around Austria?

With the Race Around Austria, finishing the Race is more important than what place one finishes in. Also, there is no direct correlation between age (and gender) and one's finishing time. For example, in 2012, Johann Eisenbraun, who was more than 50 years old at the time, finished third in the overall standings, which is certainly a far more impressive result than had his accomplishment been listed in a separate age category. Furthermore, as far as the teams are concerned, mixed teams have had a great deal of success in the Race, often making the podium, sometimes even as the winner of the team division. That just goes to show that it's not only the cyclist, but also one's crew and strategy, that determine how well a cyclist finishes. We want the focus of the Race to be on the individual cyclists' personal accomplishments, such as their overall Race time or average speed, rather than on what place they finish in an age-division that might have very few entrants.

Why is the Race Around Austria 1500 only for solo riders?

The Race Around Austria 1500 is designed for solo cyclists who want to practice for the full Race or participate in a relatively short extreme bike race with relatively long breaks.

It makes little sense for teams to participate in the Race Around Austria 1500, because teams only need about one extra day to finish the full Race and all of the planning, effort, and logistics involved in competing in the shorter Race is roughly the same as that which is involved in competing in the full Race.

What kind of navigation system does the Race Around Austria use?

The Race uses an official Route Book which includes descriptions and maps of the course.

Although you can upload the route to a navigation device in order to follow the course, we have found that most Race participants navigate using analog rather than digital methods. Furthermore, Race Management cannot guarantee the accuracy of your navigation device. The official Route Book is full of navigation details that your personal navigation device is likely to miss, so the use of such a device increases the likelihood of navigation errors, which in turn can lead to a penalty.

What kind of prizes does the Race Around Austria offer?

We consider the Race to be an event for non-professionals that is also open to professionals, not the other way around. Therefore, we strive to make this a Race that is both affordable and attractive to the general population, which explains why we have decided to keep the Race registration fee relatively low. We could charge a higher registration fee in order to give out prize money to the Race winners, but we feel that would be detrimental to the Race. That is also why we do not pay professionals to participate in the Race. When Race finishers lift up their trophies, they think about their extraordinary accomplishment rather than money. Nevertheless, all Race winners receive fantastic non-monetary prizes.

RV: Yes or No?

That's up to you. The disadvantages of using an RV are surely the rental fee and the money you will spend on gasoline. Furthermore, an RV is not easy to drive, especially on the smaller roads that make up the majority of the Race route, which means completing the drive around Austria in an RV is no easy task. We believe that a van or minibus (such as a Ford Transit, VW Transporter or Mercedes Vito) can serve perfectly well as a second vehicle, as long as you outfit it comfortably. After all, we are not in America, where the lack of infrastructure means an unusually heavy reliance on RVs.

Besides at the start and twice in Styria (Steiermark), RVs are allowed along the entire route. Nevertheless, we urge you to avoid driving RVs over mountain passes.

At the start and finish we have RV parking slots with possibility of shower (www.freizi.at). You can get a parking ticket in the Race Office.

What does the Technical Inspection involve?

All bicycles and support vehicles must go through the Technical Inspection before the Race to ensure that they meet all of the rules of the Race. The Pace Car will be looked at especially closely, but the inspection also covers such things as bicycle helmets, bicycle lights, vehicle lighting, and Race stickers. We suggest you visit our homepage to download the Technical Inspection Form in order to prepare for the inspection.

How is the GPS-Tracker to install?

The GPS-Tracking device need 12V power supply on the cigarette lighter (charging by Micro-USB). Solo Riders do have the Tracker at daylight on the bike, at night in the Pace Car for charging. Teams had to have the tracker always in the Pace Car.

Does everyone have to attend the Pre-Race Meeting?

No. However, most Race participants should attend the Pre-Race Meeting if at all possible, and they should pass on the information to any of their teammates who are absent. We especially urge all those with no experience with such races to attend the Meeting, since you cannot plead ignorance anyway to avoid receiving a penalty.

How is the starting order determined?

Participants in the Race Around Austria are set off in 2-minute intervals, whereas participants in the Race Around Austria CHALLENGE are set off in 1-minute intervals.  The start accord to time of registration (first to register = last to start).

Exception: "Wild Cards" start last in each division.

Can non-Race participants ride alongside me on a bicycle?

No. There are a few exceptions, however, which are noted in the "Route Book -- Additional Information" section, such as the climb to the Großglockner.

According to the Rule Book, the Pace Car is required to follow closely behind the cyclist. What about when going down mountains at night? Shouldn't the Pace Car be allowed to stay a bit farther back, since the cyclist is going faster?

Yes, since safety is our top priority. At night, the Pace Car is still required to stay close behind the cyclist, especially in order to light up the road. However, when going downhill, particularly at night, you must find a happy middle ground between keeping a safe distance and being able to provide enough light. Be sure to adjust your speed accordingly so that both you and the cyclist make it down safely.

Can bicycles use extra-bright lights to light up the road? And can the red lights at the rear blink steadily?

Yes and yes. Whatever kind of lights you use in front, be sure to align them in such a way as to not blind oncoming traffic. According to Austria's traffic regulations, blinking red lights are allowed.

Is it okay to use a headlamp instead of having lights at the front of the bicycle?

No. Although you are allowed to use one, a headlamp is not considered a replacement for proper bicycle lighting. According to Austria's traffic regulations, all bicycles must have lights mounted onto the frame.

What happens if a member of your team can't start the Race for whatever reason, such as an injury?

No problem. The important thing is that your team is complete, not who is on your team. You are allowed to change cyclists up to 30 minutes before the start of the Race and you are not required to justify any changes you make. Please note that 4-person teams are allowed to start with three cyclists. We would like to remind you that, according to the Terms and Conditions of Participation, the decision to purchase cancellation insurance is your responsibility, not ours. Race Management will not refund your registration fee nor allow you to use it toward a future race.

How many team members must reach the finish line in order for a team to officially finish the Race?

In the worst-case scenario, only one. A team is not required to complete the Race with all of its cyclists making it to the finish line. A team will only be disqualified if there is no one left on the team who can cycle to the finish line or if there is a breakdown in the team's support system (especially with regard to nighttime cycling and the Pace Car).

What are the rules with regard to Pace Car lighting and are there any special rules for the driver of the Pace Car?

The Pace Car must be equipped with two amber rotating beacons that have tape covering the side facing the front of the vehicle.

There is nothing in the Rule Book dealing with additional lighting aimed toward the front of the vehicle.

ATTENTION: Additional headlights are often illegal. Therefore, if you have modified the lighting on your Pace Car and are pulled over by the police, you must be prepared to pay a fine and/or deal with any time lost if you are not allowed to continue on your way immediately. We would also like to point out that if you are involved in an accident, the indemnity insurance of the party who caused the accident may not cover a thing.

The trick as a driver is to try to make your way around Austria as unobtrusively as possible, which includes not causing traffic jams. For instance, if you find yourself on a crowded road during the day, be sure to switch to giving “leapfrog” support. In other words, give your cyclist support from the side of the road, so that you don’t interfere with the flow of traffic.

Are we required to pay the tolls for the mountain passes, and, if so, how much do they cost per car?

Tolls will be collected for cars only. There are no tolls for cyclists. You have to pay a toll if you go over the following three mountain passes during the day: The Großglockner Hochalpenstraße, the Gerlos Alpenstraße, and the Silvretta Hochalpenstraße. For toll prices and collection hours, please refer to the home pages of the Großglockner Hochalpenstraße AG and the Silvretta Hochalpenstraße.

Some mountain passes are closed overnight. Does that mean you can get stuck waiting for hours and hours until a pass re-opens?

No. All of the passes that are part of the Race are open even at night, since there are people who reside along those roads. Therefore, if you reach a mountain pass at night, simply look for the lane with the raised barrier and continue on your way.

The Race is a qualifying race for the Race Across America. Is there anything special I need to know in that regard?

The Race Around Austria is a qualifying race for the solo division of the Race Across America. Anyone in the solo division of the Race who crosses the Finish Line within the time limit (5 days and 12 hours for men; before the Finish Line closes for women) automatically qualifies. The only requirement therefore is to officially complete the Race. There is no need to fill out any paperwork or deal with any other formalities.

 

 

 

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