Friday, April 30, 2010

Ironman cycling

Ironman series #6. The cycling leg of 180km was done by covering a circular route of 60km throughout Port Elizabeth and surrounds. Part of it travels down Marine Drive along the coastline with some beautiful views of the ocean. I took this pic down Sardinia Bay Road as this is as far as I was able to get.
This is the last of my Ironman posts. Unfortunately I don't have any photos of the running leg as I had didn't stay for that after the following incident. I would like to vent a little bit from here on. After I covered the start and the swimming leg, I hopped on my scooter and wanted to go to a spot on Marine Drive where you can get very nice shots of the cyclists going by with the coastline in the background. I went through two road blocks without being stopped and rode up Marine Drive towards the spot just past Willows. At Willows I was stopped by one of the organisers who threw a hissy fit over the fact that I was there. I demanded to know what I was doing there and where I was going. After ripping open the zip on my jacket to see if I had accreditation (I was wearing my Media Accreditation), he then wanted to know who told me I could go there and why I wasn't stopped. When I told him where I was going he shouted (and I'll leave out his swearing here) that I am going against the flow of traffic (which wasn't there as the cyclists were still some distance off) and demanded that I turn around and drive a detour of about 50 kilometres to get to spot that was only 2 kilometers down the road. I was desperate to get some good cycling photos so turned around as told. When I got to the intersection of Victoria Drive and Sardinia Bay Road I was stopped by two traffic officers who didn't want to recognise my accreditation. This meant that my Ironman journey stopped there. All of this left me with a very bitter taste in the mouth. I feel that the coverage I am giving the event is costing the organisers absolutely nothing and at least expected them to treat me with some kind of respect. I was very wrong...


  1. Sorry to hear about the hassles Jonker. Maybe you need a bigger press card to put on your scooter. Or better yet, join the race.

  2. Jonker - the Iron Man and Herald Cycle race have always irritated me. What the public perceive as a major event is little more than a few banners at the start and finish. I too have encountered marshalls, traffic officers and "organisers" who have little clue. I am of the belief that a marshall is not empowered by any law to provide me with directions or instructions. I am all for publicity and great events, and am really a happy go lucky citizen. Poor organisation of these events has ruined many an outing for me. I would like to see Marine Drive closed one whole Sunday from before dawn to after sunset with access allowed only for fisherman for some over-hyped fishing event. Cyclists can stay at home that day.

    I was trapped last year by the Herald Cycle race, even though I was down at the sea before dawn, and about 3 hours before the first cyclists arrived. Talk about incompetent officials and my struggle to get home for a pressing engagement. What really irritated me that day was waiting for overweight absolute beginner cyclists who plodded along in drips and drabs (sometimes one cyclist per 500 metres), and some who appeared to have little hope of finishing.

    PS. Why do they not do the 180 kilometre cycle from PE to Jeffreys for a change and leave the beachfront to the public, or alternate the routes. Most competitors do not see much of the sea anyway.

  3. Mary Hinge down underMay 1, 2010 at 1:23 AM

    Sorry to hear about your little scuffle there Jonker.We have a similar event here in OZ, it's called the Betty Swollocks Mad Dash but I dont particularly wanna get near them thank you very much.
    G'day Blue

  4. Sad to hear about that little incident. Although it made for an interesting read. I would have taken a few portraits of that idiot.

  5. Sorry Jonker you are wrong.

    Being media accredited you should have known when you applied you had the choice to request a bike, there was total road closure, I would have expected you to know better.

    Pointless throwing your toys here for all and sundry to read if you were wrong here.

    Imagine if every single person registered as media just had to go out and do their own thing, it would be total chaos. The event is a success due to the control exercised.

  6. You know what Anonymous (why couldn't you just leave your name?), I may have been wrong, but nobody was able to give me the right information when I asked for it. This was the first event that I applied for media accreditation for. My thought was why should I take up a bike that could be used by possibly international media if I had muy own. When I went to pick up my accreditation I had a few questions but unfortunately the people manning the media centre didn't seem to know anything other than sitting there playing on their Facebooks. The guy I spoke to said he wouldn't be able to tell me and when I phoned the media contact she wasn't available. One the morning when I went onto the route I went through two roadblocks with marshalls and traffic cops and at both they waved me through when I enquired about where I can go with my accreditation. So at that stage I didn't know that I was wrong. The organisers I encountered (you perhaps?) was rude and insulting and ripped my top open to see my accreditation. He shouted and swore not just at me but also at some tourists who was staying at Willows and needed to depart for their next destination. He wasn't willing to listen to me and neither was the person I spoke to on the Monday morning when I phoned to sort out the issue. That is why I chose to throw my toys out my cot here on my own blog. Even though I was treated with absolutely no respect by this organisers of one of the city's flagship events, I still gave it a week's exposure on this blog as well as an article on my other one. Probably more than some of the national media who was there did. This year I didn't cover the event for personal reasons, but I hope to do so even more extensively next year. And next year I will remember to request a bike...

  7. Do not expect any respect from the organisers, at least not two main manne, they have respect only for two things, money and themselves...sad but true.

    They use and abuse, and spit out those no longer needed, and have done that to plenty of people and companies in the PE area, just speak to anybody involved in the event in any previous years.