The Deccan Cliffhanger

Rules and Regulations

Guiding principles

  • Safety of all persons involved
  • Running a Clean and Healthy race with a level playing field for all
  • Creating a Race of International standards
  • Protecting Race integrity and reputation

(The guiding principles will dictate decision making by the Race Committee on any issue not specifically covered in these rules)

1: General

  1. All participants are responsible for reading and understanding the rules, event information and instructions given before and during the event. 
  2. Standard Race Across America, RAAM Style Event Rules apply (copied below), with exceptions detailed at the bottom.
  3. Safety is a primary concern. In an emergency, riders and their crews are expected to help, and will be given credit for any lost time, if necessary.
  4. All rules and regulations must be obeyed by all riders and support crew members at all times.
  5. Race Across America (RAAM) RULES may be referred to in the event that a situation is not covered in these rules. The race committee has the authority to override, modify or create rules based on extenuating circumstances.

2: Conduct

  1. Riders and support crew members must conduct themselves in a civil manner at all times during the race.
  2. Riders and support crew members may not act maliciously toward any other person for any reason. Riders and support crew members may not intentionally impede the progress of or misdirect any other person for any reason.
  3. Riders and support crew must at all times behave respectfully toward all Race officials and volunteers.
  4. Violation of the conduct rules and/or any other inappropriate behaviour by a rider or support crew member will result in the rider’s immediate disqualification and possible suspension from future Inspire India events. This may include the suspension of crew members, from participation or supporting any Inspire India Races.

3: Traffic Laws

  1. Riders, follow vehicles and support crew members must obey traffic laws at all times.
  2. This includes, but is not limited to: driving on the correct side of the road, stopping and waiting at red lights until they turn green, stopping at stop signs and checking for traffic before proceeding, using hand signals for all turns, keeping as far to the left as safety permits, using the shoulder whenever possible and obeying speed limits.

4: Drafting

  1. Drafting is not allowed in any category, except for teams (see rule # 9). Riders must maintain at least a 10 meter space cushion between each other and vehicles. When passing, riders may encroach on the 10 meter space cushion as necessary, but if they linger, they will be considered to be drafting. Drafting any motor vehicle is not allowed.
  2. Any violation of the drafting rules will result in a rider’s immediate disqualification.

5: Mechanical Support

  1. All riders should be self-sufficient and properly equipped. Riders and/or their support crew should have everything necessary to repair or adjust the rider’s bicycle and combat the elements. Race officials may help, but take no responsibility or make any guarantees to fix mechanical problems when and where they occur.
  2. Riders and support crew members may assist one another with mechanical or other problems, but no time credit will be given unless it is an emergency or extenuating situation.
  3. Outside assistance may be used, for example a bike shop on route. However if the racer is leaving the course for this or any reason, race officials have to be informed about the location from which the departure is made, prior to leaving the course, and the racer must return to the same location, inform race officials and then continue. 

6: Bicycles

  1. All bicycles must be propelled solely by human force. There is no limit as to the number of bicycles a rider may use. Disc wheels, wheel covers and/or aero bars are allowed.
  2. There are no bicycle categories at this time. Special bikes will be considered and ruled upon by the Race Director. Solo Racers must have a road bike as a primary bike and may choose to have a hybrid/mtb as a spare bike for bad road sections.
  3. All bicycles must be deemed to be in race condition. If a bicycle is judged to be unfit or unsafe to ride, riders may NOT use it until the issue is resolved to the satisfaction of the Race Director.

7: Helmets

  1. Riders must wear an approved helmet, properly fastened, at all times when riding a bicycle.

8: Lights and Reflective Gear

  1. Riders must use at least one steady white front light visible from 500’ (150 lumens or more) mounted to the bicycle and a steady (not flashing) red rear light visible from 300’ mounted to the bicycle. A second red rear light visible from 300’ mounted to the bicycle or rider, may be kept on flashing or steady mode. Be warned however that the flashing mode can cause extreme irritation and/or hypnotic effect on the follow car driver.
  2. Riders must wear a reflective gear during the night hours, in the form of a vest or bandoleer. (Adhesive reflective material and jerseys with reflective material stitched to them, are not acceptable in lieu of reflective gear)
  3. Lights and reflective gear must be used during night hours from 6:00 PM – 7:00 AM, and switched on when passing through a tunnel. All lighting requirements must be met by all riders, during the night hours (mandatory direct follow hours). Any rider caught riding without lights and/or reflective gear during the night hours will be immediately penalized (no warnings) Ref 18A-18E.
  4. These are the minimal requirements we will accept, but are nowhere near optimal. For optimal lighting, we recommend using a front light of at least 600 lumens, with a secondary front light in use with the other light or to use as a backup. For the rear, we recommend using lights with visibility up to 500′.
  5. Support crew must wear Reflective gear during the night hours. It is recommended that they wear reflective gear during daylight hours when they are outside the vehicle during daylight hours as well.

9: Teams

  1. Teams may be comprised of 2 – 4 members riding in a relay. The same rules and regulations that apply to individual riders, apply to teams and their support crews.
  2. Rider exchanges may take place anywhere on the course and at any frequency depending on team strategy. Any number of teammates may ride at the same time. A team’s official time is calculated when the first rider crosses the finish line.
  3. As a relay running race requires a passing of a baton, Team Relay Racer Exchanges mandatorily require wheels to overlap between retiring racer and fresh racer, to ensure that there is no gap in time or space in the teams’ race. This rule will be strictly imposed. Teams will be issued a time penalty for first offense and be disqualified on second offense. 
  4. In the day time rolling exchanges may take place, with support vehicles going ahead to place the fresh racer and waiting in readiness for retiring racer to arrive and overlap wheels. At night, due to mandatory direct follow rules, both racer and vehicle have to stop and remain in vehicle headlights. Teams with more than one follow vehicle may do rolling exchanges at night, provide no racer continues on the course unless in the headlights of the follow vehicle.
  5. Drafting is allowed between teammates, but not between rival teams, solo racers or any other rider.
  6. Each Team must have a team leader, who should be a member of the team. Any decision regarding penalties or disqualification will be conveyed to the team leader or the crew chief.
  7. Team members may support their team when they are not riding, but must obey all rules regarding support crew members, with the exception of the rule banning support crew members from riding on the course (13.E).

10: Sleep

  1. Sleep is not mandatory, but is recommended that when a rider (or support crew member) need it, they take at least a short power nap.
  2. Race officials reserve the right to pull a rider and/or support crew member off the course and order them to rest if that person is suffering from sleep deprivation and/or riding/driving or acting in an unsafe manner.

11: Route

  1. All riders and teams must ride (or walk with their bicycle) every inch of the route.
  2. The route is not marked, but is easy to follow with the cue sheets that you will be provided. No credit will be given for navigational errors or for leaving the course.
  3. If for any reason racers are forced off route by road construction, diversion due to accidents or by traffic police for any reason, crew must immediately contact one of the Race Officials and report exact details of diversion. Racers may continue to race. If for any reason they are unable to establish a telephone call, they must send a text/WhatsApp message, giving co-ordinates or location pin of start of diversion. They must do the same at the time of re-joining the race route.
  4. Race Committee will assess whether a time penalty is to be added to Racer/Team time or whether a time deduction is required. This decision will be conveyed to the crew so that they can re-calculate race cut-off time for the racer/team

12: Checkpoints

  1. At a manned checkpoint, Riders or crew must report their arrival with the Race Card to the official when they arrive, and sign the checkpoint log. Time will be recorded as of when they report, not when they arrive, if there is a lapse. At an unmanned checkpoint Riders or crew must report their arrival in the manner prescribed.
  2. Support crew can report instead of the rider during daylight hours. Rider may continue riding, except at the finish of their event, at which time the rider must check in. At night it is mandatory for the racer to stop until the checkpoint procedure is completed.
  3. It is solely the rider’s and crews responsibility to make sure their time is recorded, when they pass through a manned checkpoint. Failure to do so will result in penalties and/or disqualification. The support crew may not report before a rider has physically crossed that particular time control.
  4. Riders may not be eligible for Finishers awards if they reach a manned checkpoint after it has closed and officials have departed. Participants may continue riding the course but their timings will not be validated. Ref Control Point Details

13: Support Crews

  1. Support vehicle with a minimum of 2 support crew capable of driving the vehicle, for solo riders is Mandatory. For safety it is advised that there be 3 crew in the vehicle. 3 and 4 person Teams may manage with a single support crew member who is the dedicated driver, provided team members (riders) are prepared to share the driving. 2 Persons teams are required to have 2 crew that can both drive.
  2. Support vehicles may leap frog their rider during the day and provide support only via pedestrian hand offs. No vehicle hand offs are allowed. At night, they must follow directly behind their rider at all times. It is mandatory for the Racer to be within the headlights of the support vehicle during night time hours.
  3. Support crew members must obey all of the rules and regulations. If a support crew member violates a rule, it will result in their expulsion from the race and penalties and/or disqualification for their rider.
  4. Support crew members must be considerate of the surrounding area in which the course travels. They should not behave in a disruptive manner, and pay all bills of purchases made on the course.
  5. Support crew members are not allowed to ride a bicycle on the course at any time during the race.

14: Support Vehicle Requirements

  1. Any 4 wheeled vehicle may be used as support vehicle. Please ensure that it is well maintained and in proper condition before start of race.
  2. Rear emergency flashers (Parking lights/Hazard lights) must be used while supporting a rider, driving slowly or whenever pulled over.
  3. All support vehicles must display a “SLOW-MOVING VEHICLE TRIANGLE”. “Slow-moving vehicle triangles” may be purchased at most auto parts or hardware stores. In the absence of a “Slow-moving vehicle triangle”, the support vehicle must prominently display, a reflective sticker not less than 2 feet in length.
  4. Support vehicle with a Bike rack mounted at rear must use a rear red flashing light mounted on the bike rack.
  5. Support vehicle must display Race signage in the manner instructed at time of briefing. Race signage may not be removed for the entire duration of the race, except if the rider/s drop out of the race or are disqualified.
  6. In addition to the race signage, each Racer/Team will be given an Indicator that is to be displayed at all times on the Support vehicle following the racer. In case of Racer/Team with more than one support vehicle, this indicator must be transferred to indicate which vehicle is on active duty.

15: Following The Rider/Hand-off’s/Passing

  1. Support crews may leap frog their rider during the day and provide support via pedestrian hand off’s, and at night, they must follow directly behind their rider.
  2. Follow vehicles must stay as far to the left as safety permits while driving behind their rider. If the shoulder is wide enough for the vehicle to use, they must use it. If it’s not, they must drive as close to the left edge of the pavement as possible.
  3. Support vehicles must halt off the shoulder line whenever possible.
  4. Follow vehicles should never block traffic to the rear. If traffic builds up behind them, they must pull off the road and allow it to pass. Then, when it is clear, they may continue to follow their rider. If there is a lot of traffic, or if the road is narrow, follow vehicles must pull over and leapfrog their rider. Except at night, when the racer must also pull over and allow traffic to clear.
  5. Follow vehicles may not impede the progress of another rider or their follow vehicle.
  6. When a rider with a follow vehicle passes another rider, use this procedure: rider A passes rider B and gets clear. When a gap of 30 meters forms between the two riders, rider A’s follow vehicle may pass rider B (and their follow vehicle) and continue to follow their rider. Rider B (and their follow vehicle) may not impede the progress of rider A or their follow vehicle.
  7. It is strongly recommended that support crew follow their riders closely, but at a safe distance during the night. It is mandatory to keep them in their headlights at all times. This will provide protection and light to their rider.
  8. Riders may not be pushed, pulled, towed or otherwise assisted by their follow vehicle. This will result in immediate disqualification.
  9. Make sure that crew and the racer plan ahead and refuel and restock before 6:00 pm to avoid wasting the race time at night. Before 11 PM make certain you have enough supplies and fuel to make it through the entire night. On some parts of the route, it will be impossible to find food or fuel after that.

16: Qualifying For RAAM

  1. Solo riders who successfully complete the entire course of 643 km in accordance with the timings for their respective category will be qualified for Race Across America (RAAM) 2016 and 2017.

17: Cheating

  1. Drafting of any motorized vehicle is strictly forbidden. Any rider seen attempting to gain advantage by drafting a motorized vehicle will be immediately disqualified.
  2. Towing any vehicle is strictly forbidden. A violation will lead to immediate disqualification and a ban from future races.
  3. Any Racer seen using a motorized vehicle to move ahead on the course will be disqualified. If for any reason a racer decides to withdraw from the race, she/he or their crew must inform a race official before moving ahead on the course in a vehicle. If telephonic contact cannot be established, a text message/sms or WhatsApp message must be sent.
  4. Any deliberate act of taking advantage over others is considered cheating and will lead to immediate disqualification.
  5. A very serious view is taken of any manner of cheating. If found cheating Race officials WILL immediately disqualify a rider and/or support crew members and ban them from future races.

18: Warning/Penalties

  1. Riders and support crew members must obey all rules and regulations at all times. There will be no exceptions. It is the rider’s responsibility to ensure and s/he or her/his support crew do not give any cause for doubt.
  2. Race officials and volunteers may issue warnings to riders and support crew for minor violations not including willful cheating. In the situation of a race such as this, race marshals may take spot decisions that will be conveyed to the Race Committee. Every attempt will be made to convey it to the racer’s crew and racer, but Race Officials may not be held responsible if contact is not made with the crew for this purpose.
  3. Repeating an offense will result in a penalty, regardless of whether the racer or crew has been notified or warned about the first offence.
  4. Race officials reserve the right to immediately disqualify a rider and/or support crew member and ban them from future races for inappropriate behavior or if the situation warrants it. It is within the discretionary powers of Race officials to make a decision about warnings, penalties or disqualifications, based on their judgement and observations.
  5. Penalties will be meted out in accordance with RAAM race rule no. 13.

19: Race Officials

  1. The Race Committee has the authority to override, modify or create rules based on unfolding circumstances during the course of the event. Race officials have complete authority and the decision of the Race committee is the final word on all matters.
  2. Race officials may be stationed along the route as well as at checkpoints, and will be marshaling the route marked or unmarked vehicles. If deemed necessary, the Race committee may take a decision to embed an official in a racers support vehicle at any time for any reason.

20: Appeals/Protesting/Complaints

  1. During the course of the race, a racer may make a verbal protest to any Race Official or the Race Director, but it must be made privately and respectfully. Any public protest of display of disgust with the contents of the Rules, their application or to a Race Official may result in a penalty.
  2. Any rider wishing to make an official protest must do so in writing and submit it to the Race Director along with a Complaint Fee of Rs. 5000/- no later than two hours after their race’s respective time limit has expired. The Race committee will rule on all protests after due deliberation, as time permits.
    Please refer RAAM RULES – Appendix B – Cheating and Accusations of Cheating (quoted below) “RAAM is first and foremost a competitive event – it is the Race Across America. It is also an event characterized by camaraderie, shared experience and personal achievement. You will have a better experience if you are supportive of all Racers. Your priority is racing, not officiating.
    Concentrate on your race, the Race Officials will focus on rules. Invariably, becoming fixated on what may be perceived as violations of rules by others and/or what you believe to be officiating mistakes, will generally cause both Racers and Crew to lose focus on racing and negatively impact performance.
    Cheating versus Mistakes – Mistakes happen. Racers and Crew get tired and forget and rules are broken. In most cases it is not intentional. Cheating is a flagrant and purposeful violation of the rules.”
  3. Riders and support crew may not make allegations of cheating in public or in social media of any kind. Racers may not make allegation of cheating to Race Officials without substantiating it with evidence. Protocol is to be observed. Riders must submit a formal letter of complaint to the Race committee along with eye-witness accounts, evidence and a complaint fee, for it to be taken seriously.
  4. Complaint fee will be refunded in full if the Race committee rules in favor of the complaint. In the absence of substantiating evidence, race committee will be unable to take action.
  5. Airing opinions, making allegations and complaints regarding Race and Race officials over Social or other Media before or after making a formal protest, that are considered harmful to the Race Reputation may result in a disqualification or a ban from future races.
  6. All Racers and Crew are encouraged to report suspicions (with or without evidence) if they see some infraction of rules by other teams or racers. These reports must be made during the course of the race, with details of racer/team no. and location, to enable race officials to check on the report. Any racer or crew, Witnessing a cheating or rule infraction and not reporting it to race officials immediately, will lead to witnesses being held complicit in the act itself.

21: Media, Race Publicity and PR

  1. Riders and support crew agree to the use of their images for the purpose of Race Promotion in all Media.
  2. Riders and support crew must not through their actions on any media (print, social, internet, FB, twitter, etc) harm Race Reputation. The continuation of the Race is dependent on maintaining its integrity and reputation and any action that is considered harmful to the Race Reputation may result in a disqualification or a ban from future races.

22: Embedded Official

  1. Inspire India reserves the right to assign an official to observe a racer/team from within his/her support vehicle, at any time before or during the race. Racer and crew will accommodate the official within his/her vehicle and will be responsible for the safety of the official.

23: Support and Resources

  1. Inspire India provides resources in the form of information on technical support, accommodation and enroute restaurants, as also support personal in the form of volunteers to crew. This is undertaken on request from racers, to ease racers logistical burden. Inspire India cannot be held responsible for any disappointment to the Racers, or any disagreement that may arise.
  2. Racers and all crew are expected to behave respectfully toward all resources and support that is made possible through the goodwill of Inspire India.
  3. All expenses towards any resources are to be borne in full by the Racer. All expenses of crew members for the duration of the race, including accommodation as required at start, and accommodation at finish point, including Dinner ticket for Award ceremony are to be borne by the racer.

RAAM Qualifier – Race Rules

  1. Approved cycling helmet must be worn at all times.
  2. Bicycles ridden at night must be fully visible. Lighting must meet the following requirements: Red tail light with minimum three LED bulbs; headlight; Reflective tape on fork legs, rear triangle, cranks, either rear of pedals or heels of shoes, and wheels; tail light may be solid or flashing.
  3. All racers must have a support vehicle (one for solos and up to 2 for teams). Support vehicles must be equipped with the following: Two roof-mounted amber flashing lights clearly visible from the back only; Slow-moving vehicle triangle; “Caution Bicycles Ahead” sign; and race numbers on rear and both sides. No RVs will be allowed on the course. 200-mile racers may ride with a support vehicle or self-supported.
  4. Support must be “leapfrog” during the day and “direct-follow” at night. Racers cannot advance at night without a follow-vehicle.
  5. Participants and racers must not impede traffic. If two or more motorists and/or a single motorist is backed up behind a support vehicle for more than 2 minutes, the support vehicle must pull over as soon as possible to allow other motor vehicles to pass.
  6. Drafting is not allowed. Any number of team racers can be on the road at any time. Teams may draft, but only their own team mates.
  7. Racers must ride single file except when passing another competitor.
  8. Support vehicle must be completely off the road when providing leap frog support or exchanging riders.
  9. All participants must obey all applicable traffic laws.
  10. Support crews must call race headquarters from each time station and report the racer’s time of arrival. Racers need not stop at the time station.
  11. Racers must follow the exact course and racers must ride the entire course.
  12. Racers must progress along the course entirely under their own power. Racers cannot hang onto vehicles, draft vehicles or be ferried along the route in any way.
  13. Violation of rules 1 through 10 will result in the issuance of time penalties. Each violation will result in a 15-minute time penalty. The fifth penalty will result in disqualification.
  14. Violation of Rules 11 or 12 will result in disqualification.

Exceptions To RAAM Qualifier Race Rules

Rule 3 – Support vehicles need not use roof mounted amber lights, and need not have ‘Caution Bicycle Ahead’ sign. They must observe section 14B of TDC Rules and Regulations
Rule 4 – Support vehicles can direct-follow their riders during daylight hours also.
Rule 8 – Given off-shoulder road conditions in India, Rule 8 may be relaxed if there is no option to get off the road.