First, we have to take a look at the rule, then I will explain why I added it, then I will give some examples of the rule to maybe help shed some light on this.
First the rule.....
24: Participants must remain within the primary boundaries of the roadway at all times. If the roadway is bordered by fences or ditches, riders must stay between them. If the roadway is in open range, stay on the roadway. Leaving the roadway or climbing over a fence is considered short cutting the course and will result in disqualification
This rule was added for a few reasons. First and foremost it was added because of an incident I witnessed at the Dirty Kanza 200's 2015 running. Otherwise known as the "Mud Year". As many will recall, the first mud roads were reached about 10-11 miles in to the event which required dismounting, carrying your bike, and traversing difficult muddy, grassy, and uneven ditches for three miles or so. (See below) The other main reason was a confrontation with a landowner at last year's Trans Iowa. (Also- See below) Finally, I have heard it said in jest that if riders come upon a road that is nasty mud, that they would just hop the fence and run in the field if it looked easier.
The following images help explain what I am talking about.
|The March. Dirty Kanza 200, 2015.|
|The site of Checkpoint #2 for Trans Iowa v12.|
The situation was diffused to the satisfaction of both parties, but in the heat of the moment, technicalities of the law notwithstanding, the landowner has the right of refusal here. At least for the moment, and I would have deferred to this landowner had an agreement not been reached, and CP#2 would have been adjusted accordingly.
That's all water under the dam, but my point is that had the road been muddy, the landowner would have forced us to make riders walk the middle of this, and if that wasn't happening, we would have had to have rerouted the course around this. Whether that was according to the rule of law or not makes no difference to Trans Iowa. I would have deferred to the landowner. So would have you had to......
|No where to go but forward....|
Here is a great example of where you have no choices. I think the point is pretty much made clear with this sort of road. You aren't going to scramble up the embankments, and the easiest way ahead on course is the road.
|Mixed bag- One side is fenceless, the other has a fence.|
Interpretation: So, the spirit of this rule is pretty simple- DO NOT TRESPASS ON PRIVATE LAND! And maybe that's how the rule should read, actually. However; the riders will have to negotiate a differing scenario of Level B Roads across the 300 plus mile course of Trans Iowa. By the way, Level B Roads, and perhaps in towns, are the only places I can see this ever being applied. But the bottom line is to keep off private lands, keep it between the fences, and when there are no fences, use your best judgement. I would then encourage you to stay on the roadway, but that may not be the best way to do things in the mind of a cyclist with 200 miles in their legs.
Also, and this is very important- This has never been a problem at Trans Iowa. I just want to keep it that way.
Make sense? If not, send me a comment and I will help you out here.