Author Topic: Free routes and distances between controls  (Read 48365 times)

Martin

Free routes and distances between controls
« on: November 26, 2010, 02:54:36 pm »
AUK operates a policy of "allure libre" on all its events, whether calendar or permanent. This means you are not actually required to ride any particular route between controls; even if the organiser provides you with a route sheet showing their suggested route. (Generally though it's a good idea to trust the organiser on their route as they will have the local knowledge of the roads in the area, and the alternatives may be either much longer or busier)

Thus in order to ride an e.g. 200 permanent; an organiser or prospective DIY entrant must select controls that are a minimum of 200km via the shortest route. The shortest route may be calculated using either Microsoft Autoroute or on viamichelin  set to cycle. The route you actually take between those same controls need not be that suggested by either the organiser or AR / viamichelin.

In practice the direct shortest route between many larger places is not usually very pleasant to cycle on, and may be on busy main roads. This is where the organiser or rider can tailor their route to avoid these roads, by adding extra controls that not only use nicer roads for cycling but also add extra distance to the route. GPS helps a lot as these extra controls just need to be ridden through and there is not a requirement to get a receipt at the control to show you rode through it.


border-rider

Re: Free routes and distances between controls
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2010, 02:56:59 pm »
it would be nice if this were either sticky or added to the FAQ;

Done. 

Martin

Re: Free routes and distances between controls
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2010, 02:57:45 pm »
it would be nice if this were either sticky or added to the FAQ;

Done. 

thanks  :)

Pingu

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Re: Free routes and distances between controls
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2010, 03:17:39 pm »
If viamichelin calculates a route that is >200km & the Autoroute distance is <200km, which takes precedence?

Martin

Re: Free routes and distances between controls
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2010, 03:26:46 pm »
If viamichelin calculates a route that is >200km & the Autoroute distance is <200km, which takes precedence?

viamichelin I'd say because it's universal and everyone can use the same version

Billy Weir

Re: Free routes and distances between controls
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2010, 03:49:45 pm »
If viamichelin calculates a route that is >200km & the Autoroute distance is <200km, which takes precedence?

viamichelin I'd say because it's universal and everyone can use the same version

I think the "correct" answer is that it is for the organiser to decide whether or not your route is at least 200km.  They don't need to tell you how they arrive at that conclusion.

vorsprung

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Re: Free routes and distances between controls
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2010, 03:53:33 pm »
It is worth noting that the viamichelin has a via bike checkbox and that MS Autoroute has options like "avoid main roads"

So the routes generated do not use motorways and often "avoid main roads"

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Re: Free routes and distances between controls
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2010, 04:03:09 pm »
While avoiding motorways is necessary, technically avoiding other main roads is an invalid selection for validation purposes.  There are some among us who apparantly relish main roads ::-)

Martin

Re: Free routes and distances between controls
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2010, 04:16:45 pm »
If viamichelin calculates a route that is >200km & the Autoroute distance is <200km, which takes precedence?

viamichelin I'd say because it's universal and everyone can use the same version

I think the "correct" answer is that it is for the organiser to decide whether or not your route is at least 200km.  They don't need to tell you how they arrive at that conclusion.

if a rider comes up with a route that passes muster on VM and AR goes way under I'd be suspicious;

VM does what it says on the tin; cycle (not an option on AR) avoids motorways etc but not 3 lane A roads if that's what riders want. It's pants for routes with more than 4 controls though (unless you use the arrow pointy tool which I've never fathomed). Neither is perfect so I'd be happy to go with a common sense approach.

Re: Free routes and distances between controls
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2010, 05:44:08 pm »
... if a rider comes up with a route that passes muster on VM and AR goes way under I'd be suspicious;

VM does what it says on the tin; cycle (not an option on AR) avoids motorways etc but not 3 lane A roads if that's what riders want. It's pants for routes with more than 4 controls though (unless you use the arrow pointy tool which I've never fathomed). Neither is perfect so I'd be happy to go with a common sense approach.
I wholly applaud the "application of common sense" approach. However, I feel that as time goes by, it would profit us to fine tune some of the written advice and perhaps also the regulations in due course. There is a debate ongoing on the Yahoo chat group regarding the Mesh facility and an apparent reluctance of some ride validators to approve routes previously accepted as valid according to the Mesh. Andy C has posted a mail noting that: "Martin Newstead has had a perm based on figures from the Mesh bounced because it was 400 metres short when scrutinised by a computer." This strikes me as unreasonable but it does raise the question of how much latitude should a validator allow? At what degree of latitude would one say a suggested route should be rejected as under distance? I'm not in favour of excessive regulation but some guidelines and consistency would be useful perhaps.


Hummers

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Re: Free routes and distances between controls
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2010, 05:53:37 pm »
Isn't there a 10% tolerance on the route?

A fail based on being 400m short, that's bonkers.

H

Martin

Re: Free routes and distances between controls
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2010, 05:54:59 pm »
it was 400 metres short when scrutinised by a computer." This strikes me as unreasonable but it does raise the question of how much latitude should a validator allow?

I believe you are now allowed 1% of nominal distance (ie 100 200 etc) under. IMO Mesh routes should be used as a guide to suitable routes but not a Bible

Hummers

  • It is all about the taste.
Re: Free routes and distances between controls
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2010, 05:57:05 pm »
Sorry, I meant 1%!

 :-[

H

Billy Weir

Re: Free routes and distances between controls
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2010, 06:04:21 pm »
Is that 1% tolerance official?

Re: Free routes and distances between controls
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2010, 06:12:58 pm »
it was 400 metres short when scrutinised by a computer." This strikes me as unreasonable but it does raise the question of how much latitude should a validator allow?

I believe you are now allowed 1% of nominal distance (ie 100 200 etc) under. IMO Mesh routes should be used as a guide to suitable routes but not a Bible
A tolerance of 1% sounds reasonable to me; hopefully that will become standard for all ride validators. With regard to the Mesh though, it sounds as though some people might be falling victim to a degree of tightening up that itself has arisen because with the new technology we now have the means to be more accurate (or at least, to think we have!) I can sympathise with someone who has been riding a particular DIY route devised using the Mesh happily for years without problem who is suddenly told that the route isn't acceptable when evaluated by Autoroute/Viamichelin. I think a degree of tolerance in such cases would be politic. The use of GPS seems to be ruffling some feathers and it might be best to allow a breathing space to let such anomalies flush themselves out of the system rather than rush to a regimented application of the strict letter of the law.


mattc

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Re: Free routes and distances between controls
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2010, 06:20:44 pm »
Isn't there a 10% tolerance on the route?

A fail based on being 400m short, that's bonkers.

H
I don't think it is, because you have to draw the line somewhere - remember the distance must be at least x00km. We're welcome to go over.

Having said that, it would be nice to keep the mesh as a set of pre-approved legs, even if some later turn out to be 400m short. A rider is unlikely to fiddle the system if the entire route is made up of mesh legs.

DIYs are slightly different because we could (in theory) submit a 99m short route, then use local knowledge to nip down a Sustrans path, etc ... etc ...
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Re: Free routes and distances between controls
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2010, 06:30:06 pm »
Isn't there a 10% tolerance on the route?

A fail based on being 400m short, that's bonkers.

H
I don't think it is, because you have to draw the line somewhere - remember the distance must be at least x00km. We're welcome to go over.


Yes.
Take heart Hummers, and read about Dick Poole and his LEJOG record, when he went on to go for the 1000 mile record. He rode a few extra miles just to be sure and smashed the old record, only to be told some time later that his route had been found to be about a mile short of 1000 miles. So in theory, he smashed the record, but his ride was invalid because of that last little bit.


think on... :P

Re: Free routes and distances between controls
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2010, 07:02:38 pm »
If viamichelin calculates a route that is >200km & the Autoroute distance is <200km, which takes precedence?

viamichelin I'd say because it's universal and everyone can use the same version

I think the "correct" answer is that it is for the organiser to decide whether or not your route is at least 200km.  They don't need to tell you how they arrive at that conclusion.

if a rider comes up with a route that passes muster on VM and AR goes way under I'd be suspicious;

VM does what it says on the tin; cycle (not an option on AR) avoids motorways etc but not 3 lane A roads if that's what riders want. It's pants for routes with more than 4 controls though (unless you use the arrow pointy tool which I've never fathomed). Neither is perfect so I'd be happy to go with a common sense approach.

We only need VM to start including cycle paths, and then suddenly 100km rides could be validated as 400km...

Re: Free routes and distances between controls
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2010, 09:50:30 pm »
If viamichelin calculates a route that is >200km & the Autoroute distance is <200km, which takes precedence?

viamichelin I'd say because it's universal and everyone can use the same version

I think the "correct" answer is that it is for the organiser to decide whether or not your route is at least 200km.  They don't need to tell you how they arrive at that conclusion.

if a rider comes up with a route that passes muster on VM and AR goes way under I'd be suspicious;

VM does what it says on the tin; cycle (not an option on AR) avoids motorways etc but not 3 lane A roads if that's what riders want. It's pants for routes with more than 4 controls though (unless you use the arrow pointy tool which I've never fathomed). Neither is perfect so I'd be happy to go with a common sense approach.

We only need VM to start including cycle paths, and then suddenly 100km rides could be validated as 400km...

It's in fact the other way round. Especially in area's with lot's of big rivers and few crossings. Viamichelin is in fact quite good at knowing which motorwaybridges have an additional bikepath. The Garmin stuff is horribly about that. Once I was at the northern side of the Zaltbommel bridge, one of those motorwaybridges with a bikepath. Just for fun I instructed my GPS to show me the way to Zaltbommel, 4km south of my location. The GPS wanted to send me to another bridge, quoting over 40km to reach Zaltbommel. So having more bikepaths in the Viamichelin software would give shorter routes, especially there where bikepaths are a shortcut.

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Re: Free routes and distances between controls
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2010, 09:58:09 pm »
May I be pedantic?

"Allure libre" means free speed as opposed to old style audax where you need to stay in a group behind a leader.

If you want to coin this with a french expression, that would be "itinéraire libre"
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DanialW

Re: Free routes and distances between controls
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2010, 12:43:50 am »
What you need to bear in mind is how labour intensive administering DIY is. There isn't time to get into debates about what is 'common sense' for a route. You need a short set of simple rules, and to stick to them rigidly. Otherwise you bring bias into the procedure, however well meaning.

Google Maps' functionality is improving rapidly. Perhaps it's a way forward from some of the idiosyncrasies  of Autoroute?

DanialW

Re: Free routes and distances between controls
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2010, 06:57:12 am »
May I be pedantic?

"Allure libre" means free speed as opposed to old style audax where you need to stay in a group behind a leader.

If you want to coin this with a french expression, that would be "itinéraire libre"

Very true. It's a mistake I make all the time too.

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: Free routes and distances between controls
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2010, 07:28:08 am »
Neither martin nor YACF is auk so nothing written here carries any official weight nor is necessarily correct/official

martin suggests vm should take precedence over are but also says vm is pants for routes with more than four controls, i.e. Most br distances which means vm is a non starter

different versions of AR give different results

Danial quotes admin impact on orgs. What about admin impact on riders, especially difficulty auk has offering clear and easy to use standard planning tool? Nothing more frustrating putting together great route nominally legal by controls - and let's face it - usually way over on the road - only to have it bounced as 500m short

ianh has said "it's a matter of ethos rather than regulation". That works both ways. The impression of late is that all we hear of is regulation. Let's start from premise we are a cycling club, not a cheating club.

Given all above a 1pc allowence for planning by controls seems a reasonable common sense solution in keeping with "ethos not regulation"




Re: Free routes and distances between controls
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2010, 09:12:31 am »


Danial quotes admin impact on orgs. What about admin impact on riders, especially difficulty auk has offering clear and easy to use standard planning tool? Nothing more frustrating putting together great route nominally legal by controls - and let's face it - usually way over on the road - only to have it bounced as 500m short

ianh has said "it's a matter of ethos rather than regulation". That works both ways. The impression of late is that all we hear of is regulation. Let's start from premise we are a cycling club, not a cheating club.


I support youhere. I have had DIY applications denied for being 0.1km under distance 'on paper'.  Various DIY orgs changing the way they check is a right pain in the arse. When I started DIYing THE DIY org at the time used a certain version of Autoroute to check. I got the same one. Times change and now different versions are used. AUK needs a consistent method that is accessible to everyone. I will help where I can, just contact me by email (there are enough movers & shakers of AUK reading these posts to make things happen)

Billy Weir

Re: Free routes and distances between controls
« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2010, 09:29:31 am »
The impression of late is that all we hear of is regulation.

+1.  Although to be fair, the regulations are unchanged, it's just that there is a slight whiff of pedantry around the approach that has come into effect since technology gave the impression of absolute accuracy.  Which simply isn't real, evidenced by the different figures spat out by AR, VM and others.

That said, I have seen still remnants of pragmatism, albeit in relation to AAA (which are not part of the AUK regulations).  Let's not kid ourselves that GPS gives an accurate cumulative altitude figures, with climb being up to 10-20% out from a contour count.  It's to the credit of the AAA man that he is prepared to be pragmatic in accepting tracks to determine AAA on GPS DIY events.

Such an approach is good for riders and good (I guess) for the AAA man and organiser.  Of course it leads to anomolies (calendar events and non-DIY perms still require contour counts, so in theory a DIY ride could get allocated more AAA points than the non-DIY ride, despite doing the same route) and could distort things like the AAA championship at the margins.  But these are consequences I'm personaly prepared to accept for a simple, flexible, sensible system.