Author Topic: the perm is dead? long live the gps perm  (Read 16226 times)

Martin

the perm is dead? long live the gps perm
« on: April 12, 2011, 01:14:50 pm »
Sorry to appear to be discriminating against the digitally challenged but here goes;

I ran my first calendar event on Saturday; having previously ridden it as a DIY perm. I have always thought it would make a very good perm not least because you really need to choose your days to ride in that region (we were lucky on the day).  The big advantage of making it into a calendar was getting the extra km you use to avoid the main roads to count by the cunning use of infos and thus getting it down to a reasonable distance.

Part of the incentive to run the event as a calendar was to force me to write a proper route sheet (which I've now done) so it can be used as a perm. But after several attempts to change the controls from firstly well over distance and then substitute receiptable controls for the infos I've given up; it's just not worth the hassle for the few riders that are likely to want to ride it. So it will remain as a DIY perm (228 by receipts against a minimum of 202 by controls, or 206 by GPS) on a "help yourself" basis.

Do others see traditional perms which go way overdistance in order to get receipts as an endangered species against the tide of technology that allows GPS perms to be nailed down to exactly eg 200km by the clever siting of controls? or is there still a demand for new perm routes?

Discuss...

Euan Uzami

Re: the perm is dead? long live the gps perm
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2011, 01:30:20 pm »
Could you not devise a way in which info controls could be used on permanents? It seems unfeasible, but it's not really - it would be quite possible to devise a large "stack" of questions covering a fairly small area, each one of which would provide proof of passage through that area. Every time someone rides the permanent, one is simply plucked from the top of the stack, inserted into the brevet card, and disposed of.
The obvious issue is that they would be disposable, but this might not be too much of an issue depending on how many ride the permanent every year. There are efficiency savings you could make, for instance if several people are riding on the same date, they get the same question.
You'd probably know better than me whether it would be unworkable due to more people riding than it would be possible to invent questions for, but just a thought.

Re: the perm is dead? long live the gps perm
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2011, 01:38:59 pm »
Infos are discouraged on perms for several reasons, not least of which is that the cards, and thus the questions, are sent out in advance of the event.  I think it's best to accept that some routes, often very good ones, are not suitable for audax.

Martin

Re: the perm is dead? long live the gps perm
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2011, 01:41:39 pm »
Infos are discouraged on perms for several reasons, not least of which is that the cards, and thus the questions, are sent out in advance of the event.  I think it's best to accept that some routes, often very good ones, are not suitable for audax.

this includes gps perms and calendar events does it? an event should not have to go to a shop petrol station or cafe at every turn to be suitable for audax

I don't want this thread to descend into the usual "what is an audax" type, just asking if people think that with gps DIY now available (and hopefully soon for real perms too) the traditional paper based version will decline?

Re: the perm is dead? long live the gps perm
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2011, 01:47:11 pm »
So it will remain as a DIY perm (228 by receipts, 206 by GPS) on a "help yourself" basis.

Will it be advertised anywhere?
228 is a fair bit overdistance, but if someone has gone to the trouble of finding nice roads and writing a route sheet should there be some "AUK" way of sharing that - even if it requires GPS to make it practical?

Re: the perm is dead? long live the gps perm
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2011, 01:51:56 pm »
..... I think it's best to accept that some routes, often very good ones, are not suitable for audax.
But surely one of the beauties of the validation-by-GPS method is that this need not necessarily be so?

Alouicious

Re: the perm is dead? long live the gps perm
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2011, 01:54:31 pm »
When I joined AUK, after a very enjoyable 100km BP, I thought the routesheet that was sent out before a calendar event was to help newbies sus out how Audaxes worked.

My thoughts of Permanent rides was different. I expected Permanent rides to be for the more experienced member and the instruction sheet merely a list of towns to visit. The rider decides the route between the nominated towns and does the maths to evaluate ETAs.

I soon took up the Midland Mesh because it was an array of towns and I could create any route around them to make up the desired distance.

I've done a few DIY perms. Simply because the route plan is mine.


About GPS. The cost of a GPS unit and maps buys a lot of real cards and SAEs. There will always be members who won't bother with GPS units and continue to use maps, routesheets and get signatures on real cards.

Alouicious

Re: the perm is dead? long live the gps perm
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2011, 01:57:04 pm »
..... I think it's best to accept that some routes, often very good ones, are not suitable for audax.
But surely one of the beauties of the validation-by-GPS method is that this need not necessarily be so?

The routes that are not suitable for Audax are the ones that use the double width blue roads on the AA map.



vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
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Re: the perm is dead? long live the gps perm
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2011, 02:04:23 pm »
Surely there should be some mechanism for publishing gps traces that are suitable for perms

Then I could browse through routes that other people have figured out and do some long distance riding

If the routes were just available on the www I wouldn't even need a gps, if I didn't care about validation
Audaxing Blog follow @vorsprungbike on

Martin

Re: the perm is dead? long live the gps perm
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2011, 02:05:54 pm »
So it will remain as a DIY perm (228 by receipts, 206 by GPS) on a "help yourself" basis.

Will it be advertised anywhere?

it's on my club's website (and the route sheet will be soon), I'm happy to offer it as I'll be the one accepting it as a DIY by either means.

vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
    • Audaxing
Re: the perm is dead? long live the gps perm
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2011, 02:07:13 pm »
..... I think it's best to accept that some routes, often very good ones, are not suitable for audax.
But surely one of the beauties of the validation-by-GPS method is that this need not necessarily be so?

Could a "gps only" event work under existing AUK rules?
Audaxing Blog follow @vorsprungbike on

Re: the perm is dead? long live the gps perm
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2011, 02:10:20 pm »
Infos are discouraged on perms for several reasons, not least of which is that the cards, and thus the questions, are sent out in advance of the event.  I think it's best to accept that some routes, often very good ones, are not suitable for audax.

this includes gps perms and calendar events does it? an event should not have to go to a shop petrol station or cafe at every turn to be suitable for audax

That is the way I plan mine, if only because it's the easiest way.

Quote
I don't want this thread to descend into the usual "what is an audax" type, just asking if people think that with gps DIY now available (and hopefully soon for real perms too) the traditional paper based version will decline?

I think the issue currently is to make routes available to all as far as is practicable. Or, not to create an advantaged group who have access to gps technology, at least until the take-up is much greater than at present.

Re: the perm is dead? long live the gps perm
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2011, 02:12:33 pm »
Martin's experience of trying to create a traditionally evidenced Permanent mirrors my own. I did a number of paper-evidenced DIY rides locally in East Anglia on lovely quiet roads and thought I'd like to share them as Permanents. But when it came to sorting controls with usable till receipts, things rapidly turned nightmarish and the routes were very soon severely compromised. If I found a workable set of controls, it would usually be OK Mon to Sat but a no-no on Sunday when places are shut. Not to mention the difficulty of writing a paper routesheet covering many junctions where there are no signposts or individual features at all to mark them out.

Now I have GPS, I don't even consider a paper-evidenced ride, except for those particularly attractive Calendar events such as The Dean or The Elenith, for which I'm prepared (just!) to travel and pay for accommodation.

Do others see traditional perms which go way overdistance in order to get receipts as an endangered species against the tide of technology that allows GPS perms to be nailed down to exactly eg 200km by the clever siting of controls? or is there still a demand for new perm routes?
My best guess is that the GPS method will progressively overtake the paper-based method far faster than many expect, even more so now that we can ECE a Calendar event by GPS, thus getting the best of both worlds i.e. not having to drive to the event and getting to social pleasure of riding with companions.

This does however raise what we might call an ethical question - and we may have discussed this elsewhere on another thread - as to whether it's acceptable for an organiser to create a fresh Permanent ride available only on a GPS basis, no paper routesheet available. Personally, I haven't thought this all the way through - as a knee-jerk reaction I think I'm for it but I can see how some people might object.

This is not the same thing as saying the GPS method will kill off the paper-based ride because it won't - there will long be a desire for the latter in part of our constituency and so it should remain - broad church and all that. It's just that I can't see many Organisers coming forward to incorporate new Perms on a paper basis when the GPS way is so much easier.

Re: the perm is dead? long live the gps perm
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2011, 02:13:38 pm »
It seems to me that the question is not about DIY or GPS perms, but about routes that are "set up", often alongside a calendar event, and for which a routesheet is provided.  I've done a number of these, and very much enjoyed them.  Indeed, one of them I shall be doing again shortly, in the calendar version this time (New Forest Excursion).

It is a shame that new permanent events with infos will not generally be approved (minutes of the most recent AUK committee meeting refer, backed up by IanH's first post above), but I must admit that a route with an info that you know in advance always has seemed a bit of an anomoly.

It is an interesting idea to provide the route for an AUK to do by GPS verification.  But this is only going to be practical for those organisers who happen to be GPS-perm validators, which is a fairly small number of people.  Maybe this ability will be opened out to other perm organisers if there is a demand.

mmmmartin

  • BPB 1/1: PBP 0/1
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Re: the perm is dead? long live the gps perm
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2011, 02:29:44 pm »
a route with an info that you know in advance always has seemed a bit of an anomoly.
Like the Down-to-Downs hilly 100k perm near me - I like this route, it's a good leg stretch in winter or an odd day off work, lots of hills, pleasant countryside, etc etc. But there is an info on it, and the second time I didn't bother to fill it in cos I'd done it already and it seemed a waste of time.........as indeed would all infos be on a perm for someone repeating it.
Besides, it wouldn't be audacious if success were guaranteed.

Uncle Eric

Re: the perm is dead? long live the gps perm
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2011, 02:34:17 pm »
I have a nice GPS but still prefer to get receipts if possible.
The GPS must be recharged after 10-15 hours (mine only
has a built-in battery). And I don't want to haul around a USB
battery in general. Those are quite unreliable and awkward
to fit on the bike anyway. Plus the GPS itself has suddenly
shut itself off once in a while. So it's not a completely reliable
way of getting PoP.

Plus I quite like the procedure of getting receipts and filling
in the brevet card. Satisfying in some way.

Martin

Re: the perm is dead? long live the gps perm
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2011, 02:39:03 pm »
This does however raise what we might call an ethical question - and we may have discussed this elsewhere on another thread - as to whether it's acceptable for an organiser to create a fresh Permanent ride available only on a GPS basis, no paper routesheet available.

That's not my intention; I do not have the will or resources to create a paper version of the route that is realistic in terms of distance. I'm certainly not trying to snub those who prefer the traditional way; just can't offer a ride they can do unless they want to go way overdistance. And I'm offering it outside of the normal AUK route much the same way people are when they put routes on Bikely.

I happen to organise a couple of hilly rides that are not suitable for fixed; is that also discrimination?  ;)

I agree it's perfectly possible organise a paper based perm that is not overdistance (El S does one that's 201km) just that it becomes difficult where you have lots of nice lanes which are further than the main roads.

My ride could be made available as a 202km paper based perm but there is no way I'm having anything to do with sending riders along those A roads. You must be very lucky down your way to avoid them Ian H.

Re: the perm is dead? long live the gps perm
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2011, 02:42:38 pm »
I happen to organise a couple of hilly rides that are not suitable for fixed; is that also discrimination?  ;)

No, it's usually an invitation for some stupid people to try and prove you wrong...
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Alouicious

Re: the perm is dead? long live the gps perm
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2011, 02:54:12 pm »
I'm confused.

The Midlands Mesh had controls nominated on the maps where receipts are to be collected.
A DIY perm has controls nominated by the rider where receipts are to be collected.

A DIY by GPS doesn't need controls? The riding distance is on the .gpx file. The rider doesn't even need to stop during the entire ride.

Re: the perm is dead? long live the gps perm
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2011, 03:00:07 pm »
I'm confused.

The Midlands Mesh had controls nominated on the maps where receipts are to be collected.
A DIY perm has controls nominated by the rider where receipts are to be collected.

A DIY by GPS doesn't need controls? The riding distance is on the .gpx file. The rider doesn't even need to stop during the entire ride.

With a DIY by GPS you still need to specify a list of controls (place names, grid refs, lat/lon locations) but you don't need to do anything to prove that you visited them other than submit the GPX file. The route between your nominated controls is still a free choice but the shortest distance between your named controls must still be over the 200km distance (or whatever distance you intend to ride).

You can't just go out and ride a 200km ride and submit the GPX file to claim 2 points. You need to say, in advance, what the rough outline of your route will be (i.e. a list of places you definitely will go through) and then ride it.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: the perm is dead? long live the gps perm
« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2011, 03:24:45 pm »
It depends upon how many riders you would expect to enter a perm without the existance of the GPS perm.  I launched the Montgomery Madness last year, a 200km perm from Bewdley to Montgomery and back.  I had 13 entries although not all rode.   My purpose in developing the ride was twofold: (i) to provide an enjoyable and scenic route away from main roads that may not have otherwise been thought about.  In other words riders could have an off-the-shelf ride, and (ii) to be perfectly selfish, it was nice to have close-by 200km perm that I could enter as often as a I wanted.

Beacon Roads Cycling Club

If the organiser frequently rides their perm then the route card can be kept upto date quite easily.

Hummers

  • It is all about the taste.
Re: the perm is dead? long live the gps perm
« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2011, 03:32:43 pm »
I hope not.

I don't have a GPS.

I do have a perm card for the Denmead - Newbury 200 that I am going to use this Saturday though.

H

Re: the perm is dead? long live the gps perm
« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2011, 04:20:47 pm »
This does however raise what we might call an ethical question - and we may have discussed this elsewhere on another thread - as to whether it's acceptable for an organiser to create a fresh Permanent ride available only on a GPS basis, no paper routesheet available.

That's not my intention; .......
I realise that Martin, I was just broadening the debate a bit; sorry.

Martin

Re: the perm is dead? long live the gps perm
« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2011, 04:30:30 pm »
This does however raise what we might call an ethical question - and we may have discussed this elsewhere on another thread - as to whether it's acceptable for an organiser to create a fresh Permanent ride available only on a GPS basis, no paper routesheet available.

That's not my intention; .......
I realise that Martin, I was just broadening the debate a bit; sorry.


that's OK; and I re-iterate; I'm not a perm organiser (apart from ECE's) if I was I'd supply a paper and gps version of the same events at the same distances. Nor am I likely to be; the SE is amply covered now in both calendar and perm 200s from the Venerable El S, Billy, Man of Kent and West Kent / Gravesend DA, and this is the only other region I know well enough to create a ride in.

The question I asked in the OP was that given how easy it is to create gps DIYs how likely is it that new paper perms will appear to replace those that are lost as existing perm orgs step down?

it's a bit like telephone boxes and mobile phones I suppose

mattc

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Re: the perm is dead? long live the gps perm
« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2011, 04:38:53 pm »
My ride could be made available as a 202km paper based perm but there is no way I'm having anything to do with sending riders along those A roads. You must be very lucky down your way to avoid them Ian H.
I think it's fair to say that your part of the world suffers the most for this, Martin.
(and rural wales/scotland seem to be the best)

It's a shame we can't accept a bit more 'leeway' in the rules. We have calendar events along 60km of 1 A-road in one region, whilst elsewhere an organiser would rather ride 26km over-distance than use short stretches of A-road. The French seem happy with under-distance rides, and we all know about the LEL short-cuts.

Phasing out INfos on perms seems to be applying an overly strict attitude to the spirit of Audax. I'm not aware of riders cheating the INfos being a problem; yet riders may now feel compelled to buy and master GPS as they can't be trusted to ride perms the old way. I agree with Martin's prediction that, under the current regime, GPS validation will likely grow while new perms stop appearing.

The current setup seems to have gone wrong somewhere :(
Has never ridden RAAM
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