Author Topic: National 400 2018  (Read 5684 times)

Re: National 400 2018
« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2017, 06:11:47 pm »
There's more options for sleep in Barton Mills now?

mattc

  • "Hannibal"
  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: National 400 2018
« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2017, 06:12:45 pm »
Would it be possible to make an existing 400 event into the national for 2018 with more manned controls? Only having ridden 1 400 before (National 2016) I don't have experience of the less supported events nor which would lend themselves to this adjustment - just throwing an idea into the mix...

It would make sense...

If you're volunteering to work with an organiser of an event already on the calendar to source halls for a full TLC event then I have no doubt it will be welcomed.

Along with all the other volunteers that will be required and sorting out finance etc.

The only current 400 on the calendar with a night time hall for sleep appears to be The Hot Trod which is limited to 60 and might not be viable or appropriate to foist National status on an event unless organiser wishes to take it on.
Wow - who'd have thought that more volunteer man-power, and the agreement of the organiser would be required  :o

I'm so glad you're here - the voice of reason as ever. We don't want people coming up with ideas, do we?
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: National 400 2018
« Reply #27 on: October 05, 2017, 06:32:34 pm »
Fully support ideas as you well know, Matt.  However, looking at the calendar I am aware of the options that are limited and having ridden the last 3 National 400 events I am aware of the manpower involved on a TLC event that the National tends to be.

My solution, barring an event being specifically organised for a National event with TLC, would be to use an existing event and ride it in organised groups with the more experienced folk, like you Matt, guiding folk who have not ridden a 400 and acting as a 'Captain' which is rather what they do in some places overseas. This helps folk 'step up' to a 400 event and provides support in the absence of TLC as witnessed on previous National events.

Also, I would be very interested to learn just how many folk ride the National 400 event as their first 400. Based on the previous 3, where I saw a lot of faces I recognised from previous events of 400 and 400 plus, I assume they would not be the majority.

Re: National 400 2018
« Reply #28 on: October 05, 2017, 06:47:40 pm »
I was a first timer on my only national to date. It was the ease of getting the right food and kind faces at controls which made it for me. I don't think that having ridden one should disallow you from riding another, indeed the presence of a mixed crowd was very pleasant. I deliberately ride alone most of the time and am a confident navigator so wouldn't appreciate a group ride experience but that is just me, I know everyone is different. I fully appreciate the work involved - I think help would be forthcoming if an organiser suggested their ride for the national.

Re: National 400 2018
« Reply #29 on: October 05, 2017, 08:35:05 pm »
I was a first timer on my only national to date. It was the ease of getting the right food and kind faces at controls which made it for me. I don't think that having ridden one should disallow you from riding another, indeed the presence of a mixed crowd was very pleasant. I deliberately ride alone most of the time and am a confident navigator so wouldn't appreciate a group ride experience but that is just me, I know everyone is different. I fully appreciate the work involved - I think help would be forthcoming if an organiser suggested their ride for the national.

+1

U.N.Dulates

  • aka John Hamilton
Re: National 400 2018
« Reply #30 on: October 05, 2017, 09:39:51 pm »
I'll caveat this before I start - this is my personal opinion in large part from having run the 2017 event, and whilst I was Events Sec at the time the AUK National 400 was resurrected, official Board views may have changed since then.

Recent National 400s seem to have fallen into the bespoke one-off event with fully catered controls. I don't however see that as being the only way, it just the way the event has evolved over the last few years.

The trend for a bespoke event has probably just been down to nothing more than the candidate organisers not having a suitable 400 already on the books. But it should be entirely possible to use an existing event as the starting point. That does however require more than simply just slapping a label on the event - most events on the calendar would need scaling up not just in terms of providing the TLC that's part of the National 400 experience, but also to handle the larger field that goes with it.

Nor do controls have to be exclusively village hall volunteer run style. There are events that use scout groups, WI etc to run controls, not just AUK helpers. And good quality commercial controls should be fine too (provided they can handle the numbers) - think of the likes of the West End cafe and Mariners on the Brevet Cymru. The no-no to avoid is the Ginsters pasty on the 24hr garage forecourt, so a manned village hall control is pretty much mandatory overnight though.

What seems to be apparent from the last few years is that there's plenty of demand from riders (we had 145 on the road in 2017 and including cancellations I had nearly 200 entries, so a 200 rider event should be possible and would be what I'd be aiming for if I were doing it again), but much less interest from organisers. And TBH neither does there really seem that much interest from AUK in really getting behind the event.

When it comes to organisation I wouldn't say it's so much a bigger scale as a different skillset - running this sort of event is more about networking, project management and (most importantly) getting the right people involved rather than the "do it all yourself" approach.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: National 400 2018
« Reply #31 on: October 05, 2017, 09:52:27 pm »
The AUK Board are meeting next week. Tell us what the Board needs to do to back organisers for events like the National 400. There is definitely a desire to enable these popular events to occur.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: National 400 2018
« Reply #32 on: October 05, 2017, 09:58:05 pm »
The 2013 National 400 ran mostly on the route of an existing event.

It was fun running a control!
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: National 400 2018
« Reply #33 on: October 05, 2017, 10:12:59 pm »
The AUK Board are meeting next week. Tell us what the Board needs to do to back organisers for events like the National 400. There is definitely a desire to enable these popular events to occur.

AUK need to agree to act as financial guarantors for the National 400. The organiser must be able to book facilities confident in the knowledge that, if the event doesn't attract entries for whatever reason, s/he won't be left out of pocket.

There also should be support for a National 200, National 300 and National 600 - i.e a National SR series - Blue Ribband events designed to attract Sportive riders. Sportives are regularly attracting *thousands* of riders. We should use a National series to encourage them over to the dark side.

Also National events should be geographically diverse. There *must* be a National event in Scotland and one in Wales every year.

My tuppence.
You're only as successful as your last 1200...

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: National 400 2018
« Reply #34 on: October 05, 2017, 10:39:02 pm »
AUK already offers guarantees against loss for organisers of longer supported brevets. I'm not sure of the nitty-gritty but that has been stated policy for years. I don't know how often that guarantee has been needed but I know that the facility has been used.

The National Series was created very much along those lines by 'Mills the Hills' but sort of lost direction after his death. I tend to agree with his original approach. From http://www.aukweb.net/aboutauk/history/ "2004 Graham Mills introduced the National Super Randonneur Series."

It is almost certainly too late to go with a National Series for the 2018 season (let's just get a National 400 going first) but I think we should look at doing so in 2019.

Organisers, tell the Board what AUK can do to encourage you to step up to running these popular events. We want them in the calendar just as much as the riders do.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: National 400 2018
« Reply #35 on: October 06, 2017, 06:42:29 am »

Sportives are regularly attracting *thousands* of riders. We should use a National series to encourage them over to the dark side.


Some sportives do. I would say the "Fred Whitton Challenge" is the sportive equivalent of the BCM... consistently oversubscribed. They limit the entries at 2500. Other sportives are backed by large commercial organisations, like Wiggle... other local events struggle and pack up.
The big advantage AUK has is the low cost. Organising a large sportive involves budgets in the high 5 figures when not 6 figures, I don't think any Audax (besides LEL of course) has anywhere near that kind of budget. It shouldn't be hard for AUK to back up an organiser of a National event

Re: National 400 2018
« Reply #36 on: October 06, 2017, 10:06:16 am »
Perhaps the CTC  (Cycling UK) should be encouraged to get behind it again like they used to. 

Re: National 400 2018
« Reply #37 on: October 06, 2017, 10:51:42 am »
Wouldn't the Avalon Sunrise make an excellent national 400? it seems to have night arrangements already in place

http://www.aukweb.net/events/detail/18-401/

Re: National 400 2018
« Reply #38 on: October 06, 2017, 11:27:06 am »
Wouldn't the Avalon Sunrise make an excellent national 400? it seems to have night arrangements already in place

http://www.aukweb.net/events/detail/18-401/

The 2013 National was based on the Avalon Sunrise.

Re: National 400 2018
« Reply #39 on: October 06, 2017, 11:35:16 am »
Wouldn't the Avalon Sunrise make an excellent national 400? it seems to have night arrangements already in place

http://www.aukweb.net/events/detail/18-401/

The 2013 National was based on the Avalon Sunrise.

Even easier... 5 years is a long time...

Re: National 400 2018
« Reply #40 on: October 06, 2017, 11:39:20 am »
Wouldn't the Avalon Sunrise make an excellent national 400? it seems to have night arrangements already in place

http://www.aukweb.net/events/detail/18-401/

Is that coffee and cake available at the organiser's parents in Minehead?  I assume that what has happened in the past continues to happen.

The Hot Trod has sleeping facilities that might be able to cope, but as stated upthread it's all about numbers, capacity and willingness.

Re: National 400 2018
« Reply #41 on: October 06, 2017, 11:46:21 am »
I think the crucial point is to have at least one event (being that 300 or 400) which has TLC and can be used to encourage new members or non members to try a long distance event.
If the capacity is small, say under 100 riders, then priority could be given to members (even new members) who have not completed a 300-400 or longer in the previous 12 months or something similar, the remaining spaces available to all, AUK or not

Re: National 400 2018
« Reply #42 on: October 06, 2017, 09:43:36 pm »
Wouldn't the Avalon Sunrise make an excellent national 400? it seems to have night arrangements already in place

http://www.aukweb.net/events/detail/18-401/

The 2013 National was based on the Avalon Sunrise.

Even easier... 5 years is a long time...

Exeter Wheelers organised the 1993 national and 2013 national.  Guess when we're likely to offer again.

Re: National 400 2018
« Reply #43 on: October 07, 2017, 01:27:21 pm »
Is that an offer for 2017?

Re: National 400 2018
« Reply #44 on: October 07, 2017, 01:29:11 pm »
Is that an offer for 2017?

Might be a bit late. ;)

2033 was my thinking.

Re: National 400 2018
« Reply #45 on: October 07, 2017, 05:40:12 pm »

Re: National 400 2018
« Reply #46 on: October 09, 2017, 05:13:20 pm »
Would it be possible to make an existing 400 event into the national for 2018 with more manned controls?

Possibly not.  What works for 60 riders doesn't necessarily scale up to 200.  I've given some thought to upgrading the Llanfairpwllgwyngyll​gogerychwyrndrobwll​llantysiliogogogoch 400 which I think is a cracking route.  However, the start location, start time and control points are all determined by café opening times, expected traffic levels at different times of day and night, ease of night-time navigation, and availability of car parking.  I just couldn't envisage how it might work.

Re: National 400 2018
« Reply #47 on: October 09, 2017, 05:43:57 pm »
I think some organisers are perhaps a little too cautious, wanting everything in place before committing to open for entries.

In 2013 we published the event, based on Jamie's Avalon Sunrise.  We had not at that time sourced all the controls, and it was a while before we had everything in place so that we could finalise the route.

Back in the 90s, when I started organising, all that was required initially for any new event was information about distance and a title.  The events Secretary chased me for details some months into the new year.

telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Re: National 400 2018
« Reply #48 on: October 09, 2017, 05:50:22 pm »
As the AUK website states that entry fees are non-refundable, I can see why those orgs want to get everything in place before they start taking people's money as it reduces the potential for arguments later.
2017 - Randonneur 500 ✅ | 2018 - Randonneur 1,000 ✅

U.N.Dulates

  • aka John Hamilton
Re: National 400 2018
« Reply #49 on: October 10, 2017, 08:40:23 am »
At the time the 2017 National went on the calendar, all I had in place was a start venue, date and the engagement of the folk I'd asked to be controllers at most of the intermediate controls. I figured those were the most important bits to get the event published. I didn't want to be taking money at that stage though, as I'd prefer to spend time getting the rest of the planning sorted rather than dealing with entries. (And I'm not generally a fan of early entries anyway).

The facilities are all there to have an event published with an open date for entries so needing to get a suitable level of planning in place before taking folks cash doesn't have to be a problem. But it can seem at times that there's pressure from AUK to have everything sorted before the event is published on the calendar.

When it comes to the National 400 specifically (whilst obviously I'm not the best person to answer the question - really you need to ask those who declined to run it) it seems to me that at least part of the answer would be in answering the question of "what's in it for the organiser?". If the perception is that the answer is just "a whole ton of extra work" then it's not surprising that there's limited take-up. Many of the organisers with the skills and experience to put on the event have already got their own events to run. And creating a one-off event is a substantial amount of work.

I would like to see AUK looking after more of the "stuff" that makes the National the National. By that I mean things like branding, memorabilia etc, leaving the organiser free to concentrate on the core business of actually running the event itself. Producing individual medals for example for each year isn't cost or time effective but it's these things that give the event the sense of occasion. So a pack of banners, National 400 medals etc... would help.

More generally when it comes to organising large events, I think it comes down to the "one man and his dog" culture that seems largely prevalent in organisers. Somehow AUK needs to give some focus towards encouraging networking, as bigger events are about getting people together rather than just individuals. If asked what the most important skill for an organiser is I would have to answer that the only thing you really need to be good at is getting other people who are good at doing things together. Get the right people on board and it's not that hard. It does seem to be changing, but the focus at the AUK level seems to be all about riders. Some of that focus needs to shift to organisers and events rather than the current laissez-faire approach of leaving it up to individuals to see what they bring to the calendar. I don't know what the answers are to doing that though.