Author Topic: Thinking of organising a forum ride / camping weekend / etc?  (Read 10988 times)


  • Timelord
Thinking of organising a forum ride / camping weekend / etc?
« on: 17 September, 2018, 01:37:46 pm »
After a couple of conversations at this weekend's camping trip, it occurred to me that this might warrant a sticky thread for the benefit of future organisers.

First and foremost, organising an event doesn't need to be any more complicated than a statement of intent:  Start a thread saying that you're planning on riding from $foo to $bar (meet at $foo railway station cafe at 10am, expect to arrive at $bar by 5pm), or going camping for a weekend at $site, with a ride to $attraction on the Saturday, and anyone else is welcome to join you for all or part of it.  Sometimes people simplify matters by, for example, collecting campsite deposits electronically and making a single booking to ensure we get adjacent pitches, or providing a map/routesheet/GPX file of an intended ride, or even baking CAKE, but none of that is essential.

You don't need to be a gnarly randonneur, part of some secret cabal, or have been part of the community since three forums ago, or anything like that.  All that's needed is an idea for a bike ride or whatever.  Similarly, you'll get as much interest in a family-friendly 10 mile ride to a pub as a hilly 200km, often from some of the same people.


It's a truism that if you ask YACFers which of six dates is best, you'll get six answers and no concrete decisions.  The best approach is to have a date in mind from the outset, and then people can give simple yes/no/maybe answers for whether they're coming, although sometimes a poll of a limited number of options can be useful for gauging interest.  For those who can't make it, there's always the next one...

That said, it's probably worth making an effort to avoid obvious clashes.  Good things to check include:
  • The YACF calendar - Sometimes overlooked, the forum has its own calendar facility.
  • The Audax UK Calendar - Many forumites are enthusiastic audaxers, and you're more likely to get people turning up if you don't clash with major Audax events, or smaller ones in the same area.
  • Friday Night Rides to the Coast - These social overnight rides are also popular with YACFers, to the point that we occasionally organise forum rides to a similar formula elsewhere in the country.
  • Association of Lightweight Campers meets - Some of the forum's most enthusiastic campers are active members of the ALC.
  • Cyclechat rides - Many forumites have dual nationality.  (Also the home of FNRttC discussion.)
  • The York Rally - Usually the summer solstice weekend.
  • Mildenhall Cycling Festival - Usually the August bank holiday weekend.
  • BHPC events - Of interest to some of our recumbent riders.

Forum tips

If you want people to notice your event, the best approach is to start a new thread with a short description and the date in the subject line.  "Camping weekend near Didcot - 21st July" or "Northampton-London social ride - May 18th" would be a good subject to use.  Something like "Riding the Tissington Trail?" or "Camping in the Lakes" might be overlooked as an abstract discussion or seeking advice for a personal trip.

Many people read the entireity of YACF in date order, but others navigate directly to the boards which cover their subjects of interest.  As such, it's important to put new threads where they'll be noticed by the right people.  By convention, social rides and camping trips etc should go in Rides and Touring.  (Not Camping It Up, which, as a sub-board of The Knowledge is more about discussing equipment and sites.)  If you're posting about an audax you're organising or thinking of riding, that should go in the Audax board.  Occasionally events might be better suited to another specific board: A trip to see a play about Beryl Burton might go in Arts and Entertainment, for example.

If an idea for a forum event comes up as part of a more abstract discussion, it's best to spin it off in its own thread.  The moderators can help by moving relevant posts.

Link it to the Calendar: To make your event appear in the YACF calendar, either start by creating the calendar entry and choose the option to create a thread based on that, or, after creating your thread, use the "Link to calendar" button at the bottom left of the page.  (Only the originator of a thread can do this.)

Edit the first post to contain up-to-date key information.  People don't want to have to wade through several pages discussing the history of the disused railway line, the beers available at the on-site microbrewery, or that time that Basil fell off his bike on a previous iteration of the ride, in order to work out what time they need to book their return train for.
Useful things to keep in the first post include dates and times, locations, a list of who's coming, links to the pub's lunch menu or a campsite's booking page, and details of any last-minute changes that might affect people's plans (car park's closed, rail replacement buses, pub not serving food, that sort of thing).
If you're organising a bike ride it's a good idea to give an indication of likely pace (please use objective measures like number of hours or average speed, rather than "gentle" or "social" - your social pace may be another person's balls-out effort), and whether the route is suitable for all types of cycle - is that cyclepath okay on road tyres, is there a gap that you can't fit a tricycle through, will cycles have to be carried up steps, that sort of thing.

Anything else worth adding?

Re: Thinking of organising a forum ride / camping weekend / etc?
« Reply #1 on: 17 September, 2018, 03:16:30 pm »
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Re: Thinking of organising a forum ride / camping weekend / etc?
« Reply #2 on: 17 September, 2018, 09:41:28 pm »
That's a good list.  :)
Quote from: Kim
^ This woman knows what she's talking about.

Re: Thinking of organising a forum ride / camping weekend / etc?
« Reply #3 on: 02 October, 2018, 10:01:40 pm »
I'm always put off by the thought of camping. Rather have hostels. Riding through the night is a nightmare [excuse the pun] also as I can't do without my sleep. If I organised one it would be a Hostel or B&B ride and I expect little take-up because of that. Oh and anything containing the word "Challenge" has me running for the hills, well, not steep hills. :)
Nothing left to prove.


  • Timelord
Re: Thinking of organising a forum ride / camping weekend / etc?
« Reply #4 on: 02 October, 2018, 11:03:06 pm »
Nowt wrong with hostels, particularly in the colder months.   :thumbsup:

Re: Thinking of organising a forum ride / camping weekend / etc?
« Reply #5 on: 27 January, 2019, 12:04:39 pm »
I would disagree with giving a speed. No ride I have ever done where a speed has been specified has ever matched it.

I think being a bit verbose is more useful. Such as "An easy ride where nobody will get left behind. Anyone struggling will be picked up by another rider and if you can't get back on, everyone will stop and wait"

Or the opposite "This an all out chain gang, if you get dropped - find your own way home (or to the campsite or wherever)"

And of course everything inbetween.

Other than that, nice list  :)
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!