Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => Audax => PBP 2019 => Topic started by: Gattopardo on September 20, 2019, 07:42:57 pm

Title: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Gattopardo on September 20, 2019, 07:42:57 pm
So I, well my french partner, seems to be in regular contact with the people at Rambouillet and this came up as a discussion.

So what would you like to feed back.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Phil W on September 20, 2019, 08:28:37 pm
Better signage in the Sheepfold. Finding registration and the start were not as straightforward as they should have been.

Cups. There was something strange going on with cups, drinks and tokens. I guess it was an attempt to reduce cups. This should include presenting your own cup / container, not being told you need another token.

Try and get the parking / camper vans away from the route we take on bikes in and out of the sheepfold.

In group G we were overtaken by a lot of support vehicles (registered or not) on the first section of road out of Rambouillet.  They do not need to share that bit of route they can go a different way. Enforce it.

Overall prefer location to the Velodrome of 15.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Nebulous on September 20, 2019, 08:50:57 pm
First time for me and I feel almost entirely positive about how the event was managed. Thank them for the good-nature and willingness of the volunteers. The food generally worked well. I didn't always manage to eat it, but that wasn't their fault.

Things to work on:-

Toilets: I spent 2 hours from my available 90 queuing for toilets. One of the controls had a row of portaloos and they worked really well, but some of the controls had long queues, once you found the toilets in the first place.

Mud: Some controls had sometimes quite short walks over mud to retrieve bikes or get to controls. Surely as cyclists they know what that does to cleats?  Some strategically placed matting would have made a big difference, and would have provided protection for the grass.

Control times: Brevet cards with individual control times would have been a great help.

Thanks for pulling this together...
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: FifeingEejit on September 20, 2019, 11:48:20 pm
The 4 finish lines... tidy it up!
Best location for the arch and timing would probably have been next to the marquee, nice area beside it for people to stand and watch too.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: grams on September 21, 2019, 12:02:00 am
I echo the thing about the toilets at controls - at a lot of them the only visible toilets had a couple of cubicles and a massive queue. I can’t believe those big schools don’t have proper facilities people could be directed to.

All of the controls could have done with temporary outdoor taps near the bike parking for filling bidons. I think only Mortagne actually did this that I saw.

Tinteniac (I think) had one tent with someone selling simple sandwiches for a fixed price and a *separate* tent next to them selling simple coffees for a fixed price. Minimal faff for either side and no queues. More of this please.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Tillapaw on September 21, 2019, 09:28:32 am
I thought the dossier was good, there was a lot of info in it though the maps could have been clearer which would also help with people knowing where to go at the start.  The lap around the sheepfold was a nice idea, perhaps to mimic the lap around the velodrome but the road surface (or lack thereof) made it impractical.  I would also have the riders come back in through the same gate we departed through, this would avoid some of the motorhomes and also make it so that riders can depart directly back into town rather than being directed out past Station Garzan. More portaloos at the controls, especially Carhaix, Villanes was a good model, they had loads of portaloos.  LEL style brevet cards with the control opening/closing times according to our start group.  I didn't see anything mentioned in the dossier about the control's start/closing times in the brevet card being for the first and last groups respectively.

The volunteers were great and the atmosphere at Villanes was amazing, I've never seen anything like that.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Exit Stage Left on September 21, 2019, 11:54:24 am
The start took place on a bridleway, which obviously sees a lot of use. The gateway before the cobbled roundabout  is usually just sufficiently ajar to be able to get a horse or a bike through, but not a car. So using the start route couldn't just be a case of reversing the start.

All the controls I saw were just the same as on previous occasions. The big difference was the start/finish. which had been arranged at relatively short notice.

What I did notice was that the approach to the finish was marred by what I term 'Reservoir Dogs Syndrome'; the desire of any group to walk abreast if there is space to do so. There'd be four people walking side by side, and taking up too much space. You see it on mixed-use paths anywhere, it's too deeply ingrained a behaviour to alter now, so the approach might have to be segregated.

The finish as used this time would be fine if it was surfaced with a top dressing of crusher run, 20mm to dust. Cobbles such as those were never intended as a running surface.

I though the the marquee worked well, and I sampled the meal at the end, which I thought was pretty good. it was unfortunate that the 'Concours de Machines' took up so much space, when people were queuing in the pouring rain on Saturday. But that clearly wasn't anticipated.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: zacklaws on September 21, 2019, 01:42:59 pm
Only two things I noticed that was a significant problem worth mentioning.

1. Where the long stay car park was, their was no toilet facilities. To get to them it was a long trek. Not a problem if your just hanging around near the start ready to go for a while, but, if your just resting in the car park chilling for a few hours, where it's more quiet and peaceful then it became a problem. Also if I recall, the long stay car park was not on the map, I never saw it and several others mentioned it so it was guess work to find the toilets initially and anywhere else you may have wanted to go to from the car park.

2. The second issue was, and according to the riders documents folder as the problem was foreseen and should not have happened was riders from later groups setting off blocking the road to the forming up points and the start. I set off from the car park with all the intentions of getting to my forming up point 45 minutes before my start as planned. But, close to that point, the approach road was clogged with riders from groups from later starting times. I was group J, but I had to struggle to get through riders from the likes of  O to as late as V if I recall. In the end I gave up and walked across the field and then having to keep looking for my group getting stressed out that I would be late. When I got to my forming up point, there was plenty of space in the fields around the forming up point etc to just sit and watch instead of just stood across the top tube of the bike on the road blocking off access.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: madcow on September 21, 2019, 03:38:15 pm
Can they negotiate with Ale clothing to get some more jerseys made please.
Money waiting.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Bikeabilityman on September 21, 2019, 07:40:41 pm
Not everyone eats meat (or fish). Vegetarian choice was limited, even less vegan. I know this is more a lifestyle than allergy choice, but the percentage of v/ve participants must be enough to put on choices.

My accommodation and hospitality was excellent!
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Nebulous on September 22, 2019, 11:01:25 am
Can they negotiate with Ale clothing to get some more jerseys made please.
Money waiting.

I didn't have a pre-qualifying ride and never gave up hope that there would be additional spaces. I kept obsessively checking the website, found and secured a space before people had even received the emails saying they would be opened up.

I was out on my bike when the emails came in saying the shop was opening to sell more jerseys and by the time I logged in everything other than the small sizes had gone. Again I took to checking the site very regularly and last week they released a small number of additional jerseys (about 10 of each size I think) and I've managed to order both an xxl and an xxxl. I posted in the jersey thread to say there were more on offer.

Long story - but you can't trust the organisers to communicate. They do things they have said wont happen - such as provide more places and offer more jerseys. Don't give up, keep trying and they may well add some more before the end date for the shop.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Wycombewheeler on September 22, 2019, 11:57:08 am
I echo the thing about the toilets at controls - at a lot of them the only visible toilets had a couple of cubicles and a massive queue. I can’t believe those big schools don’t have proper facilities people could be directed to.

All of the controls could have done with temporary outdoor taps near the bike parking for filling bidons. I think only Mortagne actually did this that I saw.

Tinteniac (I think) had one tent with someone selling simple sandwiches for a fixed price and a *separate* tent next to them selling simple coffees for a fixed price. Minimal faff for either side and no queues. More of this please.
Villaines had this. it wasn't right next to the bike parking, but clearly visible on the way in.

I did like the start finish locastion, Rambouillet was a nice town to spend time in before and ag=fter the event.
Signage to bike check was poor, i eneded u[ taking y bike up a muddy sandy path, leading to much muck on wheels and brake pads, braking was impaired enough for me to worry about failing the bike check. Many others missed the turn also.
finish line in the courtyard was poor. luckily it was dry, or there could have been issues with turning on the wet cobbles.
as others have said the chaos of finished riders, pedestrians, and vehicles moving around on the finishing straight of the ride while riders are trying to finish, some under time pressure.

Villaines, Mortagne - excellent, tintiniac also great.

some heating in the dorm at Carhaix would have been nice, the last time I had to put on all my clothes to sleep, was when sleeping outside in a tinfoil blanket.

Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Dtcman on September 22, 2019, 01:11:46 pm
This was my fourth PBP so some thoughts:

Rambouillet and the Bergerie Nationale were excellent locations and I hope they stick with these next time. I think the organisation overall was superb. People need to remember this is an amateur event organised predominantly by volunteers and they do a fantastic job.
   
I echo all the comments about the chaos getting to the finish with campers/zombies/walking dead all over the road. The confusion with finish lines and the cobbles.
Also agree with the comments about lack of toilets at some controls (although this was no different to previous events). I ended up leaving controls needing the toilet but not being prepared to queue and going once I had left the town.
 
It was not easy to get to the start to see other waves start and lots of people (with bikes) trying to do that caused a bit of chaos. I always like to see the fast boys and the special needs start.   

Clearly the jersey sizing issue has been a headache for the organisers. I wonder why they went for a race/skin type rather than the randonneur/club type of previous events.     

I know this has been mooted/discussed previously but I think if they keep with the early registration for pre-qualifying rides system, they should consider some recognition of successful completion of previous a PBP taken into account as well.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Wycombewheeler on September 22, 2019, 01:35:12 pm
I know this has been mooted/discussed previously but I think if they keep with the early registration for pre-qualifying rides system, they should consider some recognition of successful completion of previous a PBP taken into account as well.
as in giving preference to those that have never been able to experience the ride? Spread the love, don't build ivory towers
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Dtcman on September 22, 2019, 02:41:16 pm
I know this has been mooted/discussed previously but I think if they keep with the early registration for pre-qualifying rides system, they should consider some recognition of successful completion of previous a PBP taken into account as well.
as in giving preference to those that have never been able to experience the ride? Spread the love, don't build ivory towers

Then why have pre-qualifying rides or indeed the SR series before the event at all. The purpose of introducing the pre-qualifying rides was partly to pre-select/filter riders who were more likely to finish the event. Previous successful completion would be another measure of this. When it was talked about before no one was suggesting that it should be an automatic buy-in but could be taken into account as well as last years rides.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: quixoticgeek on September 22, 2019, 02:54:24 pm

Then why have pre-qualifying rides or indeed the SR series before the event at all. The purpose of introducing the pre-qualifying rides was partly to pre-select/filter riders who were more likely to finish the event. Previous successful completion would be another measure of this. When it was talked about before no one was suggesting that it should be an automatic buy-in but could be taken into account as well as last years rides.

If you go with someone who completed 4 years ago, it's plausible they've done nothing between the last PBP, and the first 200 of their SR series to qualify...

J
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Exit Stage Left on September 22, 2019, 04:00:13 pm
LEL 2013 showed that there had to be barriers to entry, or the first places would go to those with access to 'bots'.
In 2011 there was talk of national quotas, but they were unfair to newer countries.

The 2019 system generated lots of DNFs. That might seem unimportant to many, but it generates waste in the catering at controls. That waste also inflates the cost of providing food, as the provision is for a 'normal' dropout rate. The alternative is to charge an 'all-in' price, so that waste doesn't impact on price.

However, that discriminates against local riders who have support from their clubs.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Zed43 on September 22, 2019, 04:06:21 pm
Maybe add a quotum per country, based on the percentage of finishers in the last edition. Call me cynical, but I have a hard time believing that all of those 322 Indians truly did complete a SR within the ACP time limits, when only 43 finished PBP in time (yes, it got cold at night, didn't they have any anciens warning the group to prepare for cold and bring a down jacket?)

For something completely different: croissants trump baguettes big time. I had one baguette early on; too chewy, sharp crust would have hurt a tender mouth later on and it just wasn't as nice a baguette normally is in France.  The croissants I had (at Fougères, other places?) were lovely.

The maps in the dossier were hysterical. Did they really think riders would be interested in where the fire brigade would ride in in case of an incident? It had far too much information that was not relevant, causing the maps to be difficult to read. Even now, knowing the setup, I can still not make head or tails of the "plan de mass de départ".

In general I would say the logistics at the start and finish were horrible and at the controls they were fine.

Speaking of controls, Fougères was comfortably warm, none of the others were in my recollection (just a few degrees warmer would have made them much nicer to stay, especially when arriving in a cold night).
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Wycombewheeler on September 22, 2019, 05:15:06 pm
I know this has been mooted/discussed previously but I think if they keep with the early registration for pre-qualifying rides system, they should consider some recognition of successful completion of previous a PBP taken into account as well.
as in giving preference to those that have never been able to experience the ride? Spread the love, don't build ivory towers

Then why have pre-qualifying rides or indeed the SR series before the event at all. The purpose of introducing the pre-qualifying rides was partly to pre-select/filter riders who were more likely to finish the event. Previous successful completion would be another measure of this. When it was talked about before no one was suggesting that it should be an automatic buy-in but could be taken into account as well as last years rides.
Having pre qualifiers rewards those for whom randonneering is business as usual, biasing towards anciens encourages pbp tourism.

If everyone who rode this time entered again there would be no room for anyone new. Having past completion as a requisite penalised those who were unable to enter this time.

If you want to add a requirement of most BRM events ridden between this pbp and next, or most sr series or most 1000s or 600s that would seem reasonable. But missing out on entry this time making it harder to enter next time is just unfair.

I say this as someone who has just completed PBP, I dont think that should put me ahead of someone that hasnt if we complete the same rides in 2022. If there is concern about the failure rate, maybe they need to look at the 600s and 400s these people qualified with, are they too easy? Can they identify certain events which have a high pbp dnf rate?

Is it a lack of hills? Do they need to apply tougher finishing times Or is it climate? Do they need to send better advice out about dealing with the cold.

How many people who failed in 2015 came back and completed in 2019 having learned? Should the be denied the chance as they weren't a finisher?
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Wycombewheeler on September 22, 2019, 05:27:18 pm
Maybe add a quotum per country, based on the percentage of finishers in the last edition. Call me cynical, but I have a hard time believing that all of those 322 Indians truly did complete a SR within the ACP time limits, when only 43 finished PBP in time (yes, it got cold at night, didn't they have any anciens warning the group to prepare for cold and bring a down jacket?)

For something completely different: croissants trump baguettes big time. I had one baguette early on; too chewy, sharp crust would have hurt a tender mouth later on and it just wasn't as nice a baguette normally is in France.  The croissants I had (at Fougères, other places?) were lovely.

The maps in the dossier were hysterical. Did they really think riders would be interested in where the fire brigade would ride in in case of an incident? It had far too much information that was not relevant, causing the maps to be difficult to read. Even now, knowing the setup, I can still not make head or tails of the "plan de mass de départ".

In general I would say the logistics at the start and finish were horrible and at the controls they were fine.

Speaking of controls, Fougères was comfortably warm, none of the others were in my recollection (just a few degrees warmer would have made them much nicer to stay, especially when arriving in a cold night).
If certain events raise suspicion, maybe they could look at demanding gpx tracks.

Have results been falsified, or has the event operated as a team qualifying endeavor where the field all ride together with strong riders providing a wheel for others over flat terrain?
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: quixoticgeek on September 22, 2019, 05:55:47 pm
I say this as someone who has just completed PBP, I dont think that should put me ahead of someone that hasnt if we complete the same rides in 2022. If there is concern about the failure rate, maybe they need to look at the 600s and 400s these people qualified with, are they too easy? Can they identify certain events which have a high pbp dnf rate?

The interesting one here would be the DNF rate for those who did their qualifiers in .NL. Let's face it, we have some bloody flat rides.

And it's fair to say the PBP route is not flat... But then we may be better at dealing with shit weather...

I agree with you that entry last time shouldn't give you auto entry next time, that just seems unfair.

Quota by country sounds interesting. Do I go in under the Dutch quota, or the British one? We sent 40% of our membership to PBP. I if AUK did the same, it may DOS the event...

J

Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on September 22, 2019, 06:23:09 pm
How many here have ridden brevets in India (since their DNF rate is being discussed, though the same issue applies to other countries)? I very much doubt there is any funny business going on with Indian PBP qualifiers. The previous Indian organisation got banned from riding or organising any ACP brevets and the current mob very much want to avoid that.

I rode an overnight 200 from Pune a couple of years ago. Despite being very unfit from a lot of time off the bike and riding an ill-fitting hybrid hire bike, I finished quite close to the front of the field in a half-respectable time, which shocked me. With rare exceptions, Indian randonneurs ride mostly on the plains and on highway hardshoulders. The reasons for that are quite understandable (a lot of India is very flat and minor roads can turn into figurative minefields without warning) but it means they usually aren’t hardened to the climbing required at PBP.

This isn’t a new problem. Early on, the USA contingent had a 50% DNF rate (using flat qualifier routes) and after that, until 1998, they were required to do SRs for two years or do a 1000 on top of their SR. Japan chose easy qualifiers early on, with similar problems. Japanese routes are now usually much hillier than most countries' brevets and their DNF rate has dropped.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on September 22, 2019, 06:27:38 pm
In the old days, anciens du PBP had a lower DNF rate than first-time entrants. That changed early this century and the DNF rates are basically the same, regardless of having ridden PBP before.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: SR Steve on September 22, 2019, 06:42:35 pm
I liked the Rambouillet start and thought the Bergerie Nationale was a good venue. It seemed chaotic with massive queues on the Saturday when most riders were registering, but I was on the 84 hour so registered in the dry on Sunday with no queues.

I agree with others that the final approach should have been kept clear of motor homes and this in turn should have reduced the number of people walking down the route. It was also confusing at the finish with a huge banner that wasn’t actually the finish. I was lucky that I finished in daylight early Wednesday evening and there was a marshall to guide me into the cobbled courtyard and the actual finish, but others weren’t so lucky.

I hoped that with the start being moved nearer to Brest that the route would be shortened to just over 1200km, but it wasn’t shortened as much as I had hoped and extra hills seemed to have been thrown in too! In 2015 Strava using my Garmin Edge 200 made it 1234.0km with 10040m ascent and in 2019 with the same Garmin, Strava made it 1223.6km and 10731m ascent. This means the distance was only about 0.84% less in 2019 than 2015, but despite this slight reduction in distance, the ascent had increased by almost 6.9%, making the event significantly harder and still over distance. Whilst it didn’t bother me too much, it was the difference between success and failure for many riders, especially when a significant amount of their time was taken up queuing at controls.

I thought the food marquee at the finish was very good and I enjoyed my vegetarian meal. In 2015 there was no vegetarian food at the finish. I didn’t eat at many controls because I carried my own food but found plenty of veggie food available at controls this time.

Regarding the high DNF rate this time especially with riders from hot countries, I’ve no reason to suspect that they haven’t qualified properly, it’s just that food, climate, hills and everything else is so different for them in Northern Europe. Even 27 degrees in the daytime seems chilly when you’re used to 40 plus, so 2 or 3 degrees during 9 hour nights was unbearable for many. I found it almost unbearable myself and I ride 200km plus regularly all year round in the UK. It’s also unusual and uncalled for to have a headwind both ways on any ride, especially such a long one.

I think the pre-qualifying process is good, but there should always be some space reserved for new riders before any further available places are opened up to other non pre-qualified riders.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: FifeingEejit on September 22, 2019, 07:00:18 pm
LEL 2013 showed that there had to be barriers to entry, or the first places would go to those with access to 'bots'.
In 2011 there was talk of national quotas, but they were unfair to newer countries.

The 2019 system generated lots of DNFs. That might seem unimportant to many, but it generates waste in the catering at controls. That waste also inflates the cost of providing food, as the provision is for a 'normal' dropout rate. The alternative is to charge an 'all-in' price, so that waste doesn't impact on price.

However, that discriminates against local riders who have support from their clubs.

Was looking at the info for the UAF PBP Audax.
€650 all in though.

In general I would say the logistics at the start and finish were horrible and at the controls they were fine.

Speaking of controls, Fougères was comfortably warm, none of the others were in my recollection (just a few degrees warmer would have made them much nicer to stay, especially when arriving in a cold night).

The controls have previous knowledge of many editions now.
The Bergerie was of an unknown quality until the day.

Mortagne on the last night was bloody roasting.

Is it a lack of hills? Do they need to apply tougher finishing times Or is it climate? Do they need to send better advice out about dealing with the cold.

One suggestion, not mine and not particularly serious, is that there should be 1 qualifying series being made up of the Highlands Audax SR series; not only will it make sure you think a 3% incline is a walk in the park you'll also have to be able to descend...

There were a couple of occasions when I realized that riding in Scotland and the North of England was an advantage, mostly on downwards slopes and escaping from a group of brake draggers.
But that was only threatening their DNF possibilities if I hadn't been paying attention.
But then I also didn't really notice most of the ups or head wind

Which leads into:
The interesting one here would be the DNF rate for those who did their qualifiers in .NL. Let's face it, we have some bloody flat rides.

73 finishers out of 100 for NL; don't think you can say that the lack of hills in qualifiers has been the problem.
Unless most of the 27 non finishers avidly avoid Limburg and the Ardennes.


I suspect LittleWheelsAndBig has hit on it, there's plenty of information, advice and Experience to those of us in AUK and Ranndonneurs NL.
I've hears someone grumbling about things where that info was readily available on here to consume in advance.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: quixoticgeek on September 22, 2019, 07:41:25 pm
73 finishers out of 100 for NL; don't think you can say that the lack of hills in qualifiers has been the problem.
Unless most of the 27 non finishers avidly avoid Limburg and the Ardennes.

I suspect LittleWheelsAndBig has hit on it, there's plenty of information, advice and Experience to those of us in AUK and Ranndonneurs NL.
I've hears someone grumbling about things where that info was readily available on here to consume in advance.

Is that based on "nationality == Dutch"? or is that based on "ACP==808056"?

Because the former will include riders like Jasmijn Muller who did all her qualifiers in .UK. Is data available based on ACP number? RNL sent ~80 riders IIRC.

J
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on September 22, 2019, 07:55:52 pm
The oddities of nationality vs. country of residence are a small percentage. There are a lot of Indians living in other countries and I know that at least a couple of them took part in PBP too.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: FifeingEejit on September 22, 2019, 08:12:27 pm
73 finishers out of 100 for NL; don't think you can say that the lack of hills in qualifiers has been the problem.
Unless most of the 27 non finishers avidly avoid Limburg and the Ardennes.

I suspect LittleWheelsAndBig has hit on it, there's plenty of information, advice and Experience to those of us in AUK and Ranndonneurs NL.
I've hears someone grumbling about things where that info was readily available on here to consume in advance.

Is that based on "nationality == Dutch"? or is that based on "ACP==808056"?

Because the former will include riders like Jasmijn Muller who did all her qualifiers in .UK. Is data available based on ACP number? RNL sent ~80 riders IIRC.

J

The former.
The later is 52/72 but 2 of them seem to have abandoned; so 69% rather than 73% it's still a decent %age of finishers.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Ajax Bay on September 22, 2019, 08:12:35 pm
If a route is going to be signed, sign it with the riders in mind. Bigger signs and greater area (arrow (not triangle) shaped) of reflective material. It'll mostly be at night when errors may occur and when riders are tired: the challenges of the Perche after Mortagne come particularly to mind, as well as aiming for over-signing in the towns, entry and exit. A 'pace line' of headlights returning to 3 junctions helped our group either side of Wednesday (2359) midnight.
Glad I wasn't negotiating the Rambouillet finish area as a full value rider middday or 5pm Thursday (90/84 starts) for the reasons stated above. Surprised that riders and their supporters on the thoroughfare of the motorhome avenue weren't more aware that thousands of riders would be coming that way, yet to finish their ride. There needs to be a segregated exit route for those who've completed and a ban on vehicular movement there till 6pm Thursday, except for emergency/organising team vehicles. Unless that interference is designed out, I guess this needs (in short supply) volunteer help to police.
Thought the finish was fine and far too much whining has gone on. But I too am glad it was dry round that courtyard. The brevet check/stamping stations worked well there, and for me they were the model of efficiency at every control.
How about PBP shares plans of the layout of each control showing key features: entrance, exit (routes), bike racking, brevet control, loos, various eating options, shower/sleeping, water bottle filling, mechanic? Have any 'walk-round videos been made of the various controls. For a newbie like me, previewing those would have been excellent preparation.
Sizing advice for the tops and safety gilets cannot be difficult to get right. Based on the posts in this forum I chose 'advisedly' and got both sizes dead right (XL and M) but so many didn't and for clothing where there's no 'return' this (sizing advice) is doubly important.

Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Chrisheg on September 22, 2019, 10:51:29 pm
To beat this drum once again, make it easy for riders to determine the closing time for their group at each control, e.g. a large poster next to the control tables like this:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48778050707_c5a852aec8_h.jpg)

Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: SR Steve on September 22, 2019, 11:46:47 pm
To beat this drum once again, make it easy for riders to determine the closing time for their group at each control, e.g. a large poster next to the control tables like this:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48778050707_c5a852aec8_h.jpg)

Except E was an 80 hour start, and on the Monday morning 84 hour, W started at 4:45, X at 5:00, Y at 5:15 and Z at 5:30.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Chrisheg on September 23, 2019, 04:28:23 am

Except E was an 80 hour start, and on the Monday morning 84 hour, W started at 4:45, X at 5:00, Y at 5:15 and Z at 5:30.

Sorry, my view of the 80's and 84's was a bit hazy from group R. I thought E was the special bikes.

What I did see was a lot of 90 hour riders confused about when their control closed and unaware that they were way behind the pace.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Wycombewheeler on September 23, 2019, 09:07:51 am
To beat this drum once again, make it easy for riders to determine the closing time for their group at each control, e.g. a large poster next to the control tables like this:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48778050707_c5a852aec8_h.jpg)
Although for clarity each control only needs two columns, this control and the next control. No one at Carhaix needs to know what time Mortagne closes.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Ajax Bay on September 23, 2019, 10:06:41 am
All this chat about when controls close for each start group. Did any riders get refused a brevet stamp because they were 'out-of-time' at a particular control, except those who arrived when the control itself had closed (because the last 84 hour start riders were 'out-of-time')? If this was not really an issue, then does this matter much.
A sensible rider who thought they might be full-value at some stage during the ride would prepare themselves by constructing a simple list of controls and times (I wrote mine on my (paper) road atlas map sheets).
The idea of printing up separate brevets for every start would add to expense/complexity (but not much). Even then, given the 'rolling' nature of the start these would have been minutes wrong in the event. I have separately related meeting a guy from the Z start (both of us on the way back to the ferry) who arrived at Mortagne after it closed (and the control desk had closed/was unmanned) but finished before his deadline at Rambouillet. The timing mat recorded his visit there and at Dreux.
What's required is for ACP PBP orgs to share the algorithm they use for the intermediate times (for 80/90/84).
I tried to work this out (get a best fit) for 90: =start time + (km'age to control (way out)*X/(24*610)) where X increased from 40.8 to 42 over the 610km to Brest.
And on the way back: =required time at Brest (42 hours) + (km'age to control from Brest*48)/(24*608))
I'm sure others will have done better.
Any rider "way behind the pace" and not knowing it has failed to prepare, imo, and suggests lack of self-reliance, maybe a result of the style of 400s/600s they had ridden to qualify.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: SR Steve on September 23, 2019, 10:13:32 am
Control opening and closing times for each start letter should really be in the brevet cards anyway, even if this means 26 print runs instead of 3.

It’s interesting to note the times allowed for reaching Brest for the 3 start bands: -
80 hours - 36:48
84 hours - 38:22
90 hours - 42:06
In 2011 I would have been out of time at Brest in the 80 and 84 hour starts with 39:20 due to a few things going wrong, even though I ended up finishing in 69:43. Luckily I was in the 90 hour, but in the last two I’ve been in the 84 hour so taking a calculated risk that such things wouldn’t happen again.

Due to high likelihood of a headwind out to Brest and queues at controls, I think it would be fairer to have control closing times calculated from a flat rate minimum average speed required to cover the full distance in the chosen maximum time. I think the current front weighted system puts unnecessary pressure on slower riders who could otherwise actually get round in time for a successful finish.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: dubya on September 23, 2019, 10:23:25 am
Like most my control times where my only issue, everything else Ive put down to experience required to do at 1200/PBP.  This was my first PBP /1200 and I had assumed that the brevet card would have my control times printed.  My whole ride was made difficult by my misunderstanding of the times in the card and once I realised my error I was right up against my time.

A page in the brevet book with open / close of controls with a simple 'adjust for your start time', and may be an empty column next to start / end so you can write your adjusted time would have cleared up the confusion.

Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: dubya on September 23, 2019, 10:28:40 am
To beat this drum once again, make it easy for riders to determine the closing time for their group at each control, e.g. a large poster next to the control tables like this:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48778050707_c5a852aec8_h.jpg)
Having this as an A4 sheet in the sign-on pack would solve all the issues.  Even if a rider lost theirs they only need ask another rider.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Wycombewheeler on September 23, 2019, 10:31:15 am
All this chat about when controls close for each start group. Did any riders get refused a brevet stamp because they were 'out-of-time' at a particular control, except those who arrived when the control itself had closed (because the last 84 hour start riders were 'out-of-time')? If this was not really an issue, then does this matter much.
A sensible rider who thought they might be full-value at some stage during the ride would prepare themselves by constructing a simple list of controls and times (I wrote mine on my (paper) road atlas map sheets).
The idea of printing up separate brevets for every start would add to expense/complexity (but not much). Even then, given the 'rolling' nature of the start these would have been minutes wrong in the event. I have separately related meeting a guy from the Z start (both of us on the way back to the ferry) who arrived at Mortagne after it closed (and the control desk had closed/was unmanned) but finished before his deadline at Rambouillet. The timing mat recorded his visit there and at Dreux.
What's required is for ACP PBP orgs to share the algorithm they use for the intermediate times (for 80/90/84).
I tried to work this out (get a best fit) for 90: =start time + (km'age to control (way out)*X/(24*610)) where X increased from 40.8 to 42 over the 610km to Brest.
And on the way back: =required time at Brest (42 hours) + (km'age to control from Brest*48)/(24*608))
I'm sure others will have done better.
Any rider "way behind the pace" and not knowing it has failed to prepare, imo, and suggests lack of self-reliance, maybe a result of the style of 400s/600s they had ridden to qualify.
I dont believe anyone was stopped for being out of time at intermediate controls, but when the information sent out states 'closing times must be respected' it leads riders to believe it is a possibility and act accordingly.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: grams on September 23, 2019, 10:48:53 am
If you were in an early group and followed the closing times in the brevet card and not realised, you could easily have put yourself on course to get to Rambouillet out of time, regardless of whether intermediate times were enforced or not.

Printing numbers in the card that are wrong for almost everyone - in the wrong direction - is bonkers behaviour. At least in the dossier they printed the start times for the first group rather than the last. Nothing to do with how prepared riders are - the organisers shouldn't be actively working against the riders.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Dtcman on September 23, 2019, 10:50:29 am
The control timetables were clearly in the pack “calculated on the basis of a start at 17h15, to be adjusted to your real start time” so you work out your personal closing times based on your start time.

For me, not making a cutoff was my main concern so I had all my specific times on a laminated card on my stem.

It wasn’t anything unknown imposed on riders. I’m not sure why people are making a big thing of this. 
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: rob on September 23, 2019, 11:07:17 am
It wasn’t anything unknown imposed on riders. I’m not sure why people are making a big thing of this.

As is generally the case in this world we now live in I think it's so there's someone to blame if you get it wrong.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Exit Stage Left on September 23, 2019, 11:16:06 am
Heather and I got quite shirty about control times in 1999.

25km had been added in the first section due to roadworks, and been notified in a separate printed sheet in the information pack that was posted out. No additional time was added initially, which was alright for those who were fast enough to absorb the distance, but ate into the sleep time for slower riders. Heather stopped at Tintenaic, with the dozies, confused at to why her plans weren't working. 2 hours were added at the end. 2 hours also got added in 2007, but that wasn't widely advertised.

There's never been a completely smooth control-time process. In theory LEL had it under control with separate cards for each letter group, but that came with a 'we'll be very relaxed about those times up to Edinburgh' proviso.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: quixoticgeek on September 23, 2019, 11:16:50 am
It wasn’t anything unknown imposed on riders. I’m not sure why people are making a big thing of this.

As is generally the case in this world we now live in I think it's so there's someone to blame if you get it wrong.

Yes, except where others have either through malice or mistake, mislead you. If I were to print the wrong time on the brevet cards for a BRM, then enforce a different cut off at intermediate controls, I too would expect riders to be grumpy.

Given that the times on the card appear to have been wrong for everyone bar 1 group. Surely the best thing is to provide no time on the card, and allow everyone to write in what they think their cut off time is. This is one of those cases where no info is better than wrong info.

We are so used to the info being given by organisers on our brevet cards being right, that for such a flagship event to have it wrong really stands out.

J
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: grams on September 23, 2019, 11:36:48 am
I never thought there'd be a constituency in favour of incorrect times being printed in the brevet card.

I presume you all went round swizzling direction arrows just to thin out those who hadn't studied the map. It's their own fault!
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Exit Stage Left on September 23, 2019, 11:44:22 am
The times weren't incorrect. They gave the control opening and closing times for your time group. Intermediate controls have closing times for their ownn convenience. With a single start time, those times serve as a prompt.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Tillapaw on September 23, 2019, 11:57:16 am
The control timetables were clearly in the pack “calculated on the basis of a start at 17h15, to be adjusted to your real start time” so you work out your personal closing times based on your start time.

For me, not making a cutoff was my main concern so I had all my specific times on a laminated card on my stem.

It wasn’t anything unknown imposed on riders. I’m not sure why people are making a big thing of this.

I just would have liked some consistency.  I saw that control timings page in the dossier and so I was adding 0.5 hours to the opening and closing times in my brevet card.  I didn't realise I needed to add 0.5 hours for the opening time and subtract 3.25 hours for the closing time.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: JonBuoy on September 23, 2019, 12:51:03 pm
My brevet card had the opening and closing times for the start as 17:15 - 21:00.  From that it was pretty obvious that the intermediate times were not to be trusted so I used the slip of paper that I had prepared based on the document in the info pack.  Whilst it would have been nice to have personalised brevet cards I certainly didn't expect it.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Nebulous on September 23, 2019, 01:09:08 pm
I didn't prepare well enough for the times. I maintain a reasonable rate on the bike, and don't expect to be full value. I came out of my 600 qualifier with a niggling Achilles and spent the month or so before PBP worrying about a ride-ending injury.  I didn't anticipate all the faff at controls and queues. I spent 5 hours queuing for food and 2 queuing for toilets. Once I realised I didn't have much time in hand I found it difficult to clarify what I was up against.

Next time I'd do it differently. Bounce controls, use roadside stops and cafes. That doesn't alter the fact that as an under-prepared newbie clearer times would have been a great help.

I've read blogs, seen reports and checked the riders out on the app. Quite a few people congratulating themselves on their achievement were out of time on one or more controls. They could be in for a shock if their ride isn't validated. Equally if it is that affects other people. I was following 2 guys to Tinteniac who pulled over, intending to pack because they were out of time for the control. What would they think if the intermediate times turn out to be indicative rather than firm?
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: grams on September 23, 2019, 01:35:23 pm
I was following 2 guys to Tinteniac who pulled over, intending to pack because they were out of time for the control. What would they think if the intermediate times turn out to be indicative rather than firm?

There were some preliminary validation numbers from ACP posted a few days ago (on Facebook) that had roughly the same number of "hors delais" finishers as the unofficial results site - which only considers time at Rambouillet. So my assumption is intermediate control times aren't being enforced at all, otherwise there would likely be hundreds more.

The times weren't incorrect. They gave the control opening and closing times for your time group. Intermediate controls have closing times for their ownn convenience. With a single start time, those times serve as a prompt.

What purpose does knowing that serve though?

I initially thought they might have chosen to print the *final* closing time of each control, which would at least have been useful to stragglers, and meant only one print run.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Greenbank on September 23, 2019, 01:57:22 pm
If they said "being out of time at intermediate controls isn't a problem" they'd create much more of a problem (for the controllers and many riders) than if they say "intermediate control times must be respected" and then choose not to enforce it.

A crap analogy is that there are plenty of laws in the UK that haven't been used (for a prosecution) for years (e.g. treason) but that doesn't mean you can repeal those laws as doing so would possibly adversely affect behaviour.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: dubya on September 23, 2019, 02:15:08 pm
I didn't prepare well enough for the times. I maintain a reasonable rate on the bike, and don't expect to be full value. I came out of my 600 qualifier with a niggling Achilles and spent the month or so before PBP worrying about a ride-ending injury.  I didn't anticipate all the faff at controls and queues. I spent 5 hours queuing for food and 2 queuing for toilets. Once I realised I didn't have much time in hand I found it difficult to clarify what I was up against.

Next time I'd do it differently. Bounce controls, use roadside stops and cafes. That doesn't alter the fact that as an under-prepared newbie clearer times would have been a great help.

I've read blogs, seen reports and checked the riders out on the app. Quite a few people congratulating themselves on their achievement were out of time on one or more controls. They could be in for a shock if their ride isn't validated. Equally if it is that affects other people. I was following 2 guys to Tinteniac who pulled over, intending to pack because they were out of time for the control. What would they think if the intermediate times turn out to be indicative rather than firm?
Your story is similar to mine, except I was hit by a car 3 months before PBP. I effectively packed at Carhaix on the return because I had missed the cut off for my group.  I took a leisurely lunch, had a shower, slept for 4 hours, had another big meal then set off back to Rambouillet.  I probably spent about 8 hours at Carhaix on top of missing the cut off.   I took a leisurely ride back, stopping, eating and sleeping as I felt like it,  finishing 5 hours over time.

I was a little annoyed at not finishing in time, but  I'll be pretty fed up if it turns out I still could have been homologated had I got back in 90 hours.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Wycombewheeler on September 23, 2019, 02:18:17 pm
The times weren't incorrect. They gave the control opening and closing times for your time group. Intermediate controls have closing times for their ownn convenience. With a single start time, those times serve as a prompt.
I dont believe there was any control that closed for 90hr riders before opening again for 84 hour riders, so discussion of controls closing for a time group is also misleading.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Exit Stage Left on September 23, 2019, 02:32:46 pm
The times weren't incorrect. They gave the control opening and closing times for your time group. Intermediate controls have closing times for their ownn convenience. With a single start time, those times serve as a prompt.
I dont believe there was any control that closed for 90hr riders before opening again for 84 hour riders, so discussion of controls closing for a time group is also misleading.

It was all very confusing, and discussion after the event doesn't help. That's why we like to cover the issue at the times they're happening, as here at St Martin outbound, and Quedillac on the return.

We wouldn't have attempted to have tried to find out what was happening at a control, as they are centres of confusion.

https://vimeo.com/359750419
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: duncan on September 23, 2019, 03:24:08 pm
We found it surprisingly hard to find drinking water at Ramboillet, and at various controls it would have been useful if the sinks in the toilets had not been full of people filling their bidons.

I'd also agree that there are never enough cubicles - there was one control that appeared to only have one in the men's loos.

There came a point where I really didn't want to see another ham sandwich, and yet this seemed often to be the only way to get some quick food.

The atmosphere at some of the controls was absolutely amazing. I really can't wait to do this again in four years, but faster, and actually finishing, this time...
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: JJ on September 23, 2019, 04:39:15 pm
A view from the back of the field, starting in the Z group.

Not just for the start, but Rambouillet is a much nicer place to hang out before and after than St Quentin.

The volunteers were all lovely, from first aiders, through catering to motorcycle marshalls and via all the rest.

Many of the back-markers from the 90 hour starts seemed to be unaware that they would get a medal if they finished, albeit out of time, and so were more despondent than they needed to be.
Many of them equally seemed not to realise the need to keep moving as controls would be literally shutting after the last 84 hour cutoff.  Perhaps that information could be clearer?

For myself it was a disappointment at Brest with time in hand  to find that the sleeping arrangements including the showers had already been closed.  I'd been promising myself (and those around me) a wash for a while!

If the organisation could see its way to providing me with better legs for next time.......
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Touring Sec on September 23, 2019, 06:34:52 pm
The control timetables were clearly in the pack “calculated on the basis of a start at 17h15, to be adjusted to your real start time” so you work out your personal closing times based on your start time.

For me, not making a cutoff was my main concern so I had all my specific times on a laminated card on my stem.

It wasn’t anything unknown imposed on riders. I’m not sure why people are making a big thing of this.

Indeed understand the rules and respect them before starting a ride
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Hofnar on September 23, 2019, 07:24:03 pm
I echo the thing about the toilets at controls - at a lot of them the only visible toilets had a couple of cubicles and a massive queue. I can’t believe those big schools don’t have proper facilities people could be directed to.

All of the controls could have done with temporary outdoor taps near the bike parking for filling bidons. I think only Mortagne actually did this that I saw.


Those two. I was one of the earliest on the road but when asking for water(eau rater fluent and polite in french so no language barrier issue) the volunteers at some controls had no clue where there where taps in their place.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: SR Steve on September 23, 2019, 08:04:16 pm
The control timetables were clearly in the pack “calculated on the basis of a start at 17h15, to be adjusted to your real start time” so you work out your personal closing times based on your start time.

For me, not making a cutoff was my main concern so I had all my specific times on a laminated card on my stem.

It wasn’t anything unknown imposed on riders. I’m not sure why people are making a big thing of this.

Indeed understand the rules and respect them before starting a ride

Ah, like

“Article 14 : Opening and Closing Time of the Controls

Passage of the participants within the schedule of closure indicated on brevet cards is compulsory for every control.” etc.

This suggests to me that it would be useful for the organisers to clearly state everyone’s control closing times in their brevet cards so they can obey this rule. This is all several people upthread have asked for and I think that’s quite reasonable.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: telstarbox on September 23, 2019, 09:18:15 pm
If ACP are charging hundreds of euros it seems like the least they could do.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Ajax Bay on September 23, 2019, 10:21:23 pm
If ACP are charging hundreds of euros it seems like the least they could do.
For the record, they didn't charge "hundreds of euros".
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Greenbank on September 24, 2019, 07:33:20 am
And assuming that they weren't planning on making a profit from the ride then increasing printing costs (~25 smaller print runs instead of a few large print runs) would make the ride cost more.

I guess they had a whole list of small things they'd like to do, each costing a small amount, but had to draw the line somewhere.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: eddum on September 24, 2019, 08:24:18 am
I'd like to be more specific but off the top of my head:
- Registration / bike check queuing in the rain ok but not great :)
- Start organisation, seemed to work but we spent a while watching before working out that they were running alternate groups from different directions
- Route out... the potholed gravel route out seemed comical at the start, and it seemed like there were quite a few punctures on the roadside in the first 100k or so. certainly when I encountered my friend who had a half hour head start earlier than expected it was down to a tiny piece of flint that looked like it came from the start.
- Controls generally chaotic and confusing for a newb, despite pre-reading, not sure what could be done there !  Consistent layout maybe but appreciate that's tricky.... or an idea of layout for each control in advance ?
- Again as a newb knowing what other sources of support to find where would have been handy, i.e. setting off on a 50mile stint wondering if any of the place names on the map round half way would be big enough to have a shop/café etc. Sometimes we were stuck a bit high & dry hunting for somewhere and others you'd stop somewhere not ideal and find a better option round the corner :D If all those towns & rotary clubs could co-ordinate even informally on a shared map that would have been cool.
- Food at controls generally good, albeit necessarily samey.. some queues... cash or card where available worked okay.
- As mentioned, consistency between location & layout of water for filling bottles (sorry, bidons)
- Sleeps, well first one was full so in corridor, not ideal but knew it was a possibility. 2nd was cold (as others have noted).. 3rd was roasting in comparison.. but in general worked well.
- Loos, those with portaloos generally fine, those relying on finding and using those on site trickier... yes including the one with no door and only on cubicle where given no better option I just bared my arse and changed in a corner as best I could.
- Control times, now I had assumed I think based on reading around and on here that the brevets were corrected for start time. I didn't check and by the time I was using them to do time in hand double checking I wasn't with it enough to notice. Fair enough if it was clearly stated somewhere and I missed it. Had my printed A & B plans to go by anyway.

That'll do for now  ::-)
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Wycombewheeler on September 24, 2019, 09:13:06 am
The control timetables were clearly in the pack “calculated on the basis of a start at 17h15, to be adjusted to your real start time” so you work out your personal closing times based on your start time.

For me, not making a cutoff was my main concern so I had all my specific times on a laminated card on my stem.

It wasn’t anything unknown imposed on riders. I’m not sure why people are making a big thing of this.

Indeed understand the rules and respect them before starting a ride

Ah, like

“Article 14 : Opening and Closing Time of the Controls

Passage of the participants within the schedule of closure indicated on brevet cards is compulsory for every control.” etc.

This suggests to me that it would be useful for the organisers to clearly state everyone’s control closing times in their brevet cards so they can obey this rule. This is all several people upthread have asked for and I think that’s quite reasonable.
Ah that makes it all clear then, as long as you comply with the times AS PRINTED IN THE BREVET CARD you are ok, bit unfair on the last group who get less leeway at intermediate controls.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: grams on September 24, 2019, 09:24:44 am
That’s a novel interpretation, but the participant dossier says closing times are per start slot.

I suspect whoever wrote the regulations wasn’t aware of what would be printed in the cards, and vice versa.

(btw My preference is for the cards to either not have times in them at all if they can’t be personalised)
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Ajax Bay on September 24, 2019, 09:52:40 am
(btw My preference is for the cards to either not have times in them at all if they can’t be personalised)
@Phil W had shared dire warnings about writing anything (ie 'your' closing times) in the brevet, drawn from his 2015 experience of so doing.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: iscunonove on September 24, 2019, 09:53:37 am
So I, well my french partner, seems to be in regular contact with the people at Rambouillet and this came up as a discussion.

So what would you like to feed back.
First PBP for me and overall I found it excellent. Yes, a few very busy controls to start with and when meeting the bulge on the way back but this is to be expected of course.

A couple of small things, both at the end of the ride:
1. I took advantage of the showers. Didn't mind the short bus ride but no towels! Luckily it was warm and sunny so I didn't mind just getting dressed knowing I'll dry out pretty quickly.
2. I slept in one of the dorms on Wednesday night: got up at 7am. Didn't appear to be anywhere on site to get food so rode into town. Not really a big deal (I had a nice picnic in the grounds of the chateau) but could be good to have a hot drink/cake stall open 24 hours?
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: alwyn on September 24, 2019, 09:54:03 am
And assuming that they weren't planning on making a profit from the ride then increasing printing costs (~25 smaller print runs instead of a few large print runs) would make the ride cost more.

I guess they had a whole list of small things they'd like to do, each costing a small amount, but had to draw the line somewhere.

It doesn't really cost anything these days to personalise the brevets compared to printing them especially for an event without personalisation. It's just a bigger file that you load into the machine.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: madcow on September 24, 2019, 11:44:20 am
I echo the thing about the toilets at controls - at a lot of them the only visible toilets had a couple of cubicles and a massive queue. I can’t believe those big schools don’t have proper facilities people could be directed to.

All of the controls could have done with temporary outdoor taps near the bike parking for filling bidons. I think only Mortagne actually did this that I saw.


Those two. I was one of the earliest on the road but when asking for water(eau rater fluent and polite in french so no language barrier issue) the volunteers at some controls had no clue where there where taps in their place.

I don't think that it's acceptable to direct people to the toilets to fill up water bottles.
Some controls (Villaines for one, )  managed to   install a stand pipe with multiple taps , outside the control but accessible to all riders.
It also means that those riders who are bouncing controls don't need to go anywhere near feeding areas as that was often the location of water fountains.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: iscunonove on September 24, 2019, 01:56:19 pm
I also agree that outdoor water taps at controls near to the bike parking are a good thing. I spent an embarrassing amount of time wandering around in the dark in a tired and confused state at Brest looking for a tap. My bottle didn't fit under the taps in the loos. Eventually ended up using a water fountain in the canteen.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Zed43 on September 25, 2019, 12:36:37 pm
Prompted by another discussion: it would be nice to have electronic registration on both entering and leaving the control. Useful for the organizers as well as you can make much better predictions on how many people are on their way to a certain control (and where they roughly are, as the average speed no longer includes time faffing in the controls).
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Exit Stage Left on September 25, 2019, 01:04:04 pm
The problem with that is that those with support will immediately leave the control to meet their supporters. Likewise those who are booked into hotels or campsites. The French riders are more likely to have support, so the lower numbers of those this time would have impacted on demand for control services.

There's an argument for a two-tier payment structure. One using all control facilities, one not. You'd then have two wristbands to sort the payment at controls out.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: eddum on September 25, 2019, 01:55:36 pm
Prompted by another discussion: it would be nice to have electronic registration on both entering and leaving the control. Useful for the organizers as well as you can make much better predictions on how many people are on their way to a certain control (and where they roughly are, as the average speed no longer includes time faffing in the controls).

It did strike me quite early on that the mat location seemed at least inconsistent, I never worked out if there were two, or just one sometimes on way in.. sometimes on way out...  either way if you had online supporters expecting you to arrive at a certain time but you don't appear until after a 3hr sleep they may be getting concerned.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Zed43 on September 25, 2019, 02:25:59 pm
Any idea of the percentage of riders that had outside support?

I have mixed feelings about outside support. On the one side I think having someone follow you and have private support is very much against the spirit/ethos (as I see it) of audax. On the other, the Dutch Randonneurs provided meals/air beds/dropbag at the campsite East of Loudéac (ACME was there as well) that I gladly took advantage of. So at least there is a spectrum of outside support (not to mention boulangeries, hotels, etc).
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Redlight on September 25, 2019, 02:37:15 pm
On the one side I think having someone follow you and have private support is very much against the spirit/ethos (as I see it) of audax.

Time for a separate thread, Mods?
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Exit Stage Left on September 25, 2019, 03:39:27 pm
Any idea of the percentage of riders that had outside support?

I have mixed feelings about outside support. On the one side I think having someone follow you and have private support is very much against the spirit/ethos (as I see it) of audax. On the other, the Dutch Randonneurs provided meals/air beds/dropbag at the campsite East of Loudéac (ACME was there as well) that I gladly took advantage of. So at least there is a spectrum of outside support (not to mention boulangeries, hotels, etc).

PBP is three separate events. Vedettes, Randonneurs and Touristes.

Vedettes are equivalent to sportive riders. They might have individual support devoted to them. The percentage of that can be determined from support vehicle registrations. However, we did see unregistered support vehicles.

Randonneurs are the only group that has to answer questions about 'Randonneur ethics'. They might have support from clubs and national associations, so support vehicle registrations provide little insight.

Touristes includes 'Cyclotouristes'. So will have representation from clubs with a wider ability range. They might have a van driven by a club member, and they ride together. The strong riders shepherd the group into the wind, and set a viable pace uphill. So a single registered vehicle might serve 10 or 12 riders. These groups were notable for their absence. About 1,000 French cyclotouristes went missing from the entry. Whether that was caused by the entry process, or lack of interest is the moot point.

The cyclotouriste clubs are the backbone of volunteer support, so it's an important question.
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: alexanderregensburg on September 26, 2019, 05:58:51 pm
-more toilets
-cosier arrival area: for those arriving at night there was only a cold tent. While on the road I dreamt that the buvette area would have a large campfire with some benches, maybe in small tents to hang out for a few hours to wait for incoming mates. This was best in 2011 when the small arrival (stamp) place/hall was an international meeting place. Spent from 4 in the morning until noon there and this was a highlight of 2011. 2015 not good (there was no beer at 10.00 :-( )
-Not sure of the motorcycles. Some passed me quite closely.
-Can something be done about the speeding lorries? Can the organisers talk to the authortiesto ban these at least from some of the more narrow roads during the event?

Everthing else very nice and I am very grateful to all volunteers!
Title: Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
Post by: Ajax Bay on October 18, 2019, 05:32:14 pm
Invite every control to provide an external standpipe with multiple (say 6+) taps offering potable water best sited on the exit route from the control (ie stamping) location, well signed and ideally under (a) light(s) at night.
I thought that, without exception, the volunteers manning the desks (stamping) were both good-humoured and efficient, whatever hour of the day (or night) it was.
Bigger better signs with more reflective arrow-shaped material, please, with a warning arrow (100m) before a turning off (a priority road).
If 'fly-through' videos of the controls have been locally produced: gather, archive and share them in 2023 for the benefit of volunteers and riders alike.