Author Topic: [LEL17] LEL Suggestions Box  (Read 21241 times)

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
[LEL17] LEL Suggestions Box
« on: August 02, 2017, 05:54:31 pm »
Any suggestions for future LELs?

I was really taken by redfalo's shoe labels. Maybe other future riders could make their own too.

Ben T

  • Viable.
Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2017, 06:01:24 pm »
Going up the west side rather than the east.  :D
Just don't think about it too much.

Mr Larrington

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Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2017, 06:40:45 pm »
Any Rugby players who share your control need to be Educated in the art of carrying their own trays back to the conveyor belt into the kitchen.
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Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2017, 07:34:04 pm »
Suggests that the 'This is a self-clearing area' sign was taken to mean that the area would clear itself up...

Jack_P

  • ton of tons for 2016
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Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2017, 09:54:24 pm »
Small thing but heard a few discussions about how nice it would be to have a big LEL "Welcome to Edinburgh" sign for riders to pose in front of for photos, as there's nothing else on view from the school to really use.
celebrate the achievement of getting there.

Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2017, 09:59:10 pm »
A token given to the rider for food on arrival at controls to allow one visit to the counter, so that there may be some food left for the later arrivals.
All the best, Paul.

Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2017, 10:22:17 pm »
One for the IT bod(s): show live updates on the number of available beds at each control on the website so that riders can decide if it's worth moving on or staying where they are.

Tuesday night in Alston was quiet compared to Monday. Next morning, many riders told us that they would have liked to sleep here but were told earlier on that we didn't have many beds, which was untrue.
I am often asked, what does YOAV stand for? It stands for Yoav On A Velo

Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2017, 11:49:33 am »
One for the IT bod(s): show live updates on the number of available beds at each control on the website so that riders can decide if it's worth moving on or staying where they are.


I think the IT job was already very complicated with the rider's check in/out, bag drops, and dorms check in/out. It would be unfair to ask for even more.

Fidgetbuzz

  • L sp MOON. 1st R sp MARS . At X SO sp STARS
Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2017, 12:50:39 pm »
team debate to come on this I think .. i am not clear of the benefit of bag drop logging in/out .. against effort .. and also the unfortunate error at Brampton
I was an accountant until I discovered Audax !!

Maludenbas

Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2017, 01:29:10 pm »
One for the IT bod(s): show live updates on the number of available beds at each control on the website so that riders can decide if it's worth moving on or staying where they are.


I think the IT job was already very complicated with the rider's check in/out, bag drops, and dorms check in/out. It would be unfair to ask for even more.

The current system is a gnat's whisker away from having the numbers. I noted that a rider can already be booked into sleep (dorm check in); add a similar 'check out' function/status and you're there. A second bar code scanner would need to be provided to each control for dorm management.  Sure, it'll never be 100% accurate but it would give a good indication of bed availability at any one time. It would certainly be preferable to the mistaken information (whatever the source) that partly resulted in Alston having around 100 beds free on Tuesday night whilst Brampton was full to the rafters.

(IF you're looking for added complexity, then expand the system to include bed locations and wake-up times. That'd be really nice... and it's potentially provide a consistent system across all controls, though clearly running it on a local database would be a necessity since there are always potential connection issues with a centralised networked/cloud solution. You DO NOT want to deprive a sleep deprived rider valuable sleep time because the "system has gone down"!)

CrinklyLion

  • The one with devious, cake-pushing ways....
Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2017, 01:40:46 pm »
Make checking out mandatory so that flow information is more accurate - this would massively help with planning the food and avoids lots of tired volunteers waiting around when nobody is coming/everyone being asleep or too tired to be efficient when it is busy.  The cunning plan that occurred to me was to keep all bananas and flapjacks behind the checkout desk as rewards, thus neatly solving the rationing problem too in one stroke.

Clear and agreed guidance on how long after a check-in time a rider can be checked in rather than DNF'd.

Clear expectations about how much support DNFers can expect with getting themselves back to the start.

Clear guidance about what services can be expected to be kept running after the control closes, and for how long - otherwise a late-running early starter has the option of food, sleep and showers and a late-starter riding at exactly the same pace gets nothing.

And then the one that is very much down to 'us' and not to 'them', more volunteers.  Although weirdly my 2017 wasn't actually as tough in most respects as 2013 was (having the school kitchen/cleaning staff, who worked incredibly hard, was a massive factor in this) that was proper tough nonetheless.  Many hands make light work...

I also found that as the week went on I got increasingly purist in my audax philosophy. I didn't see my role as helping people who had GPS issues and couldn't navigate without it, who needed to charge their iPhone, or who wanted me to arrange a lift back to London and a clean set of clothes.

CrinklyLion

  • The one with devious, cake-pushing ways....
Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2017, 01:42:19 pm »
Oh, and perhaps  controversially I'd also lose the public tracker.

Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2017, 01:57:49 pm »
I also found that as the week went on I got increasingly purist in my audax philosophy. I didn't see my role as helping people who had GPS issues and couldn't navigate without it, who needed to charge their iPhone, or who wanted me to arrange a lift back to London and a clean set of clothes.

And you can add to that list pumping tyres and oiling chains. I can perfectly understand that a tired rider needs help for changing a gear cable, but for pumping tyres?

Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2017, 02:23:56 pm »
I also found that as the week went on I got increasingly purist in my audax philosophy. I didn't see my role as helping people who had GPS issues and couldn't navigate without it, who needed to charge their iPhone, or who wanted me to arrange a lift back to London and a clean set of clothes.

Maybe there is an argument for qualifiers... seems bizarre to me that one has to do the all SR to do PBP and nothing to do the arguably harder LEL. In theory LEL could be the very first Audax event somerone undertakes, with zer knnowledge of navigation, how to deal with cotrols, what to carry on a long ride, how to manage the need for power and light etc...   Personally I think the all SR in the same year is a bit OTT, but maybe a qualifier at Rando 1000 level would be appropriate, or maybe a single 400 or 600 ride within the 12 months ahead of LEL

αdαmsκι

  • @Dr_AAY
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Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2017, 03:31:20 pm »
Plant trees around Ramsey
What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

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grahamparks

  • London N19
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Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2017, 03:53:45 pm »
When all the beds in a control are full, new arrivals should be handed a blanket and told to find a dark corner, rather than "there are no beds" or "come back in an hour" or whatever. This is hopefully more practical from the rider's POV, and should reduce the conflict of essentially telling a sleepy rider they're not allowed to sleep.

Controls seemed to be too dependent on hot canteen food. Most places I'd have been happier to stick with toast and cereal and biscuits and fruit, which some of the controls did*.

On a related note, Spicy food is as the same as no food for those of us whose stomachs become very sensitive on long rides.

(* There was an absurd situation overnight at Barnard Castle where there was a huge spread of hot food that no one wanted, and multiple people requesting cornflakes which had to be fetched from a far away back cupboard and were apparently only really meant for those with special dietary needs)

Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2017, 04:41:08 pm »
I was a DNF but would echo a lot of the comments above.

But - public tracking was amazing.  This was probably revelatory for many thousands of people worldwide and appreciated by relatives galore.  Even people at work were tracking me.  SPOT trackers would take the pressure off Phil W and allow the same detail in planning.  However the sheer load of servers required probably means that we would have crashed any server not actively managed like Phil did.

I am sure that some people put on weight on the LEL by the food being taken. 

I had 4 punctures in tubeless tyres where I heard the hissing.  All self sealed and I got to the next control where I used a pump.  That was great but I had CO2 with me and a spare inner tube to get me home if needed.  Again it is nice to have the mechanics, etc there and I suspect they enjoy it.

I totally agree with GPS issues and charging issues.  if you cannot make your GPS work then tough.


Pete Mas

  • Don't Worry 'bout a thing...
Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2017, 05:00:39 pm »
About time we offered less rigid time limits to 'experienced' riders who still have the desire and endurance to complete the long rides, but maybe lack a bit of the pace of their former glory years (naming no names). In Italy, for example, for the 999 Miglia (Miles) (1600km) ride recently there were two choices of deadline - one was 10.66kph and the slower one 9.52kph. if you missed the 150 hours limit you could still get a medal for the 168 hour limit.
(I entered for the slower pace and finished in 161 hours). Apparently, even if you missed your chosen deadline (say you entered for 150 hours but finished in 162 hours, you were still given a medal for the slower, Italian audax time limit. I think that's a nice reward for finishers, even if outside their original chosen time limit.
''It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive."

R.L.Stevenson

CrinklyLion

  • The one with devious, cake-pushing ways....
Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2017, 05:06:41 pm »
Controls seemed to be too dependent on hot canteen food. Most places I'd have been happier to stick with toast and cereal and biscuits and fruit, which some of the controls did*.

On a related note, Spicy food is as the same as no food for those of us whose stomachs become very sensitive on long rides.

(* There was an absurd situation overnight at Barnard Castle where there was a huge spread of hot food that no one wanted, and multiple people requesting cornflakes which had to be fetched from a far away back cupboard and were apparently only really meant for those with special dietary needs)
Because a choice of bacon, beans, eggs, pancakes, porridge, greek yoghurt, mixed berries, grapefruit and another bowl of fruit in juice that I can't remember what it was from the servery or oranges/bananas/flapjacks self service just isn't enough options to keep topped up from 4am to 11am...

Foodwise I discovered last time that controls can't do right for doing wrong.  No choice, too much choice, no hot food, no cold food, too spicy, too boring, no jacket spuds, nothing but jacket spuds, everybody is serving pasta, you haven't got any pasta, why are you serving the same thing as last time I checked in, why aren't you still serving the same thing as last time I checked in, I'm fed up of beans, you should have beans....  They are all complaints I heard during or after the last one.

Anything self-service that isn't individually packaged has a potential for massive hygiene issues.  I've seen the state of some riders...

I was a DNF but would echo a lot of the comments above.

But - public tracking was amazing.  This was probably revelatory for many thousands of people worldwide and appreciated by relatives galore.  Even people at work were tracking me.  SPOT trackers would take the pressure off Phil W and allow the same detail in planning.  However the sheer load of servers required probably means that we would have crashed any server not actively managed like Phil did.

As a punter, with friends and family riding, I completely agree - when it works, when people actually scan out etc.  It's great to be able to keep tags on the less communicative of the people I'm interested in - the ones who aren't using social media or other comms to update the world.  But as a volunteer I found it frustrating eventually, dealing with punters' issues and anxieties around tracking when I could have been focusing on looking after riders.  Also a fair number of people seemed to have not allowed their tracking data to be public in the privacy settings they chosse and then wondered why (or had friends and relatives enquiring on fb why) they couldn't be tracked...

I did really like the fact that the vast majority of riders exiting BC were a bit 'meh, why do you need to scan me out, I don't care' until we pointed out that it helps the controls to know who is coming their way and plan the catering accordingly at which point they became _much_ more enthusiastic.

CrinklyLion

  • The one with devious, cake-pushing ways....
Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2017, 05:24:57 pm »
A token given to the rider for food on arrival at controls to allow one visit to the counter, so that there may be some food left for the later arrivals.

The problem with that is that it creates a time and work overhead for already overstretched volunteers and doesn't address the issue of honeypot controls being swamped with riders or things like the weather impacting the rider flow in unpredictable ways.

I completely agree that running out of food isn't OK though - I just don't think that pseudo-payment systems is a great solution to the problem.

Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2017, 05:49:44 pm »
Quote
Also a fair number of people seemed to have not allowed their tracking data to be public in the privacy settings they chosse

I think the problem with the privacy settings was that danial and Phil were too honest and nice.  We are all used to FB where you are public unless you very specifically choose not to be.  The website was private unless you specifically chose not to be.  I would make this the other way round personally but I am not danial and Phil.

I thought the range of food available was amazing!  the chicken legs at ?louth and the Chilli at Barnard -heaven.  Load of variations. 

I think the whole team have done the most amazing job.  i suspect that the traffic levels seen by the website were similar or larger than something like the BBC.  I reckon it was over 1000 requests per second!!!

CrinklyLion

  • The one with devious, cake-pushing ways....
Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2017, 06:18:40 pm »
I've said it elsewhere on another thread, but I'll re-state it here - if the start list grows again, I'm out as a volunteer.  The bigger field and longer spread of arrival and departure times made it much more difficult for volunteers to keep going.  After packing up in Barney last time I still had enough in the tank to pull a shift at a further two controls before experiencing my total sense of humour failure - this time it got me before I'd even put the last few hundred trays of pots through the dishwasher.

grahamparks

  • London N19
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Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2017, 06:34:17 pm »
Because a choice of bacon, beans, eggs, pancakes, porridge, greek yoghurt, mixed berries, grapefruit and another bowl of fruit in juice that I can't remember what it was from the servery or oranges/bananas/flapjacks self service just isn't enough options to keep topped up from 4am to 11am...

My mistake... I've just had a look at my brevet card and it would have been 11:30 pm when I was there. I think you had a couple of spicy, dinnery things on but all I (and as I recall the person in front, and the person behind) wanted was something light before sleep, which cornflakes were perfect for.

(I realise now cornflake demand at 11:30 pm isn't something anyone should be expected to predict... it's been a very odd few days)

Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2017, 06:42:47 pm »
Oh, and perhaps  controversially I'd also lose the public tracker.

I'm sure I read on the Facebook group that Danial was keen to have SPOT trackers this time but couldn't get the numbers/logistics to work? With the hammering the site appears to have taken with people checking up on those riding I wouldn't be surprised to see them feature in four years time...

Other suggestions here all look sensible, catering for 1,500 riders is never going to be as simple as someone might thing - I only got as far as Barnard Castle, but some of the logistics around placement of scanning/food/drinks/etc. did create a few bottlenecks...Pocklington's drinks point is one that immediately springs to mind as one that seemed to invite crowds around it, whilst their food point (and island!) was brilliant in terms of getting people through.

Ah, yes...one final point is that I did spot a couple of disappointing instances of behaviour at Louth on the way up. Appreciate that riders were tired and the control was very busy, but there could possibly some sort of sanction for poor behaviour towards staff/volunteers as without them there simply wouldn't be as amazing an event as there currently is.
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CrinklyLion

  • The one with devious, cake-pushing ways....
Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2017, 06:57:56 pm »
My mistake... I've just had a look at my brevet card and it would have been 11:30 pm when I was there. I think you had a couple of spicy, dinnery things on but all I (and as I recall the person in front, and the person behind) wanted was something light before sleep, which cornflakes were perfect for.

(I realise now cornflake demand at 11:30 pm isn't something anyone should be expected to predict... it's been a very odd few days)

Yes - I'm still at that stage where I'm not quite sure what day it is.  And kicking myself about my four hours on the control desk telling riders I'd see them tomorrow (and that I was being aspirational and had faith in them) when I realised at the end of my shift I could have said 'see you next month' to really perplex them ;)

That's why the controls will never really get it 100% right for 100% of riders, unless Danial at least doubles the price to allow for the wastage and increased staffing costs (at which point he'd lose my volunteer good-will and perhaps that of others?) of offering everything all the time.  From a rider's perspective it could be breakfast/supper/afternoon tea time at any point at all on the clock.  Barney ran (I think) a breakfast menu 4am-11, lunch (at least three hot options to include one veggie and two meat recipes, with sides of hot veg and potatoes and at least one pudding choice from a range of sponge puds with custard, rice pudding and tinned fruit) from (I think) 11-7 and then dinner (simlar array but some different dishes) from 7-4am.  We were able to cater for veggie, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free all the time AFAIK.  What nobody can guarantee to cater for is the weird effects on tastes and appetite of riding 1400km!

I completely sympathise with the 'but I can't bring myself to eat anything that is on offer right now' feeling by the way.  It's why I ate one bowl of rice pud on Monday and nowt else - and the volunteers got the exact same food offering as the riders.

[...]some of the logistics around placement of scanning/food/drinks/etc. did create a few bottlenecks...Pocklington's drinks point is one that immediately springs to mind as one that seemed to invite crowds around it, whilst their food point (and island!) was brilliant in terms of getting people through.
Some of the BC volunteers last time and this were discussing how, by the time a control closes, we have solved most of the problems, found out where everything is, worked out all the desire paths and signposting issues and fine-tuned all the systems - just in time to pack it all away :)