Author Topic: [LEL17] LEL Suggestions Box  (Read 33352 times)

Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #75 on: August 05, 2017, 05:39:40 pm »
A build on previous comments. And by recognising the brilliant job Danial and volunteers do

Absolutely agree with the need for potable water. I would add the dirty hozelock fitting on the water point at Barnard Castle.

Nutrition and feed stops. I completely disagree with the idea of a token and rationing. Anyone who considers this should read Susan Barr’s excellent article in Ultracycling magazine on nutrition and note the difference in individual calorific requirements according to weight and speed.

http://ultracycling.com/sections/MOVEDarticles/nutrition/calories.php

The challenge is LEL commits to providing food without forcing audaxers to forage and in any case much of the route leaves little option to buy food elsewhere

I had a chest infection and had to quit by the Humber Bridge but it did mean I spent time at Louth control where they were clearing up. I learned that there are no nutritional requirements for food specified only to have available a hot meals for vegan and one other. This was evident in the options en route where I observed good solid carbohydrate meals in some locations – others with “healthy options” such as poached fish which for someone with my body weight were not going to keep me going.

I appreciate this is difficult to manage but like suggestions elsewhere to use production scheduling to assist in bed availability, then if you know for example there are still 100 cyclists to come through then it isn’t hard using Susan Barr’s article to calculate how many calories they are likely to need and not penalise the late starter/slow rider with insufficient calories



Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #76 on: August 05, 2017, 06:14:24 pm »
Oooh - do name names. We love to point, laugh, and tell people they're nobbers - especially when it means we're agreeing with you ...

Much though I enjoy bitching, it lacks the excellence we strive to maintain here. Bitch in private if you must.

I did PM CL suggesting that the AUK board would be pleased to consider details of such behaviour.

I also think online lynching is unedifying. (But sometimes fun. And I'm not *entirely* sure that someone who has apparently sacrificed excellence in RL can pray it in aid here.)

CrinklyLion

  • The one with devious, cake-pushing ways....
Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #77 on: August 05, 2017, 06:16:09 pm »
Much though I enjoy bitching, it lacks the excellence we strive to maintain here. Bitch in private if you must.

I have no intention of bitching in public or in private, although I will confess to doing so on the day.  I was just making the point that just because someone is an experienced cyclist doesn't mean they will get it all right.

Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #78 on: August 05, 2017, 06:37:16 pm »
I know it must be really difficult with using different caterers up and down the country, but in 2013 I rode to each control dreaming of what the veggie soup would be. This time I think I had tomato soup several times, one was so spicy I was hiccupping, then sick shortly into the ride. That same control also ran out of veg curry (veg curry or chilli being the staple at most controls, a few offering pasta), and could only scoop out the watery leftovers of the sauce. At the finish, there were two dishes of tuna (or was it chicken?) curry on the counter, but no veggie alternative. I was grateful to be offered veggie sausages in bread rolls at one control as a form of breakfast, and another had scrambled eggs. I did have porridge a couple of times which was a nice change. There did seem to be more choice for meat eaters. I don't know how the vegan cyclists' got on.

Some controls had snacks for you to eat on the move, while others didn't appear to, unless I wasn't looking. Anyway. I'd only lost a pound in weight when I arrived home, so you did feed me ok. Luckily last night, my daughter suggested Domino's as a treat, and not take away curry! :-)
Bikes are for riding, not cleaning!

dod

Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #79 on: August 05, 2017, 06:44:18 pm »
Some small points:

Jugs of milk are good, but individual portions of butter/margarine are tricky to use when cold and sleep-deprived.

The black plastic cutlery is OK, the white plastic cutlery that shatters when you try to eat a roast potato is bad.

Fruit salad with custard is good, soup and bread is good (but not all controls seemed to have either of those), individual cups of rice pudding with fruit salad is also good and quick to collect.

The A-frame water dispensers are good (as long as the hose is short or food-safe quality), the water dispenser at Pocklington was not so good.

Getting to Louth at 1am on Monday and eventually finding cranberries with milk was the only food option (after someone had been to restock the milk) was bad.

Having different systems for bed booking/alarm call organisation seems unnecessary - why not choose the system that works best and deploy it at every control?

The tracking system was very good - my wife is having trouble living without it now but is catching up on lost sleep. The controllers also seemed to enjoy using it, and were always keen to show me the charts of the 'bulge' when I asked.

Some portaloos would help avoid toilet queues, and are easily hosed down if required.

Otherwise I would agree with all of mmmartin's points - part of the attraction of LEL for non-riders seems to be the idea that anyone who is brave/insane enough to attempt it can do so, and I'd be interested to know just how small a percentage of the total numbers they actually account for. I think audax is in a great position as the grandmother of 'adventure' cycling, and to close that off in any way would be a bad thing.

And I hope the rider numbers for those who behaved unacceptably have been noted so they can be barred from future entry.

Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #80 on: August 05, 2017, 09:52:48 pm »
I've no idea why there was nothing to eat or drink upon arrival at Louth in the middle of the night but water and a slice of dry cake with a dribble of cold custard, but it was a somewhat unwelcome surprise. I fully sympathize with the controls having to cater for a wide variety of food preferences and try to be a flexible eater, but the Louth diet seemed a little over-austere. I'd be happy to pay for food outside of controls, or carry more, if that's what's necessary, but it would be of benefit to have expectations managed a little more clearly.

Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #81 on: August 05, 2017, 10:15:21 pm »
In addition to the volunteer t-shirts, a fleece or sweatshirt for those outside jobs when it's chilly.
I could have usefully used GlowSticks at the entrance to Spalding when the street lights went out.


Tapatalk puts this signature here, not me!

Do you not own a fleece or sweat shirt ?

Glowsticks .. that is for each control to organise .. not centrally .. but we might try to remember to remind them .

I think that having volunteers inside wearing clearly identifiable tops helped a lot of very tired people when they needed to ask a question/find something - so not too silly to have something similar for the volunteers when outside in the cold or wet.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #82 on: August 05, 2017, 10:54:38 pm »
In addition to the volunteer t-shirts, a fleece or sweatshirt for those outside jobs when it's chilly.
I could have usefully used GlowSticks at the entrance to Spalding when the street lights went out.


Tapatalk puts this signature here, not me!

Do you not own a fleece or sweat shirt ?

Glowsticks .. that is for each control to organise .. not centrally .. but we might try to remember to remind them .

I think that having volunteers inside wearing clearly identifiable tops helped a lot of very tired people when they needed to ask a question/find something - so not too silly to have something similar for the volunteers when outside in the cold or wet.

If cost or logistics make this impractical, I suggest one-size tabards to wear over ones own outdoor clothing.

Fidgetbuzz

  • L sp MOON. 1st R sp MARS . At X SO sp STARS
Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #83 on: August 06, 2017, 10:01:39 am »

[/quote]

If cost or logistics make this impractical, I suggest one-size tabards to wear over ones own outdoor clothing.
[/quote]

Good suggestion Helly. .. an  L (or even XL) times two  .. for every control .. .will try to get it onto the list of things to improve for 2021 . But it is also darn hard to remember everything eventually.
I was an accountant until I discovered Audax !!

Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #84 on: August 06, 2017, 10:42:28 am »
But it is also darn hard to remember everything eventually.
Start writing a list now?

Fidgetbuzz

  • L sp MOON. 1st R sp MARS . At X SO sp STARS
Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #85 on: August 06, 2017, 11:06:43 am »
We have a debrief meeting scheduled .. but it is extremely unlikely that I will do 2021 finances
I was an accountant until I discovered Audax !!

Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #86 on: August 06, 2017, 12:07:47 pm »
I don't know if there was any central direction on this, but at Eskdalemuir, Denise, the Tiny Controller, insisted on anyone on the road duties wearing a hi-viz tabard.  We were lucky, too, to have a small patch of grass, where Mike Wigley pitched a pop-up tent for us to cower in when it rained (which was mostly).  The tent sloped at about 30 degrees, so there was no danger of sleeping on duty.

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
  • Custard Wallah
    • Mr Larrington's Automatic Diary
Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #87 on: August 06, 2017, 01:41:51 pm »
Nobody seemed to struggle to identify that I was a volunteer despite my lack of corporate branding - I failed the size limit test, but stuck on a lanyard and a name badge and mucked in anyway :D

OTOH our masseuse Verity had thoughtfully brought a hoodie the exact same shade as the volunteer T-shaped shirts.
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

mcshroom

  • Mushroom
Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #88 on: August 06, 2017, 02:16:43 pm »
For my overnight marshalling I took a red softshell anna red fleece. It was cold enough to need both. When it chucked it down, however, my waterproof was not red
Climbs like a sprinter, sprints like a climber!

yorkie

  • On top of the Galibier
Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #89 on: August 06, 2017, 09:00:15 pm »
Someone brought a couple of Hi-Viz vests to Pocklington, which were in use on the gate and bike park during the hours of darkness. We also improvised a direction-lighty-thing with one of those small LED wall light things. No one complained! (No one overshot the gate either - well, not while I was on duty!!)  ;)
Born to ride my bike, forced to work! ;)

British Cycling Regional Track Commissaire
British Cycling Regional Circuit Commissaire

CrinklyLion

  • The one with devious, cake-pushing ways....
Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #90 on: August 06, 2017, 09:31:51 pm »
Pock school gates are about 10 seconds from one of the biggest junctions in town (it's got a mini roundabout and everyfink!) and are surrounded by streetlights though.  I mean, I guess people might accidentally turn into the car park alongside the gates if they weren't paying attention, but the entrance is pretty hard to miss.

Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #91 on: August 06, 2017, 10:02:14 pm »
Never underestimate the inability of a rider to be able to miss or do anything wrong no matter how obvious it may be to someone who can think clearly. My brain was in a scrambled mess for about 50% of the ride and a simple question like "want custard with that?" could almost bring me to tears with the shear effort of working out an answer.

CrinklyLion

  • The one with devious, cake-pushing ways....
Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #92 on: August 06, 2017, 10:12:40 pm »
As a wielder of the custard ladle, I had noticed that.... of the controls that I've seen, Pock is still one of the easier to spot and to waymark.  I was really uncomfortable on my own at the gates in Barney for three hours.

Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #93 on: August 07, 2017, 10:23:57 am »
While on the subject of gates....
An easel with sign saying   "No parking for Registration"   for the Davenant entrance, would unload the Saturday volunteers at that gate.

hulver

  • I am a mole and I live in a hole.
Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #94 on: August 07, 2017, 04:24:58 pm »
These are all just suggestions, not criticisms of the systems that people worked hard on.

Some way of controls contacting each other that was offline (IE, not phone calls, and not facebook) would have been great. A standard email account that all the control computers were logged into, something like that. So that people coming on shift would be able to see what had gone on, and any messages.

From what I understand (not sure if this is right, but it's what I heard) the bag drops were scanned into one place as riders. This could be avoided in future by having a prefix (on the barcode, no need for it to be visible) so instead of just the rider number on the barcode "MM20" it would scan in as "BAGMM20". This could be dealt with easily by the scanning software, and avoid scanning bags as riders.

Quite often the scan would not "press enter" when you scanned a bar code, and sometimes there was a lag between scanning and anything showing up on the screen. This would leave you wondering if it scanned, if you had to press enter, or if you had to scan it again. Showing what's been scanned as soon as it's been scanned (showing something like "Fetching data for MM20" as soon as the scan is done), maybe a timeout on the scanning field (1/2 a second with no entry should press enter automatically for example) would work around these problems.

As for the rider numbers. Please don't use I, II, l, ll. A tired volunteer trying to quickly spot the difference between II1 and I11 would have to do more mental work than necessary.  ;D

MikeFromLFE

  • Previously known as Millimole
Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #95 on: August 07, 2017, 07:39:20 pm »
I don't know if there was any central direction on this, but at Eskdalemuir, Denise, the Tiny Controller, insisted on anyone on the road duties wearing a hi-viz tabard. 
Didn't wear hi-vis on the gate at Spalding. It was 'interesting' after midnight when the street lights went out - but I don't think hi-vis would have had any benefit either for riders or volunteers (YMMV)
Too many angry people - breathe & relax.

Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #96 on: August 07, 2017, 07:39:53 pm »
Mandatory "SHOE TAGS". Joking - but only just. The mixing up of shoes was discussed before the event because it has happened before, and if you read the threads for this years event it happened again.

For the control I worked at we had one guy search for "black Shimanos". What followed was several minutes of volunteers pointing to pairs of black Shimanos and being told no, no, no. Meantime there were shoes just dumped everywhere and being kicked/moved becaused they became an impediment to tired riders.

The main problem (apart from that amongst 1400 riders there are bound to be multiple pairs of similar shoes) was that whilst the rule was shoes off, there was no planned provision for where people should put those shoes/what they should do with those shoes.

No conclusion, other than the issue needs to be addressed.

Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #97 on: August 07, 2017, 08:29:20 pm »
Someone brought a couple of Hi-Viz vests to Pocklington, which were in use on the gate and bike park during the hours of darkness. We also improvised a direction-lighty-thing with one of those small LED wall light things. No one complained! (No one overshot the gate either - well, not while I was on duty!!)  ;)

You only had to ask there was a bag of approx 20 hi viz vests, I thought I had told you all where they were  :) :) :)

Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #98 on: August 07, 2017, 09:36:06 pm »
The main problem (apart from that amongst 1400 riders there are bound to be multiple pairs of similar shoes) was that whilst the rule was shoes off, there was no planned provision for where people should put those shoes/what they should do with those shoes.

At Louth, knowing that the lobby area was fairly small, we provided some racking for the shoes.  Admittedly at the peak in the wee hours of Monday morning it filled up, though that was partly because people ended up putting helmets and other stuff on the racking which I had not considered.  Damon also bought some additional cheap racking from Am*z*n which despite being advertised as being for shoes, at some point in the night collapsed leaving a heap of shoes on the floor.  For the southbound we sourced some extra proper racking.

yorkie

  • On top of the Galibier
Re: LEL Suggestions Box
« Reply #99 on: August 07, 2017, 10:31:11 pm »
Someone brought a couple of Hi-Viz vests to Pocklington, which were in use on the gate and bike park during the hours of darkness. We also improvised a direction-lighty-thing with one of those small LED wall light things. No one complained! (No one overshot the gate either - well, not while I was on duty!!)  ;)

You only had to ask there was a bag of approx 20 hi viz vests, I thought I had told you all where they were  :) :) :)
You may have told us, but you know what my memory is like...

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Born to ride my bike, forced to work! ;)

British Cycling Regional Track Commissaire
British Cycling Regional Circuit Commissaire