Poll

Winter 200km with 3 commercial controls + ? 3 Infos ?

Wouldn't touch it with a barge pole if it has Info Controls
1 (0.6%)
Would rather route was an extra 10km to avoid having any infos
26 (16.7%)
Wouldn't want to add more than 5km to be able to avoid infos
22 (14.1%)
Keep route as short as possible, I don't mind Infos
90 (57.7%)
Would rather mandatory route enforced by Secret Controls
17 (10.9%)

Total Members Voted: 155

Author Topic: How much do people dislike Info controls ?  (Read 11746 times)

How much do people dislike Info controls ?
« on: January 23, 2018, 03:15:29 pm »
Here's the scenario:
I'm planning a new calendar event.   
It's based on perm that is 200km minimum distance by Google Maps walking, 204km on the road.

But using a suitable hall to start, the four controls used on the perm are not all suitable for a (hopefully) well-supported calendar event.
Best I can do is three commercial controls plus 3 infos if I stick to the perm route.

I could move one of the commercial controls which would lengthen the route - to about 211km (still 200km minimum by GMW but you wouldn't want to ride on those roads) which would make all the infos un-necessary. 

Which is the lesser evil? Infos or few extra km in the dark & (probably) the cold?

Re: How much do people dislike Info controls ?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2018, 03:24:56 pm »
Have you considered making it a mandatory route event? If the shortest distance route is on roads no one (ok, sane person) would want to ride on, that seems the logical progression?
“That slope may look insignificant, but it's going to be my destiny" - Fitzcarraldo

whosatthewheel

Re: How much do people dislike Info controls ?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2018, 03:30:56 pm »
I don't mind them at all, especially if they come close (< 60km) to another control... the last thing you want is to spend money and waste time when you have eaten already.

They need to be simple... things that one can remember and write down at the end or at the next control... can't be bothered to stop to write down a telephone number, but a speed limit sign is easy to remember, names of pubs are easy enough if they are common... Royal Oak, Mason Arms and such...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: How much do people dislike Info controls ?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2018, 03:33:24 pm »
Meh.  I don't enjoy info controls[1], but I reckon they're usually there to push the route onto particular roads (usually because they're pleasant, or because they go up a particular bastard hill), rather than just jibbling about with the overall length.

If there isn't a pressing reason to manipulate the route, I reckon another 7km on a 200km is a reasonable trade-off for the faff reduction.


[1] Not all infos are equal.  The thing that irks me most are when the actual position of the info control is sufficiently vague that you end up on a mini-treasure hunt, rather than noting some obvious feature at an unambiguous turning.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Re: How much do people dislike Info controls ?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2018, 03:35:39 pm »
Don't mind them, but on the last Audax I rode one of the questions was a bit vague and could have had two or three "correct" answers. I'm sure this wouldn't have caused a problem in itself though as long as the org was familiar with the location.* Pub/shop names or distances on fingerpost signs are good obvious choices.

If the info control is co-located with a shop, petrol station, public toilet etc that can be beneficial to allow multiple varieties of faffing.

*If just one rider comes back with the wrong answer, their answer is probably wrong. If 10 come back with three different answers the question is probably wrong!
2017 - R500 ✅ | 2018 - R1000 ✅ | 2019 - ?

Re: How much do people dislike Info controls ?
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2018, 03:43:52 pm »
Make them so the answer is visible on Streetview then they're no problem at all  :o

Re: How much do people dislike Info controls ?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2018, 03:48:08 pm »
As a colourblind Audaxer I've had too many info's asking what colour a door or wall or whatever is. I've been first rider back on many events so haven't been able to catch other riders up to ask. Fortunately finish controllers are very nice people and it has never lead to an unvalidated ride but technically it could. As stated above info's need to be obvious, easily memorable and available to all.

Re: How much do people dislike Info controls ?
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2018, 03:49:37 pm »
For me it's about how many... 1 or 2 infos are fine.

Martin

  • Give me bas relief
    • WWW
Re: How much do people dislike Info controls ?
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2018, 03:50:21 pm »
Make them so the answer is visible on Streetview then they're no problem at all  :o

exactly; with route sheets available in advance it's not hard to work out if people are really bothered about missing them. Plus my events go to the same places every year so you'd soon run out of pubs / distances on signposts (assuming they haven't been stolen, I kid you not)

All AUK events now tell at the entry portal you how many controls (manned / commercial and info) there are so it's up to the entrant to decide IMO if they don't like infos.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: How much do people dislike Info controls ?
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2018, 03:51:48 pm »
As a colourblind Audaxer I've had too many info's asking what colour a door or wall or whatever is.

I've had a couple of these, usually in places where a corner of the route has to happen right out in the sticks and there isn't anything better to ask about.  Controllers have always accepted my "orange, but it could be green" type answers.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

alfapete

  • Oh dear
Re: How much do people dislike Info controls ?
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2018, 03:58:07 pm »
For me it's about how many... 1 or 2 infos are fine.

Agree with this entirely, and easy to answer, preferably without having to stop
alfapete - that's the Pete that drives the Alfa

Smeth

  • less Grimpeur than Whimpeur...
Re: How much do people dislike Info controls ?
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2018, 04:09:37 pm »
Personally I quite like an info especially when preserving the pretty or the AAAltitude. 5/6 stops in a 200 is a lot though. Knowing you I know that no routing option will have been left unturned. Are all the commercials needed for distance?

Sent from my SM-J510FN using Tapatalk


citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: How much do people dislike Info controls ?
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2018, 04:15:18 pm »
Three commercial controls plus three infos is exactly what I had on my 200 that I ran for the first time last year, and I had no complaints about that. Here in Kent, it's nigh on impossible to devise a valid 200km route with no info controls at all, and I've abandoned many routes at the early planning stage because they would require too many info controls (in my opinion).

That said, I've done 200s with considerably more infos and they haven't ruined the ride for me. It's a balancing act - it's preferable to avoid info controls if possible, but if you have a nice 200km route that's worth riding, you don't want to mess about with it too much just to make it work without infos or you might end up losing what makes the route worth riding, especially if that means adding lots of over-distance.

The main thing for me is that info questions need to be straightforward and easy to answer - they're not meant to be a test of intellect. Anything that requires doing maths or stopping and searching for a sign is a no-no for me. Colours are to be avoided if possible, for the reasons others have mentioned.

For me, the best info controls are the ones where you can see the answer while riding and it's memorable enough that you don't have to stop to write it down until you get to the next full control (another option is to record the answer on your phone as a voice memo).

I amused myself on my 200 by having *exactly* the same question for each of my three infos. It's just a shame that I probably won't be able to do the same when I run it again this year.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: How much do people dislike Info controls ?
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2018, 04:19:46 pm »
The main thing for me is that info questions need to be straightforward and easy to answer - they're not meant to be a test of intellect. Anything that requires doing maths or stopping and searching for a sign is a no-no for me. Colours are to be avoided if possible, for the reasons others have mentioned.

For me, the best info controls are the ones where you can see the answer while riding and it's memorable enough that you don't have to stop to write it down until you get to the next full control (another option is to record the answer on your phone as a voice memo).

Agreed.  Though my ability to forget simple information while riding a bike is spectacular, so I usually take the opportunity to reboot my knees and get off to write it down.

On which note: Infos with somewhere sensible for a group of cyclists to stop and faff are a Good Thing.


Quote
I amused myself on my 200 by having *exactly* the same question for each of my three infos. It's just a shame that I probably won't be able to do the same when I run it again this year.

Comedy or themed info controls are good.  They make it a bit less of a chore, and can provide reassurance that you've got the right factoid.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: How much do people dislike Info controls ?
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2018, 04:24:30 pm »
Not all infos are equal.  The thing that irks me most are when the actual position of the info control is sufficiently vague that you end up on a mini-treasure hunt, rather than noting some obvious feature at an unambiguous turning.

Chum of mine jacked in the 600k he needed for PBP qualification after he found the answer for an info control 9 km further on from where it should have been, and in a different town.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: How much do people dislike Info controls ?
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2018, 04:31:55 pm »
Not all infos are equal.  The thing that irks me most are when the actual position of the info control is sufficiently vague that you end up on a mini-treasure hunt, rather than noting some obvious feature at an unambiguous turning.

Chum of mine jacked in the 600k he needed for PBP qualification after he found the answer for an info control 9 km further on from where it should have been, and in a different town.

Grr.

GPXes with accurate waypoints for the infos are the gold standard.  Infos integrated into turnings "L @ X.
 Info: distance to $foo
" are good.  Vague rubbish like "R @ T and continue through $VILLAGE.  Info after 1.6km: Year above shop doorway" is a recipe for doom.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: How much do people dislike Info controls ?
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2018, 04:48:46 pm »
Certainly if there were going to be infos they would be carefully chosen to meet all the various comments upthread.

The other option (thanks Ivan for reminding me) is mandatory route.  Which for a calendar where conventionally compliance would be ensured by seekrit controls or at least the threat thereof.
Are they preferable to Infos?  (Poll option added)


Re: How much do people dislike Info controls ?
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2018, 04:50:00 pm »
I have four infos on the Upper Thames, and no-one has ever mentioned it to me as a problem.  I agree with the points above - must be precise, and answers must be simple to remember.

When I changed the start location of Upper Thames I was able to reduce the full controls from three to two.  Being a November event I was a little concerned about this, assuming riders would welcome more rather than less opportunities to refuel in the warm.  I was wrong - the change was almost universally positively received.

My conclusion is that infos, assuming of good quality, are more acceptable than excess cafe stops.

Re: How much do people dislike Info controls ?
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2018, 05:00:07 pm »
Here in Kent, it's nigh on impossible to devise a valid 200km route with no info controls at all, and I've abandoned many routes at the early planning stage because they would require too many info controls (in my opinion).
Very much the same round here. 
I only happened upon the option sans infos (211km) by pure chance when I was mucking about trying to find controls for a companion 100km BP

Re: How much do people dislike Info controls ?
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2018, 05:01:43 pm »
Quite frankly it all seems like a nonsense in any case. Just get rid of information controls as I doubt that many audaxers realistically cheat
KIDDERMINSTER KILLER AND CLEE AUDAX, 20th July 2019; SOUTH SALOPIAN, 5th Oct 2019. http://beaconrcc.org.uk/audaxes/

Re: How much do people dislike Info controls ?
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2018, 05:10:53 pm »
I've lost count of the times I've polled up at arrivée not knowing the answer to *any* of the info controls - it's never been a problem.

But then I have an honest face  ;D
You're only as successful as your last 1200...

Re: How much do people dislike Info controls ?
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2018, 05:25:39 pm »
No problem with them at all.  Just don't make them cryptic and difficult to answer.

Re: How much do people dislike Info controls ?
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2018, 05:43:09 pm »
I actually hate infos more as an organiser than as a rider. This is often all that holds me back from duplicating an event, the desperate search for something unequivocal that can be easily located in the dark based on a single question posed in the brevet card.
“That slope may look insignificant, but it's going to be my destiny" - Fitzcarraldo

Re: How much do people dislike Info controls ?
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2018, 06:08:14 pm »
I’m not really a fan of info’s but I can see they have there place and help to keep the cost down if you don’t want to spend money in Shops/cafes etc but as someone said above they are not really enforced but it’s a audax your only cheating yourself .
Just keep them to a minimum I would say .

Re: How much do people dislike Info controls ?
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2018, 06:09:46 pm »
I don't care whether controls are stops or infos. 

What I dislike are intricate routes that zigzag about going nowhere (often because the organiser feels they have to show you every point of interest—rather missing the point of AUK events).  These are inevitably overloaded with controls of all sorts.