Author Topic: AUK and OCD inc.  (Read 3780 times)

Re: AUK and OCD inc.
« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2018, 04:13:14 pm »
We joined the OCD to liven up out European cycle tours, I imagine the lower limit of 300m made you search out bigger climbs. Would like to find out why its lowered to 200m and if it still needs a vertical difference of 100m. Don't think that in the UK people will be able to submit decent claims. We have never claimed any UK passes. Audax is about distance not climbing, note that the route sheet is just a guide its the controls that matter. AAA events can be done missing out hills. That's the problem.

That's why I really dont have any enthusiasm for AAA as an organiser, its normally reasonably straightforward to ensure distance integrity but the climbing equivalent is far more problematic.

Most events (even in Scotland with our sparser population and road network) will present folk with quite a few longer-but-flatter options that the hill averse will consider and I know that folk riding my events have taken this approach, as they have told me at the finish. 

So I've no idea what route folk have taken and adding in umpteen extra controls just to ensure the integrity of AAA detracts from an event.  As a result I believe it preferable generally not have any AAA at all. 

 

whosatthewheel

Re: AUK and OCD inc.
« Reply #26 on: December 16, 2018, 04:21:11 pm »
Ultimately you want to avoid the AAA champion being somebody who avoids hills in AAA events... but to my knowledge this has never happened.
 All the other AAA related awards are little more than breadcrumbs, so who cares?

Most seriously hilly routes don't have a flat option, you can maybe avoid a climb, but it means you have to do a different one

Re: AUK and OCD inc.
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2018, 05:19:05 pm »
Please tell how AAA and advisory route works. If you don't do the set route how can you claim the AAA points are they are based on the climbing. And it's a F........ U to the person running the Audax. Long gone are the days of following the route. Sad people sitting on the computer looking for the line of least resistance.
Thank you for that question/comment/assessment.
Nearly all AUK BR rides have an advisory route. In UK we are lucky to have both scenery and an excellent network of minor roads (I appreciate this latter element is not the case north of the Clyde/Forth plain, Ronnie). Some hillier ones will have some AAA points associated with them. From @Manotea's draft Regulations text:
"Calendar and Permanent events. The routes are evaluated for AAA points when they are registered with Audax UK and the AAA tariff included in the published event listing. AAA points are allocated for validated Brevets automatically, i.e., no claim is required."
Riders ride from the start through the controls in numerical order gaining PoP and finish. Riders who've completed the ride are noted as such on the results and awarded AAA points. ". . . how can you claim the AAA points . . . ?" No claim required.

"it's a F........ U to the person running the Audax" Frankly the organiser has other concerns than 'worrying' about riders slavishly and unerringly following the route (as per routesheet). As I said a well planned route makes the hillier (routesheet) option the best one and anyone choosing to take a climbing-avoidance detour should be at a significant disadvantage. If the route does not 'force' this then the route may need an 'info' control inserted. Or the organiser can declare the route mandatory (eg Mille Cymru 2018). I invited @salar55 to identify "a couple of examples" of AAA events which offer flatter sections which would take a similar time.

"Long gone are the days of following the route." What Matt says. Most riders are content to ride the route as given to them. A few (like me) enjoy looking at the route. I make sure I understand it and can navigate it using a marked up sheet(s) torn from a road atlas (without electronic support). Many enjoy just getting a route which has been planned by another and riding it (a proportion not really knowing where they are going or where they've been). I think salar55 likes gpx files and doesn't actually navigate he just obeys. By the way, I consider, when detouring, that I am no longer on the suggested route (which has been subject to a rudimentary risk-assessment) and ride accordingly.

"Sad people sitting on the computer looking for the line of least resistance." I thoroughly enjoy maps and routes and computer applications eg Ride with GPS allow one to look at different options (for example from Paisley to Inveraray). Planning our Easter Arrow route has been a pleasure. Often it is not 'the least resistance' I seek - see below - (but it is on the Easter Arrow!).
I look for options as part of my preparation for a randonnee. I enjoy riding with others but also enjoy seeing if a variation I've discovered (and prepared) is faster or slower, and this is best done if I'm riding with others when I deliberately divert. Some of these options may be a bit longer and less climb. Others may involve more climbing and less distance (Will more AAA points be awarded? No. Do I care? No.) Or the types of roads may come into play (either to take or to avoid) and the time of day I'll be riding that section has a bearing. I like to include a bit of (cycle legal) rough stuff on every ride I do. But I know many others will not expect anything but tarmac and so organisers avoid routing along 'rough' highways (eg the off-road sections of the Fosse Way).  Whether it is dark matters to me: navigation (using a map) is harder and riskier in the dark even with preparation (I appreciate that many's backlit screens don't care). So for me complex = more care and therefore slower.
When these minor diversions work it's great. When they don't I try to analyse why. But this freedom enhances the tapestry of my rides and increases the subjective level of audaciousness, and makes me 'happy'.
Though the philosophy I've tried to explain is not the same as yours salar55, I hope yours makes you as 'happy'.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
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Re: AUK and OCD inc.
« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2018, 06:12:34 pm »
Perhaps rides down south usually follow the route🤔

Down south? I'm 51.6'N !!!


"AAA events can be done missing out hills. That's the problem."

That's why I really dont have any enthusiasm for AAA as an organiser, its normally reasonably straightforward to ensure distance integrity but the climbing equivalent is far more problematic.

Most events (even in Scotland with our sparser population and road network) will present folk with quite a few longer-but-flatter options that the hill averse will consider and I know that folk riding my events have taken this approach, as they have told me at the finish. 

So I've no idea what route folk have taken and adding in umpteen extra controls just to ensure the integrity of AAA detracts from an event.  As a result I believe it preferable generally not have any AAA at all. 

Yes, I'd agree with that, from the Organiser viewpoint.

But I can't say it troubles me much. In fact I can't get excited about any AAA discussion* - I see AAA as an interesting sideshow. Distance IS the main thing (as Salar55 says), at least until someone invents a new category of event!

OCD seems like a nice parallel system to AAA - less performance-based (as there is no time limit to do a climb), and more about exploration  :thumbsup:


*That business with the repeated climb loops on DIY did briefly tug at my hackles ... :P
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: AUK and OCD inc.
« Reply #29 on: December 17, 2018, 11:22:29 am »
No rider opts in to the AAA scheme - they have the points foisted onto them whether they want them or not.

The fundamental flaw is the AAA points being awarded based on the organiser's suggested route. If AAA is a serious competition, then the ride shouldn't attract points if the hills are easily avoided.

If it isn't a serious competition, and just a bit of fun for the few who care, then the level of invective by the poster above is unwarranted.

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: AUK and OCD inc.
« Reply #30 on: December 17, 2018, 01:58:19 pm »
That's why I really dont have any enthusiasm for AAA as an organiser, its normally reasonably straightforward to ensure distance integrity but the climbing equivalent is far more problematic.

Most events (even in Scotland with our sparser population and road network) will present folk with quite a few longer-but-flatter options that the hill averse will consider and I know that folk riding my events have taken this approach, as they have told me at the finish. 


In the Midland Valley and Borders the road network is pretty high density which is more the problem.

Fife for example is 1325 Km^2 in area, has a population of 371400 and has 1743 miles of road in it, it's one of the reasons road maintenance is so bad in Fife...
The only hill road of reasonable effort I can think of that is unavoidable (except for Purin Den, that's just evil) is Falkland hill (Leslie to Falkland) anything else and there's a shallower option that's of similar length.
There's plenty of sharp climbs around in North Fife but you have to work hard to get a route with enough cumulative climb for AAA (I have a 50km route using all but one of the climbs between Normans Law and Wormit that exceeds 1km climb but it would be impossible to control); but if you really wanted to Dodge the Gauldry digs on the way to Newburgh the A92 and A912 combination is quiet enough most of the day.

Likewise in Lowland Perthshire you've got the Glen Devon/Eagles and Glenfarg roads that make anything over Path of Condie easy to avoid.
and at the other end of the Ochils the Logie Kirk route over to Sherifmuir is easily avoidable using the Glen Road or going by the Kier roundabout...

The rest of the Midland Valley is mostly rolling fields so there isn't much cumulative height to climb.
The upshot of that is there's plenty of quiet roads to ride!

The Borders also manage to have a reasonable sized road network but with a relatively few routes over to D&G which is a bit more mountainous and is lower density.

Road density plummets once you cross the highland boundary fault and plunges even more once you're over the Great Glen fault; I can't imagine anyone finding away to avoid the climbing on the "Highlands" 400 and 600 rides this year!

Re: AUK and OCD inc.
« Reply #31 on: December 17, 2018, 04:05:33 pm »
I can't imagine anyone finding away to avoid the climbing on the "Highlands" 400 and 600 rides this year!
I found no alternative routes for @bairn again's West Highlands 1000 this year and enjoyed every last climb, only getting mislaid on the run in past the airport to Edinburgh itself.

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: AUK and OCD inc.
« Reply #32 on: December 17, 2018, 05:46:18 pm »
Having looked at https://ridewithgps.com/routes/25556906 but with no knowledge of where the Info controls were

There's a fair bit of distance collection in the Midland Valley, you would have crossed the boundary fault at Lochearnhead and you'd certainly struggle to find alternative routes once over there.

With the First non-Info control at Comrie, I presume there was an info control in the vicinity of Dunblane as the shortest route to Comrie from Haymarket is via Glen Devon
https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Haymarket,+Edinburgh+EH12+5EY/comrie/@56.1573194,-3.8873027,10z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x4887c7a5bdd4b393:0x6e7360c44f6f7caa!2m2!1d-3.2182815!2d55.945626!1m5!1m1!1s0x48889037c429675b:0x3b8213b4473d01d4!2m2!1d-3.995171!2d56.377967!3e2

And from Stirling it's the Logie Kirk and Sheriffmuir route to Braco
https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Stirling/comrie/@56.2473561,-4.1101589,11z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x488857d73c437831:0xfbf01f3702d576ad!2m2!1d-3.9369029!2d56.1165227!1m5!1m1!1s0x48889037c429675b:0x3b8213b4473d01d4!2m2!1d-3.995171!2d56.377967!3e2

Although an extra 2 miles lets you avoid Skinflats and go through Saline in Fife to get to Bridge of Allan if there's nothing forcing you to stay South of the Forth.

Re: AUK and OCD inc.
« Reply #33 on: December 17, 2018, 07:00:40 pm »
Which is why the excellent route designer @bairn again asked for detail of the church in Dunblane.
https://ridewithgps.com/trips/23944972
Edinburgh, Dunblane, Comrie, Claonaig, Cambeltown, Oban, Invercreran, Kinlochleven, Corran, Acharacle, Lochailort, Ardgour, Oban, Perth, Dunning, Dunblane, Edinburgh

Re: AUK and OCD inc.
« Reply #34 on: December 18, 2018, 11:30:23 am »
It's possible that people trying to prove a point spend far more time analysing routes for ways around hills than anyone riding ever does.

whosatthewheel

Re: AUK and OCD inc.
« Reply #35 on: December 18, 2018, 12:49:19 pm »
It's possible that people trying to prove a point spend far more time analysing routes for ways around hills than anyone riding ever does.

this.

Besides, if I pay money to ride an AAA event, it's because I WANT to ride those hills... if I want to avoid the hills, then I pay money to ride a non AAA event, or I don't pay money at all, which seems a better return on investment.

I am still pondering whether adding the Gospel Pass for the sake of it is a more fitting end to the BCM, regardless of whether the route deliberately avoids it

Re: AUK and OCD inc.
« Reply #36 on: December 18, 2018, 01:24:10 pm »
If there were always a straight choice like that between an AAA and non-AAA event like that I'd have entered far fewer AAA events. Although sometimes when there has been a choice, I've taken the AAA event because it seemed more interesting, and interesting places tend to have hills. But the hill-climbing itself is seldom the attraction for me.

That said, when I've checked I've only ever found a few instances where a significantly less climbey route was practical. And I've chosen to take them even fewer.

(The most notable one I've found is on The Dean, where because you can control at Aust Services and the south side of the Severn is much flatter, you can do the ride without entering Wales or visiting "The Dean" at all. My Chepstow Wetherspoons receipt attests I didn't take this up)

Re: AUK and OCD inc.
« Reply #37 on: December 18, 2018, 01:30:23 pm »
Please tell how AAA and advisory route works. If you don't do the set route how can you claim the AAA points are they are based on the climbing. And it's a F........ U to the person running the Audax. Long gone are the days of following the route. Sad people sitting on the computer looking for the line of least resistance.

@CorbieLinnRider

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: AUK and OCD inc.
« Reply #38 on: December 18, 2018, 03:19:41 pm »
It's possible that people trying to prove a point spend far more time analysing routes for ways around hills than anyone riding ever does.

Local knowledge or learning the area/taking advice has been my method of avoiding or adding climb.

On the Borers of Fife I added the Normans Law road (and somehow overtook people doing the fast descent down the coast road in the process) and another local avoided StAndrews and went up to Peat Inn en-route to Tayport as they couldnt' be bothered with it if it was busy. The 2.25AAA points awarded for that were suspicious to start with given the route suggested was almost entirely coastal avoiding the lumpy interior of Fife...

Re: AUK and OCD inc.
« Reply #39 on: December 18, 2018, 03:46:59 pm »
(The most notable one I've found is on The Dean, where because you can control at Aust Services and the south side of the Severn is much flatter, you can do the ride without entering Wales or visiting "The Dean" at all. My Chepstow Wetherspoons receipt attests I didn't take this up)
On the Dean, accepting that the organiser accepts a PoP from the Aust Services as proof of visiting Chepstow - I'm surprised but I guess it's a reasonable place to eat, cursory examination of 3 routes from Newent to Aust Services suggest that that A38 based route is 62.3k + 426m, much longer than riding over the eponymous forest and across the bridge - 53k + 773m, but probably the quickest route is the 52k + 559m cutting down to the A48 and SW along the Severn (NW bank) through/past Lydney, to Chepstow and across the bridge. But who'd want to ride 15 miles down the A48 at a lunchtime on Saturday in March if they could ride through the magnificent Forest of Dean?
An info control in St Briavel or Coleford would sort it (if anything needs sorting).
If I was to offer an example, @Blacksheep is relaxed about whether riders on his Brevet Cymru north of Monmouth take the road through Pandy and Michaelchurch and below Hay Bluff, or the several km longer Golden Valley B4347 road through Eywas Harold. I have ridden both and must admit I prefer the latter because the road is better, wider (still in groups at this early stage) and avoids the sketchy descent into Hay.
Should I be riding rather than "analysing routes for ways round hills"? Well; yes and no - mainly 'no' today: apart from work, it's been raining all day and the Exmouth bar is all white water in the southwesterly gale.

Re: AUK and OCD inc.
« Reply #40 on: December 18, 2018, 05:07:42 pm »
The Strava route planner says 950m vs 350m, and if you tick the right options even offers a 150m option hugging the coastal path on the south side, which I don't think is especially bikeable (the big peril of playing this game).

I think quite a few people take the A48 option - I know a few did on the Acme 1000, although that would have been overnight.

Re: AUK and OCD inc.
« Reply #41 on: December 18, 2018, 05:33:06 pm »
This discussion has made me realise that, without looking, I do not know what the AAA points are for any of my calendar events*.  Nor do I particularly care, to be honest.

*Not 100% true:  I know the 400 has null points.

Redlight

  • Enjoying life in the slow lane
Re: AUK and OCD inc.
« Reply #42 on: December 18, 2018, 09:50:40 pm »
But who'd want to ride 15 miles down the A48 at a lunchtime on Saturday in March if they could ride through the magnificent Forest of Dean?

Perhaps someone (mentioning no names but it begins with R and ends with T) whose last ride through the Forest of Dean, on said event, included an encounter with a larger than expected wild boar?
Between the Disney abattoir and the chemical refinery

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: AUK and OCD inc.
« Reply #43 on: December 19, 2018, 08:01:03 am »
This discussion has made me realise that, without looking, I do not know what the AAA points are for any of my calendar events*.

Oh great, that means I can enter all your events safe in the knowledge that they are entirely flat...

Re: AUK and OCD inc.
« Reply #44 on: December 19, 2018, 09:43:12 am »
This discussion has made me realise that, without looking, I do not know what the AAA points are for any of my calendar events*.

Oh great, that means I can enter all your events safe in the knowledge that they are entirely flat...

Trust me, you wouldn't like them if they were entirely flat.  I'd only count the 100 miler and the 200 as actually hilly.  Flatlanders may beg to differ.

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: AUK and OCD inc.
« Reply #45 on: December 19, 2018, 07:49:02 pm »
I did D&G on tour this year and can testify to it's lumpiness, particuarly as a flatlander.   Rod Dalitz was surprised that I managed to claim OCD metres for both Arran and the lumps between Ayr and Newton Stewart on the same day.

I can only say it was probably the hardest day on a bike I've had, starting with the first ferry from Islay and getting to the curry house in Newton Stewart half an hour before closing time.   
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

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Re: AUK and OCD inc.
« Reply #46 on: December 20, 2018, 09:43:58 am »
This debate about routes and AAA is something that contributes to the fact that the Humbug Audax has never got off the drawing board and into the calendar (there are other factors like faffing around to find a suitable start/finish control as my local village hall has a price that puts the costs into orbit). 

I'd observe there are two camps, one where AAA is an encouragement to avoid and one where AAA is an invitation to treat to a hill-fest.  I lean towards the latter and, living at latitude 51 and therefore north of 90%+ of the world's population am in an area with restricted verticality (the highest road is 287m) and high road density (except in the Berkshire Downs between Streatley and Wantage) it's really hard to create a route that (a) doesn't have hill avoidance and (b) doesn't have pesky info controls both of which are the subject of much grumbling...

I have a route.  It's a brilliant route that selects some of the most amazing bits of tarmac (admittedly some of them have problems sticking to the gradient, but that's part of the charm) that I can find, after 25 years of deliberately seeking out roads less ridden in Hampshire, Sussex, and Berkshire.  The scenery is as good as it gets in the area, especially if scheduled the week after the Upper Thames so there are still autumn colours.  It has over 3000m ascent in 210km (sorry, that's another bugbear - it's overdistance....).  I can even, now that CET Junior has a car and can be persuaded paid to operate a control, stick vehicles at the top of Bignor Hill and Butser Hill as checkpoints.  It fills a gap in the calendar (for a challenging autumn ride) and starts 75km from Central London so reaches a large population within a sensible radius.    (Although as the highest point is 260m it won't count for OCD)

But I expect it will stay on the drawing board for another year. 

Oh.  And you'd need good brakes.   Very good brakes.  Especially if it rains.

Eddington Numbers 125 (imperial), 168 (metric) 518 (furlongs)  111 (nautical miles)

whosatthewheel

Re: AUK and OCD inc.
« Reply #47 on: December 21, 2018, 07:50:24 am »
This debate about routes and AAA is something that contributes to the fact that the Humbug Audax has never got off the drawing board and into the calendar (there are other factors like faffing around to find a suitable start/finish control as my local village hall has a price that puts the costs into orbit). 

I'd observe there are two camps, one where AAA is an encouragement to avoid and one where AAA is an invitation to treat to a hill-fest.  I lean towards the latter and, living at latitude 51 and therefore north of 90%+ of the world's population am in an area with restricted verticality (the highest road is 287m) and high road density (except in the Berkshire Downs between Streatley and Wantage) it's really hard to create a route that (a) doesn't have hill avoidance and (b) doesn't have pesky info controls both of which are the subject of much grumbling...

I have a route.  It's a brilliant route that selects some of the most amazing bits of tarmac (admittedly some of them have problems sticking to the gradient, but that's part of the charm) that I can find, after 25 years of deliberately seeking out roads less ridden in Hampshire, Sussex, and Berkshire.  The scenery is as good as it gets in the area, especially if scheduled the week after the Upper Thames so there are still autumn colours.  It has over 3000m ascent in 210km (sorry, that's another bugbear - it's overdistance....).  I can even, now that CET Junior has a car and can be persuaded paid to operate a control, stick vehicles at the top of Bignor Hill and Butser Hill as checkpoints.  It fills a gap in the calendar (for a challenging autumn ride) and starts 75km from Central London so reaches a large population within a sensible radius.    (Although as the highest point is 260m it won't count for OCD)

But I expect it will stay on the drawing board for another year. 

Oh.  And you'd need good brakes.   Very good brakes.  Especially if it rains.

I recall the Chiltern 100 sportive had 2600 mt of climbing over 170 km, but in order to do that, it basically featured ALL the climbs in the area, it was a constant up and down the ridge from Dunstable Downs to Watlington.
Obviously such route would be impossible to validate as an Audax, as it would require a dozen info controls at the very least or some sort of un-enforceable mandatory route.

But the point is, does it have to be an Audax? Set up a club (even just a Strava club) register it with CTC for £ 71 and you get insurance coverage against any claim as an organiser. Call it a charity ride, call it a reliability ride, call it whatever you like... if it's a good route with a bit of free advertising on social media, people will come.
Those who want points and AAA points will get it validated as a DIY with GPS, the others will enjoy the day without worrying about such nonsense.

The Audax label doesn't have to apply to any bicycle ride, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I have had such an enthusiastic response from local clubs for BRUM 200 (mostly non AUK members) that I am wondering whether Audax is the correct formula: I might well organise it again in 2020 with a different one, if it turns out people after all don't care about the validation and the points.
Just to put thing in perspective, the potential cost in stamps only to return brevet cards is not far off the fee to hire the village hall  ::-)

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: AUK and OCD inc.
« Reply #48 on: December 21, 2018, 11:22:57 am »
...

Just to put thing in perspective, the potential cost in stamps only to return brevet cards is not far off the fee to hire the village hall  ::-)
That's nothing new; when I ran my first event it was just before Paypal really took off in AUK. Postage was considerably more than the hall hire!
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

  • Miles eaten don't satisfy hunger
  • 3x Brimstone ancien 3x Pendle/Tan Hill DNF
    • CET Ride Reports and Blogs
Re: AUK and OCD inc.
« Reply #49 on: December 21, 2018, 11:29:05 am »
...

Just to put thing in perspective, the potential cost in stamps only to return brevet cards is not far off the fee to hire the village hall  ::-)
That's nothing new; when I ran my first event it was just before Paypal really took off in AUK. Postage was considerably more than the hall hire!

I obviously live near to the wrong village hall.
Eddington Numbers 125 (imperial), 168 (metric) 518 (furlongs)  111 (nautical miles)