Author Topic: What is good about info controls?  (Read 1477 times)

What is good about info controls?
« on: March 13, 2019, 10:11:25 pm »
Antidote to what you dislike about info controls ....  Starter for #10.

Deano's  'North Riding 300' had two infos. The first at Holme on Spalding Moor, 160 Km was the usual, 'At turn, what is signposted on left'.

This 300 started at  21:00 hrs so we were all there after a night spent out riding...

(click to show/hide)

There was a little dog leg in the route to include it. 

The second  at  Aldwark toll bridge was 'what is the toll for cyclists - I asked the toll keeper,  FWIW £0.

Then the following conversation....

Toll keeper "Nice tricycle" Me - "Thank you", Toll keeper - "Oh and you have a Carridice saddlebag I bought one of those in 1947!"

This left me bumping over the bridge boards working out how old he must be  - I'm guessing into his 90's.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: What is good about info controls?
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2019, 10:35:48 pm »
An info that can make you smile or even just impart an unusual fact is a good info.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Re: What is good about info controls?
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2019, 10:39:15 pm »
Info question: "What side of the road is the telephone box?"

Route sheet: "INFO QUESTION ON LEFT SIDE OF ROAD"
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: What is good about info controls?
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2019, 07:07:54 am »
Ones you can see without stopping, and that are memorable enough until you do so, such as, when was he pub in X founded, which county is on the telephone box at the corner of X, opposite the pub, what's the name of the school? Etc.
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: What is good about info controls?
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2019, 11:16:40 am »
When the bridge was built over Loch Creran it took about 7km off the distance of the Twilight 600km perm version of the Daylight. 

Riders could either make up the distance by riding onto Oban after the Connel Bridge, or could go round Loch Creran shunning the bridge and use a new info control. 

Sadly lacking in info control material, the ingenious Duncan Peet once put "How many windmills can you see?" as the question.  Genius.     :P   

Kinbuck just North of Dunblane is the Info Control capital of Scotland.  It's been keeping riders off the A9 dual carriageway for decades. 

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: What is good about info controls?
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2019, 12:40:30 pm »
When the bridge was built over Loch Creran it took about 7km off the distance of the Twilight 600km perm version of the Daylight. 

Riders could either make up the distance by riding onto Oban after the Connel Bridge, or could go round Loch Creran shunning the bridge and use a new info control. 

Sadly lacking in info control material, the ingenious Duncan Peet once put "How many windmills can you see?" as the question.  Genius.     :P   

Kinbuck just North of Dunblane is the Info Control capital of Scotland.  It's been keeping riders off the A9 dual carriageway for decades.

As I remember it, a sign at the head of the loch was used for an info on Port Navigation, the only time I've stopped on a ride for a "fag" break, as the guy I was riding with (who'd never done an Imperial let alone 200 before) decided he wanted a smoke when we got there.
Of course, there was a Right of Way maintained across the old railway bridge...

The current Perm card has Oban as a control

Kinbuck's handy, Braco puts you either over Sheriffmuir if heading south or onto the A9 if heading west, I've accepted the overdistance on DIYs as Braco at least has a shop.
But when heading east/west I've taken to using the Auchinlay road from Cromlix.

The carse of Gowrie's one I've not figured out how to deal with yet, google handily sends you along the little used pavement on the south side of the A90, but anyone with any sense goes up Kinnoul, then along to Errol to which is enough for google to keep you off the A90, but there's nothing up at the Kinnoul car park except for doggers and mountain bikers.

Without info controls we'd be stuffed round here.

yorkie

  • On top of the Galibier
Re: What is good about info controls?
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2019, 02:07:59 pm »
The second  at  Aldwark toll bridge was 'what is the toll for cyclists - I asked the toll keeper,  FWIW £0.

Then the following conversation....

Toll keeper "Nice tricycle" Me - "Thank you", Toll keeper - "Oh and you have a Carridice saddlebag I bought one of those in 1947!"

This left me bumping over the bridge boards working out how old he must be  - I'm guessing into his 90's.

I know which gentleman you mean, I think he's well into his 90s. I usually have a (short) chat with him when crossing, usually along the lines of "Nice to see someone on a proper traditional touring bike with Carradice saddlebag!" He used to tour a lot, roughly around the era and area that my maternal grandparents would have been riding. Nice chap.
Born to ride my bike, forced to work! ;)

British Cycling Regional Track Commissaire
British Cycling Regional Circuit Commissaire
British Cycling Ride Leader

Re: What is good about info controls?
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2019, 06:39:58 pm »
Yes, I hope I'm that active@90.

Re: What is good about info controls?
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2019, 07:27:58 pm »
Love them me.

Although the ones on this weekends 200 (Canada) are a bit wank i.e. "# to call if light flashing(on WC)"

Re: What is good about info controls?
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2019, 08:26:48 am »
I prefer info controls to having to buy something I don’t want just to get a receipt for PoP.

Most of Blacksheep’s infos seem to occur at pubs, but on events that have been running for several years the question has long since moved on from the name of the pub. On the January Sale I was squinting a bit to read the company name on the alarm bell box on the pub, but fortunately there were plenty of other riders around with better eyesight than me to confirm my answer.


mcshroom

  • Mushroom
Re: What is good about info controls?
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2019, 09:52:11 am »
Sadly lacking in info control material, the ingenious Duncan Peet once put "How many windmills can you see?" as the question.  Genius.     :P   

Megajoules expenditure used that question on the Etal-u-Can a couple years ago. The answer depended on just how thick the fog was when riders got to the control point and IIRC varied between about 3-15.

Info controls on the top of long climbs are good IMHO as, unlike full controls, there's no time cut off for them. Some rides with hills front loaded can be a bit of a struggle for slow climbers like myself, but the info gives a chance to get back inside the time limit later on the downhill/flat.
Climbs like a sprinter, sprints like a climber!

Re: What is good about info controls?
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2019, 11:13:27 am »
Some rides with hills front loaded can be a bit of a struggle for slow climbers like myself, but the info gives a chance to get back inside the time limit later on the downhill/flat.

Can't resist quoting from "The Rime of the Ancient Randonneur" in an old Arrivee:

"And each and every hour to get
A further fifteen k –
’Tis little at the start, I trow
(unless forthwith to climb we’re set
Up Moor of Dart from Tavistock),
But later great doth grow!"

Re: What is good about info controls?
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2019, 12:07:19 pm »
The Wild Atlantic Way Audax cannot function without info clues, with the only staffed controls being the sleep stops.  Sometimes they would have a campervan at the info with coffee, tea and biscuits but they could not do that for every info for the potential opening and closing times.

One info was Black Sod lighthouse which juts out 20km into the Atlantic from Belmullet. There was a hefty storm that day and riding out to it was around 10km/h and the return 45km/h.   Nick Dale christened it Black Sodding lighthouse.

There was an info at Ceide Fields a neolithic site.   I arrived there around 3am after having consumed three cokes in short order I had been hallucinating other riders on the road.   Paddy had been alseep in a virgin mary grotto, David Coupe had found him there.  My lights illuminated them stood there like ghosts and I thought I was hallucinating them before the caffeine wore off.. We were all really tired and were wandering pointing at rocks and saying that's the info answer. 

You were allowed to provide a receipt , answer an info or take a picture at such controls.      One such info I took a picture of a sign.  When Eamon saw it at the sleep control he said what the fark is that?   I had taken a picture of a gaelic sign to a village centre with no mention of the location.

The Wild Atlantic Way Audax runs again next year.  If you don't like infos stay away, but you'll be missing a special ride.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: What is good about info controls?
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2019, 12:16:11 pm »
Cool  ;D

I love the idea of stone circles or other Neolithic monuments as Infos; I guess it's not often practicable, what with the things rarely being directly by the road.

(Of course riders will never forget the several-metre muddy climb up from the road that Blacksheep made us do by a misty welsh dam. )
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

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: What is good about info controls?
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2019, 12:50:24 pm »
"At 999km, how many stones in the circle?"
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: What is good about info controls?
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2019, 02:14:20 pm »
I'm thinking of running an event where all the infos are "has the pub closed down?" would save having to update them every year
If it's closed down too long ago, it might no longer be recognisable as an ex-pub, which leads to another point of info controls: not just to prove to the organiser that the rider has completed the event but to reassure the rider they're still on route.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

  • Miles eaten don't satisfy hunger
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Re: What is good about info controls?
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2019, 09:56:03 pm »
The first year Black Sheep ran the Bryan Chapman, he introduced the Scenic version which took a detour into the Elan Valley and over the Arch to Devil's Bridge.  At one of the dams on the Elan Valley the question was, how much water was in the dam (in gallons).  We noted down the impressively large number and carried on into the heavy rain that was a feature of that edition of the event.

The number we noted was a fair bit bigger than the official answer.  Black Sheep took one look at us and said, "That must have been all the rain that fell during the ride."   :facepalm:
Eddington Numbers 122 (imperial), 167 (metric) 511 (furlongs)  110 (nautical miles)

Re: What is good about info controls?
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2019, 11:33:51 pm »
I'm thinking of running an event where all the infos are "has the pub closed down?" would save having to update them every year
If it's closed down too long ago, it might no longer be recognisable as an ex-pub, which leads to another point of info controls: not just to prove to the organiser that the rider has completed the event but to reassure the rider they're still on route.

This is supposed to be a humorous thread, I've removed my post perhaps you'd like to do the same?

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: What is good about info controls?
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2019, 01:46:30 am »
Ones you can see without stopping, and that are memorable enough until you do so, such as, when was he pub in X founded, which county is on the telephone box at the corner of X, opposite the pub, what's the name of the school? Etc.

Or snap a photo as you ride through. On a Danish BRM last year, the final control was a free control in a village, but nothing was open, ride organiser had said photo evidence would be accepted. I went round the mini roundabout rattling off photos with one hand, and headed back up the hill. Was within 10 mins of the time limit on that ride due to headwinds. Finish was closed when I arrived ( they had moved to a restaurant in town), again a photo of my bike by the building was accepted.

I wonder if photo controls next to landmarks would be a better proof of passage than infos on some rides.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: What is good about info controls?
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2019, 06:41:48 am »
Ones you can see without stopping, and that are memorable enough until you do so, such as, when was he pub in X founded, which county is on the telephone box at the corner of X, opposite the pub, what's the name of the school? Etc.

Or snap a photo as you ride through. On a Danish BRM last year, the final control was a free control in a village, but nothing was open, ride organiser had said photo evidence would be accepted. I went round the mini roundabout rattling off photos with one hand, and headed back up the hill. Was within 10 mins of the time limit on that ride due to headwinds. Finish was closed when I arrived ( they had moved to a restaurant in town), again a photo of my bike by the building was accepted.

I wonder if photo controls next to landmarks would be a better proof of passage than infos on some rides.

J

My smartphone stays in a back pocket inside a plastic bag to make sure its dry if I need it.  I don't always carry another camera.  I have no proble!m with photos, but the not stopping may not work all round.

Yesterday's ride had the best info control, none
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: What is good about info controls?
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2019, 08:36:46 am »
A couple of (very boring, grannyish, and entirely negative) comments on the above:
- we shouldn't be encouraging riders to take photos on the move,
- requiring riders to have a (working) camera is an extra burden, and
- processing rider photos from a control (across random devices) will be more arduous at the finish than checking INfo answers in a box on a card.

Let the luddite-torching begin :)
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: What is good about info controls?
« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2019, 11:56:56 am »
On a semi-related note... 
I was chatting with a French rider on LEL who had a set up for providing the obligatory photo controls on Diagonales
A waterproof camera mounted where a bar bag would normally be, with a remote shutter that could be operated without moving hands from handlebars.

I do agree with Matt's third point.  Checking photos is a pain for organisers/controllers.

mcshroom

  • Mushroom
Re: What is good about info controls?
« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2019, 12:19:07 pm »
Ones you can see without stopping, and that are memorable enough until you do so, such as, when was he pub in X founded, which county is on the telephone box at the corner of X, opposite the pub, what's the name of the school? Etc.

Or snap a photo as you ride through. On a Danish BRM last year, the final control was a free control in a village, but nothing was open, ride organiser had said photo evidence would be accepted. I went round the mini roundabout rattling off photos with one hand, and headed back up the hill. Was within 10 mins of the time limit on that ride due to headwinds. Finish was closed when I arrived ( they had moved to a restaurant in town), again a photo of my bike by the building was accepted.

I wonder if photo controls next to landmarks would be a better proof of passage than infos on some rides.

J

Jogler and I rode the Towering trees a few years ago, and as he was local we kept getting lost due to following his normal routes rather than the routesheet.

At the last info, after coming in from the wrong direction again and searching for a while, we took a photo of a road sign in the middle of a village because we couldn't actually find the answer to the info question (miles to x - we couldn't find x on the sign). When we got back to the control, the organiser (MarmiteGeoff) pointed out that we were stood on the wrong side of the right signpost  :-[. He still accepted the photo as PoP

Sadly that memory has also reminded me that neither of those two forumites are still with us :'(
Climbs like a sprinter, sprints like a climber!

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: What is good about info controls?
« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2019, 12:59:07 pm »
A couple of (very boring, grannyish, and entirely negative) comments on the above:
- we shouldn't be encouraging riders to take photos on the move,
- requiring riders to have a (working) camera is an extra burden, and
- processing rider photos from a control (across random devices) will be more arduous at the finish than checking INfo answers in a box on a card.

Let the luddite-torching begin :)

No complaints from me, surprisingly, I find your suggestion eminently sensible :P
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens