Author Topic: Helping at events  (Read 2663 times)

Re: Helping at events
« Reply #25 on: July 19, 2019, 05:43:57 pm »
I like to volunteer once or twice a year as suitable events present themselves. As said up thread , it's nice to catch up with others you usually only see on the road. Seeing how bad they look reminds you how bad you must look at stages ;D. I don't always do helpers rides though as that can lead to taking a significant portion of two consecutive weekends away from family. I prefer to help at controls within cycling distance or easy enough to get to by train.

Re: Helping at events
« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2019, 12:29:23 pm »
I think on big and long events with lots of helpers, the helpers eating more than their share of the food can be a real problem - it was certainly flagged up as an issue on one edition of LEL that I was peripherally involved with.

Quite the opposite problem on events I've helped on; loads (and I do mean loads!) of food left. No doubt some entrepreneur will make a fortune combining Audax controls with pop-up food banks...


-snip-
A boring old mailing list, maybe one per region to reduce noise. Done.

You did done what, exactly?


I don’t do FAcebook and I only look at the AUK forum when there’s a fight on, so I get any requests for help by word of mouth or on here.

When there was only YACF then requests on here for volunteers were the sensible option. Now, sadly, there's Facebook and the official AUK forum diluting the audience.

In my opinion there should be a page on the AUK web site where organisers can put out a call for volunteers. However, I'm sure that'll be another King's ransom going to the web developers
You're only as successful as your last 1200...

S2L

Re: Helping at events
« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2019, 11:20:55 am »
I think on big and long events with lots of helpers, the helpers eating more than their share of the food can be a real problem - it was certainly flagged up as an issue on one edition of LEL that I was peripherally involved with.

Quite the opposite problem on events I've helped on; loads (and I do mean loads!) of food left. No doubt some entrepreneur will make a fortune combining Audax controls with pop-up food banks...


-snip-
A boring old mailing list, maybe one per region to reduce noise. Done.

You did done what, exactly?


I don’t do FAcebook and I only look at the AUK forum when there’s a fight on, so I get any requests for help by word of mouth or on here.

When there was only YACF then requests on here for volunteers were the sensible option. Now, sadly, there's Facebook and the official AUK forum diluting the audience.

In my opinion there should be a page on the AUK web site where organisers can put out a call for volunteers. However, I'm sure that'll be another King's ransom going to the web developers

The problem with fora is that the audience they reach is extremely limited. It is very likely that the all traffic on this Audax part of YACF is less than 100 users, always the same, very aware of what's going on and when... in other words, a waste of time for organisers to post here. The AUK forum has even lower numbers

Facebook on the other hand, will be seen by pretty much all those who have subscribed to the Audax page, which are as of today 9948.
In simple words, fora are dying a slow death, in my opinion because they all inevitably turn into places to spread negativity and vitriol

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Helping at events
« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2019, 11:31:10 am »
You’ve made he assumption that your guessed number of 100 on here have the same desire to help at events as the 9948 that are displayed as members of the Facebook page. I very much doubt that.

My experience of Facebook pages (I see one that has 6,000 members) is that almost all the members do not contribute. Plus many of them are not directly active in the subject matter. Plus stuff just disappears into the Facebook vortex, dealt with by Facebook algorithms that are designed to hook users and monetise their habits.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

S2L

Re: Helping at events
« Reply #29 on: July 27, 2019, 11:40:38 am »
You’ve made he assumption that your guessed number of 100 on here have the same desire to help at events as the 9948 that are displayed as members of the Facebook page. I very much doubt that.

Even if the desire was 10 to 1, you are still better off on Facebook... besides, on a forum you know personally a few people and probably have already asked, the others are just nicknames and anything can hide behind... are they trustworthy? Will they show up?


With Facebook (most) users have a name, typically a face and if they say they will come, I am more inclined to think they will, because they have publicly put their face...

I don't think I trust fora, instinctively... but maybe that's just me (although falling numbers suggest it's not just me)

Re: Helping at events
« Reply #30 on: July 27, 2019, 11:50:06 am »
Even if the desire was 10 to 1

If it's 1000 to 1 I'd be shocked. And I reckon most of the "1" are also on here, and much more likely to see anything posted.

Most of the members of that group have only at best a passing interest in audax, and almost all of the posts are unfunny memes or non-audax holiday snaps. I'm close to unsubscribing (you can unsubscribe and still be counted as a "member").

This here place seems to the only place on the internet to reliably find people interested in audaxes.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Helping at events
« Reply #31 on: July 27, 2019, 12:56:36 pm »
In simple words, fora are dying a slow death, in my opinion because they all inevitably turn into places to spread negativity and vitriol

QED

S2L

Re: Helping at events
« Reply #32 on: July 27, 2019, 01:17:43 pm »
Even if the desire was 10 to 1

If it's 1000 to 1 I'd be shocked. And I reckon most of the "1" are also on here, and much more likely to see anything posted.

Most of the members of that group have only at best a passing interest in audax, and almost all of the posts are unfunny memes or non-audax holiday snaps. I'm close to unsubscribing (you can unsubscribe and still be counted as a "member").

This here place seems to the only place on the internet to reliably find people interested in audaxes.

It doesn't have to be THAT page... we have a local group on Facebook with about 50 members, when I asked for help, two stepped forward and others apologised for not being able to help on that day.
The other thing about fora is that half of the time I don't know what people are on about... it the attempt to be funny or witty or to recall shared experiences of the past, I miss what they actually are trying to say... Facebook is a more primitive way to communicate (approve, like, brief sentences to the point) but effective...
Fora are for rambling on... the classic example is trying to organise a ride (or anything) on a forum... 50 pages later nothing has been achieved and the discussion has moved to which cafe' makes the best sarnie and whether Bojo will manage to get Brexit done by the 31st of October

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Helping at events
« Reply #33 on: July 27, 2019, 01:42:43 pm »
It's not really about the technology, they all have their disadvantages:  Facebook hides things and excludes people, while a web forum puts things in plain sight where people don't bother to look, and mailing lists are basically useless when your target demographic includes a substantial number of people not equipped for handling large volumes of email.

Organising things always goes round in circles if nobody's prepared to pin things down.  Say it'd be a nice idea to do a ride sometime and you'll get that effect, regardless of whether it's in a web forum, newsgroup, social media or physical pub.  Say you're meeting at 10am on $date at $station for a ride of 80km with a CAKE stop at $cafe, and you'll get some people saying they can't come, and others actually will.  (I elaborate on this here.)  If subsequent discussion causes the ride to re-route around a road closure and visit a different cafe in search of more than one vegetarian option, that's fine, it still happens.  I'm not on Facebook, but my understanding of it's 'events' user interface is that it encourages this decisiveness early in proceedings, and makes it easy for people to engage (in order that they be advertised at), in a way that's almost a polar opposite of the way it buries archive information.

But mostly it's about people, and if you want to reach more of them, you have to use more than your pet medium.

To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

bairn again

Re: Helping at events
« Reply #34 on: July 27, 2019, 02:51:27 pm »
If I was putting out a call for help at an event Id either ask folk face to face (most likley at an audax event) or would post here.

Forum identities in my experience (based only on yacf) make for no difference in reliability - my guess is that most folk here use a nom de plume as a bit of fun ("can you guess who that is?") or in the way that a teenage nickname might be used, but not to hide or shirk out.  If doubts exist a DM exchange ("so who the f**k are you exactly?") can help iron things out.   yacf and audax however is a match made in heaven - its a bit quirky, its not "the latest thing" and practitioners dont care.     

I no longer have a Facebook account but when I did it was also under a nom de plume.  I find that the most prolific Facebook users tend to suffer from Top Gear Syndrome (a mistaken belief that everybody shares their enthusiasm).

Martin F.     

Re: Helping at events
« Reply #35 on: July 27, 2019, 05:12:15 pm »
I find that the most prolific Facebook users tend to suffer from Top Gear Syndrome (a mistaken belief that everybody shares their enthusiasm).

Martin F.   

I think that's because FB serves you up with stuff they think you'll like with the inevitable side effect that you see more and more stuff that is similar to your world view and less and less that challenges how you think. This has proven disastrous when politicians have worked out how to micro target people.

Separately, I do tend to avoid YACF as too often I have seen simple discussions degenerate into pedantry or aggression and swearyness (remember the debate about women on events which slowly turned into a bunch of blokes shouting at each other?). What puzzles me is that a few of the worst offenders on line are some of the nicest people you could want to meet on a bike.

S2L

Re: Helping at events
« Reply #36 on: July 27, 2019, 05:30:31 pm »
Separately, I do tend to avoid YACF as too often I have seen simple discussions degenerate into pedantry or aggression and swearyness (remember the debate about women on events which slowly turned into a bunch of blokes shouting at each other?). What puzzles me is that a few of the worst offenders on line are some of the nicest people you could want to meet on a bike.

Fora in a nutshell...

Re: Helping at events
« Reply #37 on: July 27, 2019, 08:47:58 pm »
I see that no-one has mentioned money. Some events build expenses for their volunteers into their calculations, others don't.

I've taken the view that volunteering for events is payback for the unpaid work that enabled the events I rode. I have had expenses for filming and editing for a small number of events, for which I'm very appreciative, but in general I've been giving my time and money to help develop Audax.

Curiously, the events I generally rode had fairly focused volunteer support. Chris Crossland's Two and Three Coasts 600km rides were one example of that. The Depart/ Arrivee was also the sleep control, and volunteers came from the CTC groups of the immediate area. The amount of travel involved for volunteers was minimal, there were volunteers at Glasson Dock, and I don't know if they were local.

My involvement with Andy Corless's rides was a bit more complex. I wouldn't have entered them, as they're too hilly for my tastes. But hills are easy to film, and the scenery looks good, so I was getting a lot out of following them. However, the Langwathby control on the Pendle 600 was pretty remote, with no real chance of local involvement, so I tended to end up involved in cooking activities. The same happened on the first Mille Pennines.

I've also seen how LEL volunteering has evolved, as my partner Heather ran a control in 2001, 2005, 2009, 2013 and 2017. She relied on friends and family initially, but as the event has grown, volunteers have been recruited from around the world, mainly thanks to Danial. That has considerable cost implications.

So I'd see helping at events as a very varied phenomenon. Some are doing it for the satisfactions it gives them. Some are helping to develop the activities of the club they belong to, some are helping friends and family. While others are involved in a sort of cultural exchange.

Underlying those differences are a variety of monetary arrangements, some organisers provide expenses, some don't. To add a layer of complexity, events vary in remoteness, so local volunteers are hard to come by. On top of all that, there is no cross-subsidy between organisers.

Re: Helping at events
« Reply #38 on: July 28, 2019, 01:59:31 am »
I think on big and long events with lots of helpers, the helpers eating more than their share of the food can be a real problem - it was certainly flagged up as an issue on one edition of LEL that I was peripherally involved with.

I don't find that to be a problem at all these days.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Helping at events
« Reply #39 on: July 28, 2019, 02:10:32 pm »
I think on big and long events with lots of helpers, the helpers eating more than their share of the food can be a real problem - it was certainly flagged up as an issue on one edition of LEL that I was peripherally involved with.

I don't find that to be a problem at all these days.

[Ancient history]

Thorne Rugby Club seemed to be a drop-in centre for old cyclists in 1997.

Re: Helping at events
« Reply #40 on: July 28, 2019, 02:47:22 pm »
I think on big and long events with lots of helpers, the helpers eating more than their share of the food can be a real problem - it was certainly flagged up as an issue on one edition of LEL that I was peripherally involved with.

I don't find that to be a problem at all these days.

Prior to 2009 food for riders was charged for, as at PBP. If the catering is to break even, the cost of food for the volunteers has to be factored in. A variety of approaches were used; from pricing per item, a blanket charge, and even the choice of a microwaved ready-meal.

S2L

Re: Helping at events
« Reply #41 on: July 28, 2019, 05:37:34 pm »

Prior to 2009 food for riders was charged for, as at PBP. If the catering is to break even, the cost of food for the volunteers has to be factored in. A variety of approaches were used; from pricing per item, a blanket charge, and even the choice of a microwaved ready-meal.

You are overthinking it, most events have the opposite problem... it's not unknown for organisers to live off leftovers for weeks after an event.
If you have 50 riders, you budget for 50 mouths + volunteers, but ultimately half of the riders will eat very little or nothing at all at the depart/arrivee... maybe intermediate controls are more popular...

How many events in the calendar have catered for intermediate controls? 10% of the lot?

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

  • Miles eaten don't satisfy hunger
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Re: Helping at events
« Reply #42 on: July 29, 2019, 09:09:51 am »
I'm not on FB, and it doesn't let you look at anything unless you are on FB.  I don't want to maintain a FB profile so if things are run from there I won't be able to help.  Apologies for making things difficult but there are some places I don't trust with my data and FB is one of them.
Eddington Numbers 125 (imperial), 168 (metric) 518 (furlongs)  111 (nautical miles)

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Helping at events
« Reply #43 on: July 29, 2019, 12:40:20 pm »
I'm not on FB, and it doesn't let you look at anything unless you are on FB.

That's not strictly true:  If the owner sets a group to sufficiently public permissions, you can squint at it past the un-dismissable bouncing log-in popups for the couple of minutes that your patience will stand.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Helping at events
« Reply #44 on: July 30, 2019, 05:53:19 pm »
Personally I find Facebook to be a superb recruiting tool. Admittedly I run an especially exciting event, but I still have to work at it and sell the event to people. But you have a bigger audience and far more capacity to appeal using graphics and images.

Re: Helping at events
« Reply #45 on: July 31, 2019, 07:22:39 am »
Personally I find Facebook to be a superb recruiting tool. Admittedly I run an especially exciting event, but I still have to work at it and sell the event to people. But you have a bigger audience and far more capacity to appeal using graphics and images.

Already looking forward to LEL helping next time. It was one of the best weeks I've had off 'work' for a long time.


Re: Helping at events
« Reply #46 on: July 31, 2019, 08:38:02 am »
Personally I find Facebook to be a superb recruiting tool. Admittedly I run an especially exciting event, but I still have to work at it and sell the event to people. But you have a bigger audience and far more capacity to appeal using graphics and images.

Totally agree.  For may audaxes I have a dedicated FB group with around 350 members and it is a great advertising and notification mechanism.  It also assists in the recruitment of volunteers.  On the latter score, Yet Another Punch Up has been a dead end.
KIDDERMINSTER KILLER AND CLEE AUDAX, 20th July 2019; SOUTH SALOPIAN, 5th Oct 2019. http://beaconrcc.org.uk/audaxes/

Re: Helping at events
« Reply #47 on: August 04, 2019, 01:01:00 pm »
I've really enjoyed supporting two brevets. I think there are thousands of people who would be very happy to support rides, the problem is linking them to the organiser. I found out about my first volunteer brevet from scanning the calendar events and seeing one was near me (I supported the sign on for the 200, which started earlier, and the 100, which I then did myself). The next time I saw Paul's post here for the Ditchling Devil.

Perhaps the Audax UK IT could be used to automatically let members know which calendar events are coming up with start points near their postcode which they might be interested in supporting? Or organisers could list 'help wanted' in the calendar section of arrivée?

As you have found out, helping at events can be very enjoyable/interesting/therapeutic/and a few other things.

It's a pity that the new website doesn't have a section (similar to entry) for would be volunteers to offer their help.
where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that. Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.