Author Topic: Is there a central database for all e.g. Super Randonneurs worldwide?  (Read 2318 times)

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: Is there a central database for all e.g. Super Randonneurs worldwide?
« Reply #50 on: October 01, 2019, 07:02:23 pm »
The bag of stickers are a symbol of homologation, some people will only ride the event if it's LRM homologated, others don't care.

For similar reasons some people play football for clubs, in leagues and cups, coughing up questionable amounts of money throughout the year to do so,
Others just have a kick around with their mates in a public park.

Re: Is there a central database for all e.g. Super Randonneurs worldwide?
« Reply #51 on: October 01, 2019, 08:23:46 pm »
The bag of stickers are a symbol of homologation, some people will only ride the event if it's LRM homologated, others don't care.

I get that. I'm not questioning homologation as a concept. I came into this discussion when someone hazarded a guess as to my thoughts on the matter.  My views are that the fees charged are excessive for an organisation with very low overheads. I could be wrong but LRM do not publish accounts. It's also my view that AUK's fees to LEL are too high too, given that we get a rather lower level of service than other events.

Zed43

  • prefers UK hills over Dutch mountains
Re: Is there a central database for all e.g. Super Randonneurs worldwide?
« Reply #52 on: October 01, 2019, 09:05:52 pm »
With the numbers of riders LEL has I'd say you would qualify for a volume discount  ;)

I agree with your sentiment, in this day and age the homologation body can demand / provide electronic transfer of all the required rider info and have very little manual work and thus costs on the homologation. Besides, are these organisations not run by / using volunteers?

Re: Is there a central database for all e.g. Super Randonneurs worldwide?
« Reply #53 on: October 01, 2019, 10:58:33 pm »
It's a curious paradox. Participants are essentially paying a small premium to enter an amateur, volunteer-run event. By doing that they are signing up for the full 'amateur' experience, with all that implies. Without the validation they wouldn't be connected to the world of very basic facilities provided by Audax events.

The validation is a sort of guarantee of quality. The food might run out, you stand every chance of sleeping in a corridor, and the toilet facilities may be inadequate. However, the riders won't complain, and that's what makes it worthwhile. That degree of forbearance is an inspiration in itself.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Is there a central database for all e.g. Super Randonneurs worldwide?
« Reply #54 on: October 01, 2019, 11:41:33 pm »
It's also my view that AUK's fees to LEL are too high too, given that we get a rather lower level of service than other events.

Well - you decline the services that are on offer (brevet cards, entry management) which is fully understandable since they are not attuned to the needs of a flagship international (predominantly non-Auk-member) event.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Fidgetbuzz

  • L sp MOON. 1st R sp MARS . At X SO sp STARS
Re: Is there a central database for all e.g. Super Randonneurs worldwide?
« Reply #55 on: October 02, 2019, 10:34:42 am »
We are looking at LEL at the moment .. which is of some interest to me .. BUT to me  the much bigger question is what are ACP and LRM doing with all the huge sums  now pouring into their bank accounts.. for which we seem to be unable to identify any significant activity.  Dont overlook that AUK built up a £350,000 balance with no forward plans  of what to spend it on . How does one even see the  ACP accounts .. so that sensible questions can be asked ??
I was an accountant until I discovered Audax !!

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Is there a central database for all e.g. Super Randonneurs worldwide?
« Reply #56 on: October 02, 2019, 10:58:55 am »
Becoming a member of ACP should give access to their books.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Is there a central database for all e.g. Super Randonneurs worldwide?
« Reply #57 on: October 02, 2019, 11:28:34 am »
I would think organising PBP and all the up-front resources that needs, justifies a big float of reserve funds. 
But I do also think that the introduction of pre-qualifying (and then the "you won't get an entry without a pre-qualifier" scare) must have boosted ACP's income considerably.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Is there a central database for all e.g. Super Randonneurs worldwide?
« Reply #58 on: October 02, 2019, 11:37:12 am »
I would think organising PBP and all the up-front resources that needs, justifies a big float of reserve funds. 
But I do also think that the introduction of pre-qualifying (and then the "you won't get an entry without a pre-qualifier" scare) must have boosted ACP's income considerably.

When I pay €5 to enter a BRM event, how much of that goes to ACP?

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

Re: Is there a central database for all e.g. Super Randonneurs worldwide?
« Reply #59 on: October 02, 2019, 04:11:43 pm »
Sue and I have been very interested in parts of this discussion.

For 14 years to 2018 we were validators for AUK.  For 6 years to just a couple of weeks ago we did the homologations and produced stickers for LRM.  In 2009 and 2013 we were heavily involved in LEL to the point where cards were submitted for validation.  In 2009 and 2013 we spent long hours checking LEL cards before effectively handing them over to ourselves.  In 2017, when we were not as much involved with LEL, we received the cards unchecked as AUK validators and needed to spend long hours arriving at a list fit for validation.

With regard to LRM, we understood when we began working for them that there was no pot of money. We arranged that AUK supplies of stickers and printers could be used and added the workload to our AUK duties.

It interests that sums of money were changing hands internationally when all the work was being done by us wearing our several hats!!

Until perhaps 4 years ago, the ACP homologation system involved submitting lists of successful riders and their times electronically to Paris.  A month or so later we would receive a batch of labels in the post to affix to the cards.  There was some cost to ACP for postage, labels and printing, and the time lag meant that we could have as many as 50 packets of cards in our "office" awaiting stickers.  Now, the results are uploaded to ACP's system by the AUK Recorder, and a PDF of labels is available almost immediately. This system would probably have reduced costs for ACP and has certainly simplified things for validators.

Keith andSue

Fidgetbuzz

  • L sp MOON. 1st R sp MARS . At X SO sp STARS
Re: Is there a central database for all e.g. Super Randonneurs worldwide?
« Reply #60 on: October 02, 2019, 04:38:10 pm »
Hi S and K .. hope you are both in good form.

 Now a query .. as I understand it...   LRM is just a sub part of ACP.. neither of which as far as I can tell is a limited company or the equivalent, is this right ?   If it is...  ACP is  a club ( as AUK was when it was much smaller ) and in my financial terms LRM is just a subsidiary activity of ACP.. even though this is all masked by the terminology  BRMs,LRMs etc . And I dont think ACP actually organises anything itself for 3 years out of 4  .. much the same as the old AUK.
AUK used to clock up a steady surplus .. because in very simple terms .. it franchises out the right to run an Audax ride .. and by controlling the income for doing this ..and knowing the  modest cost base of administration  .. a surplus was always going to be available.

When this was the AUK business model .. a steady surplus accumulated .. until some questions were asked about how finances were controlled (the  reality was that they were not ) and then gradually AUK moved to a corporate structure with proper audited accounts produced and with members having the ability to see and  understand the financial picture .
Given the way that AUK had just grown from a few people wanting to ride PBP .. to getting to 3000 members and having £100,000 in the bank and now 8000 members ..the club type financial model was totally inappropriate.

What i am interested in is ACP ( and its subsidiary activity LRM) still in the old AUK mode .. with no oversight of what is happening financially.  OK .. the individual riding a BRM/LRM pays very little .. but the huge increase in BRMs and LRMs , must mean that revenue has soared.  How much are ACP sitting on .. and what do they do with their income ?
I was an accountant until I discovered Audax !!

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Is there a central database for all e.g. Super Randonneurs worldwide?
« Reply #61 on: October 02, 2019, 05:23:59 pm »
Make PBP bigger and better, I assume.  Remembering ACP themselves are numerically a small organisation.
It is true that LRM is a subsidiary of ACP, although ACP like to obscure this by themselves being a LRM 'member'.  (Think: Germany/EU)
For a long time they shared a single bank account, don't know if that is still the case.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Re: Is there a central database for all e.g. Super Randonneurs worldwide?
« Reply #62 on: October 02, 2019, 06:33:58 pm »
What surprises me is that LEL doesn't feel that AUK is providing value for money. I've always assumed that LEL paid any surplus to AUK, and I've provided my services on that basis. If that was the case, the cost of services from AUK would be immaterial.

Redlight

  • Enjoying life in the slow lane
Re: Is there a central database for all e.g. Super Randonneurs worldwide?
« Reply #63 on: October 02, 2019, 06:48:45 pm »
I wonder how many AUK members would take time off work and/or give up their time to volunteer on LEL if it were run as a completely separate entity, like a commercial sportive?
Between the Disney abattoir and the chemical refinery

S2L

Re: Is there a central database for all e.g. Super Randonneurs worldwide?
« Reply #64 on: October 02, 2019, 08:48:37 pm »
I wonder how many AUK members would take time off work and/or give up their time to volunteer on LEL if it were run as a completely separate entity, like a commercial sportive?

Probably fewer... agree.
I think AUK provides a platform... at the moment LEL is mega popular, but maybe in 10 years time long distance cycling will not be as popular and being able to rely on a base of customers can be handy.

I have seen mega popular sportives virtually disappear in a few years... because of lack of a solid and reliable base of customers

Fidgetbuzz

  • L sp MOON. 1st R sp MARS . At X SO sp STARS
Re: Is there a central database for all e.g. Super Randonneurs worldwide?
« Reply #65 on: October 02, 2019, 08:57:07 pm »
The LEL finances have always been operated on a .. lets cover our costs and make a small post tax surplus .. so that there is a little money in the account to get the next LEL event off to a start.

That is easy to say .. but darn difficult to have confidence in achieving .. when the level of ride  entries is  a complete unknown .. as we have take contracts on control locations at significant cost long before we are certain of the necessary income. OK we are now on our 3rd LEL .. so the total uncertainty of 2013 is much reduced .. but even so . the ride is going to be something like 4 times bigger than 2009  ( 500 to 2000 )  just 12 years later. Corporate growth of times 4 in 12 years is way outside my real life experience .

We operate entirely within  the AUK framework for running an event.  However there are some significant areas where we feel that we get a raw deal .. insurance is the key example. Last time .. despite the AUK promise to members as part of their membership benefit that they would be covered on ALL audax approved rides and LEL is one of those.. to ensure that UK residents were covered we were required to pay to AUK  a sum that was equivalent to 75% of their TOTAL annual premium to cover what in our eyes was about 36 starts of 25 people ( UK residents only )  in each start... so that each start was much smaller than many typical AUK calendar events. It seems to us that UK is reneging on its undertaking to members .. and yet does not attempt to negotiate on our behalf for a sensible premium addition on top of the non LEL year policy. Overseas residents are a headache .. AUK derives huge international kudos for LEL .. insists that all riders  are 3rd party covered .. but does absolutely  nothing to help achieve this insurance requirement. Major headache and many many hours of work to get somewhere on this .

The input over the 30 months  preceding the event  from the organising team is colossal .. just speaking personally .. I am doing 4 or 5 hours a day at the moment totally free of course  .. and to get the ball rolling .. I lent the company a figure in excess of £10,000, as our seed corn of £5000 left over from 2017  was not enough to get us to today , when we are getting deposits in.  I do of course  remember bitterly the AUK attitude in 2013  when we hit the paypal problem.

LEL is an AUK an event and will always be .. long standing AUK members get a guaranteed entry.. I would find it very difficult to even imagine it as some sort of commercial event and my guess is that  the entry cost if it was to be similar to the current event would be well into 4 figures. this gives you some guidance on the value that the whole voluntary team are providing for both UK and International riders. 
I was an accountant until I discovered Audax !!

Re: Is there a central database for all e.g. Super Randonneurs worldwide?
« Reply #66 on: October 03, 2019, 09:06:38 am »
The talk of lack of transparency in the business of LRM does tend to focus attention on the accounts of LEL 2021 Ltd, and AUK. The LEL accounts are very abbreviated. In the end it's only the business of the directors to know the details, if surplus funds remain within the enterprise.

We still have various bits and pieces from previous LELs. Principally six laptops and associated barcode readers. If anyone wants those, get in touch, all items collection only. Likewise two films, with archive footage of 2013 and 2017, £7,500 each is a figure which comes to mind.


Re: Is there a central database for all e.g. Super Randonneurs worldwide?
« Reply #67 on: October 03, 2019, 06:17:47 pm »
The talk of lack of transparency in the business of LRM does tend to focus attention on the accounts of LEL 2021 Ltd, and AUK. The LEL accounts are very abbreviated. In the end it's only the business of the directors to know the details, if surplus funds remain within the enterprise.

Which I'm more than happy to chat about. Our current forecast shows a surplus of around £45,000 on a budget of c. £900,000. However I've just had a quote for a control come in at around £10,000 higher than planned. I am comfortable with the current budget though at this stage it can fluctuate by more than the current forecast surplus.

All of our income comes from the riders, with a small, serendipitous bonus of commission from Transferwise. We take no cash from AUK or LRM. FB bankrolled our preparations from February 2019, paying for the website and publicity in Paris.

In 2017 we made a rather larger than expected surplus. This came as a rather pleasant surprise as the budget showed a tiny surplus of maybe £1,000 on the day of the event. I was personally very worried that I would be on the hook for the bills so was very relieved that this wasn't the case. What caused that surplus? It was partly the controllers who did their own catering coming in far lower than expected. It was also higher than expected sales of jerseys, for which we had a phenomenal rush near the end. But mostly it was an accounting error - we'd double counted staff costs for some controls and failed to spot the error.

Like almost every other event, we distributed most of the surplus to the controllers and kept about £20,000 in the bank for 2017 washup and 2021 planning. We paid an unexpected bill of £4,000 from LRM in 2013 which came about when the then chair of AUK neglected to tell us that LRM had jacked up their validation fees to 5 euros.

We still have various bits and pieces from previous LELs. Principally six laptops and associated barcode readers. If anyone wants those, get in touch, all items collection only. Likewise two films, with archive footage of 2013 and 2017, £7,500 each is a figure which comes to mind.

Heather and I had a chat about the surplus equipment. I told her that we didn't expect to see it again and that she was welcome to keep it. Feel free to sell it all on and feel free to keep the proceeds. We don't need any of it.

Fidgetbuzz

  • L sp MOON. 1st R sp MARS . At X SO sp STARS
Re: Is there a central database for all e.g. Super Randonneurs worldwide?
« Reply #68 on: October 03, 2019, 11:25:01 pm »
We tend to say to controllers .. if you have something worth the effort of selling .. do so and account for the sale proceeds . Otherwise consider disposing of any surplus to charity .. might be a food bank , a homeless shelter for blankets , animal charity who then deal with the laundry for grubby towels . If you feel like selling your laptops ESL .. you must then decide whether to donate the proceeds to charity.
I was an accountant until I discovered Audax !!

Re: Is there a central database for all e.g. Super Randonneurs worldwide?
« Reply #69 on: October 03, 2019, 11:47:27 pm »
I'm aware that a lot of this stuff is at the frontiers of accountancy, hence not assuming that LRM might easily reconcile its accounts, given that it's based in France and might be involved in ex-gratia payments in Thailand for all I know.

So I'd retain one laptop, as it's useful for showing video of events to other event organisers.  That's how how I showed the 2015 safety announcement to the PBP organisation. PBP were using the same model of Windows 7 Lenovo. albeit with an AZERTY keyboard. The other 5 laptops might be useful to organisers of other AUK events, along with the barcode readers, and walkie-talkies. There are also some first aid kits, and storage boxes. They need to go at some point. As I say, I'm happy for those to be picked up, and we're close to the M6.

Heather disposed of the IKEA plates and cutlery to her caterer. I was dubious about not just using disposable plastic stuff, but she was adamant. The result was that Brampton controlled single-use plastic on the catering side, and those items have gone on to support eco-friendly catering in Cumbria.