Author Topic: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad  (Read 4205 times)

dubya

  • You can't stop the waves,but you can learn to surf
Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
« Reply #50 on: September 23, 2019, 02:15:08 pm »
I didn't prepare well enough for the times. I maintain a reasonable rate on the bike, and don't expect to be full value. I came out of my 600 qualifier with a niggling Achilles and spent the month or so before PBP worrying about a ride-ending injury.  I didn't anticipate all the faff at controls and queues. I spent 5 hours queuing for food and 2 queuing for toilets. Once I realised I didn't have much time in hand I found it difficult to clarify what I was up against.

Next time I'd do it differently. Bounce controls, use roadside stops and cafes. That doesn't alter the fact that as an under-prepared newbie clearer times would have been a great help.

I've read blogs, seen reports and checked the riders out on the app. Quite a few people congratulating themselves on their achievement were out of time on one or more controls. They could be in for a shock if their ride isn't validated. Equally if it is that affects other people. I was following 2 guys to Tinteniac who pulled over, intending to pack because they were out of time for the control. What would they think if the intermediate times turn out to be indicative rather than firm?
Your story is similar to mine, except I was hit by a car 3 months before PBP. I effectively packed at Carhaix on the return because I had missed the cut off for my group.  I took a leisurely lunch, had a shower, slept for 4 hours, had another big meal then set off back to Rambouillet.  I probably spent about 8 hours at Carhaix on top of missing the cut off.   I took a leisurely ride back, stopping, eating and sleeping as I felt like it,  finishing 5 hours over time.

I was a little annoyed at not finishing in time, but  I'll be pretty fed up if it turns out I still could have been homologated had I got back in 90 hours.

Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
« Reply #51 on: September 23, 2019, 02:18:17 pm »
The times weren't incorrect. They gave the control opening and closing times for your time group. Intermediate controls have closing times for their ownn convenience. With a single start time, those times serve as a prompt.
I dont believe there was any control that closed for 90hr riders before opening again for 84 hour riders, so discussion of controls closing for a time group is also misleading.
   Eddington  87 miles

Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
« Reply #52 on: September 23, 2019, 02:32:46 pm »
The times weren't incorrect. They gave the control opening and closing times for your time group. Intermediate controls have closing times for their ownn convenience. With a single start time, those times serve as a prompt.
I dont believe there was any control that closed for 90hr riders before opening again for 84 hour riders, so discussion of controls closing for a time group is also misleading.

It was all very confusing, and discussion after the event doesn't help. That's why we like to cover the issue at the times they're happening, as here at St Martin outbound, and Quedillac on the return.

We wouldn't have attempted to have tried to find out what was happening at a control, as they are centres of confusion.


Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
« Reply #53 on: September 23, 2019, 03:24:08 pm »
We found it surprisingly hard to find drinking water at Ramboillet, and at various controls it would have been useful if the sinks in the toilets had not been full of people filling their bidons.

I'd also agree that there are never enough cubicles - there was one control that appeared to only have one in the men's loos.

There came a point where I really didn't want to see another ham sandwich, and yet this seemed often to be the only way to get some quick food.

The atmosphere at some of the controls was absolutely amazing. I really can't wait to do this again in four years, but faster, and actually finishing, this time...

JJ

Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
« Reply #54 on: September 23, 2019, 04:39:15 pm »
A view from the back of the field, starting in the Z group.

Not just for the start, but Rambouillet is a much nicer place to hang out before and after than St Quentin.

The volunteers were all lovely, from first aiders, through catering to motorcycle marshalls and via all the rest.

Many of the back-markers from the 90 hour starts seemed to be unaware that they would get a medal if they finished, albeit out of time, and so were more despondent than they needed to be.
Many of them equally seemed not to realise the need to keep moving as controls would be literally shutting after the last 84 hour cutoff.  Perhaps that information could be clearer?

For myself it was a disappointment at Brest with time in hand  to find that the sleeping arrangements including the showers had already been closed.  I'd been promising myself (and those around me) a wash for a while!

If the organisation could see its way to providing me with better legs for next time.......

Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
« Reply #55 on: September 23, 2019, 06:34:52 pm »
The control timetables were clearly in the pack “calculated on the basis of a start at 17h15, to be adjusted to your real start time” so you work out your personal closing times based on your start time.

For me, not making a cutoff was my main concern so I had all my specific times on a laminated card on my stem.

It wasn’t anything unknown imposed on riders. I’m not sure why people are making a big thing of this.

Indeed understand the rules and respect them before starting a ride

Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
« Reply #56 on: September 23, 2019, 07:24:03 pm »
I echo the thing about the toilets at controls - at a lot of them the only visible toilets had a couple of cubicles and a massive queue. I can’t believe those big schools don’t have proper facilities people could be directed to.

All of the controls could have done with temporary outdoor taps near the bike parking for filling bidons. I think only Mortagne actually did this that I saw.


Those two. I was one of the earliest on the road but when asking for water(eau rater fluent and polite in french so no language barrier issue) the volunteers at some controls had no clue where there where taps in their place.

Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
« Reply #57 on: September 23, 2019, 08:04:16 pm »
The control timetables were clearly in the pack “calculated on the basis of a start at 17h15, to be adjusted to your real start time” so you work out your personal closing times based on your start time.

For me, not making a cutoff was my main concern so I had all my specific times on a laminated card on my stem.

It wasn’t anything unknown imposed on riders. I’m not sure why people are making a big thing of this.

Indeed understand the rules and respect them before starting a ride

Ah, like

“Article 14 : Opening and Closing Time of the Controls

Passage of the participants within the schedule of closure indicated on brevet cards is compulsory for every control.” etc.

This suggests to me that it would be useful for the organisers to clearly state everyone’s control closing times in their brevet cards so they can obey this rule. This is all several people upthread have asked for and I think that’s quite reasonable.


telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
« Reply #58 on: September 23, 2019, 09:18:15 pm »
If ACP are charging hundreds of euros it seems like the least they could do.
2019 🏅 R1000 and B1000

Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
« Reply #59 on: September 23, 2019, 10:21:23 pm »
If ACP are charging hundreds of euros it seems like the least they could do.
For the record, they didn't charge "hundreds of euros".

Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
« Reply #60 on: September 24, 2019, 07:33:20 am »
And assuming that they weren't planning on making a profit from the ride then increasing printing costs (~25 smaller print runs instead of a few large print runs) would make the ride cost more.

I guess they had a whole list of small things they'd like to do, each costing a small amount, but had to draw the line somewhere.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
« Reply #61 on: September 24, 2019, 08:24:18 am »
I'd like to be more specific but off the top of my head:
- Registration / bike check queuing in the rain ok but not great :)
- Start organisation, seemed to work but we spent a while watching before working out that they were running alternate groups from different directions
- Route out... the potholed gravel route out seemed comical at the start, and it seemed like there were quite a few punctures on the roadside in the first 100k or so. certainly when I encountered my friend who had a half hour head start earlier than expected it was down to a tiny piece of flint that looked like it came from the start.
- Controls generally chaotic and confusing for a newb, despite pre-reading, not sure what could be done there !  Consistent layout maybe but appreciate that's tricky.... or an idea of layout for each control in advance ?
- Again as a newb knowing what other sources of support to find where would have been handy, i.e. setting off on a 50mile stint wondering if any of the place names on the map round half way would be big enough to have a shop/café etc. Sometimes we were stuck a bit high & dry hunting for somewhere and others you'd stop somewhere not ideal and find a better option round the corner :D If all those towns & rotary clubs could co-ordinate even informally on a shared map that would have been cool.
- Food at controls generally good, albeit necessarily samey.. some queues... cash or card where available worked okay.
- As mentioned, consistency between location & layout of water for filling bottles (sorry, bidons)
- Sleeps, well first one was full so in corridor, not ideal but knew it was a possibility. 2nd was cold (as others have noted).. 3rd was roasting in comparison.. but in general worked well.
- Loos, those with portaloos generally fine, those relying on finding and using those on site trickier... yes including the one with no door and only on cubicle where given no better option I just bared my arse and changed in a corner as best I could.
- Control times, now I had assumed I think based on reading around and on here that the brevets were corrected for start time. I didn't check and by the time I was using them to do time in hand double checking I wasn't with it enough to notice. Fair enough if it was clearly stated somewhere and I missed it. Had my printed A & B plans to go by anyway.

That'll do for now  ::-)

Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
« Reply #62 on: September 24, 2019, 09:13:06 am »
The control timetables were clearly in the pack “calculated on the basis of a start at 17h15, to be adjusted to your real start time” so you work out your personal closing times based on your start time.

For me, not making a cutoff was my main concern so I had all my specific times on a laminated card on my stem.

It wasn’t anything unknown imposed on riders. I’m not sure why people are making a big thing of this.

Indeed understand the rules and respect them before starting a ride

Ah, like

“Article 14 : Opening and Closing Time of the Controls

Passage of the participants within the schedule of closure indicated on brevet cards is compulsory for every control.” etc.

This suggests to me that it would be useful for the organisers to clearly state everyone’s control closing times in their brevet cards so they can obey this rule. This is all several people upthread have asked for and I think that’s quite reasonable.
Ah that makes it all clear then, as long as you comply with the times AS PRINTED IN THE BREVET CARD you are ok, bit unfair on the last group who get less leeway at intermediate controls.
   Eddington  87 miles

Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
« Reply #63 on: September 24, 2019, 09:24:44 am »
That’s a novel interpretation, but the participant dossier says closing times are per start slot.

I suspect whoever wrote the regulations wasn’t aware of what would be printed in the cards, and vice versa.

(btw My preference is for the cards to either not have times in them at all if they can’t be personalised)

Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
« Reply #64 on: September 24, 2019, 09:52:40 am »
(btw My preference is for the cards to either not have times in them at all if they can’t be personalised)
@Phil W had shared dire warnings about writing anything (ie 'your' closing times) in the brevet, drawn from his 2015 experience of so doing.

Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
« Reply #65 on: September 24, 2019, 09:53:37 am »
So I, well my french partner, seems to be in regular contact with the people at Rambouillet and this came up as a discussion.

So what would you like to feed back.
First PBP for me and overall I found it excellent. Yes, a few very busy controls to start with and when meeting the bulge on the way back but this is to be expected of course.

A couple of small things, both at the end of the ride:
1. I took advantage of the showers. Didn't mind the short bus ride but no towels! Luckily it was warm and sunny so I didn't mind just getting dressed knowing I'll dry out pretty quickly.
2. I slept in one of the dorms on Wednesday night: got up at 7am. Didn't appear to be anywhere on site to get food so rode into town. Not really a big deal (I had a nice picnic in the grounds of the chateau) but could be good to have a hot drink/cake stall open 24 hours?

Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
« Reply #66 on: September 24, 2019, 09:54:03 am »
And assuming that they weren't planning on making a profit from the ride then increasing printing costs (~25 smaller print runs instead of a few large print runs) would make the ride cost more.

I guess they had a whole list of small things they'd like to do, each costing a small amount, but had to draw the line somewhere.

It doesn't really cost anything these days to personalise the brevets compared to printing them especially for an event without personalisation. It's just a bigger file that you load into the machine.

Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
« Reply #67 on: September 24, 2019, 11:44:20 am »
I echo the thing about the toilets at controls - at a lot of them the only visible toilets had a couple of cubicles and a massive queue. I can’t believe those big schools don’t have proper facilities people could be directed to.

All of the controls could have done with temporary outdoor taps near the bike parking for filling bidons. I think only Mortagne actually did this that I saw.


Those two. I was one of the earliest on the road but when asking for water(eau rater fluent and polite in french so no language barrier issue) the volunteers at some controls had no clue where there where taps in their place.

I don't think that it's acceptable to direct people to the toilets to fill up water bottles.
Some controls (Villaines for one, )  managed to   install a stand pipe with multiple taps , outside the control but accessible to all riders.
It also means that those riders who are bouncing controls don't need to go anywhere near feeding areas as that was often the location of water fountains.

Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
« Reply #68 on: September 24, 2019, 01:56:19 pm »
I also agree that outdoor water taps at controls near to the bike parking are a good thing. I spent an embarrassing amount of time wandering around in the dark in a tired and confused state at Brest looking for a tap. My bottle didn't fit under the taps in the loos. Eventually ended up using a water fountain in the canteen.

Zed43

  • prefers UK hills over Dutch mountains
Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
« Reply #69 on: September 25, 2019, 12:36:37 pm »
Prompted by another discussion: it would be nice to have electronic registration on both entering and leaving the control. Useful for the organizers as well as you can make much better predictions on how many people are on their way to a certain control (and where they roughly are, as the average speed no longer includes time faffing in the controls).

Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
« Reply #70 on: September 25, 2019, 01:04:04 pm »
The problem with that is that those with support will immediately leave the control to meet their supporters. Likewise those who are booked into hotels or campsites. The French riders are more likely to have support, so the lower numbers of those this time would have impacted on demand for control services.

There's an argument for a two-tier payment structure. One using all control facilities, one not. You'd then have two wristbands to sort the payment at controls out.

Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
« Reply #71 on: September 25, 2019, 01:55:36 pm »
Prompted by another discussion: it would be nice to have electronic registration on both entering and leaving the control. Useful for the organizers as well as you can make much better predictions on how many people are on their way to a certain control (and where they roughly are, as the average speed no longer includes time faffing in the controls).

It did strike me quite early on that the mat location seemed at least inconsistent, I never worked out if there were two, or just one sometimes on way in.. sometimes on way out...  either way if you had online supporters expecting you to arrive at a certain time but you don't appear until after a 3hr sleep they may be getting concerned.

Zed43

  • prefers UK hills over Dutch mountains
Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
« Reply #72 on: September 25, 2019, 02:25:59 pm »
Any idea of the percentage of riders that had outside support?

I have mixed feelings about outside support. On the one side I think having someone follow you and have private support is very much against the spirit/ethos (as I see it) of audax. On the other, the Dutch Randonneurs provided meals/air beds/dropbag at the campsite East of Loudéac (ACME was there as well) that I gladly took advantage of. So at least there is a spectrum of outside support (not to mention boulangeries, hotels, etc).

Redlight

  • Enjoying life in the slow lane
Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
« Reply #73 on: September 25, 2019, 02:37:15 pm »
On the one side I think having someone follow you and have private support is very much against the spirit/ethos (as I see it) of audax.

Time for a separate thread, Mods?
Between the Disney abattoir and the chemical refinery

Re: What would you like to feedback to PBP organisers good and bad
« Reply #74 on: September 25, 2019, 03:39:27 pm »
Any idea of the percentage of riders that had outside support?

I have mixed feelings about outside support. On the one side I think having someone follow you and have private support is very much against the spirit/ethos (as I see it) of audax. On the other, the Dutch Randonneurs provided meals/air beds/dropbag at the campsite East of Loudéac (ACME was there as well) that I gladly took advantage of. So at least there is a spectrum of outside support (not to mention boulangeries, hotels, etc).

PBP is three separate events. Vedettes, Randonneurs and Touristes.

Vedettes are equivalent to sportive riders. They might have individual support devoted to them. The percentage of that can be determined from support vehicle registrations. However, we did see unregistered support vehicles.

Randonneurs are the only group that has to answer questions about 'Randonneur ethics'. They might have support from clubs and national associations, so support vehicle registrations provide little insight.

Touristes includes 'Cyclotouristes'. So will have representation from clubs with a wider ability range. They might have a van driven by a club member, and they ride together. The strong riders shepherd the group into the wind, and set a viable pace uphill. So a single registered vehicle might serve 10 or 12 riders. These groups were notable for their absence. About 1,000 French cyclotouristes went missing from the entry. Whether that was caused by the entry process, or lack of interest is the moot point.

The cyclotouriste clubs are the backbone of volunteer support, so it's an important question.