Poll

What's the max number controls (not infos, but full controls), you think reasonable for a 200km BRM?

2
8 (11%)
3
40 (54.8%)
4
16 (21.9%)
5
6 (8.2%)
6
1 (1.4%)
≥7
2 (2.7%)

Total Members Voted: 73

Author Topic: How many controls for a 200?  (Read 2464 times)

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
How many controls for a 200?
« on: September 26, 2019, 01:39:55 pm »

Am wondering what people think is a good number of controls for a 200k audax is. I've done events with as few as 2, and as many as 5, but most have 3-4. But I was talking with another audaxer who suggested 4 was too many for a 200.

How many is too many?

Thoughts?

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

telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Re: How many controls for a 200?
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2019, 01:43:01 pm »
Assuming this doesn't include the HQ itself?
2019 🏅 R1000 and B1000

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: How many controls for a 200?
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2019, 01:44:30 pm »
2 intermediates seems reasonable, but then I'm used to calendar events on road networks that allow for so few in a free route.

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: How many controls for a 200?
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2019, 01:48:06 pm »
I'm planning my own 200 right now. Looking at the organiser handbook, I'm thinking 3 controls, not including the depart and arrivée is about right, roughly every 40-60km (if I recall the handbook correctly).

I've also put in 3 infos so far, mostly because I think the validators will want them for the purposes of 'prevent people from taking short cuts.' The draft ride is basically a 'diamond lasoo' at the moment, with the main controls at the point where the diamond meets the 'snake' back to London, and the furthest point out west. Waiting from some feedback from my talented and experienced mentor for the time being ;D
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hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: How many controls for a 200?
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2019, 01:51:23 pm »
Assuming this doesn't include the HQ itself?

Indeed. My optimum out & back 200 would be Start, midway to turn, turn, midway back & Arrivée.

Re: How many controls for a 200?
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2019, 02:16:29 pm »
3 is my preferred number of controls, but 2 or 4 is also OK. I have to add that when I organize 200's they tend to have 4 controls...

In terms of spacing: optimally at 60k, 120k and 160k.

Re: How many controls for a 200?
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2019, 02:26:29 pm »
How quickly you can get through them is IMO more important than how many.  Assuming two is the required minimum, that's what I vote for  I'd only usually stop at one, but on the Tortoise>Hare scale I'm firmly the former.  If each control requires locking the bike and a queue, four might well eat up time I'd rather spend moving. I know it's considered unusual, but I don't mind infos, they're something to look out for and they can usually be answered without getting off the bike.

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: How many controls for a 200?
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2019, 02:36:36 pm »
Infos can really depend. I like ones that are very clearly linked to an obvious thing you come across e.g. 'colour of church of St Bludger's doors'. The ones that irk me are e.g. 'what animal statue on wall' because you'll be searching and searching walls and whatnot, whereas a church door is very obvious when a route goes past it, and it doesn't really matter if it's a few hundred metres 'off'.

My favourite info is a volunteer holding a big fluoro sign with a letter on it, but that's quite labour intensive to pull off.
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FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: How many controls for a 200?
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2019, 02:39:34 pm »
My favourite info is a volunteer holding a big fluoro sign with a letter on it, but that's quite labour intensive to pull off.

You can always volunteer a lamppost... until a local or other gadgie removes it...

Re: How many controls for a 200?
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2019, 02:46:01 pm »
4 seems absolutely fine to me, that's one every 40k. I'd say closer than 20km is starting to take the piss, so even 8 or 9 controls wouldn't necessarily be a problem.

I'd include infos in that count though, as I don't find them any less hassle than a manned or "free" control - quite the opposite in fact.

Re: How many controls for a 200?
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2019, 02:57:23 pm »
I'd include infos in that count though, as I don't find them any less hassle than a manned or "free" control - quite the opposite in fact.

Indeed, the best info controls are those that can be observed without the need to stop cycling let alone get off the bike.

Also, compare it to PBP where the first official control (that you have to stop at) is at ~220km.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: How many controls for a 200?
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2019, 03:09:58 pm »

My favourite info is a volunteer holding a big fluoro sign with a letter on it, but that's quite labour intensive to pull off.

If you're going to that length, why not give the volunteer a couple of slabs of soft drinks, some mars bars, and a stamp?

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

Re: How many controls for a 200?
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2019, 03:19:16 pm »
The question's a bit ambiguous, so my answer might be out by one.
You're only as successful as your last 1200...

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: How many controls for a 200?
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2019, 03:36:53 pm »
ideally two controls - at 80km and 150km. progressively shorter distances (80, 70, 60*) to accommodate the increasing fatigue.

* 200 is normally ~210k

Re: How many controls for a 200?
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2019, 03:52:26 pm »
If advisory you have to be mindful of meeting min distance in planning whilst not having an overly over distance actual event route. Mandatory you can have fewer controls with a secret one possibly thrown in. The shape of a route will often dictate the number of controls, an out and back (such as PBP) requiring the fewest. (Even fewer if one way like an arrow)

Some hate getting a receipt, some hate Infos, some hate stopping, some hate queuing. You can mitigate the receipt and queuing by having a volunteer or sheet of stickers at certain controls. Try an avoid Infos if some riders might pass that location when dark and struggle to answer (or indeed read) the question

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: How many controls for a 200?
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2019, 03:58:06 pm »
'colour of church of St Bludger's doors'.
And the three miracles of St Bludger are:
The appearance of a centrally-heated bus shelter with pasty-vending machine at 2am on a wet 600;
The vision of a glowing hand pointing the way when completely lost with a failed GPS and a lost route sheet on the Arse End of Nowhere and Back Again 400;
The delivery of a full-carbon disc frame with 105 for £1.99 in the Planet X sale.
Blessed be St Bludger, for he strengthens the weary of leg, warms the cold of soaked jersey and invigorates the spirit of human muscular effort.
Here endeth the lesson of the Holy Randonneur. 
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quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: How many controls for a 200?
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2019, 04:06:27 pm »
If advisory you have to be mindful of meeting min distance in planning whilst not having an overly over distance actual event route. Mandatory you can have fewer controls with a secret one possibly thrown in. The shape of a route will often dictate the number of controls, an out and back (such as PBP) requiring the fewest. (Even fewer if one way like an arrow)

The event I'm organising is a mandatory route event (like all Dutch events).

Quote
Some hate getting a receipt, some hate Infos, some hate stopping, some hate queuing. You can mitigate the receipt and queuing by having a volunteer or sheet of stickers at certain controls. Try an avoid Infos if some riders might pass that location when dark and struggle to answer (or indeed read) the question

Info's are a tough one when you have to deal with multi language instructions, and of course the issue of colour blindness etc... But the choosing a good info thing has been done in a number of other threads.

Photo controls seem to becoming more common, quite a nice alternative to info controls (tho assumes everyone carries a camera/phone)

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

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: How many controls for a 200?
« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2019, 04:11:26 pm »
The question's a bit ambiguous, so my answer might be out by one.

I'm not counting the start, or the arrivee as controls. Does that help remove ambiguity?

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

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: How many controls for a 200?
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2019, 04:12:30 pm »
I think a useful answer depends on whether food & drink are available at the start and whether several riders have ridden to the start.

I was of the sort that need food every 50km and was REALLY low on one ride where I'd ridden 30km to the start and not eaten (my folly) until the 50km control.

(The 7 cups of TEA and CAEK revived me...)

Re: How many controls for a 200?
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2019, 04:18:27 pm »

Info's are a tough one when you have to deal with multi language instructions, and of course the issue of colour blindness etc... But the choosing a good info thing has been done in a number of other threads.

Photo controls seem to becoming more common, quite a nice alternative to info controls (tho assumes everyone carries a camera/phone)

J

This wasn't so much about choosing a good info as to choosing between having an info or a control.  The former might seem preferable to reduce the number places riders need to get a receipt etc. but the timing may not work for all riders.  The number of full controls is linked with the number of infos; as one can often substitute the other. 

On WAWA in 16 we had the choice of getting a receipt, answering an info or taking a photo in a few locations.  As long as you had something you could present (easily) as proof of passage at the next manned control. That worked well.

Re: How many controls for a 200?
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2019, 04:18:45 pm »
Some hate getting a receipt, some hate Infos, some hate stopping, some hate queuing

I have the full set: I hate all of them  ;D
You're only as successful as your last 1200...

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: How many controls for a 200?
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2019, 05:11:06 pm »

My favourite info is a volunteer holding a big fluoro sign with a letter on it, but that's quite labour intensive to pull off.

If you're going to that length, why not give the volunteer a couple of slabs of soft drinks, some mars bars, and a stamp?

J
The last time I saw the volunteer with the card control it was on a Grimpeur at the 20kish mark. I think they were there just for AAA purposes. I still felt sorry for them as they were on their own.

'colour of church of St Bludger's doors'.
And the three miracles of St Bludger are:
The appearance of a centrally-heated bus shelter with pasty-vending machine at 2am on a wet 600;

Ugh. During my first 400, the halfway control was the Australian war memorial in France (I think? We started in Belgium...). It was outside because the start was 6pm and it was freezing cold. I saw a glowing vending machine and ran straight for it as there wasn't an open petrol station or late night Mcdonalds within sight, but it was for those audio tour guide walkie talkie things. I was not amused.
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Re: How many controls for a 200?
« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2019, 05:15:56 pm »
At 20km they don't have to be there for long.

I remember a "drop a laminated token in a bucket someone is holding at the side of the road" control within the first 10km of the one 200[1] many years ago. Worked well and the person was probably only standing at the side of the road for 15 minutes or so, easily free to be able to man a control later on in the ride.

1. Upper Thames or maybe it was the SBWW. 10 years ago at least.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: How many controls for a 200?
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2019, 05:20:01 pm »
Assuming we are talking about intermediates and not arrivee, the 2 or 3. So the ride is in three legs of 70km or 4 legs of 50km, less than 50km between controls seems to soon.
   Eddington  87 miles

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
    • 16-inch wheels
Re: How many controls for a 200?
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2019, 05:21:05 pm »
One intermediate control is the correct number for a 200.  Two at a pinch.  Three if you must.  More than that is superfluous*.

Note that the org's handbook is out of date on this matter:  at the last AGM I spoke for the motion to remove the need for organisers to position controls such as to get riders to dismount and top up, and this motion was passed (actually irrespective of whether I spoke, as online voting meant it already had the necessary majority  ::-)).  Therefore riders are responsible for planning and making their own refreshment stops (if any), and organisers can place controls where needed for minimum distance; if the two coincide then that's nice, but not necessary.

My two 200s have one and two controls each.  As it happens, both have ample opportunity to stop mid-stage for a cuppa, if needed/wanted by individual riders (and there are plenty who ride straight thru without stopping, myself included).

Just to add — this is an Audax UK point of view, other countries may have different requirements.


* IMO.
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