Author Topic: Member survey  (Read 5375 times)

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

  • Miles eaten don't satisfy hunger
  • Chartered accountant in 5 different decades
    • CET Ride Reports and Blogs
Re: Member survey
« Reply #50 on: April 09, 2020, 09:37:18 pm »
Having looked at the list of NL events a few times, we are lucky in the UK to have so many events.  There has been a trend towards more of the long rides being X-rated, which is fine when you've done lots of them, but not so good when you are just starting out.  I guess there's a few of us who will think back fondly to an El Supremo control in the middle of nowhere with a table loaded with pastries and the opportunity for a cheesy toastie if you were prepared to wait a few minutes.
Eddington Numbers 125 (imperial), 170 (metric) 520 (furlongs)  112 (nautical miles)

Re: Member survey
« Reply #51 on: April 09, 2020, 09:51:37 pm »
There is usually a gap in Scottish audaxes with no events between the beginning of November until mid February so I organised a 100k last December so that the RRTYers could have something to ECE and everyone else could have an excuse to get out the house.

I didn’t really think I’d have too many takers but ended up closing entries early due to demand.

I was hoping to repeat this year but will have to see how things go

Audax Ecosse - always going too far

Re: Member survey
« Reply #52 on: April 09, 2020, 11:06:46 pm »
I left some feedback that it would be good to have some more events in the 'off season' of the year to decrease reliance on perms for RRTY. Obviously events are put on by voluntary organisers, not the central committee, but perhaps there are nudges the committee could do to support 'off season' calendar events (even if just x rated / barebones) such as subsidising costs to an extent or a special award to organisers making events in the 'dark months'. Or maybe permitting an organiser to run a perm route as a calendar event in a more streamlined way without needing to get it approved with so many hoops to jump through.

What does everyone else think?

An organisers worst outcome is event cancellation so the current level of winter events is a result of many years of experience and orgs will err on the side of caution so I cant see it changing much.   

A decent winter 200 will run on a date where the balance of probability suggests decent weather and if not on it will take place on gritted A roads (the NW passage springs to mind as a hardy winter 200). 

The relatively recent phenomenon of RRTY (which is still pretty niche - and whose best description imho was "the crack cocaine of audaxing")
is far better suited to DIY events where both route and date of ride can be chosen a matter of minutes before the rider sets off. 


Re: Member survey
« Reply #53 on: April 09, 2020, 11:23:26 pm »
There is usually a gap in Scottish audaxes with no events between the beginning of November until mid February so I organised a 100k last December so that the RRTYers could have something to ECE and everyone else could have an excuse to get out the house.

I didn’t really think I’d have too many takers but ended up closing entries early due to demand.

I was hoping to repeat this year but will have to see how things go
The calendar in Scotland has for as long as Ive been involved(30+yrs) has been "light" on sub 200 events all round the year (relative to rUK). 

Id always assumed that the CTC as was or local clubs had the monopoly on anything under 200km. 

However the recent popularity of your own event  :thumbsup:, the enduring appeal of the ToEL and the increasingly popularity of Forfar and other sub 200s suggest a different and very pleasing trend!

Re: Member survey
« Reply #54 on: April 10, 2020, 12:36:00 am »
QG, all perms (DIY or not) are locally homologated, as are all calendar BPs and BRs (or local equivalents). Obviously they aren’t internationally recognised for awards. ACP recognises international SR600s but that is an exception (for the pedants).

Does that mean AUK doesn't recognise (non-SR600) foreign perms? Not a huge issue but I was hoping to ride an AJ perm and cross-validate it for AUK points at some point.

I like riding audax events, but have no interest in collecting points.

And that's the majority of riders who enter such events... don't care about points, don't care about validation or being within a 15 km/h rather than 14.3 km/h minimum speed... they just want to have a good day out on their bike with other like minded people.

Call it Audax, call it reliability ride, it doesn't really matter to most. Audax UK is a useful umbrella, that provides insurance and online entry facility to organisers at a very low cost, most of whom (and I include myself) really don't give a monkey about points or even validations... We try to do things right to stay under the umbrella, but that's it...

Call me sad if you like, but I really appreciate the points and the awards. They give me a structure and a reason to expand my horizons, and they're the reason that Audax has caught me in a way that reliability rides etc. never did. Two years ago a 300km ride would have seemed like insanity; now I'm hoping to do a 1000km this year (situation permitting), but it's only because the SR series was there to work towards that I've stretched to this level. I signed up for an Arrow this year that I would probably never have done (too weird, too different) without it being part of the R5k/R10k, but I'm glad that the award has given me a reason to stretch a little. The thought of an SR600 is still terrifying (far more than a 1200km+ event) but I've got a reason to push towards it now, whereas without that award structure I'd probably have stuck to flat rides forever. Etc.

Re: Member survey
« Reply #55 on: April 10, 2020, 01:39:06 am »
I haven't filled in the survey yet, but I organised a FAF* January brevet as a PBP qualifier, and it was wildly popular (120 riders heading to Darlo, not all of them with PBP on their minds).

This year, I subbed in a slightly hillier route, and it was still oversubscribed - I closed entries at 60 (the midway control is a tiny community cafe at Hallbankgate, it's lovely and you should all go there at some point), and kept getting emails asking about entries on the day. It was the best weather day of the entire winter (bastards), but still, there is the interest. Strong chance of having to cancel, though, which I did take into account.

*Flat as fuck

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Member survey
« Reply #56 on: April 10, 2020, 05:16:09 am »
Having looked at the list of NL events a few times, we are lucky in the UK to have so many events.  There has been a trend towards more of the long rides being X-rated, which is fine when you've done lots of them, but not so good when you are just starting out.  I guess there's a few of us who will think back fondly to an El Supremo control in the middle of nowhere with a table loaded with pastries and the opportunity for a cheesy toastie if you were prepared to wait a few minutes.

If you take out all the sub 200k rides, the number drops a lot.

Also one of the weird side effects of ACP rules (so I am told) is that you can't have multiple rides starting from the same place on the same day, where as a lot of UK rides will have a 100, 200, & 300 all on the same day from the same place.

Then consider that the Netherlands is tiny compared to the UK. We have 22 events on the calendar. 2 every month apart from January and December. There is also some coordination between NL and BE, to try to avoid events on the same weekends. If you consider the BeNeLux as one unit, we have events pretty much every weekend.

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

Jeff E

  • Formerly JRe
Re: Member survey
« Reply #57 on: April 10, 2020, 08:47:18 am »
Those were days CET 👍.    El Supremo is not only known for his amazing food at Multiple Control Locations, but for his most excellent routes.     I even remember Dave feeding us on Pilbeam Events as well, and at least once setting up a much appreciated impromptu quality Feed on one of their 400s, once again in the middle of nowhere 😊😊

Re: Member survey
« Reply #58 on: April 10, 2020, 09:40:26 am »
Do we expect the results to be published before the end of the year?

Redlight

  • Enjoying life in the slow lane
Re: Member survey
« Reply #59 on: April 10, 2020, 10:16:29 am »
Do we expect the results to be published before the end of the year?

Only if you put in a FOI request  ;D

(Seriously, as the survey is intended to inform our strategy from 2021 onwards the intention is to get the results analysed and published as quickly as possible, but - as with all AUK work - it also depends on the workload and other commitments of the relevant Board members.)
Between the Disney abattoir and the chemical refinery

Re: Member survey
« Reply #60 on: April 10, 2020, 01:29:49 pm »
I left some feedback that it would be good to have some more events in the 'off season' of the year to decrease reliance on perms for RRTY. Obviously events are put on by voluntary organisers, not the central committee, but perhaps there are nudges the committee could do to support 'off season' calendar events (even if just x rated / barebones) such as subsidising costs to an extent or a special award to organisers making events in the 'dark months'. Or maybe permitting an organiser to run a perm route as a calendar event in a more streamlined way without needing to get it approved with so many hoops to jump through.

What does everyone else think?
I do understand this but, as someone who rides 100s and 200s, I have the opposite issue. Audax is really valuable in giving me targets to get me out on my bike, but my events run in Autumn to Spring, and then dry up as mileages get longer. So I'd like more (Saturday, ideally) Audaxes in summer, when I can actually end up doing less mileage than in Spring.

On the other hand:

I am worried that AUK might be going down the CTC route and starting to behave like a commercial organisation. We are a club with a special mission, please let us not forget that AUK runs long events that are hard and in some cases quite challenging.
I completely understand that what I said above is not really the core aim of Audax, and we don't need another me-too organisation.

A brevet-card app would be great. I've got cards falling off my desk as I type. Something that gave me a record I could look back on without cluttering the house would be interesting. But somehow I don't like to throw out that cardboard...

S2L

Re: Member survey
« Reply #61 on: April 10, 2020, 01:39:15 pm »

I do understand this but, as someone who rides 100s and 200s, I have the opposite issue. Audax is really valuable in giving me targets to get me out on my bike, but my events run in Autumn to Spring, and then dry up as mileages get longer. So I'd like more (Saturday, ideally) Audaxes in summer, when I can actually end up doing less mileage than in Spring.



There is a huge demand for those... a local organiser runs a couple of BP in late May and has a cumulative 200-300 entries, mostly non AUK members.
The way I see it is that many organisers are stuck with this idea of catering for PBP aspiring randonneurs, with brevets starting at 200 and progressing to longer distances in the spring and summer months, whereas the majority of riders out there see a 200 as the longest ride they would ever want to do. A case of offer and demand struggling to meet.

When I joined the organisers rank, I thought I would go on to plan 300s and 400s, but right now I think it's a huge time and effort investment to please 2 or 3 dozen hard core riders, who are perfectly capable of doing such rides as DIY or perms anyway.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Member survey
« Reply #62 on: April 10, 2020, 05:49:43 pm »
QG, all perms (DIY or not) are locally homologated, as are all calendar BPs and BRs (or local equivalents). Obviously they aren’t internationally recognised for awards. ACP recognises international SR600s but that is an exception (for the pedants).

Does that mean AUK doesn't recognise (non-SR600) foreign perms? Not a huge issue but I was hoping to ride an AJ perm and cross-validate it for AUK points at some point.

AJ = Audax Japan?

AUK doesn’t recognise foreign perms for AUK awards, which is the same as for Audax Oz, Randonneurs USA and so on. There is some potential for riding a foreign perm with ‘two brevet cards in your pocket’ (one of them an AUK DIY) but frankly I dislike that approach to riding brevets and it is arguably against AUK regulations.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Member survey
« Reply #63 on: April 11, 2020, 11:08:35 am »
If there was an app that would only be used at controls so it registered your location and time when you pressed a button that would match the validation of the Brevet card. Would be simpler than tracking and would be much less prone to failures and would not even require the phone to be on for most of the ride.
These lazy days are making me think.....

The Dutch have trailed a system where by when you got the control, as well as getting a stamp, you gave the controller your brevet card number, and they entered it into some system on a tablet, which tracked who was where and when.

Other options would be to include a simple barcode on the card, scan it at the control, boom, done.

The problem with a barcode or QR code is that it would require individually-printed brevet cards per person (or at least pre-printed name/code labels - which wouldn't support EOL entries of course) and although this isn't at all difficult to achieve technically I'm not sure anyone has the will to go down that route.  In practice handing out personalised cards at the start of a big event is a much bigger job than just handing out generic ones and getting riders to write their name on.  Plus barcodes aren't very weatherproof (don't know if QR codes are more robust?)

Regarding the Dutch method you describe, AUK's existing online recording system has a latent ability to support that, thus providing "person X was last seen at control Y at time hh:mm" functionality - that is, at any event control where the controller has the time and inclination to do it, and for any rider who has consented to be tracked in this way.  It would take very little effort to activate that latent ability (and now is such a good time for infrastructure changes!) but again I'm not sure if the market is there - perhaps this questionaire will reveal something.

My personal experience as a sole controller 'live finishing' an event (a late PBP qualifying 600 where the results had to be processed quickly) sitting in a car park with a smartphone logged into the online Start List, with a button against each name.  Just click each rider as they present their card, the server automatically adds the elapsed finish time and marks the rider as 'finished' (which appears online as 'provisional'). **
That all worked very well but the practical problem remained of writing the actual (not elapsed) time in the finish box of the BRM card - if a group of several arrived together this was too much for a single controller to manage.  I prioritised the smartphone and tidied the cards later, but since it was a BRM and the physical cards still had to be processed in the usual way and as quickly as possible because of PBP qually, having to reverse-engineer the times back onto the cards made for a very late night for me after a long controlling stint. 
With two controllers it would have been fine - and much the same applies for doing a similar thing at intermediate controls.  Two controllers is a luxury many organisers don't have, and if they do then in all probability one of them will be prioritising the tea-urn or the sandwich-spreader, and they wouldn't both be checking people through.

** this facility does exist, for any organiser to use - however it's never been properly rolled out and has been stuck in 'beta' since I wrote it in 2011.  The same facility is easily extensible to intermediate control tracking.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Re: Member survey
« Reply #64 on: April 11, 2020, 11:51:20 am »
Rather than having the barcode printed on the brevet card, the barcode could simply be the membership number in same way parkrun do. Each rider turns up with their barcode printed and laminated diy, or for those that want to splash out £5 printed on a little hard piece of plastic or as a wrist band.


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Re: Member survey
« Reply #65 on: April 11, 2020, 11:55:58 am »
The problem with a barcode or QR code is that it would require individually-printed brevet cards per person (or at least pre-printed name/code labels - which wouldn't support EOL entries of course) and although this isn't at all difficult to achieve technically I'm not sure anyone has the will to go down that route.  In practice handing out personalised cards at the start of a big event is a much bigger job than just handing out generic ones and getting riders to write their name on.  Plus barcodes aren't very weatherproof (don't know if QR codes are more robust?)
I wonder if the system used for Parkrun could be trialled. An individual bar code (obtained by the rider by registering for Parkrun, free and printed out or image on phone), used anytime an event wanted to 'use' it, brought along by the rider, scanned at the start, at any control manned and suitably equipped, and finally at the finish. In fact maybe we could partner/piggyback and use the Parkrun stuff (and procure the scanners they use, which they've bought in large numbers (so economies of scale)). Would be straightforward to trial, for a Sunday event (Park runs, around the country start at 0900 Saturday).
I am not advocating this approach: old enough to accept the vagaries of cardboard brevets and far enough up the Luddite scale to be content.
30 years ago, orienteers carried round cards with squares printed on to use pin punches to show they'd visited the (correct) control site and these cards had to be manually checked at/after the finish. Then orienteering worldwide moved to Sprotident and/or EMIT as punching systems (the former a tiny device half finger sized, 'dibbed' into a tobacco tin sized box). Downloading at the finish produces a results slip and also generates a 'class/course' results which is used to generate results and can be shared real time by local wifi. Now both systems have moved on to proximity (one metre)/contactless 'punching' and the control boxes are now the size of 20 cigarettes.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Member survey
« Reply #66 on: April 11, 2020, 12:20:23 pm »
30 years ago, orienteers carried round cards with squares printed on to use pin punches to show they'd visited the (correct) control site and these cards had to be manually checked at/after the finish. Then orienteering worldwide moved to Sprotident and/or EMIT as punching systems (the former a tiny device half finger sized, 'dibbed' into a tobacco tin sized box). Downloading at the finish produces a results slip and also generates a 'class/course' results which is used to generate results and can be shared real time by local wifi. Now both systems have moved on to proximity (one metre)/contactless 'punching' and the control boxes are now the size of 20 cigarettes.

I tried orienteering again a few years ago, for the first time in over a decade, and was confused to find the dibber thing. What annoyed me most of all was that I now had to do the controls in the right order, with the old punch thing, if you could see a route that was quicker to take the controls in the wrong order, you could, and there was nothing in the rules to say you couldn't.

Did that a few times.

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

Re: Member survey
« Reply #67 on: April 11, 2020, 12:55:24 pm »
I tried orienteering again a few years ago, for the first time in over a decade, and was confused to find the dibber thing. What annoyed me most of all was that I now had to do the controls in the right order, with the old punch thing, if you could see a route that was quicker to take the controls in the wrong order, you could, and there was nothing in the rules to say you couldn't.
Did that a few times.
J
I assure you that, whilst you may not have been aware of the requirement to take controls in order, for orienteering point-to-point courses, this has been mandatory since the inception of orienteering. Pin punching could not determine that the controls had been taken in the correct order, but if there was a risk of advantage by taking controls out of order, an advertised manned control (number 10 say) to check that the first 9 had been punched was the cheating deterrence mechanism.
Electronic punching allows more cross-overs to be used and smaller areas can thus support longer courses, as well as making results production far more accurate and efficient. There is another little used format called 'score' which sets out controls spread out over the area and the challenge is to choose the optimum route (and execute it) to collect as many controls as possible in a set time, with penalties for being over time. Bit like 'All Points North' but with a time limit.
BO Rule 2.1:
"Long (Classic) orienteering usually takes place in forest terrain. The emphasis is on route choice to test a competitor’s ability to use a variety of navigational techniques. All controls on the course are to be visited in a set order."

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: Member survey
« Reply #68 on: April 11, 2020, 01:09:52 pm »
... There is some potential for riding a foreign perm with ‘two brevet cards in your pocket’ (one of them an AUK DIY) but frankly I dislike that approach to riding brevets and it is arguably against AUK regulations.

Funny enough, it's not against AUK regulations but is likely against the regulations of the ACP affiliate running the event, as most follow ACPs lead in declaring rides cannot contribute to any other organisations awards.

Such regulations date back to ancient schisms and squabbles between rival - mostly French :) - cycling organisations... The world has long since moved on...

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: Member survey
« Reply #69 on: April 11, 2020, 01:17:31 pm »
The problem with a barcode or QR code is that it would require individually-printed brevet cards per person (or at least pre-printed name/code labels - which wouldn't support EOL entries of course) and although this isn't at all difficult to achieve technically I'm not sure anyone has the will to go down that route.  In practice handing out personalised cards at the start of a big event is a much bigger job than just handing out generic ones and getting riders to write their name on.  Plus barcodes aren't very weatherproof (don't know if QR codes are more robust?)
...

My practice - and I suspect I'm in the majority here - is to hand out personalised cards at the Arrivee.

Putting barcodes on brevets card labels has been on my list of things to do for quite some time, however, I suspect such an approach whilst worthy and practicable is already somewhat obsolescent.

S2L

Re: Member survey
« Reply #70 on: April 11, 2020, 02:08:47 pm »


Putting barcodes on brevets card labels has been on my list of things to do for quite some time, however, I suspect such an approach whilst worthy and practicable is already somewhat obsolescent.

Don't see the point... then you need someone to read the bar codes... same as someone stamping cards... the idea of electronics is to get rid of the necessity of a physical control point

Re: Member survey
« Reply #71 on: April 11, 2020, 02:11:53 pm »
Reverse the thinking. Put the bar codes (or more likely QR codes) at the control points, and let the riders collect them. The app stores the time when each code was collected, and reports it back either immediately, or the next time there's a connection, or when the rider returns. Measures to prevent cheating (interference with the app) need not be more extensive than those to prevent use of Google Street View to answer info controls.

Organisers would need some form of connection but, in theory, the organiser's tablet could exchange the information with the phone of each returning rider, if no wi-fi or other signal were available.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Member survey
« Reply #72 on: April 11, 2020, 02:53:22 pm »
30 years ago, orienteers carried round cards with squares printed on to use pin punches to show they'd visited the (correct) control site and these cards had to be manually checked at/after the finish. Then orienteering worldwide moved to Sprotident and/or EMIT as punching systems (the former a tiny device half finger sized, 'dibbed' into a tobacco tin sized box). Downloading at the finish produces a results slip and also generates a 'class/course' results which is used to generate results and can be shared real time by local wifi. Now both systems have moved on to proximity (one metre)/contactless 'punching' and the control boxes are now the size of 20 cigarettes.
SportIdent stuff is good. It is also used for some sportives and mountain bike races, seems to work nicely.
Though not exactly cheap. And risk of riders losing their dibber, or controls going missing if left unattended.

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: Member survey
« Reply #73 on: April 11, 2020, 03:21:14 pm »
As I said, somewhat obsolescent.

But youse guys are not seeing the big picture. For example, I organise events with fully catered controls, so checking people in is required, and it will be sometime before electronic brevets are universally adopted.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Member survey
« Reply #74 on: April 11, 2020, 06:33:46 pm »
Brevet cards as originally conceived (ie not as used as a wrapper for till receipts) remain the Gold Standard for PoP.  However I certainly think there's scope to go down the paperless route for selected events.  What doesn't seem so good is running the two in parallel - see for example last year's PBP where people ended up with incomplete cards and/or incomplete tracking - and my own controller experience as cited upthread.

Rather than having the barcode printed on the brevet card, the barcode could simply be the membership number in same way parkrun do. Each rider turns up with their barcode printed and laminated diy, or for those that want to splash out £5 printed on a little hard piece of plastic or as a wrist band.

Won't track non-member riders of course - but then maybe tracking as a member benefit makes sense.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.