Author Topic: Shortest distance between controls and info controls.  (Read 28370 times)

Hummers

  • It is all about the taste.
Shortest distance between controls and info controls.
« on: December 04, 2008, 08:18:10 am »
I have an increasing sense of pissed-offness that has urged me to solicit opinions from my fellow Audax riders - if nothing else as a means of gaining perspective.

I understand that a 'handfull'' of routes have been pulled by their organisers because the powers that be have identified that the rides need more info controls to avoid riders taking shortcuts or the shortest path between controls.

Events close to me (that I know of) that have been pulled include the Winter Randonee and the Faccombe Haul, both of which are fine and well organised rides.

I understand that other rides have had to add more controls (one 100 event has been asked to have 8 controls to ensure that riders do not 'cheat') and the Midhurst 600 last year ended up 13km over distance because of a disagreement between the organiser and AUK on the length of the longest leg.

I guess my questions are these:

1. We don't get points for a 100 but these events can be great rides for all sorts of reasons. Why do we need strict controls on a 100k at all? Especially as I understand that Brevet cards are now validated by the organiser.

2. Where does the paranoia over riders taking short cuts come from? If you enter a >200, surely you want to ride a >200. Does anyone get the route and go "right, how can I trim this down to 195k"?

3. I might be in the minority but I don't carry a bike computer or GPS and rely entirely on the route sheet for instructions. If a 200 is only 197k or is actually 205k, I don't really care. Does anyone else?

Hmmmmmmmmm?

H

Re: Shortest distance between controls and info controls.
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2008, 08:34:06 am »
Some people gather 100s for awards other than points based ones so I suppose in order to keep the credibility of the award some standard is needed.

I ride from control to control, sometimes my local knowledge means I deviate from the route sheet. Often the route sheet is devised to avoid a 'main' road. But if I decide that I am happy on that road I'll use it. I am only required to ride from control to control, the route sheet is not mandatory.

I don't carry a compute nor GPS and I'll ride from control to control. I am oblivious to the actual distance travelled, that's the organisers job. I don't care if its 220 km or 195 so long as I collect the stamps and infos as required.

The controls should be selected such that the shorted route between them makes up the required distance because that is all the rider is required to ride, if it doesn't then more controls are required.

Re: Shortest distance between controls and info controls.
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2008, 08:40:53 am »
That's all fine in theory ... sadly a perceived pettiness on the part of those who are vigourously checking tried and tested routes is causing some long standing and much loved events to be pulled. The Faccombe one Hummers mentioned has run successfully for years.

Let's face it, however 'watertight' the route, in theory it's still going to be easy to 'cheat' if a rider has a mind to.

There has got to be a degree of common sense and IMO Hummers hits the nail on the head with his post - fully agree.
Let your mind unravel ... down that road you're travellin' ...

Hummers

  • It is all about the taste.
Re: Shortest distance between controls and info controls.
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2008, 08:45:47 am »
Some people gather 100s for awards other than points based ones so I suppose in order to keep the credibility of the award some standard is needed.....

......The controls should be selected such that the shorted route between them makes up the required distance because that is all the rider is required to ride, if it doesn't then more controls are required.

To the extent that 8 controls are required on a 100?

That's bonkers in my opinion.

H


Re: Shortest distance between controls and info controls.
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2008, 08:46:00 am »
riding from control to control is what we have to do. That's all. It's not cheating. If the route really is watertight the control to control distance will be the required distance. If it isn't then the route is substandard and should be changed.

How do I know you all ride the exact route to earn your 2 points ? We need a standard so that the points earned on one route are as valid as those earned on another.

There is no rule about riding the exact route as stated on the route sheet. The routesheet is meant to be the shortest distance between controls, if it isn't it needs to be changed. Rules that do not exist can't be broken.

Re: Shortest distance between controls and info controls.
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2008, 08:47:14 am »
Some people gather 100s for awards other than points based ones so I suppose in order to keep the credibility of the award some standard is needed.....

......The controls should be selected such that the shorted route between them makes up the required distance because that is all the rider is required to ride, if it doesn't then more controls are required.

To the extent that 8 controls are required on a 100?

That's bonkers in my opinion.

H



and in mine. It's not a viable route. The DIY guidelines that Sheila wrote say that if you end up with lots of controls then it probably isn't a suitable route.

Re: Shortest distance between controls and info controls.
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2008, 08:48:08 am »
Scrapping points tables and championships and awards would solve all this. They'd be just bike rides then.

Hummers

  • It is all about the taste.
Re: Shortest distance between controls and info controls.
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2008, 09:07:21 am »
Scrapping points tables and championships and awards would solve all this. They'd be just bike rides then.

Agreed  :thumbsup:

I do not agree that a route that has an alternative route of shorter distance between controls should be changed/scrapped just on those merits alone.

I ride these events to enjoy the route and am disappointed if the route contains major roads - even if they are the shortest route between controls.

H

mattc

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Re: Shortest distance between controls and info controls.
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2008, 09:23:37 am »
Scrapping points tables and championships and awards would solve all this. They'd be just bike rides then.

Agreed  :thumbsup:

I do not agree that a route that has an alternative route of shorter distance between controls should be changed/scrapped just on those merits alone.

... or just change the event to be a 97km Populaire (if it's so ...err... popular). As I said on the other thread about this.
Has never ridden RAAM
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Re: Shortest distance between controls and info controls.
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2008, 09:35:50 am »
Scrapping points tables and championships and awards would solve all this. They'd be just bike rides then.

Agreed  :thumbsup:

I do not agree that a route that has an alternative route of shorter distance between controls should be changed/scrapped just on those merits alone.

I ride these events to enjoy the route and am disappointed if the route contains major roads - even if they are the shortest route between controls.

H

Rules are rules. The AGM is the place to have them changed. Expanding the topic, what would your proposal be to change the situation ? Make the rotuesheet mandatory ? A greater margin for error ? Say >190km qualifies as 2 points ? Scrap awards and points ?

Re: Shortest distance between controls and info controls.
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2008, 09:48:44 am »
Make the rotuesheet mandatory ?

You're suggesting going back to the French rules. I can't see a problem with that so long as it's interpreted 'in the spirit'.

I was told only last evening about a well-known rider who, being passed on the road several times, still managed to finish ahead of my informant. This was an event local to Hummers. Avoidance of main roads within the rules is admittedly more difficult in the densely populated SE.




iakobski

Re: Shortest distance between controls and info controls.
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2008, 10:04:32 am »
I guess my questions are these:

1. We don't get points for a 100 but these events can be great rides for all sorts of reasons. Why do we need strict controls on a 100k at all?

No championship points, true. You do get FWC points, there might be others.

Quote
2. Where does the paranoia over riders taking short cuts come from? If you enter a >200, surely you want to ride a >200. Does anyone get the route and go "right, how can I trim this down to 195k"?

That's easy to say while sitting there.  ;)

How about at 5am, you're at 350 km of a 420 km event, sleet is blowing horizontally across the road, you went off-route earlier, there are no more controls, and you spot a sign "Chalfont 10 miles". How strong would you have to be to resist that?

Quote
3. I might be in the minority but I don't carry a bike computer or GPS and rely entirely on the route sheet for instructions. If a 200 is only 197k or is actually 205k, I don't really care. Does anyone else?

No, I don't either. But that's the way it works - if the shortest route is 197 km then make the routesheet distance 215 or 220 or whatever it takes to make the shortest distance over 200. Virtually everyone will ride to the routesheet, you know the org chose it because it's the best route. Why care if someone else blasts down the A1 - they are the ones who lost out. But they've still done over the "round number" distance.

Re: Shortest distance between controls and info controls.
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2008, 10:06:04 am »
Make the rotuesheet mandatory ?

You're suggesting going back to the French rules. I can't see a problem with that so long as it's interpreted 'in the spirit'.

I was told only last evening about a well-known rider who, being passed on the road several times, still managed to finish ahead of my informant. This was an event local to Hummers. Avoidance of main roads within the rules is admittedly more difficult in the densely populated SE.


There will always be people who will break the rules if they think they can get away with it. They are only cheating themselves. Or are they, if they are part of any championship then they cheat the other contenders.  I wouldn't propose such a rule change, nor support it at this point in time  as I believe the regulations regarding route design are good enough. It's unfortunate if some routes have slipped through unnoticed in the past but that should not make it OK and IMO the powers that be are right in having them changed.

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: Shortest distance between controls and info controls.
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2008, 10:12:58 am »
Make the rotuesheet mandatory ?
Avoidance of main roads within the rules is admittedly more difficult in the densely populated SE.
To true. You'd be amazed how often a routesheet which is ~205km on paper comes up as 195km on shortest route, and how difficult it can then be to find that last 5km without adding detours which detract from the overall shape of the ride.

Re: Shortest distance between controls and info controls.
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2008, 10:15:09 am »
I understand that a 'handfull'' of routes have been pulled by their organisers because the powers that be have identified that the rides need more info controls to avoid riders taking .....the shortest path between controls.

Just read your post again. "Avoid riders taking the shortest path between controls", sounds preposterous on it's own. Controls are there to demonstrate that the organisers route is followed. Really, that is why they are there.

Re: Shortest distance between controls and info controls.
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2008, 10:17:03 am »
Make the rotuesheet mandatory ?
Avoidance of main roads within the rules is admittedly more difficult in the densely populated SE.
To true. You'd be amazed how often a routesheet which is ~205km on paper comes up as 195km on shortest route, and how difficult it can then be to find that last 5km without adding detours which detract from the overall shape of the ride.

Same is true in the north when I plan my DIYs which is why most are massively over distance.

Re: Shortest distance between controls and info controls.
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2008, 10:20:57 am »
For the record some recently reviewed 200 routes have come out as short as 165k minimum distance.

Mr Larrington

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Re: Shortest distance between controls and info controls.
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2008, 10:23:49 am »
For the record some recently reviewed 200 routes have come out as short as 165k minimum distance.

Blimey!  I though I'd done well when applying a bit of Audax-Fu to the Chiltern-Cotswold and knocked off about 6 km :o

Low cunning could have seen Up The 'uts down to about 130 km, thobut.
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Re: Shortest distance between controls and info controls.
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2008, 10:27:35 am »

Let's face it, however 'watertight' the route, in theory it's still going to be easy to 'cheat' if a rider has a mind to.

There has got to be a degree of common sense and IMO Hummers hits the nail on the head with his post - fully agree.


I agree strongly on both points.  Things work well enough, leave well enough alone say I.

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: Shortest distance between controls and info controls.
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2008, 10:36:33 am »
For the record some recently reviewed 200 routes have come out as short as 165k minimum distance.
Which is clearly a different situation compared to routes which may be a nominal ~5k short.

Same is true in the north when I plan my DIYs which is why most are massively over distance.
This is a good example of the difference between DIYs and Calendars. DIYs, by definition are personal routes so you go where you want, and if that takes you past the gas works or down a main road then so be it, the only person affected is you. With Calendar routes you're looking to put on a show, providing an interesting and well crafted route all the way round as near the nominal distance as you can get it. Nobody will thank you for being 20km over distance if the only reason for it is to prevent those that would shaving 5km off the routesheet.

Rules is rules, but this isn't Formula 1 or the TdF. I don't see a problem with the scutineers having some discretion.

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: Shortest distance between controls and info controls.
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2008, 10:38:48 am »
For the record some recently reviewed 200 routes have come out as short as 165k minimum distance.

Blimey!  I though I'd done well when applying a bit of Audax-Fu to the Chiltern-Cotswold and knocked off about 6 km :o

String 'im up!

frankly frankie

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Re: Shortest distance between controls and info controls.
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2008, 10:45:19 am »
Should resist ... but can't.

It seems there are some well-established, popular, very good, events which, on close analysis of their route, are flawed in terms of distance, coming in well under the stated 200km or whatever.  Really, no-one wants to lose these events or organisers.

What tended to happen in the good ol' days was that AUK had a single 'events' obergruppenfuhrer who might have a conversation about this with the organiser and then pass the event on a nod and a wink.  He had complete autonomy, there was no second line of scrutiny, everyone was happy.  By present standards of open-ness and accountability, that seems to me like a place we wouldn't want to go back to.
Now the same job is handled by a team of several - mainly just to split the workload - but that means that within that team there have to be a few groundrules about what can or can not be accepted - it seems to be more difficult to apply the nod-and-wink method evenly across the board.  So there is a percentage of under-distance (I don't know the figure) which is seen as acceptable but really that's only moving the goalpost a little way, its not giving the flexibility that many people seem to want.

You're suggesting going back to the French rules. I can't see a problem with that so long as it's interpreted 'in the spirit'.

You mean - in the French spirit?  Well as good anglo-saxons (actually I'm a norman myself) we're simply incapable of doing things the French way - that is, screeds of rules which everyone then ignores.
Where we've gone wrong is in taking one half of the French method - the heap of rules - without being able to apply the other.
Since in this country we're culturally compelled to abide by the rules, any organisation like a cycling club should, logically, have as few rules as possible.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Re: Shortest distance between controls and info controls.
« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2008, 10:49:33 am »
I'm firmly in the camps of "if somebody wants to cheat then they will irrespective of the rules" and "ride for the spirit of riding and the enjoyment of it".

I think the rules as they are are good enough.

Keep the routesheet as "guidance" and do NOT go back to the french rules of compulsory route following (as said before, if you go offroute how do you know where that was so how do you return to that point?)

Put sensiblish controls in.  If a local rider knows of a shortcut that cuts off a few miles and wants to take it, then so be it (think of it as an exercise in map reading and route planning).  However the shortest route between controls should be set so that the ride is within say 5% of stated distance (short rides) to 2% (long rides).   

Yes that does mean that some rides are underdistance, but on balance most routesheets are overdistance anyway so a shortcut brings you closer to the advertised route mileage.


8 controls on a 100 does seem excessive, but then why not approach it from the other angle and say that as a 100 is a good introduction to Audax turn it into a fun family ride and have a quiz/other to make up those controls.  (I'm thinking here of the Kent 100 that we did last year, which incorporated a picnic and BEER in an orchard simply because we felt like it - that could have been a control had one been needed.



In summary, I agree with Hummers.

Re: Shortest distance between controls and info controls.
« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2008, 10:50:45 am »
(actually I'm a norman myself)

So a viking, really.  ;)

Re: Shortest distance between controls and info controls.
« Reply #24 on: December 04, 2008, 10:51:05 am »
...
You mean - in the French spirit?  Well as good anglo-saxons (actually I'm a norman myself) we're simply incapable of doing things the French way - that is, screeds of rules which everyone then ignores.
Where we've gone wrong is in taking one half of the French method - the heap of rules - without being able to apply the other.
Since in this country we're culturally compelled to abide by the rules, any organisation like a cycling club should, logically, have as few rules as possible.

+1  :thumbsup:


Rules and small print really get my goat.