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  • Route Sheets: July 27, 2011

Author Topic: Route Sheets  (Read 17297 times)

Roy Rogers

Route Sheets
« on: July 27, 2011, 10:22:24 am »
Having just done a popular Audax, I found that the route sheet was the worst one yet.
No, not the route; on the contrary, it was a well planned & justified route, & well upto expectations. It was the turns & distances that were in doubt, almost from the start.
At one point it says take a 2nd R after a specified place name, yet it really meant a 1st R since all & sundry were going up there anyway. Distances to the turns were all falling short between 0.7 & 0.9 kms & that was near the start in an early stage. Later, things only got worse when, at an instruction to "continue around" 1 km to Control, when in-fact it was well over 2.8 kms (i.e. around 3.0) kms!! Not exactly what you'd expect when you'd be looking for something of say, + or - 0.1 km ("around"). So from the return leg to this same point now gave "around" 5 kms extra. So one had to read + 5 kms on all turns from now on. It didn't stop there though, since for all the paper-carrying afficionados there was a deceptive & final twist in this final leg. A sign had blown down or been knocked down & as I anticipated there was a turn at that junction, but didn't stop to check the fallen sign. Now this lesson could've saved me an extra 15-20mins & 4kms more, to add onto the already tiresome calculation of + 5 kms. When confronting the rather "Blase" Controller/Organiser with all this, well then all that he could utter was "well it takes a lot of time to do these route-sheets! Well, why the heck did you bother to do it wrong in the first place for all of us to follow!? I thought it was my wheel diameter that gave me doubts but after checking the track it made upon one revolution then that ruled that out.
 I strongly believe until proven wrong, that most controllers don't check out the actual turns & write them down, but commit to memory which is folly on their part. So it might take a might bit more time than just riding the route & enjoying the scenery, but for one & for all why cann't "they" get it spot on for all who'll follow their routes & avoid many dismayed riders, most not voicing their ride so as "not-to-rock-the-boat", & it'll be alright until next time. No it won't! The same mistakes are there & glaringly stare out at you each time the same ride is done. Real actions & not just words are called for now.

border-rider

Re: Route Sheets
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2011, 10:35:16 am »
Maybe most routesheets are so good that our expectations are rather high...

It's a big task, and there are bound to be transcription errors, difference between your computer & the org's and changes in signs etc on the day.  There's only one ride I've ever done and said I'd never do again, because I thought the routesheet was inadequate and misleading.

Using GPS tracks may fix all this (eventually)

Re: Route Sheets
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2011, 11:00:20 am »
It's always a difficult job to get routesheets accurate and to suit everyone.

I've given-up on MS Autoroute (I beleive an AUK prefered mapping medium) because it's so inaccurate. For those that wish argue this, I'm happy to supply my experiences.

I'm not defending the organiser or route sheet in question - thankfully for all it's not mentioned, and I don't beleive I have any form of vested interest in their event.

But you did mention "At one point it says take a 2nd R after a specified place name, yet it really meant a 1st R since all & sundry were going up there anyway." Just because "all & sundry were going up there anyway" doesn't mean that they were on the correct route as the organiser would have intended. Did you bother to eplore the possibility of a second right? I know that cyclists regularly go "off-piste" on some of my events - great, they do it at their own risk.

On one of my 300s a coule of weekends ago, I was called-up by a cyclist who was a bit miffed that the route sheet was rubbish and they was lost. It quickly became apparent that they'd gone off-piste because of a they'd use a bit of there own local knowledge - that didn't work.

I'm sorry that you had a bad eperience, and I'm sure that the organiser would have also regretted what happened.

Organisers are usually proud to have cyclists come and enjoy cycling roads that they've previously found a pleasure (or challenge) themselves.

I regularly ride and check all my routes, which is why I seldom get the chance to ride other events.
where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that. Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.

fungus

  • SO @ T
    • Tamworth cycling club
Re: Route Sheets
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2011, 11:20:07 am »
If you are talking about the route I think you are (Hathersage start/finish), the organisor did mention at the start to several people while I was talking to him that the control at roaches was more than 1k from the right turn & despite the sign being knocked down, it was still easy to see & read the direction to Foolow.  I found the route very easy to follow & I don't take any notice of distances as I always work of miles & not Kilometres.

Edit: If you want a perfect routesheet please pop along to one of Tamworth CC's audax events on the 10th September  ;)
SR 2010/11/12/13/14/15
RRTY. PBP. LeJoG 1400. LEL.




Re: Route Sheets
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2011, 11:26:04 am »
blahblah harsh words blahblah Real actions & not just words are called for now.

Suggested courses of action for you to take: vote with your wheels and don't do that organiser's rides again.   And maybe a quiet constructive word or message to the organiser with suggested routesheet improvements.  They are all volunteers you know!

thing1

  • aka Joth
    • TandemThings
Re: Route Sheets
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2011, 11:38:38 am »
blahblah harsh words blahblah Real actions & not just words are called for now.

Suggested courses of action for you to take: vote with your wheels and don't do that organiser's rides again.   And maybe a quiet constructive word or message to the organiser with suggested routesheet improvements.  They are all volunteers you know!

Yes. Boycotting future events from the org is the easy option, but if you want to see improvements the most positive Real Action would be to volunteer to route-check future events.

Re: Route Sheets
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2011, 11:41:24 am »

you've clearly not yet ridden the mildenhall audaxes.... we were 15km over distance already at the 50km mark. Most of the route had just been googlemapped and not checked (it was really obvious as googlemap has a habit of saying "turn right" whereas actually it's just a sharpish bend in the road with no junction).

Having just done a popular Audax, I found that the route sheet was the worst one yet.
No, not the route; on the contrary, it was a well planned & justified route, & well upto expectations. It was the turns & distances that were in doubt, almost from the start.
At one point it says take a 2nd R after a specified place name, yet it really meant a 1st R since all & sundry were going up there anyway. Distances to the turns were all falling short between 0.7 & 0.9 kms & that was near the start in an early stage. Later, things only got worse when, at an instruction to "continue around" 1 km to Control, when in-fact it was well over 2.8 kms (i.e. around 3.0) kms!! Not exactly what you'd expect when you'd be looking for something of say, + or - 0.1 km ("around"). So from the return leg to this same point now gave "around" 5 kms extra. So one had to read + 5 kms on all turns from now on. It didn't stop there though, since for all the paper-carrying afficionados there was a deceptive & final twist in this final leg. A sign had blown down or been knocked down & as I anticipated there was a turn at that junction, but didn't stop to check the fallen sign. Now this lesson could've saved me an extra 15-20mins & 4kms more, to add onto the already tiresome calculation of + 5 kms. When confronting the rather "Blase" Controller/Organiser with all this, well then all that he could utter was "well it takes a lot of time to do these route-sheets! Well, why the heck did you bother to do it wrong in the first place for all of us to follow!? I thought it was my wheel diameter that gave me doubts but after checking the track it made upon one revolution then that ruled that out.
 I strongly believe until proven wrong, that most controllers don't check out the actual turns & write them down, but commit to memory which is folly on their part. So it might take a might bit more time than just riding the route & enjoying the scenery, but for one & for all why cann't "they" get it spot on for all who'll follow their routes & avoid many dismayed riders, most not voicing their ride so as "not-to-rock-the-boat", & it'll be alright until next time. No it won't! The same mistakes are there & glaringly stare out at you each time the same ride is done. Real actions & not just words are called for now.

mikeluke

Re: Route Sheets
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2011, 11:44:28 am »
If you don't look at a map first and check the route sheet directions, you will probably get lost at some stage. The organiser can never predict an event like that sign being blown down but if you have checked a map together with the route sheet prior to the event you already you have a much better chance to realise something is wrong.

mikeluke

Re: Route Sheets
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2011, 11:46:26 am »
Yes. Boycotting future events from the org is the easy option, but if you want to see improvements the most positive Real Action would be to volunteer to route-check future events.

+1 (or send in corrections afterwards to make sure it's ok in future years)

arabella

  • no se porque yo no lo se
Re: Route Sheets
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2011, 12:23:21 pm »
Suspect we have become used to too high a standard.

Presumably if your distances checked correctly then whoever checked the route's distance calcs was off.  That's life.  I've never had a problem like that as I don't have a distance gadget anyway and rely on my internal distance-o-meter which is usually near enough, and so am also quite happy with route sheets that don't quote distances between turns.  If I were to be requested to provide a route sheet complete with distances then I can guarantee they'd be inaccurate, being based on what Google tells me (with any rounding errors) and/or holding a ruler up to the screen.
ie unless you have a GPS thingy that you have programmed with the then use distances as a guide rather than expecting them spot on between yourself and the routesheet.
As stated, minor changes like missing signposts can occur between route check and ride.  In general I slavishly follow the route sheet as written and generally have few problems (and that includes last year's Mildenhall route, neither of which's errors approached the Balsham missing turning on a completely different ride).

I think it's just unfortunate that the combination of mismatches all happened for you on a single ride.
In the dark, all views are the same.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Route Sheets
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2011, 12:35:38 pm »
Yes. Boycotting future events from the org is the easy option, but if you want to see improvements the most positive Real Action would be to volunteer to route-check future events.

+1 (or send in corrections afterwards to make sure it's ok in future years)

Indeed. ranting at the Arrivee doesn't generally achieve much (and I know it's hard to be polite when there is adrenaline flowing, or you are plain knackered).

If I receive a polite letter thanking the helpers for their efforts, and noting routesheet corrections, I will be very grateful for the input.

As for distances:
Routesheets rarely NEED distances. Adding them seems to make some riders happy. Sadly it adds enormous potential for errors. As the OP demonstrates, this creates complaints.
So I don't see much motivation for an organiser to include distances ... :(

BTW, this is plain wrong:
I strongly believe until proven wrong, that most controllers don't check out the actual turns & write them down, but commit to memory which is folly on their part.
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Route Sheets
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2011, 12:38:42 pm »
Whilst I wouldn't care to be seen condoning shoddy route sheet production, some of my favourite rides have involved getting lost in the wilds (not to mention finding the famous Welsh ultra-secret control). Conversely, at least one impeccably written sheet has taken me, without hesitation or deviation, round a very, very boring route.

Re: Route Sheets
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2011, 01:00:07 pm »
I rode this Audax, and yes it does have the longest 1km in the world, but once you are on that road, you don't make any turnings, the sign being down was unfortunate, but that could not have been anticipated by any organizer; apart from that, it is one of the better route cards I've used, and is easy to read.

Although it's my first year doing Audax, I have done around 20 covering all distances from 100-600km, I've only found one to be really bad, with among others useful directions, a turn left direction with no SP, on a road with multiple opportunities to do that, most other have been good to great, but I have found it's always worth having a look on a map a few days before to get an idea of where the route is, especially the first few Km.

iakobski

Re: Route Sheets
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2011, 01:34:57 pm »
With the distances - 0.7 to 0.9 km out in what, about 50km? That's only 1-2% are you quite sure you measured your wheel to less than plus or minus 2%? Perhaps you did, but you can't insist that the org has done so too. Or perhaps you took a slightly different line on the bends to the org, or one of you wobbles a bit when climbing? Just maybe that was the distance you saved on the shortcut by taking the first instead of the second turn!

Personally, if I'm within 10 km at the end of a ride I consider that good going (as in I probably stayed on route). I know my distances can often be out, I don't bother to reset my computer when changing tyres from 23 to 28 and v.v.


Re: Route Sheets
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2011, 01:50:57 pm »
Maybe this makes me a bit nerdy but I always take the route sheet sent as a starter for ten.  I figure that if I get lost then it is me in the pickle and no one else.  Hence, I map the route on the web (mapmyride, etc.) using the route sheet and then pull up google maps in street view to view the junctions that I am unsure about (also gives a chance to check signage, etc.).

Yes, it is all a faff and it does take an hour but I end up with a clear view of the route, a good soft copy of the route sheet (with personal annotations) that I can print out (and laminate) to stick in my map holder.  It also gives me some degree of confidence so that I can enjoy the ride on the day.  If/when I encounter a problem with the route sheet doing all of this I contact the organiser and point this out as soon as possible, as I have done previously.

Having said all that, I still reserve the right to do a wrong 'un  :)

I still find it baffling when folks turn up without even the default route sheet.  I have now seen this on 3 audaxes this summer and the response always seems to be "yeah, I will follow someone who knows their way", baffling, truly baffling.

Billy Weir

Re: Route Sheets
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2011, 01:56:18 pm »
I blame these foreign measurements myself.  "Kilometres".  Outrageous.  No wonder things are going wrong.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Route Sheets
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2011, 03:16:03 pm »
Don't forget the impossible info.

Their faces just light up back at HQ:
"So you couldn't find it either? Fantastic! "


[This also saves on researching Infos.]
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Billy Weir

Re: Route Sheets
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2011, 03:36:47 pm »
Or that the sign was obscured by bright sunlight at that time of the day (yes, seriously).

Or that the turning was on a descent, meaning they were going to fast to read it.

fungus

  • SO @ T
    • Tamworth cycling club
Re: Route Sheets
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2011, 03:44:09 pm »

Or that the turning was on a descent, meaning they were going to fast to read it.

Ah! the easily missed turning that you always miss  :facepalm:
SR 2010/11/12/13/14/15
RRTY. PBP. LeJoG 1400. LEL.




Re: Route Sheets
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2011, 03:48:18 pm »
As someone with no sense of direction whatsoever bad routesheets are the thing I most dislike about Audax rides. I have to say most routesheets are pretty good - indeed some routesheets this year have been astoundingly good. However, I've ridden events this year where it's clear the organiser hasn't checked the route in a long time.

My biggest gripe is with route sheets where - if you miss a turn - there's no way to get back on route.

e.g.

2nd left
right at T
1st left

etc .. with NO PLACE NAMES OR ROAD NAMES

Is it too hard to write

2nd left (White St)
right at T
1st left (Black Rd)

Then at least you can find your way back on route.
You're only as successful as your last 1200...

vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
    • Audaxing
Re: Route Sheets
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2011, 04:22:03 pm »
My events routesheet is not perfect but I do try and make it as good as possible

First time it ran 90% of the field got lost in the first 5km due to poor routesheetage

Me and Richie had test ridden it the weekend before, I'd spent hours on it trying to get it right.  Sometimes it just doesn't work out.

Last time there were no major routesheet problems.  I'd put down a misleading description of the town a R turn was in- it wasn't Midford- but the distance to the turn was correct and there was a major landmark (Crosskeys pub) to confirm that this was actually where to go.

The gps track went up the wrong, utterly terribly surfaced road to one of the controls.  This was actually the most direct route but it is such a awful lane that the routesheet took a different way.  Sorry Ianh

Usually, looking at a map before the event is enough to get over any little routesheet hiccups

The worst event I ever did had a pretty good routesheet
Audaxing Blog follow @vorsprungbike on

vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
    • Audaxing
Re: Route Sheets
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2011, 04:24:18 pm »
As someone with no sense of direction whatsoever bad routesheets are the thing I most dislike about Audax rides. I have to say most routesheets are pretty good - indeed some routesheets this year have been astoundingly good. However, I've ridden events this year where it's clear the organiser hasn't checked the route in a long time.

My biggest gripe is with route sheets where - if you miss a turn - there's no way to get back on route.

e.g.

2nd left
right at T
1st left

etc .. with NO PLACE NAMES OR ROAD NAMES

Is it too hard to write

2nd left (White St)
right at T
1st left (Black Rd)

Then at least you can find your way back on route.

Sometimes to add this additional information would make the routesheet very much longer
Audaxing Blog follow @vorsprungbike on

Re: Route Sheets
« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2011, 05:40:08 pm »
I strongly believe until proven wrong, that most controllers don't check out the actual turns & write them down, but commit to memory which is folly on their part.

I had the greatest of sympathy with your predicament until I read this comment later on within your story. In short, where is the evidence for this assertion?  It seems a bit disingenious to the volunteer organisers when considering that many deliver successful events by placing a great degree of effort and pride into their organisation.   So I am sorry to hear about your poor experience in this instance but please do not regard this as representative of most audaxes.  I also hope that your experience does not deter you entering audaxes in future.

From my experience of riding audaxes, nearly all route cards have been spot on in terms of accuracy.  When talking to organisers, I have generally learnt that they test ride the event within a couple of weeks beforehand for route card accuracy.  Where I have noticed an error, I have generally pointed out this problem to the organiser at the end of the day.   I note Fungus's comments on his excellent route cards, a point that I know to be true, ably assisted by Tamworth's test ride the weekend beforehand.


Re: Route Sheets
« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2011, 06:16:49 pm »
As someone with no sense of direction whatsoever bad routesheets are the thing I most dislike about Audax rides. I have to say most routesheets are pretty good - indeed some routesheets this year have been astoundingly good. However, I've ridden events this year where it's clear the organiser hasn't checked the route in a long time.

My biggest gripe is with route sheets where - if you miss a turn - there's no way to get back on route.

e.g.

2nd left
right at T
1st left

etc .. with NO PLACE NAMES OR ROAD NAMES

Is it too hard to write

2nd left (White St)
right at T
1st left (Black Rd)

Then at least you can find your way back on route.

Sometimes to add this additional information would make the routesheet very much longer


With respect Vorsprung I disagree. I've seen so many variations on route sheets that I believe it's quite possible to add road names to route sheets without significantly adding to their length.

Many, many years ago I was working on my first ever Audax route as an organiser and I spent a considerable amount of time trying to get the route sheet perfect. Then I got relocated and the ride never materialised. So really I ought to put my money where my mouth is and organise another ride. Then you are all welcome to find fault with it as you wish.
You're only as successful as your last 1200...

jogler

  • mojo operandi
Re: Route Sheets
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2011, 06:51:12 pm »
. So really I ought to put my money where my mouth is

I reckon all those folk who complain & crticise the efforts of volunteers should do likewise.