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Old 09-07-09, 03:14 PM   #1
DnvrFox
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Lessons From the First Annual Ride for a Better 2nd Annual Ride

Lessons From the First Annual Ride for a Better 2nd Annual Ride

As the organizer, I think it would be useful to "debrief" the first ride in the hopes of making a better 2nd annual ride. In the end, we had 12 folks participate. We had 55 state, in one form or another, that they might/would come.

Here are some of my thoughts. Others please join in.

1. Differences. There was a vast range of differences in abilities, interest in riding (some fast, some slow, some taking pictures, some not.) Some folks are early risers, wanting to get out while things are cool. Some simply can not tolerate high heat. Others don't like or can't tolerate cool, and prefer warm. Folks are used to eating at different times, etc. We attempted to accommodate these by choosing a locale with a variety of options, and the plan was that folks would choose riding partners with similar interests. For the most part, this eventually happened, but it was a little rough there for a bit.

2. The "Ride." There was an expectation by some that there would be one "RIDE!" How this would have worked, I don't really know, due to the vast array of differences. Even if we all started together, it would have only lasted for about 5 minutes. If we tried to stay together, fast riders would have been out of their minds. Lots of folks wanted to take a lot of pictures, and one group took 7 hours to accomplish 33 relatively easy miles. The best we could do was to take a group picture of the "early" group, before we all started in various directions and speeds.

Personally, I enjoyed the differences and being able to find a very compatible group, with which Nora and I did a lot of riding.

Perhaps using a concept of a "weekend of riding" might be useful, instead of a "RIDE."

3. Breakfast. It was excellent having a good breakfast (included in the motel rate) and a very pleasant breakfast room where we could meet in the morning and talk and plan our activities.

4. It was great having two planned dinners. The 2nd one was best. Lots of pictures.

5. Communication - threads. Different folks would start different threads, they would eventually get lost and too long. Then another thread would get started. Folks got confused, and information got lost. Information about various options that I had originally posted were later "discovered" in some other location and posted again by someone else. Having a "sticky" helped, but, even there, folks missed it or forgot it, or it got too long. I got a bit tired of reposting info in different places again and again. There must be some solution.

I had thought, along the way, of establiching a separate Yahoo Groups listserv where folks who were coming - or who likely would be coming - could participate.

Perhaps an "Annual Ride" subforum under the aegis of the 50+ forum - just for everything about the annual ride.

In the end, we did establish an email address list where we communicated by "reply all." Even then, some folks missed some of the emails, or didn't read them.

6. Liability. We eventually discarded the liability issue, due to the small number of attendees. However, if it got to be a group of, say 50, I think that it should be considered again. I have mixed feelings on this, but being involved in three lawsuits over the years has made me cognizant of how a bunch of friends can suddenly turn into something else when there is a critical injury requiring a lot of money, and there is also some potential negligence. It can happen to any of us.

Last edited by DnvrFox; 09-07-09 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 09-07-09, 05:13 PM   #2
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I was thinking about the next annual ride today when I was riding. I was wondering how many people might be interested in having it in Florida when it is the dead of winter in most of the rest of the country. Of course It couldn't be to close to Christmas. I was even thinking of where everyone could stay, eat, how to do group rides, etc.
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Old 09-07-09, 08:25 PM   #3
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I would not dream of being involved in organisation without liability insurance. There is substantial hidden cost such as finding the best location, motel, restaurant, trails, roads, etc. This cost needs to be reflected in up front cost to people who say they want to participate. Money talks, BS walks.
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A large group of bikers will and can split into different sub groups to accommodate different speeds. This will be more extreme for a B50+ group then for a tour which sets performance as a goal.
I am not interested in a bike ride under lets say 15 MPH as from GWS to the Tavern and return. There are some more with my requirement and there are more who want to go slower. That does not mean that we are willing to go slow also. It simply is no fun for us.
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Dinner.
There is no way I will have dinner before 6:00 PM and that is the low limit. Normal for me is 8:00 PM and wine is an integral part of dinner.
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Biking at 7:30 AM in GWS requires a jacket. At 9:00 AM no jacket. We like to travel light and fast.
I biked with Billydonn and Artmo. We enjoyed going reasonably fast and far. Artmo and I went to Gypsum as fast as we could. Similar with Billydonn. Billydonn and I went on a fast ride in Omaha just as fast as we could. We think that is fun.
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Of course one can organize a tour just for social interaction. I will not travel 2 x 1,000 miles for that.
JMHO.
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Old 09-07-09, 08:55 PM   #4
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What about rotating the ride location around the country? That way the difficulty of travel could be spread around. I'm on an international engineering committee as a US delegate, and it meets twice a year. The meeting is moved from North America, to Europe, to Asia, and then back thru the circle. This makes travel expenditure and time spent equal over the long haul.

Rockies (we (well, u folks) done that)

Southeast (Florida is proposed)

Midwest/Plains (Ohio, Michigan, Nebraska, or Wisconsin?)

et cetera.

A side benefit is possibly being able to get temperate weather for every ride. For example, north Texas is cool and balmy in March, but scorching humidity in June, and just plain scorched in August.
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Old 09-08-09, 07:32 AM   #5
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Three summers past I did the TRIRI in Indiana the second week in June. The temp on the first day hit 102. Our highest temp in CenTx that same year had reached into the low 90's.

Everyone kept saying to me "you're from TX, you must be used to this".
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Old 09-08-09, 07:43 AM   #6
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Just my 2bits regarding 3 day rides in which I've participated.

Organization should include a planned breakfast every day at a specified time.

Plan and organize a lunch one day (usually the first or second day) and a dinner for one evening. Even if everyone pays for their own meal this lets everyone know when they will get together. Also, this still leaves time for impromptu groupings to try that diner they saw down the road.

Have rides of different lengths laid out and mapped for folks so they can decide how long they want to ride.

Plan the ride for no earlier than mid-June nor later than the first week in August. Otherwise it starts bumping up against school dates for teachers or parents with kids in school/college. Also that time period only bumps against one holiday so that no one has to choose between sacrificing a Labor Day or Memorial Day weekend versus a ride.

Its liable to be hot no matter where you ride in the summer. The Hotter-N Hell was 65 degrees at start time this year.
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