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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 11-21-07, 10:04 AM   #1
gentry76
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Alley Cat race checkpoint question

Hello:

I'm putting on an adventure race in the spring that will have check points similar to those in alley cat races. My question is what are some effective ways of having un-personed check points?

So far I've seen:
  • ticket-punch cabled to fixed object (like a light post)
  • misc. trinkets at ea check point
  • RFID cards (uh, a little beyond my budget)
  • competitor takes photo of checkpoint

These all have pros/cons. Looking for both pros/cons/inappropriate comments/as well as some totally new ideas.

Also, if you know of other/better places to ask this question let me know too.

Thanks!
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Old 11-21-07, 10:27 AM   #2
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i threw a race with some nonstaffed checkpoints. a way to do it is to have a spot on the racers' manifest where they write the answer to a question that can only be answered by being at that spot. one in my race was, "why can't you cross the river at the congress street bridge?"
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Old 11-21-07, 10:43 AM   #3
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hot chick hands out a checkpoint card at each checkpoint.
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Old 11-21-07, 10:49 AM   #4
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hot chick hands out a checkpoint card at each checkpoint.
that would then make it... a staffed... checkpoint?
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Old 11-21-07, 10:50 AM   #5
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hot chick hands out a checkpoint card at each checkpoint.
hot chicks are people, too. Reread OP.
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Old 11-21-07, 10:52 AM   #6
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that would then make it... a staffed... checkpoint?
yeah a staffed checkpoint with time stamped cards and hot chicks
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Old 11-21-07, 10:58 AM   #7
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I was at a race where you had to copy down this long phrase at the post office, and also copy down the hours.
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Old 11-21-07, 11:02 AM   #8
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yeah a staffed checkpoint with time stamped cards and hot chicks
you sir, are crazy.
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Old 11-21-07, 11:06 AM   #9
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you sir, are crazy.
everyone tells me this
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Old 11-21-07, 11:22 AM   #10
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Answering a question or writing down info isn't the best way to have a non-staffed checkpoint because racers can share answers before handing in their manifests. They can also split the checkpoints and share answers over the phone during the race.
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Old 11-21-07, 11:27 AM   #11
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Basically think of anything that can only be obtained at that specific location. ive had to read (then copy onto my manifest) the warning labels off the back of candy machines, grab a specific form from a library or post office, buy a product from a store (in the mini-alleycat i threw riders had to get sams-choice cola from either of the town's wal-marts). there are lots of things. if you are smart about it, you wont even have to set anything up yourself.
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Old 11-21-07, 11:28 AM   #12
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you could have them do impressions of something at the checkpoint with a crayon. just like in kindergarten!
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Old 11-21-07, 11:36 AM   #13
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you could have them do impressions of something at the checkpoint with a crayon. just like in kindergarten!
Oh, thats a good one!
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Old 11-21-07, 11:40 AM   #14
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Rumble through the Bronx 3 had an unmanned checkpoint on City Island where you had to dumpster a paper cup from this sea food restaurant and write down how much a lobster roll cost on the cup.
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Old 11-21-07, 11:55 AM   #15
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The St Patty's day race in Madison this spring have riders crayons and paper and had visiting several churches to take rubbings off of plaques out front. We also collected matchbooks at one stop which was a bar, and we also collected trinkets which had numbers coordinated to our rider numbers. There was also a stop at a thrift store where we had to purchase a green article. A couple of my buddies and I were doing really well, and then decided to go a couple miles out of our way to drink a beer and smoke a couple bowls. It was fun.
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Old 11-21-07, 12:08 PM   #16
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you could have them do impressions of something at the checkpoint with a crayon. just like in kindergarten!


best idea yet!
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Old 11-21-07, 01:03 PM   #17
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In the past, I'd post up a random stick drawing and have the riders do a rough sketch of it whenever a checkpointer backed out on me at the last second.

Pro - easy
Con - easy to forge

A friend did something cool for Thanksgiving last year. 10 checkpoints, all grocery stores. Your checkpoint marks were canned goods w/ receipts from all of the grocery stores. All of the food went to a local charity. It was pretty awesome.

Pro - food for homeless doods
Con - kinda hard to charge admission to a charity race
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Old 11-21-07, 02:35 PM   #18
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This is what we do for road rallies when we need to have an unstaffed checkpoint:

On the route instructions there will usually be a picture of a sign at or near the checkpoint. Two things usually are done: if there is a portion of the sign that's blacked out, the participant would have to write down the letters/numbers which have been blacked out. If there's nothing blacked out, you have to go find the sign and look on the back where there will be a small sticker (usually 2"x4") with a letter or number on it (which was placed afew days in advance) which will be written down and reported at the next manned checkpoint.

Of course as a rule you don't share your information with other competitors but that could be a problem depending on the kind of race you're doing.
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Old 11-21-07, 02:44 PM   #19
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the way it was done in the allston-brighton scramble last year was there was a spoke card taped to a wall at the unmanned checkpoint and you had to cut off a piece of it. I feel like this is a pretty easy, fail-safe way to do it.
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Old 11-21-07, 03:32 PM   #20
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i like the crayon rubbing idea. give everyone a different color so it's harder to forge.
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Old 11-21-07, 07:21 PM   #21
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ummm, blowup doll? Girlbots? I don't understand.
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Old 11-21-07, 07:29 PM   #22
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Crayons.
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Old 11-21-07, 07:31 PM   #23
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what? it went from unmanned to hot chicks to blowup dolls? wtf? this thread itself ain't sexist, but the undercurrents are flowing strong.
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Old 11-21-07, 07:33 PM   #24
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man with bayonet hand gun: that idea is easily the most badassest hitherto. I love it. +2 for crayon usage.
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Old 11-21-07, 07:40 PM   #25
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I began the thread with gender neutral "un-personed" language. But blow up dolls are funny and hot chick are, uh, hot. So are hot dudes. and hot trans-gendered persons. And hot ficus trees.

Damn there are a few really kick ass ideas:

I really like the crayon imprinting & the cutting up of something (it could be reassembled!) those are both low tech and secure.
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