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No luck with ride events

Old 04-18-22, 08:04 AM
  #1  
Bald Paul
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No luck with ride events

Strike three, I'm out!

First event - Festivelo. Booked our hotel rooms, drove there the day before. Checked in, unloaded the car and bikes into the hotel rooms, and got back in the car to go to dinner. Drove about 20 feet when the "Warning Triangle of Death" lit up on the dash, and the transmission decided to stop doing it's thing. Instead of driving to the start of the ride the next day, we waited for the tow truck, and our wives to come rescue us. (The car was officially pronounced as DOA at the dealership.)

Second event - Pedal Hilton Head. Booked the room, drove down the day before (new car.) Set the alarm clock and asked the front desk for a wake up call (just in case.) According to the desk clerk, the hotel experienced a short power outage in the middle of the night, which left my alarm clock blinking at 12:00, and they forgot to call me. Yeah, I overslept and missed the ride start by about 90 minutes.

Third event - Coastal Cyclists Century. Booked the rooms, drove down the night before. Weather forecast was for a chance of light rain late afternoon on ride day. No problem. Got up in the AM and the forecast had changed to severe thunderstorms by 10AM (ride started at 8:30.) Not wishing to be riding around like a couple of lightning rods, we skipped the ride and drove to Charleston with the wives. Of course, the thunderstorms never materialized. In fact, the only rain was a brief shower around 2PM. All the radar, satellites, and computer models, and the weatherman still can't get it right.

Now, I'd like to try for the WNC Flyer in June. Am I signing up now? No way. I'll take my chances that the event won't be sold out, and if the weather looks good on the day of the ride, I'll drive the hour or so, pay the last minute event fee premium, and ride.
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Old 04-18-22, 08:22 AM
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Note to self: Don’t sign up for any cycling event “Bald Paul” is signed up for. I jest. Seriously, I’m sure it’ll get better. Keep trying. Kinda reminds me of my now 23 y.o. son who has grown up a serious Boston Red Sox fan. For years, as a little kid, we’d take him to a few games at Fenway Park every season (we live in RI). Every time we went, the Red Sox would lose. He never witnessed a Red Sox victory in-person until he was like 15 years old after about 20 in-person games. One year…when they were in the playoffs, we offered to take him to one of the home playoff games. He declined saying that the game was too important and he was afraid they’d get beat.

Dan
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Old 04-18-22, 08:28 AM
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Iride01
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Hotels still do wake up calls? Even back before cell phones I took my own travel alarm with me and used it. Never trusted the hotel to get it right every time then and wouldn't now. Now with a smartphone, I always have a travel alarm.

Bummer on the bad luck though!
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Old 04-18-22, 08:36 AM
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Bald Paul
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Hotels still do wake up calls? Even back before cell phones I took my own travel alarm with me and used it. Never trusted the hotel to get it right every time then and wouldn't now. Now with a smartphone, I always have a travel alarm.

Bummer on the bad luck though!
Evidently, the desk clerk had never heard of a wake up call, either. I'm pretty sure the night clerk just didn't bother telling the morning clerk.
Setting the alarm clock and asking for a wake up call is an old habit from years of being on the road for work, prior to retirement (and prior to smart phones.) For the record, my smartphone alarm did wake me up in time to catch the faulty weather report on my smartphone, if that helps.
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Old 04-18-22, 09:34 AM
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I used to enjoy organized rides and festivals, but after many years and many events, I decided I'd had enough. While large events create a great energy and sometimes reveal parts of the countryside that I wouldn't otherwise discover, between the travel, lodging, registration fees, and throngs of riders, the appeal eventually wore off. Nowadays, I'd much rather call my own shots, ride alone or with a small group of my choosing, and pick the routes, start times, and weather conditions that suit me.
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Old 04-18-22, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Hotels still do wake up calls?
Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
Evidently, the desk clerk had never heard of a wake up call, either. I'm pretty sure the night clerk just didn't bother telling the morning clerk.
Wake up calls are usually just a feature of the hotel phone system, so not much different than setting an alarm.
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Old 04-18-22, 10:50 AM
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As a great ride leader in my local club once said, "If you listen to the weather you will never ride your bike."

Query: What was the chance of storms, percentage-wise? And where they forecast as "scattered"? I started a tour last Thursday. That evening there was a chance of scattered t-storms. Never rained on me, but some areas did get them.
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Old 04-18-22, 11:36 AM
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90 minutes late is just a handicap, right. Don't want to embarrass the young kids by too much do you?

When a wakeup call is critical, I like to do redundant alarms (cell, clock, etc).

My big "organized ride" that I've done a couple of times is the "Blackberry Century". About 10 miles from my house to the start line (BY BIKE). Then 100 miles, and 10 miles back home. The first year I actually brought 2 bikes with me, one for me, one for my riding companion.

There are a couple of disorganized hill climb rides up in Portland. I've done a solo century and a half to a double century ride the day before, hammered out the half century of hills, then back home a few days later.

I'm trying to think of the last time I actually drove to the start line of an organized ride. Perhaps as a kid doing bike-a-thons, getting a lift from my parents.

Even the "Reach the Beach" ride 30 years ago was 100% by bike, carrying overnight gear. About 30 miles to the start in Monroe, arriving by the crack of dawn, 150 miles to Lincoln City, then camped, and back home the next day (taking a few shortcuts).

Getting to the "Ride the Rim" was a hard ride, about 150 miles, and 2 1/2 miles elevation climbing, fully loaded to get to the rim. I had intended to do it in 1 day, but it was actually 1 1/2 days. So, a bit of a late start for the rim ride, which was very much anticlimactic. Still, there was a crowd of riders, so it was fine. Then another day and a half back home.



When I did the Portland Marathon 25 years ago, it was riding about 5 miles to the start. Locking the bike, running the marathon, then a bit of recuperation, and riding back home.

Anyway, I have to wonder why car problems actually stopped the one ride. Do the ride and fix the car later.
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Old 04-18-22, 02:33 PM
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Old 04-18-22, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
I used to enjoy organized rides and festivals, but after many years and many events, I decided I'd had enough. While large events create a great energy and sometimes reveal parts of the countryside that I wouldn't otherwise discover, between the travel, lodging, registration fees, and throngs of riders, the appeal eventually wore off. Nowadays, I'd much rather call my own shots, ride alone or with a small group of my choosing, and pick the routes, start times, and weather conditions that suit me.
I gravitated that way too after, among other things, 4 Cycle Oregons (2,000+ people). Haven’t been since 2012. Great event though. For 23 consecutive years I did what became the second largest MS 150 in the country. It swelled to over 7,000 people. For several years I was one of the top fundraisers, getting as high as #22. Became too much of a zoo.

One interesting one I did was CANDISC in North Dakota. Fewer than 300 people. Very low key. I had ridden in ND while crossing the country 7 years earlier. Nice to see it again. I’m actually thinking of rolling my own tour there in September.
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Old 04-18-22, 05:49 PM
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I quite often pay a penalty for same-day registration. The odds of rain is just too great; so I regard it as insurance. As far as wake-up calls, I always have the alarm on my watch and my phone; so don't need the alarm clock at the motel OR a wake-up call from the front desk.
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Old 04-18-22, 06:21 PM
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Bald Paul, it is better now to learn the lesson than later after another one, two, three...etc. failures. Just ain't in the cards for you anymore.
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Old 04-18-22, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Hotels still do wake up calls? Even back before cell phones I took my own travel alarm with me and used it. Never trusted the hotel to get it right every time then and wouldn't now. Now with a smartphone, I always have a travel alarm.

Bummer on the bad luck though!
The phone systems in hotels and most motels these days are digital and programmable, so even a mid-rate motel can program in a wake-up call to your room. Most also have a 'snooze alarm' feature that will ring you again after 10-15 minutes.

Yeah, I still bring a battery powered alarm clock with me whenever I go on vacation.
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Old 04-18-22, 07:10 PM
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Thanks for sharing Paul. I don't feel so bad about my luck now. It's nice to have company!
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Old 04-19-22, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
As a great ride leader in my local club once said, "If you listen to the weather you will never ride your bike."

Query: What was the chance of storms, percentage-wise? And where they forecast as "scattered"? I started a tour last Thursday. That evening there was a chance of scattered t-storms. Never rained on me, but some areas did get them.
70% chance, and the entire area was under a "Severe Weather Warning" with ground strike lightning likely. Not something I'd be willing to chance. Nothing like a few million volts out of the sky to turn your bike into an E-bike.

Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Anyway, I have to wonder why car problems actually stopped the one ride. Do the ride and fix the car later.
When I called the dealership it was too late to get a tow truck out there, so we had to wait around all morning for it to show up - which they eventually did, around 11:30 or so. Hotel check-out was 11AM. They were nice enough to let us store our luggage and bikes in the room until the wives showed up (a 4 hour drive ) to pick us up.
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Old 04-19-22, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
70% chance, and the entire area was under a "Severe Weather Warning" with ground strike lightning likely. Not something I'd be willing to chance. Nothing like a few million volts out of the sky to turn your bike into an E-bike.
1. Start ride.
2. Seek shelter if weather turns bad.

Originally Posted by Bald Paul
When I called the dealership it was too late to get a tow truck out there, so we had to wait around all morning for it to show up - which they eventually did, around 11:30 or so. Hotel check-out was 11AM. They were nice enough to let us store our luggage and bikes in the room until the wives showed up (a 4 hour drive ) to pick us up.
1. Leave keys in car for tow truck operator.
2. Check luggage at front desk of hotel.
3. Arrange for wives to arrive after the ride.
4. Enjoy ride.
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Old 04-20-22, 08:52 PM
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If you own a smart phone, learn to use the alarm.
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Old 04-20-22, 10:49 PM
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Oversleeping on a big ride day is one of my recurring nightmares. So far has not happened. I'll probably have that nightmare tonight.

I use my cell phone for my alarm clock, at home or in hotels. In fact I use a distinctive alarm on ride days, so i don't hit snooze.
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Old 04-21-22, 02:52 PM
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One of the great perks of insomnia is never over-sleeping.
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Old 04-21-22, 04:58 PM
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Bald Paul
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
1. Start ride.
2. Seek shelter if weather turns bad.
Yes, on the remote, flat roads of Lowcountry, I guess we could have sheltered under a tree in a thunderstorm.

Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
1. Leave keys in car for tow truck operator.
2. Check luggage at front desk of hotel.
3. Arrange for wives to arrive after the ride.
4. Enjoy ride.
I had to be there to pay the tow truck driver for the extra mileage not covered by AAA.
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Old 04-21-22, 05:42 PM
  #21  
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Signed up for TOSRV (weekend, century each day) 2020. Canceled due to Covid. Also 2021. Next year, rescheduled for 4 months later, but registration deferred.

Signed up for Bike Virginia 2020. Covid. Same for 2021. Same for 2022.

So far, I have invested about $650 in bike ride futures. Current value: $0. Lesson learned: don't invest in futures.
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