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RAW 2024 Ride Across Wisconsin disappointing change

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RAW 2024 Ride Across Wisconsin disappointing change

Old 11-22-23, 02:53 PM
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RAW 2024 Ride Across Wisconsin disappointing change

For those of you who don't know, RAW is the Ride Across Wisconsin. There are many options to do part of it, but the whole ride was 235 miles from La Crosse to Milwaukee with a one or two day option.

So I did RAW this past summer... well I did part of RAW. Even with a double century under my belt at the end of April, I didn't train enough for this in August and was able to complete only 120 miles of the 235 mile one day option. I learned a lot of what I did wrong that day, but that's not the topic of this thread.

I received an email yesterday about the 2024 RAW. It's going to have almost all of the same options from 2023 EXCEPT the one day state wide option. If you want to ride across the whole state, you have to do it in two days. They stated that only a few people were able to safely cross the entire state, so they are no longer offering the one day statewide option. I wrote them a reply email asking them to reconsider, even if it means having to qualify for the one day option with some kind of previous event. I understand the need to keep things fairly safe, but this is very disappointing for me. I already started training to return next year and do what I originally attempted this year. I don't expect them to change their minds, but I figured I'd try. If they won't open up the one day option again, I will probably skip it. For me the thrill was to complete that ride in one day.

I may do the STP (Seattle to Portland) in July next year instead.
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Old 11-22-23, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Bassmanbob
For those of you who don't know, RAW is the Ride Across Wisconsin. There are many options to do part of it, but the whole ride was 235 miles from La Crosse to Milwaukee with a one or two day option.

So I did RAW this past summer... well I did part of RAW. Even with a double century under my belt at the end of April, I didn't train enough for this in August and was able to complete only 120 miles of the 235 mile one day option. I learned a lot of what I did wrong that day, but that's not the topic of this thread.

I received an email yesterday about the 2024 RAW. It's going to have almost all of the same options from 2023 EXCEPT the one day state wide option. If you want to ride across the whole state, you have to do it in two days. They stated that only a few people were able to safely cross the entire state, so they are no longer offering the one day statewide option. I wrote them a reply email asking them to reconsider, even if it means having to qualify for the one day option with some kind of previous event. I understand the need to keep things fairly safe, but this is very disappointing for me. I already started training to return next year and do what I originally attempted this year. I don't expect them to change their minds, but I figured I'd try. If they won't open up the one day option again, I will probably skip it. For me the thrill was to complete that ride in one day.
Their assessment and change in policy seems reasonable.
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Old 11-22-23, 04:19 PM
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Iíll bet cost has something to do with it as well.
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Old 11-22-23, 06:53 PM
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The worst part for me would be the 2000 miles I'd have to ride to just get to La Crosse
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Old 11-22-23, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
Their assessment and change in policy seems reasonable.
I donít disagree with this. I even said in my email that I understand the concern for safety. But Iím still disappointed, Iíd still love them to reconsider but I doubt Iíd return to Wisconsin to do it in two days. My goal was to do it in one, and thatís what I wanted to return to do.
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Old 11-22-23, 08:55 PM
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Ive gotten the local entry level racing organization to rescind their Covid19 vaccine and booster mandates on two group rides that they hold, with two separate emails. The organization in question is probably similarly receptive to feedback, you did right to email your concerns."

An unhelpful comment, but nothing is stopping you from doing it in one day, it just won't be supported.
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Old 11-22-23, 10:40 PM
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Cost is a factor. Staffing a 236 mile route for 5 dudes is not sensible.

Anyone who wants to do something like this - which will end up being mostly solo, regardless of the number of starters - should just get a friend to drive ahead for food stops and support.
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Old 11-23-23, 09:47 AM
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What will they do at the end of day 1 -- throw tacks across the roadway to stop you from riding?
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Old 11-23-23, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene
What will they do at the end of day 1 -- throw tacks across the roadway to stop you from riding?
No. They simply won't provide you with the food, water or bathrooms you paid for.

I'd rather start on day two and catch up to the other riders as they come into the finish.
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Old 11-23-23, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene
What will they do at the end of day 1 -- throw tacks across the roadway to stop you from riding?
It's Wisconsin -- they'll throw cheese wedges.
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Old 11-23-23, 05:59 PM
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Given your experience this year, seems the two day ride would be challenge enough. 8500 feet climbing over two days isn't epic but it's definitely more than you'll get in FL. Probably a smart move to discontinue the single day 235 mile route if they have a high % who abandon.
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Old 11-23-23, 07:07 PM
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Though I've never ridden it myself, I know lots of people who regularly do RAW in one day and fast. There is generally a pretty big group of hammerheads who work together and complete the 235 miles in the vicinity of 10-11 hours moving time. They will be very disappointed with the change.
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Old 11-27-23, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
Cost is a factor. Staffing a 236 mile route for 5 dudes is not sensible.

Anyone who wants to do something like this - which will end up being mostly solo, regardless of the number of starters - should just get a friend to drive ahead for food stops and support.
I got driven to the finish before the first guy finished in one day But also had to wait for my buddy who finally came in later that evening. I saw a lot of riders finish that first day, but I figure either there were too many people who were riding dangerously fatigued or there still weren't enough people finishing in one day to financially justify continuing the one day option. Either way, I understand and will accept their decision, but I would love for them to reconsider.

My wife could not join me on the trip to Wisconsin or I would have had her car-SAG me.
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Old 11-28-23, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
Iíll bet cost has something to do with it as well.
Cost and logistics. Imagine trying to set up rest areas and SAG for the entire route that may be completed in one or more days. That's an organizers nightmare, unless you have a whole lot of volunteers.
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Old 11-28-23, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul
Cost and logistics. Imagine trying to set up rest areas and SAG for the entire route that may be completed in one or more days. That's an organizers nightmare, unless you have a whole lot of volunteers.
Yep. Volunteer availability is likely another reason. Several years ago, a large cycling club in suburban Philly scrapped one of its two long-running club rides because of a lack of volunteers. Came down to mostly the same small core group of people having to do most of the work for both events.
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Old 11-28-23, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
Yep. Volunteer availability is likely another reason. Several years ago, a large cycling club in suburban Philly scrapped one of its two long-running club rides because of a lack of volunteers. Came down to mostly the same small core group of people having to do most of the work for both events.
Unfortunately, you'll find that is the case in almost any club of any type. A few people end up doing all the work all the time, while the rest either enjoy the fruits of their labor or complain about how things are done. It can get really old very quickly, believe me.
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Old 11-28-23, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul
Unfortunately, you'll find that is the case in almost any club of any type. A few people end up doing all the work all the time, while the rest either enjoy the fruits of their labor or complain about how things are done. It can get really old very quickly, believe me.
Yep again. In the Philly bike club, we have even had people complain about the lack of certain types of rides (e.g., paces, start locations, distances, etc.). My response has always been "Here's the perfect opportunity to lead one yourself."
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Old 11-29-23, 08:29 PM
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A number of you mentioned the possibility of volunteer problems. Yes, I've seen that in other rides that have had to be reduced or cancelled indefinitely. I'm also very involved in my professional state association and see the same problem there. It's commonly said that 10% of the members (of any club) do 90% of the work.

But I do want to make clear, since I did not do that in my original post, that every RAW volunteer/organizer was very helpful and friendly that weekend. I kept saying that throughout the day. That alone has made me consider just going back to do the two day option if they continue to offer it beyond 2024. I really want to do a couple of double centuries next year, so I won't have the opportunity to do RAW next year if I can't do a one day option.
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Old 11-30-23, 11:10 AM
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Once they discovered most people - including yourself - don't finish it in one day, they made the decision to make it a two-day ride only.
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