I am starting to get responses to
my rant about riders getting spoiled. Having no place to put it, I am starting a
I started riding in 1987. That year Hotter
n' Hell had over 12,000 riders. Then it cost $10.00/$15. I have no recollection
of any rides offering free food after the ride. I don't
remember many (if any) porta-potties either. Now I get reviews; quote:
"They only had 5 porta-potties on rest stop 1"
This year the Hotter n' Hell may have 8,000 riders and cost
$25.00/$30.00. The biggest ride around and they still do not offer
free food. AND perish the thought, they have long lines at the
porta-potties. Food for a rally cost money. OR someone has to beg
for donations then find volunteers to do the cooking and serving. - John
Just another opinion for what it worth. John Said it, "We're spoiled". Quit being a bunch of crybabies! These rides are usually to benefit a good cause and to give riders a chance to organize and enjoy riding together. "NOT" to see how much free shit you can get for your $25.00 dollars! Just ride, donate, and be happy! You didn't pre-register, you took a chance! Losing $25.00 gonna kill you? I ride these rides because I love being around other cyclists and I challenge myself to pick up my "normal" pace and to ride further and faster than I usually ride alone. Now for what its worth here's a suggestion.
Promise everyone a T-shirt, even if you have to print some later and mail them out. This is important to everyone and they usually wear them proudly. I'll bet the percentages of walk-ups stays the same for each ride, account for that. I know no ride director wants to have hundreds of T-shirts left over, so allow for it. Then if you run short mail some more out. What, it costs more to do that? Well, you got money from "extra" entry fees, that you weren't counting on right? The condiments were already paid for, no extra volunteers are needed, and no additional facilities are needed because I walk up at the last minute, promise me a T-shirt and I'll be happy. You won't lose money on me, you just won't clear as much (for the good cause).
I did the Mesquite ride the prior week, except for the roads, both rides were pretty
similar. Lots of volunteers, large facilities w/ Air Conditioning (big thing), and some nice extra touches here and there. Mesquite had plenty of extra parking, but hey, if you have to park far away, get on your bike and ride to the registration area, this is pretty quick. The church in McKinney had a good paved road to the High School...no excuses. In Austin, for the high and mighty "ride for the roses, by Lance" I had to park in a gravel parking lot, couldn't ride my bike to the registration area (had to run), which really irritated me, and I missed the start by 30 minutes. Paved parking is a bonus no matter how far away it is. Mesquite had thousands of cones
separating "us" bikers from the traffic which I thought was wonderful!! But hey, if you can't do that...I'm not gonna grip.
As for the "Arrogant" on the signs...we as bikers must have done something to piss off someone. Could it be dominating the road, riding in the wrong lanes, not staying far enough to the right, cussing at cars, you name it...we do it. At the Classic, I observed a cyclist, cut between a car and the left side of the road where a patrolman was trying to control traffic crossing a bridge w/ a left turn, the officer scolded the biker only to have the biker yell back "get that F*#king car out of here!" No wonder policemen and cars hate us. I think "some" bikers are getting arrogant at these rides and giving the rest of us a bad wrap!
In conclusion...I think that the majority of participants were satisfied with the Collin County Classic (we all hate what Texas is doing w/ the roads), look for a better route. The ones that didn't get a T-shirt this time, took that chance, that can be fixed. The overall picture was better than average. Top 100 ride?,,,no way, Mesquite is better, Italy was better, Bonham might even be better (live band at finish, good road, hills). It sounds like some riders just have a grudge against Bikin' Mike. Don't let the
negative comments keep you away from this ride, it's still very good.
I just saw someone's comments in your ride review section suggesting that perhaps today's riders may be getting spoiled. I don't know the answer because, in spite of my 58 years, my riding career is only about one year old; however, I can offer some perspective as a ride organizer that may be of some interest to you riders.
I am one of a small group of folks (our Steering Committee) that just put on (June 4) the Comanche Cyclone Bicycle Tour in Comanche, Texas. With the exception of one member who had volunteered previously for the Melon Patch Tour, we had no experience as ride organizers. We relied heavily on what we had experienced at other events a few of us had ridden in over that year. We were also very lucky to have the input and support of the Ride Director for the Melon Patch Tour, the ride in De Leon, Texas each year. It was a real learning experience and we will use what we learn each year to continually improve our event.
Now, regarding the suggestion that riders are becoming spoiled -maybe so, maybe not . If so, I suggest that this ain't necessarily a bad thing, so long as the organizers and the riders can keep it in perspective.
For example, it was nice to be able to off our riders a hot (or cool) shower after the ride, especially since it was 92 degrees with high humidity at the end of the ride. It was nice to be able to offer them cold drinks and homemade cookies after the event. One of our Committee members even brought his pressure washer and offered bike washes. We're already talking about the possibility of homemade ice cream to go with the cookies next year, or maybe a meal of some sort. For a number of reasons, we did not offer a meal this year although that was certainly an item we discussed in some detail.
As pointed out in the prior comment, it is important for riders to remember that volunteers and funds for these events can be pretty hard to find. I suspect that this is especially true in smaller towns where there typically are few cycling enthusiasts. Perhaps even more important is the fact that most of these events, like ours, are fundraisers for some charity and the folks putting on the event struggle to balance their desire to put on a fun and attractive event with the need to have something left over for the charity.
I believe that all of our Committee members and volunteers took pride in putting on our event and in being able to offer some community hospitality. It is fun to be able to offer something special to those folks who make the effort to attend your event, and I suspect that most other ride organizers feel the same way we do.
On the other hand, please remember that, big or small, the event organizers struggle to come up with the right balance between niceties for the riders and fundraising for their charity. Money is a major concern for organizers and the fact that a major purpose of the event is to raise funds for a charity should not be lossed. Costs typically include printing, T-shirts, signs, insurance, food and drink, postage, and other items. It was an eye opener for us to see how much these items can be. So, I hope that everyone will be able to see it from both perspectives and appreciate the need for balancing the benies for the riders with the need to have funds left over.
Thanks to all the good folks who came out to ride with us. It really was fun and we hope to see you next year.
I'm still new to the sport (2 rides done - Flower Mound, Collin Classic, Peach Pedal scheduled) and here is one observation that I don't understand...
For the most part everyone I've met has been very courteous (on the road and off), but there are always exceptions, but the traffic thing just drives me nuts. "Get the f**in car out of here?" I'm sorry I forgot the cyclists own the road and we only allow cars out of the goodness of our hearts. Yes, some motorists are butt holes and will continue to butt holes regardless. But a lot of the attitude against cyclists we bring on ourselves. I've seen adults do stuff that would cause my daughter to lose her bike for weeks. How long before law enforcement is allowed to write tickets for violations during a ride? How long before people start getting kicked out of rides for breaking rules?
I am disturbed about the trash I have seen lately i.e. water bottles and gu packages that I have seen on the rides lately. The Collin Co Classic and the Peach Pedal both had bottles and Gu packs on the road. This could cause communities to complain although I see lots of trash on the roads anyway, I just think it does not reflect well on the cycling community.
As noted in the Goatneck 100 reviews, the volunteers at Rest Stop 8 were kind enough to pass out cold towels and refresh the riders, so why did many of the cyclists then take off down the road with these towels and discard them on FM 1434? It trashes the road and puts more burden on the hard-working folks at the rest stop to pick up the litter for several miles. I'm just worried that sooner or later one of these communities will drop a biking event because of the cumulative effect of litter problems. Dropping towels on the road just seemed more out-of-bounds than usual.
Another Vote for "Yes"
Yes, we are spoiled. We pay money to a worthy cause, then complain because they had oranges instead of bananas at rest stop 5...never mind that rest stops 1-4 and 6-9 had tons of bananas. We look in our goodie bags and pout when
there's no water bottle in it. We hold up our T-Shirt and make a sour face, pointing out that last years was soooooo much better. We hit a 5mile stretch of chipseal road and write scathing reviews about the route. We have to stop at a traffic light, and we grumble that they should have had police support there to wave us through. We finish the ride and stomp back to the car, angry that pizza, ice cream, air-conditioning and a live band were not supplied by the ride coordinators at the finish line. My $25
didn't seem to get me much on THAT ride, did it?
Its the sweetest thing when all the little things seem to go right on a tour. Those are
truly great rides. Some of them have been working to perfect those rides for 25 years and more, and believe me, they've got it down. Other rides, however, are struggling to send kids to camps, buy needed supplies for shelters and schools, and support charities to find cures for cancer.
Yes, I love the feeling of riding thru a red light with a police escort, and I love pizza at the end of the ride. But barring the safety of the route, do I have a right to bitch about paying $25 to help some child with leukemia, or buy books for elementary school kids? I guess I do, but I
don't feel very good about it afterwards. So next time they don't have homemade cookies or my favorite flavor or powerade available at the rest stop, maybe Ill try to think about how lucky I am to be healthy enough to actually ride a bike at all. Just my 5 cents.
Just wanted to send you a note to confirm that our cycling community tends to be ultra-spoiled. At the Mesquite rally I witnessed two disturbing events:
1) While descending to a long straight towards the end of the ride, I came up on an older woman riding her fat tire bike on a two lane road doing about 15-16mph. She was doing fine, and there was a car patiently driving right behind her (at a safe distance) waiting for an opening to pass. I was slowing up to wait for the car to pass, when I heard a loud "GD!" I looked an saw another cyclist pull up to me still cursing. I said, "that bad?" He yelled back, "I was doing 30!" This guy was really mad because after 60+ miles of riding he had to slow down for a few minutes. Wow -- spoiled
2) At the after-ride lunch that was catered by Outback, I overheard two different groups of people sitting at the tables, complaining about the fact that the chicken sandwiches were not hot. Then as I was walking out, I stopped by the freezer to get an ice cream that Blue Bell had donated. While in that short line, I saw a guy who was just bitching about how they didn't have the particular ice cream bar he was looking for.
Just some observations that support last year's premise that we are spoiled. I suppose I am too, but I do appreciate your web site and the relatively cheap bike rallies that we enjoy in this area.
I have been riding for over 30 years and I have seen the crying on both sides of the street (as a rider as well as working on the steering committees). I remember when rides were nothing more than showing up handing in the money and being give a map and a “thank you see you when you complete the ride!! That was it!!! We rode for the charity and the enjoyment of the ride. Today I know that sounds wrong, but that is how it was.
Today, I see cyclists that ride like they drive, get the **** of my way, disregard traffic signs and even forget they are the smaller vehicle on the roadway. I do not feel it is the individual cyclist, but society does to us. But that is another story. All I ask is the next time you clip in take a moment in ask yourself, “ Why do I do this?” If the response is because I enjoy it!!! Take a moment and assist the other cyclist that is stopped working on their bike, or assist a beginner cyclist to be a better one and most importantly always remember we are the stewards for the next generation of cyclists.
I just thought I'd throw my two cents in about the spoiled riders. I can see both sides. The people putting on the rides need the money for their cause, and the riders want something for their money.
As one commenter stated,back in the day,you paid your fee, and off you went. The first HHH I did in 84 was just about like that. A rest stop had some high school girl sitting at a table handing out Gatorade and water. Maybe a banana.
Much has changed. Part of me would rather have it the old way,but I like most of the rides now, and the hard workers who make it happen. Just get out and ride with the others and enjoy the ride. Life is too damm short..