I was really excited to receive notification the other day, for the 2012 Amy Gillett Gran Fondo registrations had opened. However, my excitement quickly turned to dismay, and then slight resentment at the event organisers when I saw that the price had increased by approximately 15% on the 2011 price. Furthermore, I realised the price of most everything associated with the event also increased in price!
So, I reviewed what I receive for a $190 ride in September, beside riding along the Great Ocean Road.
• A fully timed, mass participation competitive event based on finishing time - true 'Gran Fondo' style
• 120km of fully closed roads on the iconic Great Ocean Road
• Open to all rider levels with staggered starting times - safety first
• Age group and team prize money and awards
• Qualify for the 2013 UCI World Cycling Tour World Championships (UWCT Final)
• Limited field of participants for 2012
For my hard earned cash, that's all I get. Food, accommodation, travel and insurance is all extra. There is no t-shirt, jersey, discounted food or local accommodation wrapped up in the registration. Just the above.
To break it down into a monetary perspective, I decided to compare registration costs associated with some international Gran Fondo events. Here is what I discovered:
To ride Tour of Flanders - €35 (AUD$45)
To ride Lake Tapoe NZ - $99 (AUD$78)
UCI approved event also.
To ride Etape du Tour, France - €95 + €5 ins (AUD$128)
Two dates & two routes to choose from! Completely closed course also.
Ride organisers can surely do so much better, and make it even more attractive for people to jump onto events. We seem to get completely soaked and ripped off in this beautiful country!! Why?
Footnote: I'm reserving my decision to register. Still weighing up the cost of it all.
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I would like to point out my beer choices are not cheap.
Belgium would be the best choice, although in a pinch I do like Coopers Dark Ale
Would another spin on this be it is not the riding that costs too much but all the add-ons that are included?
After all closed roads, sag wagons and having access to professional mechanics all increase costs.
How much people want to put their brains in nutral while they are on holidays would be a personal thing
Audax Australia offer the Eastern 123 this is a 100,150 200 or 300 Km ride on the 5/12/2012 for a cost of $15
It starts at 7:00 am at Joslin Contact: Glen Thompson Tel: 08 8271 3500 Email: email@example.com
But you wont get a jersey or a warm fuzzy feeling about some charity.
You also probably wont get a large number of Mr and Ms Wobbly who struggle to ride their bike in a straight line and think anything over a 2% gradient for 50m it tough.
All I can say about the Audax mob is beware the old guy with the well worn bike.
He may well ride it more Km per year than many people drive their cars.