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'm glad someone else stated the truth. Most of these charities paid their executives huge salaries while their charities suffer. It should be law that your entry must state how much of the money goes to the charity.
There were a few reasons why I was dubious about entering Amy's Gran Fondo this year. The price has pretty much sealed the decision against. I'd still love to do it once on that route. Maybe next year...
I've managed a couple of years of Spring/Summer riding now and ticked a few "must do" rides off the list. I suspect I will become more selective about paid rides over coming years though.
While I can understand people being disappointed that with some charities a lot goes on "administration"
But is 10% of something more than 100% of nothing?
Are people who participate in these rides more interested in the ride and the social aspect or the charity?
I believe that 10% of something is better than nothing. However when 90% of funds raised is siphoned off for 'Administrative costs', including HUGE salaries for some, then people should be aware of that. If CCSA, for example was honest then they would inform that only 10% of any money raised goes to what they advertise as 'their cause'. Some of the salaries of people in this particular "Charity", are disgusting. And their ethics leave a lot to be desired.
There are Charities whose staff work for NOTHING. They usually are not high profile as they can not afford to spend any funds on advertising. Just my opinion - and knowledge, of course.
I was disappointed to have missed the inaugural Gran Fondo last year, but couldn't really justify it after having just finished riding from Pt Augusta to Wentworth with Sarah, Chewie, and the Cycle for Hope team. So, when registrations opened this morning, Sarah and I are in! Pretty excited about it too. Yes, some will say it's expensive, but it just means we have to choose what rides we join in on, rather than doing them all.
I like the idea of getting to ride along the GOR with no traffic! Like Belinda said, insurance for events costs so much, and yes, volunteers are awesome at events, and I have volunteered at a number of different ones, but we're still not free. Volunteers still need insurance, training, often times branded clothing of some kind, meals, drinks etc. Then the cost of traffic management to close the road off will be huge too.
I don't mind this price for an experience, and that's what I look at this as, and that's what I am paying for.
Added bonus of course is that the AGF will get some benefit from it too, and we do love the work that Mary and the team do.
Also being closed roads they need to pay an amount to the Police to assist with the event.
I did the Grand Fondo last year and will do it again this year. Even though it cost me a bit once you add travel, accomidation, food and the like its still a great weekend away with my mates.
For that coin you could join Adealide Moutnain bike club and do a couple of races - mtb or cx. Its the way i look at it.
It's not really all that hard. If you want to do a long group ride you can always organise a wwekender with a few mates such as The Clare valley w/end that AVO is organising. I made the mistake of going on all the big rides over summer and then couldn't afford BikeSA membership or the Grand Slam series, both good value for money, next summer will be differant.
@ Clive....hear you Clive...definitely ther BSA grand slam series is probably the best value for money series anywhere....those rides are so good fun especially if you ride there and back as well :)
Clive, I also have to concur that BSA membership and GS series rides are a must! Definite value for money!