First of all well done to all who completed the grand slam 3 today,it was a hilly ride and tested some of you. On that note i ask should there be a cut off time in which to complete the full distance?
On the way back from cape jervis as i passed through normanville i came across riders from the grand slam on lap 2 , it was 4PM ! Now i know you are going to all say " we dont all ride as quick as you ,or they may have had a problem but this aside spare a thought for the volunteers who have been on the go since 5 or 6am and need to wait until all riders are safely back, which they willingly do ,these riders ,if we assume started at 8am on lap 1 had been on the go for 8 hours to cover 120km ! If they had started only lap 2 by 10.30am as suggested as the latest start time then thats 5.5hrs to ride 60kms? All i am saying is, should there be a cut off time so the hard working volunteers from bike sa dont have to wait for one or two riders who underestimated how long it would take them. PS no hate mail please !! I will always support any rider who gives it ago but maybe they need some home grown back up on these longer rides.
So, if you're not saying that you think the marshalls have to hang around too long, what are you saying?
saying nothing but asking the question ." should there be a cut-off time " as there is to riders starting loop 2.
And what has prompted you to ask the question?
At any rate, in response to your question, I've proposed an alternative option to cut off times. I'm not saying either 'solution' is wholly correct, I'm just in favour of 'solutions' that provide positive encouragement rather than put people off. While I've never done any of the GS series, I understand they're designed to encourage people to keep riding all year long and to push themselves further with each event. So do we want to encourage or limit people?
BikeSA do a brilliant job as is, they know what they're doing and I take my hat [helmet] off to all their staff and volunteers.
To be all kitsch about it - remember, "change starts with you".
@ juz they are not designed to keep people riding all year long as there are no rides in june or july ( winter) because the weather keeps people away. I now refer you to the comments from mike giffen,who as an actual volunteer , enough said.
Being one of the volunteers on the day, here is my perspective and my comments are purely my thoughts and are not in any way related to BikeSA policies and procedures etc.
Over the course of the last 3 Grand Slams I have fulfilled 3 different roles. GS1 I was a ride marshal, acting as TEC. GS2 I was route support, mainly bringing in route signage. GS3 my kids and I manned the refreshment stop on the first loop at the top of Nettle Hill Rd.
GS1 - as Tail End Charlie I did not leave the start until approx 8:30-8:45 due to a number of riders registering late, shortly after leaving the start I came across a couple with a mechanical issue that took about 10 mins to resolve (pump was jammed on valve). Once sorted we were on our way. As this was the shortest loop (40km) and keeping pace with the slowest riders I didn't get back to the start until just before 12pm. That isn't a problem as the slower riders were only doing loop 1.
GS2 - route support. My main task along with another volunteer was to bring in the route signage as well as be on call for any rider pickups that may be requested (major mech failures). There was no need to leave the start until 9:30 as we would catch up to the last riders quite quickly but again, riders were registering later than the the 8am start time. Back at the start line I gave a 30 minute warning to any riders who hadn't left for Loop 2 that the signage would start to be taken. This warning was given at 12pm. Consequently there were very few riders on the route leading up to the Loop 2 refreshment stop where those volunteers then became SAG.
GS3 - refreshment stop. The kids and I were set up just as the first riders came through (and there were quite a few who left before the official 8am start time). Last rider came by at 11am.
As you have probably noted the main issue I've come across that delays everything is those riders registering late. Yes, Yankalilla is quite a distance away but a friend came from Gawler that morning and made it in time.
The volunteers give what time they have available. Some stay all day (I normally do when I dont have my kids with me to help pack up etc) and some can only give a few hours. There are normally on 3 people who stay from start to finish - Maureen, Ray and Paul the logistics guru. But they will not finish packing up until all riders are in, after all, you pay for the ride and are entitled to food and drink etc.
I think most riders taking part in the Grand Slams know their limitations and can either do both loops comfortably or only do one of the loops. Even so, every rider should take a copy of the route map and route notes (normally printed on the back of route map). These have the emergency BikeSA contact numbers if you get into difficulty and require assistance.
Someone suggested that the next two GS's will be worse for timing due to the distances involved. Yes it will be an issue, hence that is why GS5 starts a lot earlier
Hi Nigel, thank you very much for your insight into the Grandslam.
I would personally like to thank you for help making it happen for all of our enjoyment, we appreciate it very much.
yes, +100 to Nigel and Sam and Catherine for looking after us so well on what would have been a very cold morning for them! i'm sure Sam would have much preferred to be cuddled up with Roxy the kitten, LOL!
@ nigel thanks for your input and all the hrs you put in to help make the grand slams a success
As a fellow volly, couldn't agree more with Nigel. It is not unreasonable that there is a cut off time for starting the event (i.e.30 minutes max after the advertised start time) as well as a communicated cut off time for commencing loop 2. There is, unfortunately, a small minority who think they have the right to start late and/or commence loop two at their lesire. It is wonderful to see people of all ages and skills having a go, but at times it is disappointing to see some who consistently consider that the support should be in place no matter when the start or how long it takes them to complete the event.
I'll be starting the next one two hours early to make sure I get around in time :)