|Your Name||Timestamp||How good / useful was the web site and the communication prior to the ride?||What if anything would you suggest to improve future web sites||How satisfied were you with the way the Tour was managed before the start?||What if anything would you suggest to improve tour management prior to the event in the future||How complete was the equipment checklist provided in advance?||What if anything would you suggest to improve future checklists||How did you find the Accommodation?||Were you happy with room sharing arrangements?||Should ride design have been the primary determinant of the location of our accomodation ??||Do you think you snore ?||Do you think your snoring might disturb others ?||Should people who have snoring issues be asked to share with one another ?||Should people who have snoring issues be asked to pay for a single room ?||How would you rate the evening meals?||How effective was the construct of each day into sub-stages with coffee/lunch/tea stops?||Did you feel adequately supported by Support Team?||Did you feel adequately supported by fellow riders?||Were the group ability differences managed appropriately?||Was the Tour good value for money?||How did you find riding arrangements and your experience in respect of group riding/ buddy system/lone riding?||In your opinion were the dates/time year suited to the riding demands?||Did the ride meet (or exceed) your expectations in terms of cycling challenge and overall experience?||If a similar challenge were available next year, would you consider participating in it?||What if anything would you suggest to improve the way each day is planned||What if anything would you suggest to improve the management of different ability groups|
|Brian Waters||04/10/2012 10:46:00||Very Good||An element that sets expectations about keeping to times, no dially dallying etc. so that when folks get the hurry up they are expecting it||Very Satisfied||see above||Very Complete||Not everyone seemed to have 'full' all-day wet weather jackets which is vital in low temps etc.||Good||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||Good||Good||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Worked well for me buddied with Roger||Yes||Yes||Yes||Marco - we talked about this, on super tough days a broom wagon approach could be na option||Managing abilities leads to compromise in enjoyment of the ride leader and so if a tour is 'A' grade in terms of toughness some entry criteria might have to be applied|
|Mark Burgin||04/10/2012 10:51:12||Good||I think I probably gave too much detail too soon on the website for some. I was surprised by how little knowledge people had at the outset in Thonon despite the fact that there were extensive details on the site.||Satisfied||Complete||More about likely range of temperature||Average||I think for some having to share with a noisy sleeper was an issue||Yes||No||No||Probably although my experience is that they object||I think they should volunteer to do so||Average||Good||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||I found my riding compromised by a continual nagging concern that some riders didn't have a clear plan of how they were going to manage their day on the bike and the timing thereof. |
I was surprised to find people not wearing a watch and therefore not knowing how they were doing against their plan.
Yet on the other had I found Adam, Brian and others massive team players willing to guide, help and support.
I fear still that some didn't realise just how fast the whole thing could have gone very very wrong. When it goes wrong my experience is that it is usually as series of little things that individually don't make a huge difference, but collectively mean you are boxed into a corner with very compromised choices.
For instance that day we climbed the final Col I was stressed that the weather might be poor on the top, we were high and it was late season so I knew we have to be a the lunch stop by 12:00 to have a good chunk of daylight to get over the top and onto the descent with time in hand for an incident to be managed before darkness fell. I guess I knew that most of the riders got it, but I felt that some thought I had become Hitler reincarnated!
|No||Yes||Yes||Insist that everyone who is joining a tour has done a significant amount of Club riding first. I was terrified by some of the group riding, by the lack of ability to self support that some exhibited - I consider this to be a massive home goal that I could have avoided. Whilst ability differentials are problematic in the mountains, they don't concern me nearly as much as basic competences in group riding and the ability to self suport.|
|Steve Shaw||04/10/2012 11:25:03||Very Good||Maybe an main info/update page with dated updates? So the emails sent with varying details during the build-up could be also placed onto the site and looked at easily by all, in date order!||Very Satisfied||The rider meeting at the pub was really positive. I think another one of those would have been helpful at some point as some of the logistics could be offered up for discussion? Not that they were not excellently dealt with, but perhaps others could input with any bright ideas.||OK||As a novice, I failed to bring some essentials. But then again thats down to the rider to come prepared...||Good||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||Mixed results||Average||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Ultimately its difficult not to ride to your own level/goals and as a result the buddy system can quickly become ineffective, although it naturally gets replaced along the road as people find themselves together. I dont think you can avoid the support teams role in that respect; the sight of Graham 2/3 way up the Courmet d'Roseland was one I will never forget - I was bonking and he had supplies. We also had a fab tyre change on way down from Iseran because the support team were in range behind us the leading group. Fantastic.||Yes||Yes||Yes||I think it proved difficult to stick to plan because of the ability gap. Plans effectively got shelved as riders arrived in dribs and drabs at stops. Having different set-off times (as last day) was the best way of dealing with that and it meant the lunch stop happened pretty well with most people together and getting a proper recovery which was lacking on some days for the slower riders. Coffee stops should be group dependant rather than whole team, with arriving at lunch together being the priority over making/rushing coffee stops. Such an arrangement would also make it easier for the support crew.||I say yes because what happened was difficult to predict, and I also found it strange that some people expected to be led about all day but perhaps that's the way it is! In hindsight, I do think running two ability groups would help although group leaders need to be assigned appropriately so a leader with climbing ability doesn't have to sit with slower riders all day.|
|Graham Hemmings||04/10/2012 12:40:25||Very Good||Very Satisfied||Perhaps find someone else to share the work load with (Events co ordinator)||Complete||Good||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Only If it is agreeable by both||Unsure||Good||Very Good||Can't answer this!||Can't really answer this!||Yes||Yes||N/A||Yes||Yes||Yes||After the Valloire experience we need pre planned alternatives ....otherwise it can get quite costly.||Depending on size of party perhaps have two ability groups with designated ride leader.|
|Adam Denton||04/10/2012 14:12:08||Very Good||All seemed fairly comprehensive to me.||Very Satisfied||All worked pretty seamlessly||Complete||I packed everything anyway and covered all eventualities I could think of. Not sure I had much that wasn't on the list and I think I had everything on it||Good||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||No||Good||Very Good||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Maybe a little random! Riding with Pete over Col du Pre and with Pete and Steve over Col do Bonette the buddy system worked well for me. Other times I was riding alone (but in front of others) which worked well for me but I am not sure how others felt about it. Mine sweeping Charlie up from the road on the way to Val D was a worry - only because I would have expected him to be with a buddy and he wasn't.||Yes||Yes||Yes||I thought it worked better at this time of year with support at the bottom and the top of hills as you could layer up for the desents. general structure if the day worked well though||I may be best if there is an allocated sweeper on each day to help anyone struggling. Pete Ross and I did this on one day, I know Marco did this a few time too and I suspect Brian and others did too.|
|Paul Rosher||04/10/2012 17:51:19||Very Good||Very Satisfied||Very Complete||Average||had my own room great.||No||No||No||No||Yes||Good||Good||Yes||not for the first 2 days||Yes||Yes||No buddy system for the first two days. but later there was.||No||Yes||No||time to take some photos would be better.||two groups are needed or may be three. Spent the first two days on my own.|
|Roger Scott||04/10/2012 20:45:07||Very Good||Possibly include broad guidelines about the level of fitness/experience/ability necessary to successfully do the ride and to fit in with the group.||Very Satisfied||We tried to give information/advise about gearing but this was done rather informally, perhaps it could be provided in a more structured way. Charles, Paul and even Steve Shaw (who only had a 26 sprocket) would have benefited from lower gears.||Very Complete||Very Good||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||Good||Very Good||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||The riding arrangements worked extremely well for me. I never rode alone. Most of the time I was with my buddy, Brian, but Brian and I also rode a lot with Peter Davis and, as ever, I spent a fair amount of time on Marco's wheel. I also felt comfortable and enjoyed the times (eg the prologue) when the whole party rode together.I never felt stressed or under unacceptable pressure as I was never the last man on the road.It was also good for me that I never had to ride alone and therefore always enjoyed great companionship and the comfort of knowing I had someone with me in the event of mishaps.||No||Yes||Yes||The pre ride briefing I gave each day could and should have been much better. In retrospect I realise I should have spoken against the background of the ride profile for the day. Ideally this would be on a screen behind me but more realistically I could have given each rider a piece of paper showing the profile and I should then have built my briefing around that plan/map of the profile.||Although it was not used as much as I had anticipated, I believe the buddy system has many benefits. Brian and I agreed to buddy and we always kept together except on a few occasions when, after discussion, we agreed that as he was feeling strong, Brian would go ahead leaving me to ride with slower riders.The biggest thing to avoid is the slowest rider in the party being left to ride alone off the back. If he has a buddy this should not happen.|
On mountains it is better that people stay with their buddy and with riders of similar ability rather than with riders significantly above or below their ability.
|Rob Lockley||04/10/2012 22:32:29||Very Good||I can't think of anything - I thought the website was excellent and the key information of distance, profile and amount of climbing was all very clear (even for the day to Val D'Isere!)||Very Satisfied||I may have missed it but a clear list of the supplies in the van would be helpful.||Complete||Remind the non Shimano rebels to be self sufficient in terms of spares and tools||Very Good||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||Good||Very Good||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Sub stages were a great way of regrouping. I did most of the climbs on my own as I climb much slower than everyone else but I generally prefer to climb at my own pace so that suited me||The weather in the high mountains is a lottery but I think we may have been better off 1 or 2 weeks earlier||Yes||Yes||I think it would be great to have a couple of printed copies of the map and profile for each sub-stage bound up into a "course bible" that could be consulted at breakfast and stops - just to remind people of what lies ahead|
|Pete Ross||05/10/2012 08:24:07||Very Good||Very Satisfied||Maybe a few more social events in advance.||Complete||Very Good||Yes||Yes||No||No||Probably good idea best to deal with on individual basis||dont think we ought to enter that debate, what constitutes unreasonable snoring.||Good||Good||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Felt I had the flexibility to achieve what I wanted and remain supported at all times.||Maybe a week or two earlier but once school holidays have finished.||Yes||Yes||Good route plans with||I think the approach taken provided a fair degree of flexibility for all abilities.|
|Peter Davies||05/10/2012 11:50:13||Very Good||The website was excellent - all the information was there.||Very Satisfied||Perhaps another social a couple of weeks before the Tour would have led to more discussion about groups / buddies||Complete||Nothing to add||Good||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||Good||Very Good||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Difficult to comment due to the stomach issues which affected the group through the week and caused riders more "tough days" than would be usual. Notwithstanding that, given the way the club operates the weekend rides, I suppose I went into the week expecting there to be more group riding. On some of the long climbs, especially the Bourg to Val d'Isere section and the Bonnette, there were sole riders strung out along the mountain, I suspect not what was intended.||Probably a little late in the calendar for weather but everywhere was wonderfully quiet!||Yes||Yes||Overall planning was very good. Not sure how easy to produce but a small waterproofed card with the profile for each day would have been useful. I copied the profiles to my iPhone but this is not that easiest to read. The route change on the Galibier day made the very best of a difficult situation. However, when time becomes tight as on the Izoard, consideration could be given to using one support vehicle as a broom wagon and putting the other at the top of the climb for a while. Everyone then has a fair crack at the climb||Rather than a buddy system, split into 2 (or possibly 3 groups if there is a range of abilities) with ride leaders for the day. Needs flexibility through the week and maybe within the day to cater for the inevitable spells of fatigue or illness. My best climb was the Izoard with Brian when we were under a little time pressure but we deliberately stopped for a minute or so a couple of times to top up properly on water and food. Made a huge difference but not sure if this is the done thing?|
|Peter Cantor||05/10/2012 17:35:20||Very Good||Very Satisfied||Complete||I am glad I threw in my winter gear - little things like bringing winter gloves - full booties - to be clear summer at top of mountain can be same as a January club ride.||Good||No||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||Good||Good||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||See comments above on riding abilities. I think it was fine on an informal basis. There was one particular afternoon I was glad of company on final climb but then I also waited with a fellow rider who had a puncture to make sure they got back up and running OK. I think it would be worth agreeing up front the ground rules in advance with whole party. IMO the use of group riding/buddy systems was somewhat ad hoc.||Yes||Yes||Yes||Good in advance. The leaving at set times everyday worked really well in morning. I think the same could be done at coffee/lunch/tea. Not in advance but on arrival at stop. There were times when arriving in second wave everyone else set off 5 mins later. Knowing that main group is off at x o'clock would allow decision - do I forego/make stop short or I need 20 mins so catch up later.||I dont think it needs as much management as was deemed necessary. What defines ability? Some people rouleurs, punchers, climbers, descenders all rounders. Speed is also a personal choice - level of effort, time you want to smell roses on way through vs test your fitness. Then there is health dynamic - there were days when some people were riding with chronic stomach pains which massivelt affected riding stamina and speed. If the premise of tour is self sufficiency (and a holiday) then I'd prefer less reference to "strong", "weak" labels etc.|