Audax: Free controls

Discussion in 'Audax, Brevet and Randonnee' started by Dogtrousers, 7 Jun 2017.

  1. smutchin

    smutchin Cat 6 Racer

    Location:
    The Red Enclave
    My 200 that I'm organising in September has three info controls. They all have exactly the same question - I'm rather proud of that.

    (Each has a different answer, of course. And the answer will be immediately apparent as you ride past - no stopping and hunting for tiny signs etc.)
     
    jiberjaber and Dogtrousers like this.
  2. smutchin

    smutchin Cat 6 Racer

    Location:
    The Red Enclave
    The biggest challenge would be extracting the tracks from every rider's GPS device in a compatible format, then uploading them to the AUK validation app. It would be a time-consuming process, to say the least.
     
  3. smutchin

    smutchin Cat 6 Racer

    Location:
    The Red Enclave
    jiberjaber and Dogtrousers like this.
  4. PpPete

    PpPete Guru

    Location:
    Chandler's Ford
    Submitting via a third party site is probably a non-starter.
    As has been amply demonstrated with route planning sites - the algorithms can get changed with no notice, rendering the output next to useless.

    OTH we've also shown with our own software used to validate DIYs by GPS (+ more recently Perms too) that there are nearly as many ways to 'break the system' as there are riders wanting to use it.

    Still - we've learned some valuable lessons which will feed into the upcoming "system refresh".
    GPS validation of calendar events is still somewhere over the horizon though. After all we're still seeing the tail-end of the "send two C5 SAEs" with your cheques as a means of entry to events.
     
  5. Sea of vapours

    Sea of vapours Über Member

    I'd not envisaged that being done at the arrivee. I'd also not envisaged that everyone would use gps proof of passage (though clearly there is a distinct possibility of that becoming the norm). In fact, I wasn't even suggesting that it should happen since I'm perfectly happy doing DIY by GPS and really wouldn't seek to change an existing, functional system for my (minor) benefit.

    If gps were to be allowed for calendar event validation, however, the most practical way of doing it could well be to require those people choosing that option to submit gpx files post event, as per DIY by GPS. If that's more work than validating brevet cards - and I accept that it probably is - a small premium could be charged for using that method rather than using a physical brevet card. I'd personally be happy to pay a couple of pounds in order to avoid the need to stop and buy things I don't want, fiddle with receipts, take out cash I don't need, and carry a lock when I don't want to. (I have no issue with info controls so long as they're 'good' ones, not hidden or absent.)

    Uh oh - and there I was thinking that it currently works pretty well in the most recent iteration, though larger tracklog file size allowance would be nice ;-)
     
  6. Donger

    Donger Convoi Exceptionnel

    Location:
    Quedgeley, Glos.
    If the event has instant validation (i.e you don't have to wait for your brevet card to be approved and posted back to you), then I'd be amazed if a photo of you at the control didn't satisfy the organisers. I usually take a camera, so that's what I'd do.
     
    Dogtrousers likes this.
  7. Aravis

    Aravis No Regret

    Location:
    Gloucester
    When I did my most recent Audax - on a very wet day - I was scrupulously careful with my record keeping and ensuring that everything was protected against the elements. At the finish I produced a perfect set of documents, receipts and all.

    The organiser's first reaction - almost certainly intended to be humorous but somewhat missing the mark - was to question how I'd managed to achieve this.
     
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  8. smutchin

    smutchin Cat 6 Racer

    Location:
    The Red Enclave
    I didn't have any problems with rain on my first ever audax, which was on a warm, dry day. However, I'd been anticipating somewhat different conditions in early March so was wearing a warm winter jersey which made me sweat rather a lot. And I didn't pick up a plastic bag to put my brevet card in, so it was just loose in my jersey pocket...

    By the time I got to the finish, the card had mostly disintegrated. Fortunately, the organiser took pity on me and validated my ride anyway.
     
    Donger likes this.
  9. PpPete

    PpPete Guru

    Location:
    Chandler's Ford
    I wonder how much outcry there might be from the anciens if we issued AUK members with a permanent plastic ID card with QR code - to be scanned with a smart phone by controllers or just at start/finish when any proofs of passage such as receipts/ATM balance slips/ info questions have been checked.
    Non-members or those who forget cards could still use old-fashioned cards, but their validation might not be as swift.

    Once the issues outlined above have been addressed, post-event upload of gpx tracklog seems a good alternative to the dreaded "postal finishes" where you have to mail the organisers your soggy card and a pile of illegible receipts.
     
    Dogtrousers likes this.
  10. youngoldbloke

    youngoldbloke The older I get, the faster I used to be ...

    I'd resist any system that uses gpx validation. I don't use such devices. I like using a route sheet, and a map - anyone remember those?
     
    Donger likes this.
  11. smutchin

    smutchin Cat 6 Racer

    Location:
    The Red Enclave
    Hmmm, I like it. There's definitely something in that idea!

    It occurred to me that you could use a barcode system like that used by parkrun, but I just had a look at it and it's probably prohibitively expensive for individual AUK organisers (mainly the cost of the software licence rather than the hardware) - might be worth considering for big events like LEL though.
    https://www.ers-online.co.uk/p3256/ers-racetime-barcode-based-race-timing-solution
     
  12. Sea of vapours

    Sea of vapours Über Member

    What, you'd resist it as an option? I'd certainly agree that mandating the use of a gps would be a thoroughly unreasonable move (not to mention massively improbable in the medium term at least), but surely you'd not object to other people opting for that mechanism?
     
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  13. YukonBoy

    YukonBoy Guru

    Location:
    Mars
    LEL already has a bar code scanning setup ready this time round or have you seen something I haven't ?
     
    Last edited: 9 Jun 2017
  14. smutchin

    smutchin Cat 6 Racer

    Location:
    The Red Enclave
    No, I didn't know that. :okay:
     
  15. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    Wouldn't any such info control be worthless now Street View and Streetside exists?
     
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