Evans Cycles Ride It! Peaks July 3rd - event review

lanternerouge

Veteran
Location
Leafy Cheshire
Just got back from this event, and thought I would give it a review on here. My friend and I signed up for it as it was rated a 2/4 for both trails and climbing, and we are not very experienced off road riders. It looked like fun.

We got an email at 6pm on Thursday telling us that a mistake had been made and the climbing was actually a 3-4 and the trails a 3. However the email did say

"Really sorry about this, if you are expecting a bimble in the Peaks, take your time and enjoy the scenery, if you were expecting it to be a bit of a challenge with blasting down hills, then enjoy."


When we arrived, a member of staff told us that this was the toughest out of all the Ride It! events, and further that none of the Evans guys had been able to complete the whole thing! Gulp...


Out on the trails we could see why. Everyone was walking up one particular hill and there was a lot of complaining going on! It didn't help that I had a massive off trying to go down a rocky, fast descent - worst one I've ever had actually, blood everywhere! Stopped at the food station to get something for my finger, which I'd almost sliced the end off (!), but the guy at the station only had elastoplasts to offer and said that his first aid kit had "run low". It was a this point we decided to bail out. We went back on the Sett valley trail to New Mills, to find lots of riders who had also bailed out early. When I got back and asked for a first aid kit I was a bit surprised when the organiser complained that he had just started his hamburger!! To be fair though he was very good after that and helped me get my finger patched up.


A few thoughts - this was definitely not suitable for families and kids, I don't know how many were out on the trail. It was also poor about the lack of 1st aid out on the route.


On the plus side, it was well signposted and smoothly organised, with timing chips etc.


Overall though I think a lot of people, us included, didn't enjoy it and found that it was not what they had signed up for. I felt really sorry for two lads who had driven up from Portsmouth to enter on the day, but not had an email and were having a pretty bad experience. I don't expect anyone to stop me going too fast and crashing, ns I know we could always have gone home when told how hard t was, but we had got up and gone up there with all our gear, plus the email was reassuring.... the whole event had the feel of a massive cock-up, and one the staff seemed blithely unconcerned about! I filled out the feedback form to this effect.


Crap event, or am I being unreasonable?
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
I was thinking of riding it, and or the road ride, but there is bugger all details on the web site - e.g. route - would have liked to check it out
 

deanstacey

New Member
Hi, Dean here, the event organiser.

Thanks for the review, I'd just like to respond to a few items you mention about todays ride.

Ride ratings are subjective, trails I can ride others can't, some people can ride trails I can't, so we give a rating to rides that we would suit think the average rider. Sometimes we get this wrong both ways. This change in rating, however, was not one of these cases, it was a mistake by the person putting the details on the web. I have looked back at what was sent to them and there was a whole section highlighted in red about the suitability of this event for families, even offering up-lifts to those who wanted them. This was not on the site and the ratings were both put at 2 instead of the 3-4 that they are. We run 24 weekends a year and I have to admit to not spotting this in the proofreading. As soon as this was spotted we could have decided not to mention it and hope no-one noticed, but I don't hide from mistakes. I sent everyone who had pre-entered an e-mail explaining the mistake and that the grades had changed and why.For those that did not pre-enter we posted on both our blogs that the grades had changed. Some people asked for a refund which we happily did. From this point on you should have been expecting it to be tougher than a 2 as you had been told it was a 3-4, the hardest we do as the scale only goes to 4!

So, yes we got it wrong, but we did tell everyone as much as we could in the time we had.


I was as suprised as you about the first aid kit at the drink station as we had 3 fully equiped ones at the event centre. I have had words and there is now one of these on the course with the marshal.

I do take exception to your comments about the fact I "complained" that I had just got my burger. I actaually found it quite funny. I hadn't eaten all day and treated myself to a cheesburger with a healthy topping of ketchup, taken one bite and the next thing you are asking for first aid as you have a bloody finger. I think I said something along the lines of " Typical, I've just got a burger" with a smile on my face. Hardly a complaint.

A bit subjective again, but you sliced the bit of skin off the end of your finger, the "end" your finger wasn't nearly sliced off.

There were some people had a bad day due to the mis-grade of the route I can't argue with that, but the overall view we had was that it was a fantastic route in stunning scenery. As with all our events people changed routes due to the subjectiveness of the grades, time constraints etc. so not every one who cut the ride short was due to the mis-grade. Yes it's true that the guys putting out the route had to walk up some of the climbs, they are not cycling gods. Sometimes a push is rewarded with a nice view and a great descent, so it's worth the effort.

I would like to mention the 6 lads who went out to do the short ride, missed the split sign and did the whole route and came back having had a great time, despite having a few tumbles and even running each other over! This time I wasn't eating a burger when I handed him a wipe :-)

Thanks
Dean
 

deanstacey

New Member
Hi Fossyant,

The reason we only publish a general route on our website and not the definative one is two fold.

One, we only confirm the routes a few days before the ride when the course in put out. If we had published routes and there were changes then we'd have to change them or riders would turn up with set ideas about where they were going only to find they aren't! This is the case with the general ones that we say are "only an indication" so if we post a detailed map and it changes then the problem will only get worse.

Two, we like to change the routes from year to year if we can. We do 24 events a year, roughly every two weeks, and there simply isn't enough time for me to produce new maps and post them on the web in the week I have between finishing one and gearing up for the next, especially if there is the possibility of a change and the maps being obsolete.

Hope this explains why we don't publish the details you were after.

Ta
Dean
 

ChrisBD

New Member
Welscome to the forum Dean, its good to hear what goes on in the make up of these events.

I've not riden in one myself but do hope to make the Cotswolds run next month; both days if I'm luck as the start/fin location is only a matter of minutes from me.
 
OP
OP
lanternerouge

lanternerouge

Veteran
Location
Leafy Cheshire
Fair play on some of that Dean, as you said some of it is subjective and no doubt coloured a bit by the pain of my scrapes from my off.

Also think the conclusion to my first post perhaps does not reflect the balance I tried to use in the rest of the post. It wasn't a crap event. Had it been me though, I would have altered the route to fit the published grade - that would have avoided complaints, refunds etc.

It was unfortunate and you must be frustrated at someone else's mistake. Look at it from our point of view though, my friend and I had been planning on coming on it for ages, you change it at the last minute but effectively say on the email that it can be bimbled round, lots of people on the course thought that wasn't the case. Just something to learn from and move on I would say. Kudos to you for coming on here and fronting up though.

Oh yeah, I've had to have my finger amputated by the way* :wacko:
 

deanstacey

New Member
Hi.

Thanks for the reply, I appreciate your comment that it wasn't a crap event :tongue:

There were several reasons why we couldn't change the course, lack of easy trails, maps alread printed ( typically this is the only event we print before setting out the course as we camp at this event and there's no electricity to run the printer until 30mins before the event at the school ) and we know the routes we use.

I can see how the bimble coment could be taken the way you did, but that wasn't the way I intended it to sound. What I meant to imply was that if you thought you were coming to a grade 2 event and expecting an easy ride, it's not going to be that but you could still come along, take your time, do the ride and have a day in the saddle. Guess I should think a bit more about the wording infuture!!

Talking of which, the descripition will be totally re-written for next year...

They only amputated your finger? I was thinking the whole hand was a goner :biggrin:

Cheers
Dean
 
OP
OP
lanternerouge

lanternerouge

Veteran
Location
Leafy Cheshire
Thanks Dean. I will be back next year with a better idea of what to expect and a healthier respect for peak district rock! Things look much better with a couple of days' perspective on them as is usually the case...

Cheers

LR
 
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