After the ride

I’ll be the first to acknowledge we live in a brave new world post pandemic and there are a lot of new, or at least different, things to do during and after a ride. Having said that, the “good old days” of showing up, plunking down your $5, signing a waiver and getting your brevet card and cue sheet are gone for good so it’s time to face that reality and adapt to the changes.

I’m currently spending 5-10 hours minimum processing ride results. This is in addition to the 2-3 hours minimum I spend pleading for waivers, getting people to actually fill out their registration or waiver correctly (no, you really can’t have yourself as an emergency contact and no, you can’t just sign at the bottom without entering any other information), sending reminders about payment, etc., before the ride.

Post ride activities include:

  • Sending reminders to people to submit their results.
  • Sending additional emails trying to get their results so I can actually use them (Strava or ridewithgps links marked private, photos illegible, …)
  • Trying to figure out arrival times at controls and overall ride times using photos and gpx tracks
  • Downloading applications because people send me things in the wrong formats (gpx files rather than Strava/ridewithgps links, .fit files, etc)

Astonishingly, I have better things to do with my time.

Effective immediately, this is what you need to do in order to have your ride certified:

  1. Give me the requested documentation and nothing else:
    • A link to a Strava or ridewithgps entry containing your ride.
      • Your privacy settings must be such that I am able to access the file.
    • Timestamped photos of yourself at each of the controls including the start and finish control.
      • Ideally, you can upload these photos to Strava or ridewithgps. This will show where the photos were taken in the resulting file and makes it easy for me to see they were taken at the control.
    • It’s simple and easy to do both but either of the above alternatives is acceptable by itself.
  2. Get it to me no later than 72 hours after the ride.

Easy huh? Some time four days or later after the ride I’ll go through the results I’ve received and enter them. I won’t send reminders, I won’t download apps, I won’t accept screenshots of your Strava, I won’t accept photos of your Garmin, I don’t want receipts.

If I’ve not received the proper documentation from you by the time I am ready to enter the data I’ll mark your ride as DNF.

I know some people don’t use Strava/ridewithgps. Some people don’t have smart phones. Fine. Use your digital point and shoot and take a photo of yourself (make sure the date/time settings on the camera are correct) and send them to me.

Some people are concerned about privacy or don’t want to make their Strava/ridewithgps public. Cool. You can have an unlimited number of Strava or ridewithgps accounts. Create one just for brevets. Use a fake name. Make everything publicly accessible and only use it to upload your brevet rides. Send the link to me. It’ll be our little secret.

I know things are different and there’s a learning curve. If you’re concerned as to whether or not you’ve gotten it right, say so in your email to me with your results and I’ll send you an acknowledgement as to whether or not everything is OK. What I WON’T do is send reminders, help you debug your computer, download applications, etc.

Although the medium has changed this is just the last step in completing a brevet as has always been the case. It has always been the responsibility of the rider to insure they documented their ride accurately and correctly and submitted results in a timely manner.

I appreciate your help in letting me certify your results.