sportive - why the cost?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Dave W
Posts: 1483
Joined: 18 Jul 2012, 4:17pm

sportive - why the cost?

Postby Dave W » 5 May 2015, 10:39pm

I see there is a Wiltshire Sportive ride on 9th May. I quite fancied doing it .......... until I saw the entrance fee of £30. Why do they cost so much - anyone know?

ChrisF
Posts: 347
Joined: 22 Mar 2014, 7:34pm

Re: sportive - why the cost?

Postby ChrisF » 5 May 2015, 11:26pm

If you are comparing Sportive costs with Audax costs, I think (ironically perhaps) it's because of numbers. An Audax event (for up to a 100 or so riders) can be just about run with local club volunteers. When the numbers get higher (much higher for some Sportives) the logistics of providing everything required (and extra things like electronic timing equipment) just make it impossible to be run with only 'amateur' volunteers: people need to be paid for many tasks, hence the costs rocket.
p.s. forecast for the 9th is not good, so I wouldn't bother for this one!
Chris F, Cornwall

beardy
Posts: 3382
Joined: 23 Feb 2010, 4:10pm

Re: sportive - why the cost?

Postby beardy » 5 May 2015, 11:37pm

p.s. forecast for the 9th is not good, so I wouldn't bother for this one!


That advice may be heeded by Sportive riders but those of us who are booked in for an Audax will be there regardless.*

* I would have added an emoticom but emoticoms fail me for this sentiment. Is there a soggy wet and miserable but carrying on regardless smilie?

Shuggie
Posts: 118
Joined: 21 Aug 2009, 7:38pm

Re: sportive - why the cost?

Postby Shuggie » 6 May 2015, 6:18am


eileithyia
Posts: 7867
Joined: 31 Jan 2007, 6:46pm
Location: Horwich Which is Lancs :-)

Re: sportive - why the cost?

Postby eileithyia » 6 May 2015, 7:23am

You get 'free' rag to clean your bike / sorry t-shirt to commemorate the event. 'Free' food in the form fruit / energy bars / gels / drinks... the packets of which you can then drop around the countryside as you use them....
A charity allegedly gets most of the money but considerably more disappears into the event coffers....

Audax; far more user friendly, proper cafes and food (ok you have to buy your own in most events but at least you have choice), cheaper and if you want you can put some money into the charity of your choice.

Cynic? Moi? Never!
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

freeflow
Posts: 1209
Joined: 29 Aug 2011, 1:54pm

Re: sportive - why the cost?

Postby freeflow » 6 May 2015, 7:38am

It's interesting how the cost of sportives has increased over the past five years or so. 'Event' companies realised there was money to be made and that your average sportive rider was effectively a cash cow, particularly if there was a 'charity' theme to the ride.

I finally gave up on them after feeling ripped off on the 2013 Wiggle Dragon ride. £55 for an entry, then three of the four feed stops had run out of energy drink. Then I discovered Audax.

User avatar
easyroller
Posts: 523
Joined: 27 Feb 2012, 8:05am
Location: Berkshire

Re: sportive - why the cost?

Postby easyroller » 6 May 2015, 7:56am

There's the extra cost (over AUDAX) of advertising the events, then having to stock and man feed stations, plus have people put up and take down the signs, broom wagon, then of course the "free" goodie bag with t-shirt and medal, etc.

But of course the real answer is that the point of most Sportives is to make money! :wink:


(apparently EVANS CYCLES just break even with their Sportives, the aim being to build brand recognition and loyalty)

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 17913
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: sportive - why the cost?

Postby Vorpal » 6 May 2015, 8:20am

£30 isn't a high fee, and probably doesn't cover more than costs, including the signs, food & drink, rent for the sign-on point (and showers?), petrol for volunteers who marshal, put up signs, etc. It appears to be organised by BC (probably a volunteer) and the council. It's possible that the council are providing facilities, btu then some of the money is probably going to pay someone to come open up and clean, etc.

IMO, fees that are £30 and under are quite reasonable for the type of event. Some such events have much higher fees. Or 'required' minimum fund raising amounts.

But anyone who thinks the fees are excessive can either not do the event, or just ride the route without paying or registering times.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

andrewjoseph
Posts: 1420
Joined: 17 Nov 2009, 10:48am
Location: near Afan

Re: sportive - why the cost?

Postby andrewjoseph » 6 May 2015, 10:12am

I'm happy to pay the fees of some sportifs, I especially like the tour of wessex. I'm trying to do the three shortest rides this year.

There's something about the vibe of some events, not something you get when riding the same route on your own.

I'm excited to do the cardiff velothon, mainly because it's a closed road event and i've never done one before.

But it is your choice.
--
Burls Ti Tourer for tarmac
Saracen aluminium full suss for trails.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 15019
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: sportive - why the cost?

Postby mjr » 6 May 2015, 10:18am

Vorpal wrote:But anyone who thinks the fees are excessive can either not do the event, or just ride the route without paying or registering times.

I've done that mainly because my clothing is not acceptable to sportive organisers. Trouble is, the routes usually suck (they're a long way to go nowhere fast and see almost nothing on the way) but the warning signs, marshals and number of sports cyclists can make it more fun to ride certain sections of major road that would be deeply cycling-hostile in ordinary traffic.

I still prefer KLWNBUG's freewheeling group rides like the Snowdrops, the Rose Fair or the Autumn Colours rides, or other people's relaxed rides like the Reach Ride just gone (850ish on a Cambridge Cycling Campaign ride) or the Samaritans Ride (Sandringham Visitor Centre on 17th May). Yes, there is something different about riding in a group, but riding at 13mph average among sportspeople doesn't add much for me over riding at 10mph in mixed company.
Last edited by mjr on 6 May 2015, 11:01am, edited 1 time in total.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

whoof
Posts: 2063
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 2:13pm

Re: sportive - why the cost?

Postby whoof » 6 May 2015, 10:38am

mjr wrote:I've done that mainly because my clothing is not acceptable to sportive organisers. .

Could you expand of this?

In answer to the original post if an event is run by volunteers (Audax) it will cost less than one run by a commercial company or a charity looking to make money.

Most people have someone that they are willing to spend money on that other find excessively expensive. I don't see the point of spending hundreds of pounds on a television when you can get one for nothing.
Last edited by Graham on 22 May 2015, 7:58am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Quoting corrected

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 15019
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: sportive - why the cost?

Postby mjr » 6 May 2015, 11:00am

whoof wrote:
mjr wrote:I've done that mainly because my clothing is not acceptable to sportive organisers. .


Could you expand of this?

Not without dumping us into the h*lm*t forum ;-)

Few Audaxes have that problem but they usually start too early for me to get to them from here.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

beardy
Posts: 3382
Joined: 23 Feb 2010, 4:10pm

Re: sportive - why the cost?

Postby beardy » 6 May 2015, 11:52am

mjr wrote:
whoof wrote:
mjr wrote:I've done that mainly because my clothing is not acceptable to sportive organisers. .


Could you expand of this?

Not without dumping us into the h*lm*t forum ;-)

Few Audaxes have that problem but they usually start too early for me to get to them from here.


I didnt think that any Audaxes had that problem.

Dave W
Posts: 1483
Joined: 18 Jul 2012, 4:17pm

Re: sportive - why the cost?

Postby Dave W » 6 May 2015, 6:04pm

We used to do a fair few British Heart Foundation rides a few years back - nice relaxed rides with good company. Problem was once you'd done one - you exhausted your sponsors wallets on the first ride, it then meant donating your own funds or feel dreadfully guilty for not raising more.

User avatar
foxyrider
Posts: 4717
Joined: 29 Aug 2011, 10:25am
Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Re: sportive - why the cost?

Postby foxyrider » 6 May 2015, 7:02pm

I ride a few sportives and prices do prevent me riding more. There were @ 6000 riders riding the Tour de Yorkshire Ride on Sunday - that's a lot of dosh at £40 a head it has to be said! on the other hand there were ample toilet facilities at all the stops, mechanics, timed sections, photographers, 'free' food and drink, mobile marshals, broom wagon service, oh and a gong! The extra charity thing was optional in this case.

Even with support from councils and event 'partners' doing catering etc you can't expect stuff for free. There are hidden costs, insurance springs to mind, staff to process entries, print and post out paperwork, yes even advertising. I'm sure there is a magic number of participants where events break even and go into profit, the best events I've ridden haven't always been the most expensive.

I paid out on a BHF event a few years ago and was not impressed, stupid rules regarding compulsory stop times, no food supplied, no toilet facilities at most stops and no mechanical backup. I won't ride another.

You don't have to enter them but please Vorpal, don't encourage people to 'jump in' on organised events - even the very friendly event I did in Germany a fortnight ago now has to have officials checking everyone taking the food etc has paid for the privilege. The roads are free of course, most of the time you can ride where you like but I'm sure most would agree that uninvited freeloading isn't very friendly or fair to those who have paid their money.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!