Cafes as Audax controls

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
whoof
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Cafes as Audax controls

Postby whoof » 21 May 2019, 10:11am

Just thought that I would canvas opinion regarding using café receipts as Audax controls.

I do the odd Audax and they have various forms of control. A volunteer sitting at a café, information point, a receipt of some form in that town (might be a balance check at an ATM) or a receipt of purchase at a specific café.

I am appreciative of organisers and volunteers giving up their time so others can ride and I've organised and volunteered on many cycling events myself over the years. I always seek out the control at a café and on the odd occasion I have not completed an Audax have let the organiser know so that the control checker doesn't sit waiting for me right up until the time limit.

Information controls are merely a case of recording what a pub is called, straight forward.

However, with receipts I'm not always wanting to stop and have a coffee or something to eat at that time. I don't mind having something at a café at some point I usually have a meal approximately halfway around but I might not want something after say 50 km.
If I can have any receipt it's usually OK I can buy a banana at Tesco and eat it later or as above get a cash point receipt. But when the café is isolated and that's where you need a receipt I have found I turn up and there's a long queue. At the weekend I queued at a Garden Centre café for 15 minutes (not on an Audax) for my order to be taken. Add on preparing the food/drink and then consuming it it can be the thick end of 1/2 an hour for something I didn't really want in the first place and there can be multiple such controls on a single event.

I know an Audax isn't a race and it's not that I'm concerned with getting around as fast as possible, in fact this probably affects the slower riders more. If you are fast you're in first, no queue and out again. If you are near that back of the riding then you are also at the back of the queue which could be a problem if you need to be riding rather that queuing at a café in order to make the time limit.

As I said just interested in what others thought and what they did whilst Audaxing.

PH
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Re: Cafes as Audax controls

Postby PH » 21 May 2019, 10:36am

I dislike stopping too often, once on a 200/300 is enough, though I sometimes stop more often to be sociable. If it's a manned control I'll just get the card stamped and be on my way. If it's an unmanned control and requires a proof of passage that the organiser hasn't made available without queuing I treat it as a free control and if available get it elsewhere. I can't think of an occasion when this has been an issue, I think organisers are aware that not everyone want to spend time off the bike and that goes as much for the fast folk as the leisurely, so they'll try and make something available without inconvenience. If I fond myself in a situation where there was no PoP without queuing, I think I'd offer a selfie that included the queue.

Grandad
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Re: Cafes as Audax controls

Postby Grandad » 21 May 2019, 11:02am

Something we sometimes do is have a sheet of stickers on the cafe counter. Saves having a live controller and it's not necessary to buy food.

thirdcrank
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Re: Cafes as Audax controls

Postby thirdcrank » 21 May 2019, 11:19am

With my apologies for going off topic:

This is an obvious use for facial recognition technology. One benefit would be that organisers would have to ban helmets.

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=130050

mattheus
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Re: Cafes as Audax controls

Postby mattheus » 21 May 2019, 11:26am

PH wrote: If it's an unmanned control and requires a proof of passage that the organiser hasn't made available without queuing I treat it as a free control and if available get it elsewhere. I can't think of an occasion when this has been an issue,....


I've been the man at a manned café control, and a "well-known" rider chose to go elsewhere. meaning he didn't get ticked off my list => a load of my time wasted. Apparently this is his standard M.O. :roll:

----------------------------
Otherwise, I'd agree with most of what's been posted already - if everyone is sensible things generally work out OK. Sometimes there are compromises, but fun is generaly had!

whoof
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Re: Cafes as Audax controls

Postby whoof » 21 May 2019, 11:42am

thirdcrank wrote:With my apologies for going off topic:

This is an obvious use for facial recognition technology. One benefit would be that organisers would have to ban helmets.

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=130050


Probably only if they were full face motorbike or mountain bike down hill helmets and they were also permanently welded to the person's head.

PH
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Re: Cafes as Audax controls

Postby PH » 21 May 2019, 11:43am

mattheus wrote:
PH wrote: If it's an unmanned control and requires a proof of passage that the organiser hasn't made available without queuing I treat it as a free control and if available get it elsewhere. I can't think of an occasion when this has been an issue,....


I've been the man at a manned café control, and a "well-known" rider chose to go elsewhere. meaning he didn't get ticked off my list => a load of my time wasted. Apparently this is his standard M.O. :roll:

Yes, dreadful behaviour and sadly not that uncommon. OTOH, I've twice arrived at a control within time to find no one there ...
It ought to be pretty clear from the card and route sheet which are and aren't manned controls and the quote from me is clearly about the latter.

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TrevA
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Re: Cafes as Audax controls

Postby TrevA » 21 May 2019, 2:45pm

A lot of 100km Audaxes have 2 controls, often both are cafes. That’s 1 too many. Cafes are often busy when used as controls so I will only get my card stamped and move on, sometimes even using a different cafe. Some audaxes have free controls where you can get a receipt from anywhere in the town. This spreads the load if there are several cafes or shops and is a better solution than using a single cafe, I think.

200’s and above the cafe stops/controls seem to be more spread out. A stop every 40-50 miles is ok, IMO.

That said, audaxes aren’t races and I don’t really mind spending half an hour in a cafe, as long as I’m still with time.

Bmblbzzz
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Re: Cafes as Audax controls

Postby Bmblbzzz » 21 May 2019, 3:04pm

Two controls on a 100 might be too many for an experienced rider but bear in mind BPs attract a lot of people who are new to not only that distance but the whole audax experience. Some of them wouldn't get without frequent stops and many wouldn't return.

mattheus
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Re: Cafes as Audax controls

Postby mattheus » 21 May 2019, 3:38pm

... and BPs are supposed to be a pleasant day out (or step toward 200+); so if you find 100 very easy, you have the option of stopping for longer, which you might want to spread over 2 café stops. I don't really see "too many cafes" as a pressing issue for AUK to address :)
Last edited by mattheus on 22 May 2019, 9:17am, edited 1 time in total.

whoof
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Re: Cafes as Audax controls

Postby whoof » 21 May 2019, 4:16pm

mattheus wrote:... and BPs are supposed to be a pleasant day out (or step toward 200+); so if you find 100 very easy, you have the option of stopping for longer, which you might want to spread over 2 café stops. I don't really see "too may cafes" as a pressing issue for AUK to address :)


Not 100% sure who you are responding to but my main point was about the control requiring you to buy something from a cafe. There can be multiple stops on an audax at cafes where you get your card stamped or pick up a sticker or provide information that there's a stuffed salmon over the entrance but whether someone stops and purchases food/drink from this particular place is up to them.

Again I'm not adverse to stopping at cafes on an Audax and having something to eat and drink, it's just I would like to choose when to do so.

charliepolecat
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Re: Cafes as Audax controls

Postby charliepolecat » 21 May 2019, 4:44pm

ATM receipts, photos taken of the stop with a time stamp, open location control points are all possibles. I have signed the card myself if the control is busy. I have never ridden a brevet where a volunteer sits at a control, it's always petrol stations or the like or an information control.

mattheus
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Re: Cafes as Audax controls

Postby mattheus » 21 May 2019, 5:53pm

charliepolecat wrote:ATM receipts, photos taken of the stop with a time stamp, open location control points are all possibles. I have signed the card myself if the control is busy. I have never ridden a brevet where a volunteer sits at a control, it's always petrol stations or the like or an information control.

Fascinating. But what's the relevance to "Cafes as Audax controls" ?

Bmblbzzz
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Re: Cafes as Audax controls

Postby Bmblbzzz » 21 May 2019, 8:21pm

I would far rather buy a cake at a cafe every 25km than get a receipt from a petrol station. I don't ride a bike to inhale petrol and diesel fumes.

drossall
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Re: Cafes as Audax controls

Postby drossall » 21 May 2019, 8:44pm

:?: I only ride Audaxes for the cafe stops :lol: