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Sportive blog - Beeston CC - Planning 2014

Sportive blog - Beeston CC - Planning 2014

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Beeston Cycling Club’s second blog comes from Jim Wilson, the Membership Coordinator, who explains where the team are up to in the planning stages for the 2014 sportive and how rider feedback is invaluable for the development of an event…

Following our event this year we were inundated with rider feedback and since last month we’ve been busy assessing it all. The comments received were very positive, with participants commenting on how they had a great time at the event - although undoubtedly the weather played a major part in this – I hope we can book the sun again next year!

                     Changes will be made to the 2014 sign-on process

Some of the feedback contained excellent constructive comments on how we can improve our event for next year. Clearly, we can’t implement all of the suggested improvements received but they have raised some important questions about how we want to progress. We originally started the event as a club reliability ride but over the years it has expanded into a sportive, which is a very different animal.

As it continues to grow, there are important decisions to be made about how we want the event to evolve. There are a number of things we can do to improve the event, but it’s now a question of what is feasible, given our budget and the number of volunteers that we can rely on. One thing that we are determined to retain - and which underpins the whole ethos of the club - is the friendly atmosphere of the event. And, of course, the low cost.

The first steps on planning…
Our first major decision has been to set a provisional date for next year’s ride, which will be 29 June 2014. We’ve chosen this to avoid clashes with other local events, such as The Great Nottingham Bike Ride and the Grand Depart of the Tour de France. Now, it’s just a question of confirmation by booking the HQ and checking the feed station locations are available for us to use again.

We’ve already made some decisions as to how we can improve registration for next year. With a larger entry field, there were bigger queues of people registering on the day this year. We were very lucky with the weather, but nobody wants to queue in the rain before a 100 mile bike ride, so improving this and ensuring registration is quick and easy is one of our bigger priorities.

We’ve scheduled a full debrief meeting for next month to examine all the other suggestions we’ve received in detail, such as providing marshals on the ‘tricky’ turns and moving or adding feed stops to the long route. We’ll bring news of the important changes to you as we put our plans into place for next year…

Other Beeston events…
As many of you already know, the Beeston CC Sportive is not the only event we deliver as a cycling club. Recent experiences with the other major annual events we organise have also given us food for thought. Every year we host a race in the local Notts and Derby Cyclocross League, which was due to have taken place on 26 October. Sadly, this year’s event was cancelled at the last minute by the local council, as it was deemed that the grass was too wet and they couldn’t allow the event to go ahead for fear of damaging the park.

The Beeston CC Hillclimb went without a hitch - but not all club events run so smoothly

Not only is this extremely frustrating given the huge amount of time, effort and money that gets put into this event, it also highlights the risk that any club like ours takes when we host events. Whilst we try to minimise the risks of things like this happening (we’re already looking for an alternative venue for next year’s event for example) there will always be factors that remain outside our control and it’s important to think and plan for them as best we can.

On the plus side, our annual club hill climb, a much smaller event, took place on a gloriously sunny Sunday morning and went off without a hitch.

Jim’s other club duties…
My regular duties on the executive committee include looking after membership applications and renewals. It’s been gratifying to see a flurry of new members join us as a direct result of taking part in events such as the Sportive, the hill climb and our stall at the local council’s cycling festival. Now I just need to make sure they all get the right size jersey in my other role as ‘manager of club kit supply’ which is everyone’s least favourite task!