Trosachs Ton - Feedback please

wakemalcolm
wakemalcolm Posts: 757
Hi

Before the pain subsides and the memories fade, we need some feedback from you to make sure next year's event works well. I spent most of the day in the sweeper van and didn't get back until 7:30 so got my feedback second hand.

Can you let me know what worked well and what could be improved on regarding:
- Registration
- Route (including the road surfaces which were the subject of much discussion before the event)
- Signing
- Feed zones (both their location frequency and what was available)
- Finish/deregistration

For those of you who didn't do the event, can you let me know:
- Whether you knew about the event
- What changes to the event would make it more appealing to you.

Thanks in advance for your help.
Malcolm
================================
Cake is just weakness entering the body

Comments

  • mitchgixer6
    mitchgixer6 Posts: 729
    Hi there,

    Over all I thought this event was pretty well organised. Have to say it was my first sportive so have nothing to compare with.

    Marshalling was good with plenty of encouragement from to volunteers. Signposts were good as well with no doubts as of the route and defo no need for the OS map.

    Reg/de-reg seemed well organised too. With not too many riders it looked like a steady stream coming in/leaving. I'm well chuffed with my Elite water bottle anyway, although the t-shirt desgin isn't the best I've seen!

    As for the roads, I was expecting them to be fairly poor, so wasn't too upset by them, until the very last segment of singletrack. I thought this was pretty dangerous in parts. Lots of gravel on the road and some of the "repaired" sections were worse than the cattle grids! Also the width of the road made it pretty lairy when cars were on coming or trying to over take. One came very close to knocking me off whilst I was out of the seat climbing. Needless to say I was wandering a bit after 93 miles!

    So overall I'd say it was a good event, I'll sign up for next year anyway. Feed stops seemed OK with plenty of good food and well stocked, as well as cheery marshalls. The only one I'd say couldv'e been placed better was the last one. Was a bit oo close to the climb I thought. Food that soon to a big effort on a climb isn't good and could potentially cause sickness/cramps on the hill. Better I'd say at the top than the bottom.

    Thanks to all that helped organise and make it possible on the day. I now have a time to beat next year!
  • fnb1
    fnb1 Posts: 591
    Overall I would say an excellent event,

    sign on well organised,

    signage clear and well planned, i.e. the issue about the logo being right way up for left or right turns so it would be obvious if there was any tampering, very good idea.

    OS map, whilst not needed for myself I am sure many who were unfamiliar with the area found it useful.

    Food stops well placed, well staffed and well stocked !

    the mini buffet in the hotel at half way was a very welcome luxury not experienced at any other sportive type ride I have done.

    roads, well the bottom of ther Carron Valley and some bits round the North Third and Bannockburn were challenging, particulary for the stage they came at with tired body and mind playing it part. What could you have done about the surface, probably not much but perhaps a couple more warning signs (which were in place at other less dodgy sections) would have helped.



    finish & de-brief , excellent

    Criticisms,

    Would it scale up if you had a higher number of entries?

    A better route description or more detailed route profile as many I think had underestimated what was to come after the Crow Road

    Maybe run the route around Loch Katrine the opposite way, that way we would be travelling with the morning tourist traffic to wards Inversnaid rather than meeting those coaches coming the other way (perhaps better ?) and the feed at Rob Roy would then be a very welcome recovery after the the Dukes Pass

    And perhaps the previous comment about the last feed being at the top of the Crow rather the Clachan would have been better, but I did need my bottles topping up at the bottom so it suited me, and if your tanks were empty then a few calories and a 15 min break might just make the difference, hard to get it right for all of us.

    Lastly, thank you for a great event, hopefully be back again.
    fay ce que voudres
  • FYB
    FYB Posts: 14
    Overall day out wasn't too bad. Fantastic countryside, encouragment just when needed along the route and seemed very well organised. But I wouldn't do it again unless there were some changes.

    - Registration
    no hitches at all and an efficient, friendly start to the day

    - Route (including the road surfaces which were the subject of much discussion before the event)
    this is where it all went wrong. The scenery, length, challenge were all there and worth the trip. The roads/ road surfaces were not, and are the reason I wouldn't return next year.
    The surfaces were awful in long stretches; just about the worst I, and the bike, have had to suffer. So bad they totally sapped the enjoyment from many sections and slowed progress down considerably. Add to that sections with very hairy traffic (A81) and single track section after Katrine with huge buses (one of which had me jumping off bike and landing in ditch for fear of being run over).

    - Signing -
    good, but missing a marshall or two.
    The signs provided one of the laughs of the day by announcing 'potholes' were up ahead on a section in the last 5 or 6 miles. What were the canyons in the road for the first 94 miles then?

    - Feed zones (both their location frequency and what was available)
    First too soon, last should have been at top or over the hill

    - Finish/deregistration
    deregistration fine, but there was nothing to see/do at the end worth spectators or particpants hanging round for. Once everone had a piece of cake and a cup of coffee, what then?
  • LorneC
    LorneC Posts: 149
    I thought the day was great.

    No complaints with the Registration / Deregistration process - was pleasantly suprised to see you'd even provided safety pins for applying your numbers... some events I have been on have expected you to do it yourself!!!

    Only used the lunch zone and final feeding station (when my supplies were dwindling) and again no complaints there - well organised and a good variety of food available for getting you ready for the next section... final feed station was OK for me as I was running low on fluids at the time, and certainly needed them for the ensuing climb.

    Signposting was good - although noticed a couple of "Marie Curie Whole Hog" signs which seemed to be very similar... had I not been concentrating, it might have led to me going off course.

    Only complaint about the route was the roads on the descents from The Crow Road in ... the loose ground prevented me going all out. Being so close to L2P, didn't want to wipe-out and jeopardise next month. Had the road surface been better, I would have been closer to the 6 hours, I'd set out for.

    Will definitely be signing up for next year.
    Already signed up for the following 2010 rides:

    Etape Caledonia (May 16th)
    AMR's Trossachs Ton (June 20th)
    AMR's Cross-Border Sportive (Sept 19th)

    http://www.twitter.com/LorneCallaghan
  • fnb1
    fnb1 Posts: 591
    oh,
    one last thing,

    MIDGES, could you please do soemthing about the midges, a fog of midges and cycling helmets do not go well together, at one stage I considered jumping into Lock Katrine,

    the many polka dot legs and arms at the finish were a comedy side effect of them though.
    fay ce que voudres
  • pneumatic
    pneumatic Posts: 1,989
    A good event.

    Reg/de-reg very straightforward. Numbering of me and bike was good quality, well thought out. It really helped me to be able to sign up on the day as I couldn't have in advance. I didn't know until Friday if I was going to be able to make it.

    OS map was an (unused) luxury, although at times I did wonder where on earth I was!
    Signage was excellent and reassuring. I could have done with some "miles to go" towards the end, as I was seriously knackered and becoming demoralised.

    Scenery was spectacular and a major attraction. the two major climbs were exhilarating; the run off the Duke's Pass the highlight of the day.

    Road surfaces were challenging in places, especially towards the end. My zertz inserts were tested to the limit. However, I would say: keep with the minor roads even if they are rough, so much more pleasant than the A81. We were warned.

    I was eaten alive around Loch Katrine, all part of the Scottish Summer experience.

    First feed was too soon and I completely failed to catch a banana on the move (must practice). Last feed was in just the right place for me. I needed more drink and appreciated the cake (which was very good). Lunch stop was an excellent idea on such a long (for me) ride.

    The experience reminded me a bit of riding the Bealech (twice). You psych yourself up for the big climb and completely forget that the worst of the pain comes from the lumpy terrain thereafter. The last 10 miles were really tough for me.

    Great T-Shirt, nice medal.

    Do it again? Ask me again when my legs stop screaming! (which means very likely, yes)


    Fast and Bulbous
    Peregrinations
    Eddingtons: 80 (Metric); 60 (Imperial)

  • peter_andrew
    peter_andrew Posts: 373
    Hi
    I thought it was very very good.
    The OS map is superb :) The best memento of the day imho.
    The goody bag with botte also good
    The lunch stop was excellent and at 55 miles just right.
    Thought 1st feed stop too soon ( i didnt stop at it), others just right.
    Thought roads ok til after Carron dam, bottle flew off bike and had to stop to go back for it.
    I had posted before about the Loch Ard road and narrow before but since i knew about it i was prepared.
    Unlike FYB i wondered why we came off the A81 :arrow:

    The young lads (marshalls) shouting pot holes made me smile but the holes on the steep descent didnt.
    A couple of turns were on fast descents with no marshall (end of Carron valley and left turn) i seen it too late and had to reverse (trick learned in the army on a bike) :P
    You cant please all of the people all of the time
    All in all 9 out of 10
    Look forward to it next year
    Peter
  • Coyote
    Coyote Posts: 212
    Really enjoyed it.

    Route itself was great, shame about the surfaces here and there. Last 30 miles were tough and I wasn't mentally prepared for it but that's all part of the fun! Signs were clear and at all the right places.

    Feed at the top of Crow Road would be good. Not sure how I managed to avoid the lure of that ice cream van!

    Lunch was excellent!

    Not much to be done to improve the start or finish given the nature of the event - large window of start time means folks return over a longer period. Massage is a great idea! Good venue with lots of easy parking. Free gifts were much better than average - could have used that energy gel earlier! :D OS map was a nice, high quality, touch.

    Main thing for me that could be addressed is the actual identity of the event or how the event is promoted - is it actually a sportive or a more social event? Sportive's usually have timing chips these days, are more competitive and don't usually have that nice lunch stop because folks hammer round. The fact that there is no timing means you can afford not to hammer it, take in the fantastic scenery and be a bit more social...but maybe that's just me.

    Someone was out on the route taking photos - any idea who?

    Big thanks to the 3 guys from Aberdeen who put up with me for a large portion of the ride - Alan, Keith and the pocket rocket (Joe perhaps?). Really made me enjoy it all the more.

    I'll be back next year and try and bring more of my buddies with me too.
  • LorneC
    LorneC Posts: 149
    Coyote wrote:
    Someone was out on the route taking photos - any idea who?

    Coyote - check the back of your bike number... you'll get the website there - not online yet.
    Already signed up for the following 2010 rides:

    Etape Caledonia (May 16th)
    AMR's Trossachs Ton (June 20th)
    AMR's Cross-Border Sportive (Sept 19th)

    http://www.twitter.com/LorneCallaghan
  • scapaslow
    scapaslow Posts: 305
    Registration

    I signed up on the day without any problem. Staff friendly and helpful. Why such an early start?

    - Route (including the road surfaces which were the subject of much discussion before the event)

    Road surfaces appalling in places and i would not do the event again if it has the same finish into Stirling. Frankly that is only suitable for a MTB. I lost a water bottle and my computer was coming loose never mind the fillings. I had thought that the route was going down to Denny.
    The Loch Ard road had been improved since i last rode it.

    I would suggest starting/finishing the event in either Aberfoyle or Callander or Doune and still take in the same climbs and cutting out the A81 after Aberfoyle. The route could include an additional climb/descent of the Dukes Pass from the opposite direction.

    - Signing
    Generally OK. My group missed a turning before Thornhill and cut the corner a wee bit.

    - Feed zones (both their location frequency and what was available)

    Only used the lunch stop which seemed well stocked and everyone there seemed pleased with what was on offer. The first feed station was too early.

    - Finish/deregistration

    Fine. I'm not sure if Action Medical Research paid for the goodie bag/ t- shirt etc... but if so i would have preferred all my donation to go to charity and done without.

    Overall i enjoyed the day but would have liked it to be timed and the final section towards Carron Valley/Stirling needs removed. Better to go into Fintry and work back up to Callander or Aberfoyle or Stirling if need be.

    How many took part? I was on my own for much of the race except at the start and never found any groups around my pace which was maybe just unlucky. The highlight for me was the Crow Rd climb and descent.
  • pneumatic
    pneumatic Posts: 1,989
    I hadn't thought of the OS Map as a classy souvenir, but it is a nice memento of the day.

    +1 for how many people took part?


    Fast and Bulbous
    Peregrinations
    Eddingtons: 80 (Metric); 60 (Imperial)

  • LorneC
    LorneC Posts: 149
    Would also like to know the attendance - think the largest number I saw along the way was about 250...

    The nice young masseuse who tended to my legs at the end suggested they thought it was in the 300's...
    Already signed up for the following 2010 rides:

    Etape Caledonia (May 16th)
    AMR's Trossachs Ton (June 20th)
    AMR's Cross-Border Sportive (Sept 19th)

    http://www.twitter.com/LorneCallaghan
  • Coyote
    Coyote Posts: 212
    Event number didn't make it home LorneC so if you have the URL I would appreciate it, thanks.

    ...and I meant that the OS map was much higher quality than the usual route info which usually falls apart with rain or sweat. A mate of mine already asked me for the route info as he plans to do the route when he's on holiday in July, so I can just give him the map - job done. Do you think I should tell him about the surfaces! :twisted:
  • wakemalcolm
    wakemalcolm Posts: 757
    Hi

    Just to answer the question about the number of starters, there were 320 registrations and 281 showed on the day. I think overall we had 279 finishers and we had nobody in the sweeper van, so thanks to everyone for preparing properly.

    Cheers
    Malcolm
    ================================
    Cake is just weakness entering the body
  • LorneC
    LorneC Posts: 149
    www.sportivephoto.com

    As I said - photos are not up yet, but click on the "Contact Us" and ask them to mail you when they are.
    Already signed up for the following 2010 rides:

    Etape Caledonia (May 16th)
    AMR's Trossachs Ton (June 20th)
    AMR's Cross-Border Sportive (Sept 19th)

    http://www.twitter.com/LorneCallaghan
  • alphaanne
    alphaanne Posts: 48
    Oh what a lovely day I had :D

    Im at the very bottom end of the sportive food chain and have next to nothing to compare the event to.

    But even as a novice Id say that the last section of road into Stirling had me terrified...Ive seen better surfaces at Glentress!! And I feared for the life of my new bike!! :shock:

    Id also agree with someone above who said about the miles to go signs.....I seemed to be 12 miles from the end for a very long time......Im afraid that it didnt help when the very well meaning gentleman in the car (I think he was one of the organisers out checking on stragglers like myself) ...responded to my "well it cant be far to go now...I must be only about 8miles away" with "oh I think youll find youve a fair way to go yet....its 102 miles in total you know"......I nearly cried!!! :? Especially because at that point I was only about 2 miles from my house!!!!!! :lol:

    Anyway, I survived the emotional distress to see the finish line and a free cup of tea...was worth it for that alone Id say. :wink:

    Oh and one last food stop nearer the end instead of the one so near the start....I rolled in with empty bottles. But a happy wee heart :D
    Live Each Day
  • LorneC
    LorneC Posts: 149
    Photos now up at http://www.sportivephoto.com - only riders identifiable by their number are on at the moment, remainder to go online tomorrow.
    Already signed up for the following 2010 rides:

    Etape Caledonia (May 16th)
    AMR's Trossachs Ton (June 20th)
    AMR's Cross-Border Sportive (Sept 19th)

    http://www.twitter.com/LorneCallaghan
  • kiwimatt
    kiwimatt Posts: 208
    Hi Malcolm

    First ever sportive for me - I thought it was excellent thank you

    Stronger warning about and provision of midge repellent essential next year - bites much worse than any muscle fatigue!

    Registration - well organised and friendly
    Route - rough surfaces didn't bother me unduly but last 10 miles could be re-routed it was a bit hairy
    Signing excellent - no need for map but as others have said really nice souvenir
    Feed zones - 1st one way too early, lunch great, another water stop closer to end would have helped
    Finish - massage great and free cup of tea, my kids enjoyed watching the riders come in and the playpark at Kings Park is excellent so that worked for me

    Would have liked a timing chip, and a real eye opener how fast more experienced riders can go past you and disappear into the distance....

    I will probably go again next year
  • dmckayuk
    dmckayuk Posts: 6
    I thought it was a great day out - very well organised! well done to all the organisors and volunteers - you did great!

    my only gripe was the last couple of miles into stirling - the road surface was terrible. I felt so sorry for the poor guy two miles from home having to fix a puncture!

    overall I was delighted with it all, and am looking forward to next year - and will definitely recommend to others.
  • scapaslow
    scapaslow Posts: 305
    I happened to be on the road from Carronbridge to Stirling today and instead of turning left for North Third reservoir i kept on the descent into Stirling via Chartershall.

    Guess what? The whole road has recently been resurfaced and was like a proverbial bowling green compared to the Trossachs Ton finish! The only fly in the ointment was that the road was blocked at the motorway bridge - not sure why, but i think it is temporary for the roadworks that have been going on? There was sufficient space to squeeze past and continue into Stirling.

    There is then a very short section on the A road before turning left for the park.

    I hope that the organisers look into this as a possible finish for next year.