This note describes a specific proposal for Wednesday rides following discussion online and on Zoom. I need time to prepare for the possibility of larger rides on May 17th so please let me know of any issues or improvement suggestions by next Wednesday 28th April.
I propose that pop-up rides form the basis for Wednesday ride planning and execution. This note therefore starts with changes I propose to make to pop-up rides.
It then describes how the Wednesday rides will appear to riders, ride leaders, ride organisers and statisticians.
Finally, it raises specific proposals for points allocation once COVID restrictions are relaxed.
Click any of the following headings for more information.
Proposed changes to pop-up rides
I suggest we continue to allow ride leaders to generate their own rides using the pop-up system with the following changes:
- Ride type – leaders will be able to select from the following ride types:
- Easy rides
- Evening pub rides
- Faster Sunday morning rides
- Saturday rides
- Tandem rides
- WCCC rides
- Wednesday rides
- Pop-up rides
Note that we will no longer need Tuesday or Friday rides which will become pop-up rides.
If someone adds a pop-up ride for a Wednesday, we’ll automatically convert it to a Wednesday ride. Other types of ride will remain unchanged even if they take place on Wednesdays so we can produce separate statistics for them.
Arguably we could eliminate easy rides, but I think it importance that they have prominence as separate rides on the home page.
- Destination – leaders will be able to search and select elevenses, lunch, tea and pub destinations from our database; they will also be able to request new destinations be added (I’d like that to remain a manual process to prevent duplicates and maintain some consistency).
- Ride size – I suggest we allow selection of between 2 and 24 riders with an option of ‘No specific limit’ (although, May 17th will probably introduce a 'rule of 30' that we'll have to follow until restrictions are lifted altogether).
- Ride date – Allow rides to be added up to the ride date and for, say, three days after the event (to allow for rides created ad hoc on Wednesdays); this gives scope for someone to maintain a clique by giving no-one else the opportunity to ride, but we can watch for that.
- Route maps – exploiting the WordPress mechanism for uploading files that allows for drag and drop.
In any case, leaders will be able to go into the detailed ride edit page and make changes there.
When a ride leader adds a ride other than a Wednesday one, members will be sent an email depending on the interest they have registered through their profile. So, for example, someone who has registered an interest in easy rides would be notified of a new easy rides.
When a ride leader adds a Wednesday ride we will notify only those people who have registered for that day. That will encourage people to register in advance.
We will show a single entry on the home page to cover all rides for a given Wednesday. That entry will appear at least two weeks before the ride is due to take place.
Clicking that entry will show:
- The name of the person organising the ride and how to contact them (without disclosing their email address).
- An optional specific description. For example, the ride might be a president’s ride with everyone ending at the same place.
- An invitation for riders to contact the ride organiser to ask questions and seek advice on which ride to join.
- A list showing the title of rides already created for the day together with its classification, rider limits and count of people booked (or ‘wait list’); each ride will be clickable to show more detail as now.
- A list of registered riders (names will appear only to people logged in to the site), the kind of ride(s) they are looking for and whether they are booked on a ride; ride leaders logged-in to the site will be able to see any comment provided with the registration.
- A simple registration form:
- Name (already completed if logged in to the site)
- Email address (already completed if logged in, double-entry required, if not)
- The categories of ride the person is interested in (A-E with descriptions of each)
- The length of ride they are interested in: day ride, shorter ride or both
- Any additional comment they might want to make
- If not logged in, a reCaptcha box to deter spammers
The form will make it clear that registration is not a booking, there’s no guarantee they can ride; and that there’s no commitment to ride. They will also be prompted to download a ride entry form if they are not Cycling UK members,
- A general description of Wednesday rides and how they are organised.
Everyone registering will get an email thanking them for their registration, providing some information about what happens next, and asking them to check their email and/or the web site for details of rides. If the email bounces (because the rider gave us an incorrect email) we will delete their registration.
We will encourage PCTC members to log in to complete the registration form in order to:
- Make ride organisation and ride booking easier
- Ensure email addresses are not mis-typed
As now, PCTC members and non-members will ask to join a ride and the ride leader will either book them onto the ride, wait list them, or decline them if appropriate.
For all types of ride except Wednesday rides, the booking system will be unchanged.
For Wednesday rides, the booking system will be as now except:
- They will be able to select from a list of riders registered for that date
- As now, they will also be able to select from a list of:
- PCTC members
- Non-members that have been allocated points
- None of the above (for a new rider)
People will therefore be allowed to book without registering.
Bookings will automatically update the status of registered riders to ‘booked’ on the main Wednesday ride page.
Ride leaders will be presented with new options on their ride page to:
- Cancel their ride, which will remove it from the system
- Postpone their ride to a different date and, optionally, update the ride description
- Email everyone booked onto their ride that has provided an email address (with a notification of those that haven’t – i.e. non-members that have booked without registering).
A cancellation or postponement of a Wednesday ride will automatically update the main Wednesday ride page:
- The ride will be removed from the page
- On the Wednesday page, riders on the postponed ride will show as not booked
- The ride type will be changed to ‘pop-up’ if the new date is not on a Wednesday
I anticipate there will be several ride organisers working on a rota. To make sure everything runs smoothly, I will organise the first few rides.
The ride organiser will:
- Look for one or two rides to form the backbone of the rides on a given day; or nominate suggested destinations
- Monitor registrations and encourage other ride leaders to fill gaps in demand
- Suggest rides to registered riders that haven’t booked
- Provide guidance to people unfamiliar with the system and/or ride leaders
- Look for opportunities to split rides to accommodate more riders
They will be able to use the web site to email:
- Selected ride leaders
- Everyone registered for a given day
- Everyone registered for a given day, but not booked
- Individual registrants
The ride organiser will not have to attend any of the rides.
It will no longer be possible to publish comprehensive runs lists in the Pedal. It’s possible that we’ll publish them for some types of ride, but the majority will use the pop-up mechanism so rides will mostly be announced shortly before they are due to take place. Also, with multiple rides occurring on most Wednesdays, we will no longer have a single set of destinations for each day.
Unfortunately, the nature of pop-up rides means members will need internet access (or vicarious access through another member) to be aware of rides taking place.
Before COVID we relied on Alan Brooks, Gordon Sands and Dave Lambert to record main ride attendance in Excel spreadsheets. I maintained several Google sheets for the other types of ride – with some ride leaders recording their attendances directly.
Processing those statistics for year-end reporting was complex and error-prone (not helped by spreadsheet formula errors).
The change of Cycling UK year-end means even more complication since we must produce two sets of analyses: one for the points competitions; and one for my report to Cycling UK.
I therefore introduced a new statistics recording service with the intention of using it to replace the various spreadsheets and allow flexible reporting.
To start with, I used the system to record statistics for all the pop-up rides to test its useability. Since 29th March I have encouraged ride leaders to record statistics for their own rides and – after initial teething troubles – the system is working well.
I can now produce analyses of any/all ride types for any given period. I’ve also introduced a new ride leader analysis.
I propose to continue with this approach into the future. I will monitor rides and, if necessary, chase missing ride statistics.
The system of awarding points was determined some time ago and was based on all-day rides.
I suggest a simplified system (which we are already using for pop-up rides) as follows:
- Ride to elevenses: 1 point
- Ride from elevenses to lunch: 1 point
- Pub ride: 1 point
- Ride leaders get double points for the part(s) of the ride they lead
- Riders who abandon get their point for the part of the ride they were on at the time
The main difference is more recognition for people who help a ride leader by leading some riders in a separate group; and recognition for those who set out on a ride but have to drop out (we all have bad days and mechanicals).
In practice, it’s not going to change the main contenders for the points competitions; but a simpler system will promote consistency between people allocating points.