's Forum Archives - General

Archive Home >> General(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 )

Bandit riding a century(42 posts)

Bandit riding a centuryGoldDog
Apr 2, 2002 7:22 AM
During our club's century ride, we had a rider (non-member, but regular to club rides,races...) who signed up and paid for the ride, then (before the ride began) got mad about something, demanded his money back (got a little abusive with volunteers).

He ended up riding anyway without paying.

What would you do if you were the sponsoring club?

Some folks in our club seem to think nothing of someone bandit riding (not paying). What's the feeling in this group?

Have any of you not payed but then rode anyway?

re: cheap turdrideslikeagirl
Apr 2, 2002 7:37 AM
I know a few people that think nothing of freeloading on centuries. I don't agree, but keep my mouth shut. They're adults, blah, blah, blah.

But this joker - what a jerk. To pay, then get pissy and demand his money back, THEN ride anyways. I think I would have to say something to him if I was in the club.

re: Bandit riding a centuryTroyboy
Apr 2, 2002 7:42 AM
Well there are lots of people that do it. This sounds different though because he got his money back. It's hard to stop someone that may just have decided to do the century route that day, doesn't get a number, doesn't start at the start line, doesn't utilize the support, doesn't utilize the food and water stops, doesn't pass through the finish line, eat the BBQ, get a goodie bag, etc.
Here's what I think...tad
Apr 2, 2002 7:46 AM
There's nothing wrong with being a century "bandit" IF you bring your own food and don't mooch off what's provided at the sags. If they don't have t-shirt available, that's what I do. Why pay $20 (or more) when I don't use the sags and don't get a shirt or anything for it?
public roadsRideLots
Apr 2, 2002 8:11 AM
I tend to agree. While it's sort of jerkish anyway, if the "bandit" is not using any of the provided services or food, he's perfectly entitle to ride the route at the same time without paying.

Of course, the club is perfectly entitled to boot him out and ban him from future events (as a real registrant), too.
Did you ride their route?MB1
Apr 2, 2002 9:24 AM
If you are just doing a ride and it happens to be where a century is that day, fine. If you used any of their services including following their route because it is their route then you are ripping them off.

agree and disagree....SteveO
Apr 2, 2002 10:56 AM
although its not in the intended spirit of an organized ride, the roads are public, and provided youre not using any of their services, youre entitled to be there. i disagree that following their route is ripping them off, as the event organizers are merely following public routes (i ride a certain route every saturday, but on 'Organized Century' day, i cant simply because they chose the SAME route??).

on the other hand, if any portion of the course is closed to the public due to organizational funding/support, then i'd agree its trespassing.
I've done itmr_spin
Apr 2, 2002 8:09 AM
I'm allowed to ride anywhere I want, so as long as I'm not eating their food and drinking their water, I don't see a problem with it. I did use their porta-potties, but I use porta-potties at construction sites, bathrooms at gas stations, etc., and that bothers no one.

The key is not to be a burden.

If you are the sponsoring club, what can you do? You can't be like karate guy and throw sticks in their wheels. How do you know they are bandits versus people who just happen to be riding on the same roads, if only for a few miles?

If they hit your rest stops, you probably overestimated the food and drink anyway, so the impact is probably insignificant. Perhaps there's a little less waste. I think the percentage of bandit riders is so low, it's not worth worrying about.

Some centuries try to control access to the food and drink, but it's usually pretty chaotic and impossible to do.

Some centuries have access to closed roads, like Solvang and the Death Ride (much more than a century). The only way you can get through is to have the wrist band or number or whatever.
Apr 2, 2002 8:12 AM
"If they hit your rest stops, you probably overestimated the food and drink anyway, so the impact is probably insignificant. Perhaps there's a little less waste. I think the percentage of bandit riders is so low, it's not worth worrying about."

This is stealing.
Apr 2, 2002 8:38 AM
Yes it is.

My point was that given the huge demands in organizing and running a century, I doubt it is worth worrying about a few bandits. This probably ranks much higher as an emotional issue than a logistical one.

Furthermore, if you strictly police your rest stops and end up with a lot of leftover food, who benefits? I'm sure there is some average amount of food and water allocated per rider, but certainly in terms of food, I typically don't take my "share." But if I do take my fair share, even though it is more than I need at the time, and come upon a bandit rider who is bonking, can I give him or her the food and not be accused of petty theft? Would SAG refuse to help a bandit rider who needs help?

There's how we'd like it to be, and then there's how it actually is. That's life.
So just because you can get away with it it's OK?Len J
Apr 2, 2002 8:50 AM
Sounds like what your saying is that since it's not worth policing, & there is extra food and they would SAG you wether you paid or not, then it's OK to do it. Pretty flimsy rationalization, if you ask me.

Well let's see, nothings gonna happen to me if I do this so why not? Whatever happened to doing something because it's right, or not doing something because it's wrong?

Me, I've got to look myself in the mirror at the end of the day. Getting caught or not does not enter into my thinking.

Not at all what I saidmr_spin
Apr 2, 2002 9:14 AM
What I said is that while it may provoke an emotional response like yours, I doubt it is an issue that anyone running a century really worries about.

The only thing I tried to rationalize was that if you are going to have leftover food, I'd rather anyone eat it than see it thrown away.

As far as bandit riding, I do not recommend it, nor do I approve of it.

Personally, I once rode along with a metric century without paying. I didn't eat their food, I didn't drink their water, there were no special police controls or closed roads. It was just a ride with rest stops, which I didn't even use. I imposed no extra burdens and there were no additional costs incurred. I didn't feel guilty at all, because I was doing nothing wrong. In fact, I pulled a long line of riders through a tough headwind for three miles. So in a sense, I was an asset to the ride.

Two weeks later I rode the same route. The only difference between the two rides? There weren't a whole lot of other people doing it with me the second time.
Fair enough.Len J
Apr 2, 2002 9:29 AM
The only time they (Ride organizers) worry about it is:

1.) If the number of bandits gets too large, or

2.) If a bandit becomes a safety hazard, or

3.) If a bandit gets hurt during thier organized ride. (since part of signing up is signing a disclaimer of responsibility).

Sorry for the outburst, I did misunderstand what you said.

Can't you find somewhere else to ride that day?CRM
Apr 2, 2002 9:52 AM
Sure, everyone is free to ride whereever they want. But centuries are invariably organized as fundraisers for either charities or bike clubs, good causes all around. Why would you feel that it's imperative to encroach on that ride without paying? If you're free to ride whereever you want, then have some dignity and choose to ride somewhere else on that day or else pony up like everyone else on the ride.
what if it goes past my house?mr_spin
Apr 2, 2002 10:26 AM
So if it goes past my house I'm forced to stay inside all day to preserve my "dignity?" Or do I need to pay to come out?

If the century runs along the common cycling routes or perhaps uses the only road out of town, am I supposed to not ride at all? Don't be absurd.

If you want a closed event, run it on closed roads. Otherwise, as long as I can ride where I want to I will. I won't bother your ride, and I hope your ride won't bother mine.
Gimme a breakCRM
Apr 2, 2002 10:39 AM
You're pointing out the absurdity of your own argument. If you don't understand the reasons not to "bandit" ride an organized century, then neither I nor anyone else on this board will be able to explain them to you any clearer.
One break, coming upmr_spin
Apr 2, 2002 10:49 AM
So you think that any organization should be able to take over public roads and shame people into staying away or paying to use them? Sorry, that is just wrong. I don't care if you think your cause is just.

Forget about cycling.

What if I decided to stage a car rally on public highways? Would you not drive those roads?

What if I decided to hold a regatta? Would you not sail the sea?

Of course you wouldn't. So don't get all high and mighty when someone not interested in what you are doing comes along and chooses not to participate.
As a matter of fact . . .CRM
Apr 2, 2002 11:02 AM
IF you staged your car rally, I wouldn't follow you around for 100 miles.

And IF you held a regatta, I wouldn't sail amongst your ships for 100 miles.

Like AlBikeGuy said, there's a difference between riding a road during a century and riding all the roads of the century. You can create as many scenarios as you want to rationalize it, but in the end you are nothing more than an interloper who is either too cheap to contribute to a good cause or you simply derive satisfaction out of proving that you can do for free what others choose to pay for.
wouldnt sail for 100 miles?SteveO
Apr 2, 2002 11:34 AM
Youve never piloted offshore to make that absurd statement.

I was once in that exact situation, an impromptu regatta organized by the local yachting club decided to monopolize the return inlet.

We were offshore for about 20 hours, returning low on fuel, low on sleep, low on tolerance. We respected the right-of-way of the sailboats, but not of the course. I'd be damned before id sit offshore waiting for the yahoos to finish their fun at my expense.

public space is just that.
Fine, next time . . .CRM
Apr 2, 2002 11:44 AM
you're biking and the local bike club is "monopolizing the return inlet" and you're low on fuel, sleep and tolerance, feel free to ride with them on your way home.

But if you're simply out for a ride and you choose to ride the exact same route as an organized century for 100 miles, then you're not acting out of necessity for safety purposes.

No one's saying you can't use public space. But if you choose to follow an organized ride for 100 miles yet refuse to contribute to whatever cause they're supporting, then you're mooching, not defending your constitutional rights.
on necessity or safety...SteveO
Apr 3, 2002 4:08 AM
many, MANY centuries organizers choose known cycling routes; routes that are ridden regularly by everyday cyclists.

So Mr Everdayguy takes his bike out for a quick 100 miler, as he does every month, and guess what.... there's another 500 cyclists following the same route.

is he supposed to forego his ride because event organizers chose the same route as he?

I fully agree that banditing is kinda lame, but thats the risk we take when we chose a public venue. If event organizers or partcipants only want to be in the presence of 'paying' riders, perhaps they should choose a private venue.

I suspect some of the people who feel that 'noone else should be on the century route' are probably the same jerks i see during organized rides who refuse to follow the rules of the roads (riding triple, quadruple, quintuple abreast, flowing traffic lights, no signaling, etc etc etc) simply because their 'in the event'.
what if it goes past my house?ALBikeGuy
Apr 2, 2002 10:48 AM
I think there's a difference between "riding roads on the route" and "riding the route".

I know folks that have driven to centuries 4 hours away, to not pay. I say, if they just wanted to do the route, why not go the next weekend, the route markers (road paint) will still be there?
Damn cheap if you ask me.Len J
Apr 2, 2002 8:21 AM
I've always been amused by bandits that won't pay to ride a century. What are we talking about, $20, $30. and for this you get organization, maybe cops at busy intersections, food, medical (if you need it), mechanics, a sag wagon, and the comradery of like minded people, and oh yea a tea shirt or bottle.

In addition, many of the rides I do benefit some organization that benefits the community (even if it is a bike club, IMO active bike clubs do benefit the community).

So why would anyone bandit?

Money Cheapness.
Feeling like they got away with something.
Well I don't eat much anyway?
I don't use all the rest stops, why should I pay?

Most (IMO) of the bandits I know are just being jerks, they think there making some important point that is missed on anyone but them. You sure can't stop them if the ride is on public roads, but I think we could do without them.

My .02

There was a time...PT
Apr 2, 2002 12:48 PM
when $20 or $30 meant something (starving grad student days). I did the Grizzly Peak Metric Century in Berkeley years ago without paying -- didn't eat any of the food (60 miles on a bag of fig newtons is pretty easy and their gronola based food was not palatable for me). I had several friends doing it -- they were new to riding and I tagged along. It's only theivery if you take something of value. I would never have payed to do that ride (I did it every weekend anyway), and my being there brought them several costumers that would never have done the ride otherwise.
Shoot 'em! (nm)Chen2
Apr 2, 2002 9:05 AM
This being the more efficient and immediately gratifying method!Kristin
Apr 2, 2002 9:33 AM
I must rethink my position. Being kind to a bandit.offering him free food...hoping against hope that he will feel remorse...praying that he surrender to power greater than himself...that he will come to love women, children and dogs. This is noble. But it takes too long; and in the end, is only 8.44% effective. Not efficient at all. Now shooting them! What a stroke of genius! It's efficient—albeit messy. But with some practice, 100% effective. So effective even that it will preserve provisions at future events, thus expanding the worlds food supply—food that will save starving children in Africa. Shoot a bandit, save a child!
LMAOROTF! Greaat one Kristin! nmLen J
Apr 2, 2002 9:38 AM
Thanks! Did you know...Kristin
Apr 2, 2002 10:00 AM
...that one processed, non-perrishable muffin from Costco can feed three starving children in Guatamalla for a week? Thats just $.22 a day!

Are you ever scared to eat what is offered at these sags?
Learn something new every day. But.....Len J
Apr 2, 2002 10:06 AM
would they eat it?

There are some rides I've done where I have passed on the food. There is a local ride thru the Blackwater Refuge out here on the Eastern shore that we did a couple of years ago. Got to the first rest stop & alls they had were Gallons of Milk, boxes of 2 day old Glazed doughnuts, and Doritos. I had a flashback to mornings after back in college. Even got that awful taste in my mouth (You know the one where an army has marched thru!).

Maybe we chould have boxed it all up & sent it to Guatamalla!

Kristin you rockIcefrk13
Apr 2, 2002 2:41 PM
I ask permissionKristin
Apr 2, 2002 9:11 AM
I pay for most rides, whether I use the stops or not. But once last year, a friend asked me to join a ride that I didn't really have the money for. I broght my own food and water, and asked the ride staff for permission to tag along with my friend. They said it was fine. If they had said no, I woulda gone home. No biggie.

But that's me. I have high moral standards. At any event, you will find people with low moral standards. From the standpoint of event sponsor, I kinda agree with Mr. Spin. You will doubtful change these people or help them to see the light, so why stress. Unless somone is being overterly abusive, I'd let them go about their way and be pleasant to them whenever possible (not always). People who take advantage of others tend to wrestle and grow at 3am when their conscience has them awake. They won't grow at a rest stop.
Perfect way to handle it. (nm)rideslikeagirl
Apr 2, 2002 9:15 AM
Well said & good idea. nmLen J
Apr 2, 2002 9:30 AM
Apr 2, 2002 9:34 AM
Sure they are done on public roads, but the $ pays for insurance, cops to help w/ traffic, etc, etc. Wonder if he ate the goodies at the rest stops?
re: Bandit riding a centuryALBikeGuy
Apr 2, 2002 9:53 AM
IMO, if someone puts on an event and charges a fee, you have the option of participating or not. If you choose to participate, then you should pay. If you don't want to pay, then go ride somewhere else. There may be no law keeping you from riding on the "public roads, but in reality what your doing is stealing. There's no wiggle room here....

I can't imagine any justification for bandit riding. It really disappoints me that so many cyclists think it's OK.
Like said above, you have to look yourself in the mirror.
Just give 'em a T-shirt with a big "B" on itSlipstream
Apr 2, 2002 11:22 AM
make is as loud as possible; encourage them to stop every sag and walk around displaying their pride and sense of community.

Follow them with a special "bandit" wagon that has a loudspeaker, giving their splits and commenting on their bike, clothing and generous spirit.

And finally, issue them a special "bandit" award and make them give a speech on how much they enjoyed the ride.
Just a bunch of pathetic excuses...justonerider
Apr 2, 2002 2:18 PM
It's pretty shameful when people who will spend $1500+ for a bicycle won't pony up the $15 or $20 bucks to ride a century. You can try to validate it all you want by saying that you don't stop at the rest stops and don't use the sag, but in the end it's just wrong.

Actually, most of us hope to never use the sag but it's a good thing to have when it's needed. It's a great alternative to riding the last 25 miles on a broken saddle rail. And if the ride takes one into the middle of nowhere and the rest stop has the only water available for miles, if you need it you're going to take it no matter how strong you feel your convictions are.

By riding bandit on an organized ride you may think that you are hurting no one, but the potential victims are many. An unregistered rider on the course is a major liability for the organization putting on the century. One or two accidents involving a combination of bandit and registered riders can put an end to the local cycling club. If you are involved in an accident with another cyclist, you are liable for the injuries instead of them being taken care of by the event insurance. Also, most of these rides benefit some charity, so the money you didn't contribute takes five or ten dollars away from some worthy cause. It's just like kicking puppies.

It's interesting that people feel since the event takes place on public roads there is no harm dropping into the mix. What if it were a race instead of a century and you decided to drop into the race one mile into the course? I'm pretty sure most people would feel this is unacceptable since its a race, but they're still public roads.

And the bit about justifying your free ride because you brought other people was great. Do you think that would fly for me at the movies? I wasn't planning to go see Blade 2 but since my friends are in town and they wanted to go see it, the theater shouldn't mind if they help me sneak in and I don't pay for the movie. I won't use the restrooms and I'll try to keep my feet off the seat. I know it's not a public place, but doesn't that make me an asset to the theater?
big time cureRideLots
Apr 2, 2002 2:27 PM
Some events here in California run through military reservations or bases. You must have an official event whatever to get in, maybe even I.D., too, or they will not let you in -- you are a trespasser (and likely a presumed terrorist, these days). Usually, there is no other effective way to do the route without going through, either. How's that for enforcement -- armed soldiers?

I think the whole debate centers on using the services provided without paying. Certainly you have every right to ride the same route without paying (you have already paid, in a way, through taxes). Stop and eat, though, and you cross the line.
re: Bandit riding a centurygrzy
Apr 2, 2002 2:56 PM
No doubt the guy was being a dick. Sounds like a hypocrite and an ass. The club should ask him for the money or tell him that he's no longer welcome at any future events. If he goes away then your problem is solved.

Having said that many of the organized rides are poorly done these days and pretty much a rip-off. Of course you're not doing it for value - it's for a good cause. OK, so make your own PB&J's, skip the t-shirt, send the $40 to the charity of your choice and pretend you're part of the group.

It really comes down to if you want to be a part of some thing bigger than your self. People that are just out for themselves don't play well with others any ways. If you're going to hit the stops, chat with people and generally participate then don't be a cheap SOB.
Apr 2, 2002 3:27 PM
C2K this year? Maybe the double option?

A buddy and I rode from home to Huntington Lake and back on Saturday, but had to go over Tamarack Ridge both ways, as Big Creek was still snowed in. It was sort of cool riding in shorts by 12 foot high piles of snow, skiers, and snowmobilers.

If you get over this way and want to ride, give me a buzz.

If you have ever promoted an eventMB1
Apr 2, 2002 3:33 PM
You soon learn that it is the 0.1% that make the job so hard. Complainers, bandits, people demanding special treatment....

I did it for years, I can't imagine puting on a large or fee event ever again. My hat is off to those who do. Equally I completly despise that 0.1%.
BanditsHENRY K
Apr 2, 2002 5:29 PM
Bandits are freeloaders!!!