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FOA Ride - slight rant(17 posts)

FOA Ride - slight ranthoboken_rider
Sep 23, 2002 1:13 PM
For those who did the ride and made it all 270-ish mile, congratulations. I was on the ride, but unfortunately didn't get to finish the entire trip, putting in just over 200 for the 3 days. Between knee problems and poor organization, I was "forced" into the SAG bus to head into camp the first two days.

However, for those who didn't do the ride, I'd like some unbiased (or as unbiased as can be with biased information) opinions.

Do you think that the idea of having enough water for ALL riders to fill their bottles/camelbacks is crazy? This is what we ran into both mornings of the ride in camp. Thankfully, there was a hose for filling the second time, but many people headed out completely dry the first time, having to stop at the first convenience store to buy some liquid. If I were an attorney, I agree with myself when I say that's pure negligence.

Showers - I've seen more pressure and hotter water come out of a rat's a$$ (please don't ask). With only about 10 shower stalls for 1200 people? By my math, that 120 a stall. It would take HOURS to get everyone showered, even if everyone were in and out in 5 minutes. The hot water and pressure were non-existant, so 5 minutes was about all I could stand. But realistically, am I asking too much here?

Preparation - You expect to ferry 1200 riders on the ferry without checking with the police/ferry people? We stood in line for 30 minutes watching cars get on the ferry, wondering if we would get on. By the time we did, and made it across, there wasn't a chance we were able to finish the ride that day. If I was riding for charity, or raising money, you took 50+ miles off my total. Thanks!

Medical - NONE. Ice was next to impossible to find at the rest stops. Advil, nope. Bandages or cleaning solutions for road rash, think again.

Rest Stops - No gatorade! No chips or salty foods. Sure, the skittles were a good idea, but thanks for the sugar crash 30 minutes later when I'm at the foot of that hill.

I enjoyed the ride, and the idea behind it was awesome. But I feel the negatives outweighed the positives. I would have to seriously think again before I did another World Team event like this one.

Thanks for listening...
I'd let them knowDougSloan
Sep 23, 2002 1:17 PM
Those sound like valid concerns, especially the drinking water. As for the shower, what's wrong with one big group shower?!

I'd e-mail the organizers with your views, trying to make it helpful criticism.

I'd let them knowhoboken_rider
Sep 23, 2002 1:19 PM
Funny you mention that - we did try and talk to some of the staff. There was nothing they were willing to do about the water except shrug at us. As for the showers, we were told to go ahead and "bitch and moan about everything then".

Does that sound like an organization that wants constructive criticism?
Sep 23, 2002 1:25 PM
Depend on who you were talking to -- volunteers, minimum wage part-time staff, or the organizers? I'd still put it in writing; if something every did happen to someone related to dehydration, I'd hate to be them with a complaint letter in their files. Can you cc somewho who counts, some organization?

Sep 23, 2002 1:31 PM
I am in the process of writing a letter, but from the reaction I got on the ride, I don't think it would do much (or remain in any file). I just hope they learn from this ride for any future ones.
Sep 23, 2002 1:56 PM
Do you have a link for a web page for this ride? I might follow up, too.

Sep 23, 2002 5:50 PM
the page is or .com not sure. but there really is no feedback area. i'm going to call them tomorrow and see if they have something. i also want to know about the pictures and video they took along the ride.
Sep 23, 2002 6:47 PM

They have e-mail:

It's a little strange that this first appears to be a charitable event, but then they disclaim any charitable association. Was it for profit?

Since they must have had some sort of government approval, starting at the Pentagon, perhaps a letter to the Pentagon would get their attention? If it really was for profit, I would not hesitate to have their hide for the way you were treated.

Sep 24, 2002 2:58 AM
Thankfully, the group is a not-for-profit (compared to Polatta), not was the money from the ride going to any charity or beneficiary. It was $300 to ride, if you chose to fundraise on top of that for a specific charity, it was your choise.

Thanks for the email. I'm going to make a phone call today as well.
re: FOA Ride - slight rantPjkad
Sep 23, 2002 3:41 PM
I did the ride and overall had a great time. However I agree totally with hoboken_rider's critique. They tried to do an AidsRide scale event - even rented much of the same equipment - but totally got it wrong in critical areas. I filled my water bottles in the shower, not being sure it was potable!(I switched it out at the first convenience store). Showers were a joke. Rest stops had nothing that you needed. Hardly any bike techs. I finished the total (280 miles) and met some great people. But it was frustrating. I know a Board memeber and will be happy to forward anyone's comments (in addition to mine).
re: FOA Ride - slight rantPjkad
Sep 23, 2002 3:47 PM
By the way, I forgot to mention how cool it was to be riding along and having a guy come up next to me and make a nice comment about my bike...I looked over and it was Greg LeMond. He was riding along the whole route. He usually had 10-12 groupies riding with him, and he would be in deep conversation with someone while zipping along as if he was sitting in his living room. Every once in a while he'd fire it up and move out. Very impressive.
can i assume you ride a lemond?rufus
Sep 23, 2002 4:57 PM
can i assume you ride a lemond?Pjkad
Sep 23, 2002 5:46 PM
Actually I ride a Seven!
re: FOA Ride - slight ranthoboken_rider
Sep 23, 2002 5:54 PM
Unfortunately, I never got to "run into" Greg. I heard he was about, but even when I was dead in front, I didn't see him. Of course, I was concentrating on keeping pace and not crashing into the people around me (Pinelands exit) that I could have been right next to him and never known it.

Don't get me wrong on my previous posts. I liked the ride, but theire preparation and readiness for the ride was appalling.
Lemond should be taking notes to correct problemsbent_spoke
Sep 24, 2002 5:50 AM
He's a big supporter with a concern for getting disabled riders to participate. I'd imagine that he would want to get things right for all concerned. Let's hope so!
This was exactly what I was afraid would happenLone Gunman
Sep 23, 2002 4:58 PM
And it sounds worse than I imagined. I initially contacted the organization and inquired about volunteers for logistical and medical support. Their response was "we got it covered" The truth is, sure they had it covered, they weren't providing any support. Civic Volunteer organizations such as Kiwanis and Lions in individual towns were to provide donated support for the ride. This, from what I can see was a big cash grab by World Team sports. Where did the $375,000 go that was raised for this ride (1250 riders x $300 a pop) if you had minimal showers and logistical support and water? Renting tents? What food was provided? Even @ $10 per meal x 6 meals x 1250 is $75K.

My first inkling that something was not right about this ride was the fact that it was for no single named charity and little logistical support was offered.
I heard that they lost money....bent_spoke
Sep 24, 2002 5:45 AM
I'm not sure of medical support, but for people with flats, there was someone there. I saw quite a few WTS staff riding in the event & a friend had one stop when he flatted. I only did the day trip & had a good time inspite of the few snags that I experienced. (e.g. no ice at 2 stops & no one knew the mileage for the 1st leg before hand).