I ride many different types of cycling events from red carpet tours to totally unsupported epics. But when an organizer charges an entry fee to enter a fully supported cycling event then I personally begin to have expectations. Different groups often produce varying results in the quality of support they provide with club supported events often doing the best job. It can range from a veritable buffet to bare bones and soggy Subway sandwiches for lunch. The highlight of todays ride, the Tour de St. George was the consistent choice of PBJ’s and banana’s. It seemed to me that little care was given to the riders needs or wants and it showed with the support. One rest stop which although was not too busy did not have any PBJ’s prepared and riders had to wait for their half sandwich to be made. Water jugs were near empty and the tables were otherwise bare. I only did a shorter version of the event and could have gone with no support whatsoever but if I were doing the full 100 miles I would have been very dissapointed.

I must cut the organizers a little slack though. They recently had an event director bail on them so the new director may not have been up to speed, but if you cannot get up to speed quickly then the event will suffer. I even heard that one of the water stops did not show up in time for quite a few riders. That is inexcusable! I know of events that were killed as a result of a single bad year. There were a number of complaints among the riders I talked to with the common theme being that they wondered what they had paid for! There is no point of putting on an event if you do not plan on doing it well. I believe that many people were probably dissapointed today in the level of support that they were provided during todays event. If it hadn’t been for the fine weather then this event might have been a total bust for many.

I dont often give ratings to events but I might start. On a scale of 1 to 10 I would give today’s ride a 5, with at least 2 points of that being for the weather. I guess people will always come to ride St. George in springtime because of the likelihood of good weather but they may not be willing to pay for full support only to receive much less than that.