No one can control the weather! With very chilly temps and a stiff breeze, the best ride promoters can do is mitigate weather factors to provide an enjoyable experience for riders on these types of events. Let's be honest, when you ride in these things this late in the season, you need to be prepared for anything!
The Starved Rock Cycling Association did everything humanly possible to make this an enjoyable experience, which it certainly was! The organization leading up to the day of the ride was top-notch. Registration was made easy by Active, but mail-in was also encouraged and allowed. The directions to Ottawa, as well as to the Y are very precise and clear.
The day of the ride went very smoothly with packet pick-up in the gymn at the Y. There were plenty of volunteers on hand to welcome pre-registered, as well as take day of event sign-ups (which there were a record number of, I was told). The club had extra T-Shirts on hand for sale, as well as the quintessential breakfast/day-of-ride foods and beverages.
The ride? Hillier than I had anticipated, but made worse by the temps and the wind. The organizers' response? Outstanding! They had hot soup and warm foods all day for riders to keep us going. I especially liked the organization of having ONE common SAG stop. That's right...riders go out 22 miles or so, and then can return for the short route, or go on other loops (one east, one north, one west) which wind their way back to the same SAG stop. This eliminates logistical problems in terms of running out of food stocks, staffing, and even making it quicker for SAG vehicles to get out on the routes when needed. This was a fantastic idea!
The staff was courteous and helpful at every turn (pun intended!) and I am definitely coming back next year! This was a pleasant surprise for someone coming all the way from Michigan!
If I could change anything.....Jerseys! I like to pick up jerseys on these things, not just TShirts....yes, I know they cost more, but I am willing to pay for it! Secondly, because this is a fundraiser, (and I love your cause) give us the opportunity to help you out more by getting pledges, or buying other merchandise (socks, headbands, etc., for which you in turn charge more). And finally....more pumpkin pie! Maybe have a catered meal at the end we can pay extra for, or something....it was a long drive back home!
SRCA rocks! See ya next year!