spr survey – racing & volunteering comments

a little while back we ran a survey and have since published the results in a previous post. quite a few of the questions had a space for comments.  in the interest of transparency all the comments from the survey will be listed below and i will attempt to answer them as best i can.  since the survey was anonymous, this is the only way that people can be responded to. on occasion, i may group a number of comments together and answer them together.  if you need further clarification on any of the replies, please feel free to send me and email and i can answer you personally.

As there were so many areas to add comments, we have broken it done into 5 main topic groups with posts around each – club & safety, kit, racing & volunteering, social and a final one where the general feedback on any topic was given.

If you don’t race, are there barriers preventing you from racing?

Probably nervousness having never raced, skills may be not up to it

confidence, training opportunities for the novice racer. most training seems to be tailored around the faster/ more elite group(s)

Too old, too slow.

I’m between ‘not coming back’ and ‘loved it’.

My fat arse and refusal to diet.

Did TOMR might consider it again but not interested in individual racing.

Work weekends. Crit’s scare me witless. I’m fat.

Not race fit

I am not interested in crits they are just too dangerous. I especially don’t like the tech park circuit. Fear of a massive group stack I am not interested in but I think I might aim for TOMR again next year but its a big expense by the looks of it

Age, Family commitments and if I crash and/or injure myself I wouldn’t be able to work as I have a physical job.

experience at the moment. Which is also why i don’t attend more development rides. Would be great to have some rides for really new riders that work on skills as I development rides I’ve done faster than planned average and a bit overwhelming for a newer to group riding cyclist

Don’t train enough; some elitism exists. Not easy to jump from M2 to M1 etc. (M2.1 should be focused on progression to assisting riders, greater separation within group abilities (I appreciated this is not as simple as it sounds)

Getting to events

No barriers but am a much better rower than rider.

Not personally interested in racing road race or criterium events (which I don’t like/ not suited to me), but do compete in Time Trial, Track, MTB and CX events. Support RR and Crit events though and think SPR should too.

Age

time

Not worth it unless you train

Got nervous with rider behaviour on west coast masters C grade race.

Occasional racer when I get motivated.

I don’t feel I am Quick enough and am too old.

not competitive

I’m too old and my bike skills are crap! I would be a danger to myself and others if I raced. I am a competitive distance runner, and ride mainly for variety and also for the social interaction.

just fitness

Not interested in racing road, never have.

SPR members do not race like a team, it’;s all individuals. When racing against others like Midland they are well organised and use their strengths to win. SPR has many capabilities but they are not working together.

Age

Fear of another 50kph crash and broken bones has something to do with it.

time

Just do the occasional race at which there’s a strong SPR presence e.g. TOMR, Beverley. Have loved such events but that’s enough racing for me!

commitment, cant lose!

Too old

No, not within the control of the club

caveat: I have raced but find it too nerve wracking thus have moved onto TTs, don’t currently have the time to commit consistently to the times of day racing is set up but even if it was ….. would I race again … no idea

Me

Time and my partners interest in attending races

Raced karts for 15 years. Don’t feel the need anymore and getting too old. But I can see the motivation that racing would bring a rider.
Cost, self-organisation, uncertainty about safety.

Racing means a lot of training. I have time for training only on Sunday and it is not enough. Time is my limitation.

Only barriers I have hit whilst racing.

training time and a bike born after 1987

Time and still getting to know the club members

Looks a bit unsafe

Speed, lack of experience

Missing the option I really wanted. Tried it and may come back.

Expensive, doesn’t fit in with my schedule.

Haven’t had time to think about it with long working hours.

Money: Cost of licence Cost of entering races Being offered a new rider free race and not being refunded New to cycling racing: Not knowing what I’m doing Not knowing what category to race in. Not knowing anyone at races

Not racing at the moment due to illness.

I don’t yet have a race performance bike

Woudn’t say I love it, but will continue to do it

List of events available Question of am I good/fast enough

Have raced but currently not racing

time and commitment to train. Being able to try it in a safe environment. Apprehension and confidence to give it a go.

Would be good to have skills sessions

I may come back to racing but not currently a focus for me.

Occasionally raced – not convinced to pursue

Tried it & might come back

old, fat and unfit.  you would be surprised at how many people that are racing would describe themselves in the same way.  age, is not a problem as there are masters races that many of our members participate it.  it is not associated with cycling australia and our club membership will not enable you to ride, but it is still racing if you are interested.  fat and unfit are a couple of parameters that can be changed.  however, no time for training also rated quite highly and this will certainly effect the fat and unfit status.

we are not trying to push people into racing but just make sure that they are aware of the pathways that exist within the club that can certainly help take that next step.  if you enjoy riding hard on saturday morning and love to win the final “sprint”, then it is not much of a step to pin on a number.  most races will have other spr members in attendance, so if you are keen, but not sure, get in contact with the race committee and they will be able to help you out. the race committee  will do a post-saturday q&a in the next few weeks where you can chat and ask questions. any raving questions at all. watch for the blog post

Would you be prepared to volunteer for race duties and what would you be willing to do? (e.g.: line judging; marshall; registration; etc)

Registration, traffic mgt

Anything – marshall, follow car, etc

Rego

Whatever

No preference.

Marshall

registration,

Anything requested of me

Anything that doesn’t require prior experience. I have none.

Burn Peter Mah’s leg again, drive the wrong way at a course in Wanneroo, set up a feed station at the wrong place just out of Kalgoorlie, find ice in the middle of Bintan ETC

i have a permanent scar on my leg from your volunteering efforts.

Difficult due to family commitments and shift work

Registration

Marshall

only I’m interstate so really it’s a no

marshall, rego, offer my services as a physio/medico

Anything. I usually help out whenever in needed

Were ever needed, but shift pattern makes regular attendance difficult

Happy to do anything

Anything

Heavily committed to rowing including Australian Masters and coaching.

Anything

registration

Marshalling, Vehicle Support

Registration, set up/pack down

Any

Registration, marshalling, set up and pack up

all of the above

Anything

Marshall

What ever needs doing.

Any

All of above

Any required support activities

Marshall

whatever asked

anything required

Marshall

Anything

As needed

Quality control

marshal, registration

anything

setup/registration

Handing out water etc

no idea what’s needed!

Marshall, line judging

will assist in some way but also understand the time/effort that takes to run races.

Registration

Any

rego, marshall – when available

Depends on work. I work most weekends

Basic stuff

Rego

marshall

Registration, packing up.

Race Director

Driver

Whatever is needed

Anything required

MARSHALL, registration

what ever the club needs, fairly flexible

Registration

whatever

Something that I could do before/ after the race and still race or be able to send a family memever to volunteer on my behalf. If you volunteer you could get a cheaper race??

Registration,

Anything

Any of the above.

registration

But I find it very difficult to get away to help

Registration

Whatever is required and will fit with my training/racing schedule

Anything

Anything

Whatever

Timing system, marshall

Any role required.

Registration

Registration & marshalling

Anything

Marshall

Organising. But I’ll need help and direction as my first time doing this.

Driving, marshalling, registration

Line judge, registration

Marshals

Everything

Registrations

wow, that is a lot of people willing to help out.  unfortunately, being an anonymous survey, we can’t just list out your names onto a register.  we did ask for vollies last year and kept a list.  please respond to the spr green army volunteer call out blog post coming up soon!

Based on your experience as a ToMR racer in 2017, please tell us what could be done better to improve?

Might be good to try and get accommodation closer together to enable greater interaction amongst teams? ToMR volunteers were awesome – despite the Greenbushes wait (no doubt you’ll get plenty of feedback on that from others! 😀 )

Some miscommunication at the Green bushes finish left the mixed team out on their own.

Only 2 of the volunteers were poor. The rest were excellent!

Did not race with SPR for the TOMR, raced with the Unicorn Racing team

Could have resolved the Thursday evening issue quicker and more decisively. Shame there’s limited accommodation closer to Nannup.

Some volunteers excellent. But there were 2 that refused to ferry cars more than 1 direction on the Saturday which is the key day the volunteers were needed. That left others left to do silly kms to make up the shortfall and left them exhausted. This left 2 teams very delayed getting food and lifts. Especially bad for mixed team. The 2 vollies in question chose to assume that they only needed to assist their teams (or in 1 case only certain team members). I also am aware of an incident that lef racer who had even ingredients the crash left to attend an ambulance on her own having asked her teamsters and volunteer to please wait for her as she didn’t know where the SPR tent was and she was hurting and needed some help. They didn’t wait and when she came out the ambo none was there. I don’t think this person would do the event again.

generally people were pretty happy with the tomr race experience.  some firmer policy around a number of issues including volunteer duties have already been identified. communication here will be the key to ensure that everyone know what needs to happen and when.  however, remember, volunteers are volunteering their time and are unpaid, so don’t expect them to be everywhere and everything to you.

the accommodation is also an issue now that the race has moved to nannup.  initially we though that we could stay in busso as it is close, but the number of 5 bedroom houses was limited so we moved further along the coast.  we will take into account all the feedback we received when start to look into tomr 2018.

How would you improve the  “SPR racer experience” of the ToMR for future years?

Perhaps better accommodation for the volunteers.

Better organisation around volunteers transporting racers from one location to another.

I was lucky and my daughter experience was excellent

Perhaps more information about racing organised rides, training for the novices?

Can’t think of one fault! Amazing every year. It keeps getting better.

Sort out vehicle transfers before people decide to bugger off.

Locate more responsibility for planning & logistics at team level, while retaining higher-level decision making & coordination at official club level

I think it was pretty spot on

Keeping them in the lower categories is key to the experience being positive.

Depends on where the racing is held, as the travel time to the events each day prevent the teams getting together to socialise, which is a great reason to attend and get to know fellow SPR members.

Depends a lot on the race course. I know the point to point caused a lot of logistical headaches & a few extra volunteers would have helped share the load with driving. Also accomodation closer to the race would reduce driving time – happy to stay somewhere more basic

Harsher penalties for withdrawals. 😉

It was pretty good!! I was blown away with the experience. The logistics and the last day being back to back wasn’t the best but I don’t know how SPR could have influenced that. I was expecting more atmosphere at the event. People said the year before had more atmosphere. The heat took people by surprise. W1 has the right idea with ice in stockings. It would be good for the more elite teams to mentor those not as experience.

Allow tea,s to ,are their own accommodation arrangements. Give team a guideline for location, facilities etc.

be fitter and more prepared to race in the heat!

Let the team organise their own logistics, it became too much for the club to organise the transport of each team,

More direction around logistics: hiring a bus and trailer was an excellent decision and would have benefited other teams.

Need to find a way to stay closer to the event to reduce commute time. I appreciate this can be difficult.

Pro rider was allocate to a team who rode with her every race. Yet they also did a ride with the pro on Monday morning without inviting anyone else. They also arrived late to the BBQ which was one of the few times others got to talk to the pro. My team were rostered to bring the pro back one day but we were told last min that the w3 team had decided to do it. My team luckily got to spend time with her on the road as we happened to be the same division. I’d a team is allocated pro they should be mindful that the pro is paid for by the entire club

this is the first year that we have had the pro rider. overall, we think it was an excellent “plus” for the club, but we also know that we can improve. couple of points: one, the pro rider themselves made specific requests, and these influenced how we arranged things. two, the overall TOMR management had scheduled some things we did not initially know about, which reduced some opportunities for club members to interact.

Jore cars for those point to point races/ stages. Allow families to come down and stay with/ bear teams.

Subsidise cost if the event. More mini buses for transportation

again a few points raised around travel times and we will certainly look into that.  apparently tomr will remain around nannup for the next few years, so we should get used to having some form of travel as nannup cannot house all our riders.  being close to the ocean was certainly good after the race, but not totally necessary.  offline, i have also heard that the price of accommodation can be restrictive for some people.  the flip side is the quality of the housing often reflects that, so it is a trade off between being comfortable and well rested or paying  a bit less.  something that we can look at.

as always, there is lots of discussion leading up to the event around teams organising their own accommodation and allowing families, etc to come down.  the biggest problem here is that the teams keep changing right up to the final weeks.  people pull out or get injured etc and we need to shuffle rider around.  we can easily get into a situation where a certain house is booked, or spouse staying with and then riders all swap around.  all of a sudden someone is not happy with some aspect of it and it always falls back to the club to mediate.  that is why we now organise all accommodation for the riders and subsidies the volunteers.  i can’t see this changing in the near future, especially with the unprecedented number of withdrawls we had last year.  logistically last year was not easy, but both greg and jon (and eventually bryan) did an excellent job of pulling it all together.

Based on your experience as a ToMR volunteer in 2017, please tell us what could be done better to improve?

The communication was ok but would have found value in an early briefing session. This I think would have enabled me to plan work commitments more effectively to allow for an earlier arrival. Plus could have picked up a bigger loaded from Bryan etc.

Ive sent a separate email with constructive feedback.

Quality of accom was super, availability of accom was SHOCKING. 9 volunteers to 5 available beds Location of accom was fabulous next to beach & close to town centre but SHOCKING for race location. A lot of fuel was expended driving to Camp & then to race end & home. Wasn’t expecting that. There was a ‘racers’ pre tour meeting discussing the courses etc. It would’ve been helpful if some guidelines, team expectations were offered in a similar setting

Ok… I volunteered with TMR not with spr …I stayed at the hotel…I was grateful.

again distance of travel.  also some better communication for the volunteers so they know what they need to do on the day.  as a racer, however, i didn’t think that the volunteers at any stage did not know what they were doing.  we had pretty much everything we needed to get out and race and always had a coke at the finishline.

How would you improve the  “SPR volunteer experience” of the ToMR for future years?

Early briefing session Clear outline of expectations and requirements Perhaps information to the teams about what the volunteers could do, there was the odd expectation cropping up. In respect to the car shuttle – 2 volunteers withdrawing from doing more than one car shuttle on the Saturday was in my view the biggest contributing factor to one person having to do three shuttles. It was an unfortunate set of circumstances.

Less driving by being closer to race central. Ensure that all Volunteers contribute evenly, not just look after their group (when others are in dire need of attention). Equal access to guest pro riders.

All wear matching SPR green polo shirts 🙂

was pretty good as it was

I rated the accommodation based on staying with W3 team, there would not have been enough room staying at the volunteer’s house. I personally think it’s better for the volunteer to stay with the team.

Volunteers need to full understand their commitment to the event. ie 2 drivers only willing to do 1 car retreval trip on stage 2 leaving half of mixed team and me finish. Not really concerned form me but mixed team delayed approx 90min for recovery

Maybe if possible have houses closet together, volunteer to stay with their team, be responsible for all transportation of team

All teams have a volunteer Volunteer stays with assigned team Bus & trailer to accomodate team & bike from accom to base camp

It’s pretty good already , can’t fix it

houses closer, less driving, volunteers staying with the team.  all valid points and something that the logisitics team will look at.  any mention here and previously about bus and trailers really only applies if we have a point to point race.  a few years ago there were lots of point to point stages so we had to hire buses and trailers.  it did significantly add to the cost of the tour price and we avoid it if we can.

on a general comment about volunteers, everyone needs to remember that they are volunteers, not paid workers there to look after you.  please do not put unnecessarily high expectation on something that is being provided for free.

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