Organizing rides are not easy, insights to the backstage is here.
Brevets are self-supported rides. Riders are given a queue sheet and are asked to follow the instructions given on it to reach the destination. Organizing a bicycle ride is difficult. There are a lot of things to be considered and many factors that could act as hurdles. Let’s analyze the hindrances that the organizers face, while conducting brevet rides.
Lack of participants:
Cycling is an endurance sport which requires dedication, discipline, stamina and, more importantly, practice. Only the riders who haven’t been off the saddles for a while would be able to participate in one and complete it.
Checkpoints play a very crucial role in a brevet ride. Riders who cross the checkpoints before the time limit will be qualified to go to the next segment of the ride. ATM centers are generally used as checkpoints, as they would be able to mark accurate entry time of a rider. However, it would always be pleasant for the rider to see a familiar face from the organizing committee at the checkpoint. Accommodating this becomes difficult, as the checkpoints are generally 70-100 km away from the start point and the window of the checkpoint is open for 3-5 hours, depending on the distance of the ride.
Riders not following instructions:
Riders participating in a brevet ride are informed that it is a self-supported ride and there wouldn’t be any support provided. Sometimes, riders do not follow the route given in queue sheet, get disqualified and feel grumpy about it after completing the ride in time. This definitely is a huge hurdle for the organizers as this spoils the atmosphere of the riders who legitimately complete the ride.
Most of the riders who participate in brevet rides are males. The groups hardly have 7-8 % of female riders in them. Cycling is a sport which women have not ventured into. This leaves the group full of males and a very few females. This is something that needs to be changed, says Krish from The Bike Affair. The number of female riders is definitely increasing over the course of time.
Mechanical support :
Brevet rides are long and self supported. The main reason it is made self supported is because providing mechanical support in case of a crash or a flat tire becomes very difficult. It is so, as the pace at which each rider goes is very difficult and it becomes expensive for the organizer to deploy sufficient resources.