Spring Cycle rip off

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by mds2076, Oct 22, 2006.

  1. mds2076

    mds2076 New Member

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    Apart from the freezing weather and strong winds it was a good ride as always. But...first suprise was I didn't see any photographers. Neither on the bridge or at the finish did I see any, or anywhere else for that matter. Hidden cameras perhaps? After the usual "yet another useless bag with a sunday rag" that we get every year, I realised there wasn't the tables with the lovely volunteers giving out the T shirts.
    On the opposite side of the area I spotted the BNSW tent with jerseys haging out the front. "Ah, that's where we get them", I naively thought...but alas there were jerseys alone. No t shirts this year! In a moment of buck passing something about "change of management this year" was the excuse.
    So, I paid $40 last year and got the T shirt, half price bike show entry, and I seem to remember free energy bars being given out at the Rhodes stop, as well as the annoying sunday rag in a bag you can't ride properly with. Even in previous years there was always the T shirt.
    This year, paid $40 and not really sure what I've got for my money.
    I'm afraid I'll need convincing to do this ride again...no t shirt-no ride or drop the entry fee.
    Quite a contrast to well organised and value for money Wollongong ride.
     
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  2. scotty72

    scotty72 New Member

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    I too was surprised at the no shirt. Mostly because since last year I've dropped enough weight that I can wear them comfortably. So, I was looking forward to it.

    I spoke to someone at BNSW and this was an off the record thing (so treat it as what possibly is true). BNSW has decided it needs to cut costs PLUS apparently the hiring costs for Olympic Park have risen sharply.

    They ought to have at least been honest and mentioned it before they got your money. Then again, they were perhaps worried that they wouldn't have got your money. Short term thinking = honesty doesn't pay. Can you name me any organisation that thinks long term?

    SCotty

    PS..

    I did spot one photographer - he was on the right coming off the old Glebe Is Bridge. I'm not sure if he was there for BNSW, newpaper etc. Just saw an expensive looking long lens.

     
  3. robalert

    robalert New Member

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    Yep, my friend whom this is her third attempt to finish Cycle Syd, finally did so yesterday, she was so looking forward to earning her Tshirt... only to be DISSAPOINTED!

    Wonder how many people participated this year?
     
  4. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    How is this so?

    Not having any reference of past Spring Cycle rides, I guess the increase in Olympic Park fees could be related to the general increase in public liability insurance costs. Nowadays, It's almost impossible to hold any public functions without some serious dough. Another evidence in our ever more Americanised litigious society. :(
     
  5. mds2076

    mds2076 New Member

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    Up until last year the Spring Cycle, or RTA Sydney Cycle as it used to be called, used to end at Paramatta Park. I'm sure it would have been cheaper to keep using that venue. Last year it ended at Olympic Park because the bike show was there, which is fair enough, but BNSW seems to have decided it's going to be a permanent thing, and no doubt a costly decision. It certainly feels like a shorter ride with the last 10km or so padded out by circling bike tracks only a stone's throw from the finish line. I think we all know that Olympic Park has bike tracks around it but there does seem to be excessive promotion of them.
    As for the Wollongong ride, for the $65 I pay, I get a t shirt, cloth patch, morning tea, a decent lunch (not greasy fast food which is the last thing you want after a ride), and a piece of fruit at Stanwell Park. There have been also discount vouchers applicable at certain bike shops for useful things; and I don't mean $2 water bottles.
    Compare that to the Spring Cycle for $40 and you get a useless bag that you can't ride with (if they want to issue bags, how about a backpack or a saddle bag), containing a trashy Sunday rag (which BNSW wouldn't be paying for anyway - that'd be Fairfax's self promotion), a map of the Olympic Park bike tracks (relevant to only a few), and the only useful thing was the Australian Cylist magazine (not so useful if you already subscribe to it).
    Ok so there's $25 difference, but the Gong ride is almost twice the distance, and portion is for charity, but you do actually get something for your money.
     
  6. scotty72

    scotty72 New Member

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    I think that the decision to move the finish from Parramatta Park was something to do with the fact that the Parramatta Park Trust are an utter pain in the arse to deal with.

    They see their park as a sacred site that must not be tampered with. As such, the erection of tents, marques etc. became a real issue, as did the closing of the park road.

    The wobbers almost getting killed walking to Parra station was also a consideration.

    Overall, the move is a great thing - they just need to fine tune it - keep us on the roads - not the paths that were not designed to cope with that volume of traffic. (Imagine is the Harbour Bridge fed into a two way country road?)

    SCotty


     
  7. WYSIWYG

    WYSIWYG New Member

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    My family and I took part in the Mini Challenge....and we were very disappointed. We paid the same entrance fee (all up, $80 for 2 adults and a 5 year old)....as the 50km/40km/15km/10km riders....for a 5km ride. My 5 year-old was very excited about the prospect of 'awesome free goodies' in his bag, which quickly turned to dismay when all he found inside were the magazine, bike map and Sunday paper.

    He's used to my medallions and freebies from fun runs, City to Surf, half-marathons etc (yes, I am a runner also)....so his (and my) introduction to the cycling events was incredibly disappointing. Admittedly, the days of getting free shirts in running events are numbered and few and far between....but there are freebies from various sponsors (Powerbar, powergels, Powerade etc).

    Are we being greedy? Have we been spoilt by the running fraternity?

    It was a fun day - I am merely questioning the value of the amount paid for a short 5km ride. I would pay that amount without question if I had ridden from the start at St Leonards.

    This is probably our first and last Spring Cycle...until my 5 year old and 1 year old are old enough to get their money's worth by cycling the full 50km.

    Lastly, thank you to all the volunteers for the hard work and cheer that they provided....as well as the participants who provided encouragement to my 5 year old as he overcame his fear of cycling in a large, often fast group of cyclists.

    My 2 cents' worth.
     
  8. kslim

    kslim New Member

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    Took my family for the first time too. I started from Nth Sydney, but met up with my wife and kids (6 and 8) at the 20k starting point. They loved it and want to do more riding. My 8 year old wanted to keep riding in the afternoon and backtracked a significant part of the course.

    The cost issue is a reasonable one, and maybe there should be family tickets for those doing the smaller distances.

    My kids were similarly unimpressed by the showbag at the end.
     
  9. kakman

    kakman New Member

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    My first Sydney Ride and I had no expectation of anything at the end - I just figured the money was a charitable donation so wasn't too bothered. Having said that, my 8 year old daughter was keen to ride and I would have liked to take my 2yo on the baby seat - but not for the price they're asking.

    Perhaps they should start charging per km. I'd have happily paid $5 or $10 for my daughter to do one of the mini challenges.

    Whilst I held no expectations for a goody bag, a milo bar, a Gu Gel, some jelly beans or a drink would have been good. Couldn't care less about the paper; read the mag in about 10 minutes. Even though I bought a jersey at registration time, would probably have bought a t-shirt too had they been available. Free would have been fine too:)

    BTW, did anyone happen to receive their free Brita bottle from their web registration? When I registered on the web site it said I'd get one but it never materialised and the offer seemed to vanish a couple of weeks later.

    // k
     
  10. mds2076

    mds2076 New Member

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    Unfortunately the money doesn't go to a charitable organisation like some other rides. I'm now left with the impression it funds a group of faceless beureaucrats, and any idea of becoming a member of BNSW is now well and truly squashed. One would have expected that this ride would be a fairly major event for BNSW, yet no one actually from that organisation was to be seen. It was simply a case of "We're just volunteers; send them an email". Back in the days when the RTA organised it there were real RTA employees to chat to after the ride.
    The mystery of the photos has been revealed in the after ride newsletter emailed to the entrants. Who is going to search through all those photos only to discover they didn't get a photo taken? Obviously Supersport Images weren't invited this year. Considering I didn't even see any photographers along the way, the chances of all ~9,500 riders having their photos taken isn't very likely. Vey unproffessional and an insult really. At least with the Gong ride I'll just be able to enter my name and up comes the photos.
    As for the water bottles, last time they were given away was 2001 and I'm still using it. There was a Brita stand at Rhodes but they did not appear to be giving them away.
    I should have sensed something was going to be wrong when all that arrived in the mail before the ride was a huge A4 envelope with only a bike number and a piece of A4 paper folded in half...not like the informative brochures of previous years.
    Had BNSW not been so deceitful about their massive cost cutting measures or whatever it was prior to entering the ride I wouldn't be so pissed off about the whole thing.
     
  11. kakman

    kakman New Member

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    I was under the impression the major beneficiary was the Heart Foundation.

    Hate to think they might be misleading people if this is not the case.

    // k
     
  12. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    I think fellow riders are being a bit harsh on BNSW over a few five bob plastic freebies, 70-80% of which would have got thrown away or left in the box for the next 20 years ie. Environmental wastage. For the money, the ride was decently organized, everyone had a great day out cycling, our cause has been publicised, AHF received funding supplement, what more can one ask? Yes, it may have been nice to have a pro photographer who'll charge us $10/print. But for that money, I brought my own digital pocket camera and photographed ourselves at the start and at the finish.

    Job done, ride on, Gong ride next! :D
     
  13. nerdag

    nerdag New Member

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    Hear here [​IMG]

    I think the problem that some people are having is that they're not happy with the communication and the marketing of the event. Probably a fair criticism, but I didn't think that the ride itself was poorly organised.

    Apart from not getting my entry bib before the day, I felt the ride was reasonably well organised, and although $40 isn't cheap, it wasn't a "rip off" for the 50km ride.

    If I'd paid that for the 5km or 10km ride, then I'd think I had a more justified reason to be annoyed.

    Agree that most of the stuff that is given as cheapo freebies probably finds its way in bins before too long, and minimising waste is a good thing, IMHO.

    n
     
  14. mds2076

    mds2076 New Member

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    Believe it or not some people do use that service, and for those that don't you can still get a smaller pic off their site. Not sure I'd want to carry a tripod so I can set up my digital camera along the way.
    Even if paying the same price for previous rides before you got the T shirt, which in a shop would cost about $30? The thing is, for those who did the ride for the first time this year they aren't aware.
    I totally agree and they shouldn't be wasting their time and our money on what is described on their site as "Awesome goodies in your free cycle bag".
    I contacted Supersport Images about the photos and was told, "You are one of many disappointed participants who have contacted us with regard to the lack of presence of photographers at this event. We did offer the organizers our service but were not given the opportunity to photograph the race."
     
  15. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    In summary, 2006 Spring Cycle follows the KISS principle... Keep It Simple Stupid! :D

    But I also note that BNSW has been hiring PR/marketing people of late. Maybe there has been a deficiency to date and we'll see more marketing spin next year. Not sure if that means better or worse... :confused:
     
  16. 46kgToDate

    46kgToDate New Member

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    Is this another person, I thought they'd hired someone recently, or iwas that for advocacy and this is a different position?
     
  17. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    Yes, there's that advocacy position. I also read another email just in the last 24hrs that they are looking for a marketing guru of some sort. So yes, they are doing something.
     
  18. kslim

    kslim New Member

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    Is that for spin or for substance?
     
  19. nerdag

    nerdag New Member

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    I'm not sure what point you are making.

    A T-shirt like that would probably cost maybe three or four dollars each when bought in quantities of 10k or more. What did you get for the remainder of your $40 entry in previous years?

    Pretty much what you got this year, minus the tee.

    I don't believe a tee was advertised this year, so new riders aren't likely to miss it.

    I agree that's a bit grandiose.

    n
     
  20. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    Just wait till next year and see what the new marketing guru can spin up! :D
     
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