Several of you suggested I email the folks at the Lake Anna Century to let them know of my experience in that event. I haven’t done that, but I did respond to a query from Active.Com (the folks who handled the registration fees). When I went to their website, I found several similar complaints, along with some who mentioned that they enjoyed the route and wished the group the very best. None of the complaints were mean-spirited in their tone; they were simply pointing out the several significant problems with the ride.
Today, the Lake Anna Century sent me an email. I’d like to think it was due to my status as an important blogger with international influence, but I suspect they sent it out to all the participants. I include it below, unedited, for your edification.
Subject: Thank You For Your Support
Thank you for supporting our ride on Saturday! The weather was great and the rain held off long enough for all of the cyclist to finish the ride.
Being that this was the first time we have held this ride, it was a learning experience for us, and there were a few problems that we encountered during the day. We have received some very helpful suggestions from some of you on how we can make the next event even better, and, if we hold the ride again, we will certainly be more prepared.
One unfortunate problem we had was the lack of volunteers. We anticipated support from the local law enforcement community, because this event was a charity ride for Law Enforcement United. We tried Emails, phone calls and personal outreach but did not receive any help. As suggested by some of you, if we decide to do the ride again next year, we will be sure to reach out to the cyclist themselves, and invite their spouses and friends to volunteer. Again, this was a learning experience for us.
The lack of volunteers put us in a tough position and we had to scramble to set up our last 2 rest stops, we apologize to the early arrivers who reached these rest stops and they were not ready for you. Also, we also did not anticipate as many cyclist signing up on the day of the ride, next time we will be prepared with more snacks, fruit and porta-potties!
One last note, this was a ride for charity. This wasn’t a big corporate sponsored event with a full time staff, and thousands of dollars to spend on fancy packets and frills. This was a beautiful ride through some very scenic parts of Virginia, put together by a 15 year old avid cyclist who decided that he wanted to hold a century ride to benefit an organization who’s cause he admires: Law Enforcement United. So please take this into consideration if you feel the need to post reviews on Active.com or anywhere else.
We were happy to be able to provide this opportunity to the cycling community in Virginia. It was a fun and rewarding event for us. We met some very nice people on Saturday, and wish everyone the best. Thanks to you, we are able to make a very nice monetary contribution to Law Enforcement United so that they may continue the great work that they do.
All the best,
Lake Anna Century Classic
Ok, this is awkward. As I mentioned in my previous post, Law Enforcement United is a worthy cause and I hate to criticize given the positive goals of the event. Still, the following thoughts come to mind:
- The event was run by a 15-year-old?! Holy Crud, that’s a lot of responsibility for such a young man. This was a serious event requiring a fair amount of organization and attention to detail. Regardless of your abilities, 100 miles on a bike is no joke and there are any number of things that could go wrong, some with significant medical issues to be addressed. If I knew this was the case, I would seriously have reconsidered my participation.
- If you’re short volunteers and need to scrimp on the rest stops, I would suggest the last two stops are the most important ones. Take a chance with the 20 mile stop and make sure the others are manned.
- If you’re short volunteers and you think there may be problems with food/water at the stops, tell people before you start so they can plan accordingly.
- And finally, if you’re going to host a charity event, do not rely on the expertise of a 15-year-old enthusiast to get everything right. Know what you’re doing or find someone who has done it before and knows what they’re doing. I think the ride is very lucky nothing serious happened on their watch.
There, enough bashing on the good people at the Lake Anna Century. Since so many were interested in giving the organization feedback, I thought you would like to know the riders’ voices were heard.