Tips & Tricks for RBAs and Volunteers

Below are some examples of methods to preparing event documents and running events for RBAs and event volunteers. Additions & Suggestions welcome!

Using Info Controls? Include a golf pencil in the bags for riders who might not be carrying something to write with. Golf pencils are $0.07/each in bulk.

Drop Bags: Attach a label sticker to a paper tag or (preferably) a colored wrist strap for riders to attach to their bag at the ride start. Use multiple colors to differentiate bag destinations if multiple drop sites are used.

Plastic Bag Sizes for Documents (with Amazon links):
Often the ziplock bags purchased in the supermarket have writing or colors on the sides which makes it harder to read the documents inside from both sides of the bags. Buying ziplock bags in bulk is cheaper and ensures you’re getting clear bags.

Cue Sheets (Print on 8.5 x 11″ paper): Use 6″ x 10″ Bags. Print in portrait orientation, fold in half. Alternative: 9 x 12″ bags with no cue sheet folding.
Standard (Bifold) Brevet Cards: Use 5″ x 7″ Bags.
High Density (Trifold) Brevet Card: Use 4 x 6″ Bags.
Riders sometimes prefer the high density cards as they fit easier into a jersey pocket.

Consolidate everything riders need into a single bag to hand out at check-in.

One-sheet for GPS users: Prepare a cheat sheet with important information such as the control times and stores along the ride for GPS-only riders. These are not distributed at the start but can be downloaded by interested riders.

Example of Control & Service list for riders not using a cue sheet. Click to enlarge.

Emergency Contact 1-Sheet
Have a single page with all pre-registered rider’s cell phone numbers and emergency contact info ready to go. In the unlikely event you need to contact a rider or their emergency contact during an event, it’s helpful to quickly have all info in one place.

Info Control Questions: Finding a good info control question is tricky. Don’t rely on colors as some riders may be colorblind. The best questions are easy to find and unambiguous, such as the date printed on a monument or plaque. One smart method employed by Lois & Bill (Santa Cruz Randonneurs) is to attach reflective house numbers to coroplast and zip-tie this to street sign. The general public will assume it’s for a utility and will leave it alone. Reflective numbers makes it easy to see at night. A related tip from Tom D. (Detroit) is to affix a number of zip-ties to a sign and asking riders to count how many.

Info Control Question: Coroplast sign with reflective letters. Idea from Lois & Bill, photo by John Lee Ellis.

Unstaffed Control Locations: For unstaffed controls or finish locations a punch time clock can take the place of an event worker and ensure the time is recorded. Downside: These are expensive and most require electricity however can sometimes be found used cheaply. (Another great tip from Bill & Lois.)

Don’t show your rack! One local RBA sometimes checks up on riders with his bike rack in the trunk of his car. When a capable rider sees him and asks to be sagged back to the start, the RBA responds that he doesn’t have any way to take the bike. The rider will almost always ride to to finish and be glad they didn’t take the easy way out. (If the rider looks to be in pain or struggling, the RBA readily offers the lift.)

Custom Brevet Card Stamps: Custom self-inking stamps are cheap (Under $15) and make it quick to mark a brevet card!

Custom Stamps are cheap, quick, and fun!