Here we are with only a few days to go. Panic is all around but tinged, I like to think, with some excitement. We’re looking forward to inviting cyclists of all kinds to the heart of the Cotswolds to come and experience beautiful landscape, brilliant cycling, and a friendly, supportive atmosphere. That we will also have some great food and drink on offer will only add to the day.
As first timers when it comes to organising sportives we are keen for rider feedback. There are all kinds of public forums for feedback, from TripAdvisor to Amazon reviews to Twitter. In some ways these have opened up customers/consumers/clients to be as blunt as they can regarding any kind of minor infraction, things that face-to-face would be so minor as to be ignored. This has given rise, as we are all aware, of the two concepts of ‘haters’ and of public shaming (for more on this see Jon Ronson’s ‘So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed’).
This leads us to ask for two things, that might well contradict themselves. The first is feedback from riders about the event. What did you like? What would you like to see more of? Where did we make it stand out from the million other sportives round and about? However, the second is to give us feedback gently, and in a manner where we can take it onboard. It seems that it is not so much what is said, but how it is said that leads to the same issues being dealt with in entirely different ways.
Come and tell us if we got it wrong, although don’t fall foul of the insensitivities of faceless internet shaming, but also, tell us where we got it right, and how we can make it better.