I have to follow up the bike post with this, another bike post, because someone might Google:
Ride The River Valley is organized by a group of people who are actually super-organized and very well prepared for these rides, usually. The ride itself was mostly fine, I’d only suggest very small changes. Overall, I’d recommend the ride itself. And, like I said earlier, rain is a problem you can’t fix.
But among the more severe organization problems, transportation neither left on-time or arrived anywhere close to a proper estimate for both arriving and departing transportation. I wish I could be more forgiving about that, but it was an expensive add-on option, with “departs xx:00 sharp” instructions, and each time I felt like an idiot for rushing-rushing-rushing to be where I was supposed to be only to sit, wait, wait some more, and then be exceedingly late to the destination such that it cut hours off the day’s riding time & recovery. I spent 7 1/2 hours in a van yesterday; only 5 hours riding (and maybe an hour eating. The on-course eating was good. The dining hall at the end, passable).
I think, also, part of it was a sort of volunteer-driven slapdash preparation work ethic that just caused stupid things to happen. Like the finish line volunteers insisting that a half-hour wasn’t enough time to eat AND shower in order to get on-line to catch the next van home. (With no queue to either eat or shower, and with the end result being that I hung around 45 minutes outside neither eating, washing, or relaxing, that was infuriating) Or the bike truck getting lost for 20 minutes+ less than a mile from the finish, while we all stood around outside wearing backpacks, no water, no food, no seating, dark outside, etc. Plus, there were a number of small touches that were handled poorly and just reinforced the idea that everything was messed up from the bottom, not the top.
In the end, getting an hour back would have made me consider completing the whole 100 miles. And most of the problems, including that one, would have been solved by taking our own transportation and setup facilities upstate to the course. It does irritate me, though, that I keep finding this out about particular organized tours after-the-fact.