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RBRR 2021 - the feedback thread


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I'm starting this here so all entrants can have their say about what went right and wrong with the RBRR 2021. It will be a considerate thread, with constructive comments, constructive criticism and workable suggestions. We will play nice and not be rude about suggestions, we will not close down opinions once expressed but will also not allow trolling. Everyone agree, yes OK let's get started 🙂   

When people way "They should do something about ....." you are the "people" and your organising team the "they".

The organising team are constantly talking and considering new ideas, locations and processes but to help you with a few 'rules' you may want to know that

  1. The Club and the RBRR is organised by unpaid amateurs, we are enthusiastic, keen and sometimes even capable but we aren't the most IT literate lot.
  2. The RBRR is popular, it sells out in a few hours, the limitations on numbers are generally down to the capacity of venues and the organisers ability to cope. We can't really make it bigger without significantly increasing the costs and probably losing something along the way - also, see 3 below.
  3. We can't make a huge profit from the RBRR - the Club is not VAT registered and cannot increase turnover - we get a limit set by the Club and we must stick to it. So, ideas of how to limit turnover from people who know the VAT rules are very welcome. Registering for VAT and making big profits would change the basics of the Club from amateur enthusiasts to money making business, a leap that the Sports Six Club made some years ago - they are a very different animal to CT (not better or worse, just different). As this is a RBRR thread I think we keep off that subject - unless you're a VAT expert 🙂 
  4. The RBRR is registered with Motor Sport UK and governed by their rules under a 'TAP' - a Touring Assembly Permit, the Club will always protect that validation so everything we do must stand up to official scrutiny. This is not Gumball and never will be.
  5. Third party services like FaceBook and WhatsApp are very difficult to control. Our work with RallyApLive is ongoing, we used WhatsApp differently this year and FaceBook was, as ever, a pain to deal with for all concerned - I did consider just turning it off at one point. CT members are generally not especially good at using these things so we need our technology to be fairly simple and easy to manage. For example, there are people, and I'll be polite here, "well meaning" people who feel it's their right to interfere with the event. Using FaceBook to set up an unofficial 'control'. Sadly, Club members get involved and this makes our lives all the more stressed - unscheduled stops that are neither authorised nor controlled by the RBRR team and are unknown Motor Sport UK constitute a serious risk to the ongoing running of the event. I'm interested in how the membership think we should deal with this? We've tried talking about it, we've tried asking politely, we have not yet tried banning anyone who participates or writing it into the rules that anyone attending will be withdrawn from the event.
  6. Withdrawals are inevitable but unnecessary - I think a separate thread is needed here as I want to draw on the collective experiences, good and bad, of the field. There were some heroic efforts on the weekend and so very noble entrants who went out of their way to help. One thing I would like specific thought on is that there were some participants who were mechanical snowflakes, loving the event but who had very little knowledge (or interest in some cases) in fixing their own problems. How do we educate/train/recondition these crews - the RBRR is best done with self sufficient crews who help each other but crews who always own their own problems. There's unlikely to be a transporter and mechanic following the field to fix cars due to the cost and practicalities of such an undertaking. This might get messy but if you are one of those entrants who are mechanically challenged or felt overwhelmed by problems, what do you think you and the Club can do to rectify this? I can't guarantee you won't get the mickey taken but I think it's fair to say that if you ask for help, you'll get it. If you put the problem onto someone else, you'll not enjoy the outcome - this is not about outing the ignorant, it's about educating and raising the standard for us all.

I think that's enough to be going on with but you tell me what you experienced and how you think it could be better. 

Jason 

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Breakfast at Seaview was a bit chaotic, not totally the Hotel's fault, more down to the "Fish Woman" (AKA Jimmy Krankie) still keeping Covid restrictions in place limiting capacity. 

But, breakfast at Lands End was great, so well organised compared to previous years, they really have raised their game.

The new control stops at Falls of Shin and Haynes were good, the food kiosk at the falls of Shin was great and the staff there pleasant and friendly.

The Gartcosh Social Club was a bit like a visit to Phoenix nights and I was disappointed not to find Max and Paddy on the door and Brian Potter whizzing around in his wheelchair!

Edited by cook1e
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Absolutley loved this RBRR.

I've done four and the first two, we finished but I hated doing it all the way round until feeling the euphoria at successfully completing the event.

Didn't like the 2018 event but that was down to the car not the event.

Tim was wanting to increase the mileage but I said to him that it was the Round Britain Reliability Run not the 2000 Mile Reliability Run.

I think Nigel got the route totally spot on.

We never felt pressed for time or stressed out.

Having a reliable car this year certainly helped.

My only slight criticism was some of the marshals at controls.

Yes, I know they are all volunteers and the event couldn't run without them and I'm so grateful that they turn out as I know getting marshals can be a fraught time.

However, when you arrive as the 6th car into a control and you're early because you've worked the car hard to get there and the marshals don't keep the roadbooks in order of arrival and you are the 40th person to get your roadbook back, it is a bit of annoyance that all your hard work has come to nothing.

It's a minor point but I don't think we were the only crew irked by this.

Still, in my opinion, this was the best RBRR yet.

Forget about pandemics, sheeple hoarding fuel and the heavy rain, I can't think of a single moment when I thought I wish I was back in my bed instead of doing this.

Katy and I had a wonderful time, we met so many people we hadn't spoke to before, which was as much a part of the event as the driving.

Another great Club event.

Tim, Nigel and the rest of the organisers, thanks for giving us a wonderful time.

Now where's the button to give the 2021 RBRR 5 stars?

Jim.

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The collect and keep process for roadbooks  is a bit haphazard at times - weather, time and perhaps the pressure the marshals feel when 100+ smelly, tired and slightly grumpy Triumphists are bearing down on them all add to a stressful time. I'll take that one to the team and we'll see what we can come up with as guidance to marshals. I favour the plastic box filing system, like at Bude, to keep them in the order they arrived, to be called out once the control opens and returned in that same order. 

There should not be any appreciable delay and this isn't a race so whether you're first or last shouldn't matter (I know it does to some) as long as you're not out of time!

 

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Well, I've done 3 before (2014, 2016 and 2018).  2018 we retired at Tebay.

I agree the best yet.  From the drivers' meeting to the start to the end - excellent. The route was spot on and the final leg was the best I've done.  You're tired at that point and just want to finish - not sit in traffic jams or have to negotiate a complicated route back.  

All controls pretty well chosen.  Gartcosh served its purpose but was a bit depressing (more Clansman out of Still Game than the Phoenix Club I thought!).  I think generally it's good to have services as a stop (eg Kinross much better than Knockhill in my opinion).  It means you can grab a coffee, maybe sit down and combine with a fuel stop.  On that basis why not the M9 services rather than Gartcosh?   I know we are not always welcome though.  However, minor, minor gripe that one.

Whatsapp worked very well.  Rallyapplive ok but we forgot about after Carter Bar.  

I liked the bar being open at the end and I felt everyone (including the club officials really made an effort to talk to the participants).  Don't know whether that was a conscious effort but felt much more inclusive  Back in 2014 at the Plough, as two new boys to the event we felt a little bit on our own as everyone else seemed to know each other and have done it loads of times previously. This event felt like there were more first timers and more younger crews (don't know if the stats bear that out but it felt much more inclusive).  Everyone was very friendly.

Can't criticise the marshals re book hand outs - its not a race and does it matter if you get your book back at the ETA or 5 mins later? 

Not sure about the issue of mechanical snowflakes.  Even if you have a reasonable amount of mechanical knowledge, if you break down in the dark in the middle of nowhere, its always a bit of a panic and you're not always thinking clearly (especially since you have time pressure to contend with).   Perhaps more info on the implications of breaking down, help on the decision whether to continue, what to do if the marshals have gone etc. Perhaps RallyAppLive may help there to log people through the controls if the marshals have gone?  

It may be that everyone needs to learn to do a few basic things and that perhaps Club Triumph have a course that is available online?  Perhaps, everyone ought to learn to:

Swap a distributor (clamped and timed already with rotor and cap). Electronic distributors are cheap on Ebay and change plugs

Swap an alternator or dynamo and fan belt

Swap a fuel pump

Swap a water pump

Know where the fuses are and spares

Very basic diagnostic help - eg fuel, spark etc 

Change and carry bulbs.

I don't think I'd want to do much more than that by the roadside. It's good to trial fit your spares pre the event so you're confident you can do it quickly without panicking!

However, in summary can't think of anything that needs to be changed and want to thank all involved for an excellent event.

Bob

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Horace said:

Well, I've done 3 before (2014, 2016 and 2018).  2018 we retired at Tebay.

I agree the best yet.  From the drivers' meeting to the start to the end - excellent. The route was spot on and the final leg was the best I've done.  You're tired at that point and just want to finish - not sit in traffic jams or have to negotiate a complicated route back.  

All controls pretty well chosen.  Gartcosh served its purpose but was a bit depressing (more Clansman out of Still Game than the Phoenix Club I thought!).  I think generally it's good to have services as a stop (eg Kinross much better than Knockhill in my opinion).  It means you can grab a coffee, maybe sit down and combine with a fuel stop.  On that basis why not the M9 services rather than Gartcosh?   I know we are not always welcome though.  However, minor, minor gripe that one.

Whatsapp worked very well.  Rallyapplive ok but we forgot about after Carter Bar.  

I liked the bar being open at the end and I felt everyone (including the club officials really made an effort to talk to the participants).  Don't know whether that was a conscious effort but felt much more inclusive  Back in 2014 at the Plough, as two new boys to the event we felt a little bit on our own as everyone else seemed to know each other and have done it loads of times previously. This event felt like there were more first timers and more younger crews (don't know if the stats bear that out but it felt much more inclusive).  Everyone was very friendly.

Can't criticise the marshals re book hand outs - its not a race and does it matter if you get your book back at the ETA or 5 mins later? 

Not sure about the issue of mechanical snowflakes.  Even if you have a reasonable amount of mechanical knowledge, if you break down in the dark in the middle of nowhere, its always a bit of a panic and you're not always thinking clearly (especially since you have time pressure to contend with).   Perhaps more info on the implications of breaking down, help on the decision whether to continue, what to do if the marshals have gone etc. Perhaps RallyAppLive may help there to log people through the controls if the marshals have gone?  

It may be that everyone needs to learn to do a few basic things and that perhaps Club Triumph have a course that is available online?  Perhaps, everyone ought to learn to:

Swap a distributor (clamped and timed already with rotor and cap). Electronic distributors are cheap on Ebay and change plugs

Swap an alternator or dynamo and fan belt

Swap a fuel pump

Swap a water pump

Know where the fuses are and spares

Very basic diagnostic help - eg fuel, spark etc 

Change and carry bulbs.

I don't think I'd want to do much more than that by the roadside. It's good to trial fit your spares pre the event so you're confident you can do it quickly without panicking!

However, in summary can't think of anything that needs to be changed and want to thank all involved for an excellent event.

Bob

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for that, good thoughts. I'd love everyone to be able to change a head gasket in a layby but I know that's not realistic. I was surprise just how little mechanical knowledge some folk had - and these are generally people who I'd say could learn. There is the germ of an idea of some basic roadside skills videos brewing in my brain, maybe just a play list of such things that already exist.

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50 minutes ago, Horace said:

 

I don't think I'd want to do much more than that by the roadside. It's good to trial fit your spares pre the event so you're confident you can do it quickly without panicking!

 

You could easily fit your NEW spares and put the working old items in the spares box.

That way you know the spares will work - some (too many) new spares do not work.

 

Roger

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This was my 6th RBRR and the best one to date for a number of reasons. 

1) Total distance was slightly less - 2008/1961miles; 2010/1982 miles; 2014/2027 miles; 2016/1998 miles; 2018/1952miles compared with 1897 miles this year which meant between 1 & 2 hours less driving in total. Consequently the timings to the control points were easy to achieve without pushing.

2) Meal stop at Tebay was a very welcome break. Decent food and a few minutes to rest and chat with others.

3) Section from Badgers Holt to Knebworth was a lot less stressful since the navigation was minimal. The clear run on the M3/M25 was a bonus, but even with the normal slow traffic it would have been an easy finish.

4) Due to the above and despite the torrential rainfall & real concerns about fuel shortages & E10 we all arrived at the finish tired but not knackered and if the after celebrations at the Stevenage Premier Inn were anything to go by, were up for partying for many hours.

A few thoughts for the future.

F1) Create separate WhatsApp group(s) for entrants so they can post updates, requests for help etc.

F2) Require the Rally App to be live all the time so any entrant using unauthorised control points can be identified & sanctioned. (Not without its own issues as you will need an additional phone ..)

F3) Require new teams to show that they have recent experience of long overnight drives in a similar vehicle before starting the event. A CT example would be the C2C, but a recent documented trip by themselves would also qualify.

Cheers

Howard

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My first RBRR and hopefully not my last. I was co driver to Richard Warr and thought it was a great event. Didn’t have to queue for too long at JOG breakfast was good there, breakfast was awful at lands end, my fork kept bouncing off the egg!

if you could do something about the awful weather in Scotland and the north that would be appreciated.

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I have absolutely zero complaints about the RBRR, even many many years ago when Lands End ran out of breakfast I didn't care, it's not about food or this year the worry of fuel shortages... but more about the comradery. What I really liked this year was the introduction of the Rally App Live, every time the screen turned yellow to signify approaching and arriving at a stop gave us a massive sense of achievement... I mean it worked really well. I should imagine much like with my co-driver this helped first timers when they got close to the check points.

The event as a whole is a resounding success with much praise owed to the organisers, if we the "people" can do anything to help in the future please let us know as this is "our" event.

My only suggestion is on the clothing front, I mentioned this on my initial conversation prior to the event to see if there were any changes etc to the team. My suggestion was for RBRR fleeces, even generic ones we can use at each event. I only suggested this as at a certain time the temperature drops our pretty epic polo shirts are all covered up.

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I generally agree with most of what's already been said. This year was one of the best ever. My brother (co-driver in 2000, 2002, 2010, 2016 and this year) said he'd hated the 2016 one but loved this year. A lot of that is down to the car but some of it is what's been said above.

On the retaining road books - for most stops it's absolutely fine but at Okehampton, with miserable rain, no shelter, no fuel (so everyone is going to make another stop shortly) and a far better opportunity for rest coming up quite soon, it just felt like petty sadism to make us all stand in the rain until a fairly arbitrary time. It didn't help that I think this was the occasion McJim referred to - certainly we were held back to the very end of the pile despite having got in fairly early.

Gartcosh did seem a rather strange place. I'm unfamiliar with either of the cultural references that have been made but I can imagine what they are. As a control it worked fine but had nothing to recommend it above a motorway services.

We also gave up on RallyAppLive fairly early. We'd packed enough phones to have one dedicated to it but found that even with that phone tucked into a parcel shelf the display was offputting while driving at night. So we turned the display off... and thus disabled it.

The route was really good - that final stretch may seem terminally dull but it works and, the English road system being what it is, it's probably the only viable option. I even found that my dislike of Bude (it feels to be way off course and too close to both LE and BH) felt unfounded this year. From LE we followed a 2000 taking a detour past Newquay to avoid the A30/A39 junction, which is a definite improvement - one to consider for the official route. Between Bude and Dartmoor we followed Google's B-road and minor road option, which is also good.

On balance, though, lots to praise and only a very few minor niggles. Well done everyone on the organising team.

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1 hour ago, Hogie said:

You could easily fit your NEW spares and put the working old items in the spares box.

That way you know the spares will work - some (too many) new spares do not work.

 

Roger

Yes, agreed Roger.  I’ve done that before.  You are quite right.  I bought a spare distributor only to find issues with it when trial fitting.  Not insurmountable but would have been a pain on the event.  

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I'd echo the comments on handing out road books in order as well.

 

I know it's not a race, but from experience, I like to be as early as possible to reduce stress, allow time to attend to issues and avoid weather if we've spotted it's going to turn grim. In other words, we've planned our run.

 

To have to stand in the rain and get caught in a queue to join a fast A road at 40 mph, presumably because a new driver was getting used to the car and the team was still in the process of getting reading to drive... not pleasant. 

 

Same goes for cars following so close they looked like tow vehicles at 40mph in straight 60mph zones. Leave space so others can make progress. We aren't racing you, we've planned our event just like you have and so please be courteous and let us all do what we need. 

 

Similar thoughts on cars driving like wallies. Not having stickers on your car doesn't mean you can cut in dangerously at junctions when people are slowing down. It also doesn't mean you're faster than the van you pulled out in front of right at the start of the event. That could have ended nastily but pretty much set a precedent. 

 

I said to Tim that lands end wasn't an improvement this year. Instead it was excellent in it's own right.

 

Best event yet and WhatsApp really help feel connected to what was going on.

Edited by ferny
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Gartcosh could have been better.

I had arranged a caterer and the people at Gartcosh were very keen to have us visit and want us back.

Mike Bishop who was marshaling there said that they had great hospitality from Billy Cairns and the rest of the folk at the club.

However, only a 10 minute stop and the Covid regulations up here would have broken the rhythm of the event on this occasion.

But, in 2023, we could have hot Scotch Pies, sausage rolls, sandwiches, tea and coffee, a piper at the door and a DJ playing "Agadoo" in the hall.

You think i'm kidding?

Well, maybe just a little bit - no piper then.

Jim.

Edited by McJim
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I posted this idea in another RBRR related thread, but here is more appropriate.   I wasn't on this one, my Vitesse is just not suitable for endurance events any more, and I wonder - has CT ever analysed which parts fail?     To collect data would be a useful guide to what spares to take, and what you are unlikely to need.

It should be anonymised, no names, no team numbers, and I'll be glad to collect the data if anyone will PM me.      What part(s) failed for you?

If enough to be useful respond, I'll publish here, in strict confidence!

John

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We had a great time in spite of retiring sometime after Gledrid. My first RBRR was in 1990 and I said after 2016 "Never again!". I'm glad that Nuala encouraged me to change my mind.

The organisation was top notch, the route was superb, the breakfast at JoG was really great, fuel was available when we needed it....my huge thanks to everyone be they marshals, organisers or simply other club members who helped us on.

I'm sad that we didn't arrive at the finish in the Stag, she's tucked up in bed feeling quite poorly, but we did get to Knebworth and Nuala was there to welcome the Triumphant heroes home.

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As regard to the use of Gartcosh, I live quite close to it and know this area extremely well.

On a Saturday night around 5 - 6 o'clock, in this area, everything closes down.  Sports centres, food outlets and other venues are gearing up for the evening customers and want a large wad of money for the privilege of using their facilities.

There's really not much available between joining the M9 and the approaching darkness on the M74 with a large enough car park, toilets, a warm place to set up the control and close enough to the route to avoid a 5 mile cross country trek, there and back on minor roads where it is easy to lose your bearings.

Gartcosh is a social club initially set up for the workers at the nearby and long gone steel rolling mill next to the village.

Yes, it is different.

It may resemble Phoenix Nights or the Clansman from Still Game but at least it's not another dull anonymous motorway service area, it has West of Scotland character and is the centre of the local community in Gartcosh.

It has all the requisites we need for the RBRR, large car park, close to the route, warmth, toilets, the possibility of food in the future and the people who run it love cars - they run a classic car show every year.

The RBRR needs a control in this area after the long hike down from the Falls of Shin just to regulate the speed of the crews.

So while a social club may seem alien to some of you Southerners, Gartcosh represents a piece of our industrial past when we actually made big things and a culture that is slowly disappearing - just like our petrol cars.

Jim.

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As always a great run helped by the fact the car had been prepared beforehand. I’ll not take the credit for that as James Cooper did the major work. All I did was finish a few bits off that I felt were essential ( brakes ,steering  🤣).

As always the organisation was spot on, the road book had all the information we needed. Funnily enough it’s easier to get lost using a sat nav…. Don’t ask how we know but Glasgow is an interesting place 🤷🏼‍♂️
 

I don’t think there was a bad control this time. We were very early for falls of shin and did get a bit bored waiting but was ok. 
Seaview was first class as always…. We were in and fed and out in probably 25 mins making way for the next groups. This year it was important to rotate quickly due to reduced seating due to covid. 
Sparkford was great, I waist we’d have been there longer and got to have a poke about… I want to go back. 

Bad points to the weekend … none really, fuel was overinflated price wise, the weather was a bit rubbish through glencoe. 
We predicted lands end to be bad so went for mc Donald’s … service appeared better though when we did arrive however there was a fair amount of food being pushed around plates. 
Personally I find it hard to be down on such a great event. Helped by the fact those that run it take part. 
 

Are we doing car of the run?

If so I’d nominate Sean Bradley’s standard 10. What a great little car…made me smile to see it every time! It’s lovely!! 

Edited by Alex
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21 minutes ago, Alex said:

Actually I agree with Jim, I quite liked gartcosh…. No real negative as far as I could see. 
 

I will second that and if Jim had been able to arrange the Scotch Pies, as planned, it would have been perfect.

H

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