Tag Archives: kuantan160

The Second KUANTAN160

This time the event was organised officially by MOTAC (Min of Tourism & Culture, Pahang) & Pahang State Government. Personally I am very happy because the programme is still on for the second year. This time I am not the key person and therefore have less responsibility. I took up registration (with tremendous help from Azam & IIUM team headed by Hasmanizam) and also the design/web. This year we used PayPal as payment portal for better payment option even though by doing so, we were charged 4-5% from the total amount.

The planning stage was OK but for me, this time round I am working with someone else as ‘The Boss’ hence some decisions were delayed. But of course all were for good reasons. We also need to fullfil certain interests that will benefit MOTAC & government e.g. high number of participants to booth popularity. We accepted the challenge with caution because we knew, the more people cycling on open roads, the more dangerous it will be, and therefore the more preparation required.

This year, the challenge started even with online registration. As we were new to the system, I personally configured certain things wrongly. The PayPal system also not as smooth as expected. It blocked many transactions for various security reasons. Now I realized that actually not many people used to online payment.

Asking people to register & later to manage their very own personal info also was a challenge as people used to ask us to do that for them. And Malaysian especially, maybe too used to manual registration & therefore preferred bankin or cash registration.

However the most common problem was people simply NOT READING instructions.

The event went pretty well as far as my personal assessment is concerned, but not perfect.

The most challenging part was the technical aspect of it which was the heart of the event. From planning the route, testing few options, planning water station, changing the places many times, trial rides with various parties, asking help from various agencies, handling bureaucracies and so many tasks. I respect my colleagues who were managing those things.

We got problem with vendors we hired. Those already agreed to send canopies, chairs & tables ontime failed or simply refused to do so for no reason. The factory we booked for thousands bottles of mineral waters also closed on the day we were supposed to collect the water (even when they were the one who scheduled the collection date). All happened within 24-36 hours prior to the event. WOW!

Some marshals we engaged also did not turned up. So we really tahnkful to the remaining marshals who worked extra hard, did extra shifts to ensure the running of this event.

Almost 1900 registered but only about 1200++ started the ride. It puzzled us of the too many DNS. Some riders claimed they did start. But our timing system captured otherwise. We installed intermediate check point even though that caused us so many obstacle. Despite that, some riders still cheated. They just cheated themselves actually.

This year, we gave medal & cert to anyone who passed the designated counter. It was up to them to accept them or not. Some, actually only very few of those failed to complete 160KM ride refused to accept them & we really respect the decision.

All in all, it is one tiring event.

As a non professional event managers, we did OK but if given a choice, we prefer to ride with other people that to manage this event.

We really hope for the third KUANTAN160 on 1st June 2014, we could hire professional event manager with better or world class timing system. However the main issues are, will the riders also come with world class cycling etiquette, not cheating, follow all instruction (if they even read the instruction)…and more importantly willing to pay more for the better service (I hope).

KUANTAN160. My personal muse

KUANTAN160 is finally over. We did post event review yesterday. It was not a perfect event but it is considered OK for the first big cycling event handled by a non-pro event management.

What’s KUANTAN160 for me? Sincerely it was months of headache and frustration. Thing that make me happy were the smiling faces of those who completed the 160km torture. Nightmare for me were moments when people scolded me for not giving them medal. Only one huge problem to be considered when one organising such non-race but competitive cycling event. The expectation of riders. It was just too high to handle. It is just not worth it for me who is not living by organising such event.

When there were mix of fast & very slow riders, both wanna complete the 160km ride, technical & logistic arrangement became so complicated. One main conclusion we got after the meeting yesterday was not enough man-power to cover the huge distance between these two group of riders. Of course there were other problems. Things like riders not following rules, support cars/bike not considering safety of others,  marshalls not doing job as instructed, supply failed to be delivered as promised, lorries failed to arrive ontime etc.

Few important facts about me & KUANTAN160. I am not paid to organise this. I don’t get money organising this. I don’t bother about cert or token for me. I am from IIUM & KUANTAN160 did not have IIUM logo on it. I did 160km sub 7 hours even before the event, and I don’t care about the medal. I only wish one thing, I want people to be happy….. and I failed to make everyone happy.

If there is another KUANTAN160, there will be two categories. One is race, the other is fun ride with pace setter all the way. If and only if!

 

Organising a huge cycling event. My personal experience

Last July I joined Ipoh Century Ride. Managed to complete the 160KM bicycle ride in more than 5 1/2 hours. Not great. But not bad either.The best is, I enjoyed the event. However I was wondering why there are no such event in east coast of Malaysia?

I kept on musing the idea to have a century ride in Kuantan. I told few friends. Then I created a Facebook event. A century ride scheduled on 28th January 2012. I was expecting only close cycling buddies will join….. but this friend of mine, Azraie, somehow shared it in BaikBike Facebook’s wall! And suddenly so many people from almost everywhere interested to join in! With such response, I asked Azraie again….whether he is willing to help organising such event. He said YES (3 times!).

So there you go….that’s how KUANTAN160 came about!

At first I gathered few close friends in my house on 8th December 2011. I announced the idea & everyone agreed to the it eventhough I can sense some skeptism. I don’t blame them. There were few cycling events that were not so succesful lately and somehow not many cyclist are keen to join anymore. I told them that the event is not a profit oriented event and we don’t get a single sen out of it. We simply wanna see a major cycling event in the East Coast.

At first we put 300 as our target. Meeting after meeting. Planning after planning. Even before we can print the manual, paper based registration form, registration already reaching 400! So we decided to close it at 500. Well….there are now more than 700 registration!

What is our big concern? It is the funding! Many people think with RM100 fee per person, we should have enough fund to run a century ride. Well my friends, it is not enough. For that RM100 per person, we need to prepare the food, water stations, t-shirt, tents, media kit, time chip, all souvenirs, fee for all related permits, tents and honorariums to marshalls, relevant crews & cycling experts. For 750 riders, almost 300 crews needed. We need to liase with so many government agencies. Not many were willing to come in officially until we can proof to them we got the number!

Securing sponsors is another headache. We need them so that we could cut cost. One thing we really wanna do is to give jersey to all riders. That…we failed to do. With the cost about RM60 per piece, it is indeed a costly momento!

Well guys…unfortunately we can’t afford the jersey.