Sunday, January 15, 2017

Registration Madness

Looks like I will be going down to visit this country again this Spring.
First off, no- I did not get in the DK200. I didn't even try to. Actually, I was in bed sick when the whole registration thing happened and I understand that it was quite the scene.

There was a new record time set for fill up, which is what I predicted. Depending upon who you believe, the DK200 was filled up, (with exception of the 200 women's spots, which took a little longer), in somewhere around 15 minutes. That's all available spots, and the "200 Women-200 Miles" category filled in about a half an hour, so I gather.

So that's pretty great, yes? Well, that is a good thing that also has a "bad taste" for many who experienced internet hiccups with the registration service used by the DK200. Stories of "spinning icons", dropped registration, crashes of the site, and more were seen on social media. Some folks thought they missed out only to find a receipt showing that a credit card had been charged and then finding their name on the roster later. Some folks missed getting in but were charged for support and rooms anyway.

There were some that had part of their group get in, but others did not. It gets to be kind of a tough deal when that happens to you and your friends.

I'm not going to speculate as to why things seemed so difficult for the registration server, but I will say that it has become painfully obvious that there is a "frenzy" component to this event's registration that is a known, social reaction which is relevant to many retail sales situations. Think "Black Friday" madness and you can understand what I mean. I saw the same/similar thing with Trans Iowa registration. I ended up changing the way Trans Iowa does registration which has completely diffused the "frenzy" nature we had with registration and now it is completely a sane and fair process.

It's not like they aren't trying to make the process smoother.....
Look, I have to be honest and say that I really liked the "frenzy" to a degree. Back when folks were sending flowers, pizzas, and cases of oil in with their registration cards, or when we were starting to get visitors dropping cards off. That was a lot of fun for me and for those associated with the shop and the event. I am sure that the excitement over the registration process is kind of invigorating for the DK Promotions folks as well. However; I think that when you see as much disappointment and such an amped up atmosphere around the process of registration, it might be a wiser thing to make the process a bit more measured, calmer, and more reasonable to those seeking spots. How would that work for the DK Promotions folks? I do not have an answer for that. I just feel the time has come for a change in the way they do the registration for this highly popular event.

So, anyway, I have one good friend that did not get in and two others who did. I will once again be down there, but not as a registered rider. I'm not entirely sure about the plans for RidingGravel.com's involvement in some capacity at this juncture. There may be something I am wrapped up in having to do with this. If not, I'll probably just do my own ride again.

If you didn't get into the DK200, and you want to "just ride around" down there that weekend, let me know. I may be able to make that work We will see.......

5 comments:

Ari said...

Thanks for the post. Did not register. Could not hook up with anybody and the expenses are getting more and more every year. Bummed and relieved at the same time. I hope to ride more free gravel soon! Lots of emptiness out the. Ari

Guitar Ted said...

@Ari- A couple of us a batting around the idea of "destination rides" where we all go someplace, ride for the day, eat and drink, then come back later or the next day depending upon the venue. No racing, touring pace, taking pictures and enjoying the scenery.

Kind of like a Geezer Ride on steroids, if you will.

I like the idea of hitting up Jackson County.......

Kenny Ness said...

Yes, I want to show up for the pre-ride show, the send off, ride 60-70 miles around town, and then enjoy the party at the finish line. If you organize something like that, I'll be there. If you don't, I may do it anyway.

Steve Fuller said...

Coming at this with my "professional" hat on, there are ways to scale computer hardware up ahead of known "events" just like this. Whether or not BikeReg is built/capable of doing this or not is another question. I seem to recall similar performance issues with Bikereg and Dakota 5-0 in the past as well. Whatever their issues are, they need to get a handle on them.

At this point, it's a fairly solid bet the event will fill up, so there's really no harm in letting people register for a spot over a one or two week period of time, and then pulling people at random. A "You will only be charged if your name is chosen" kind of thing.

Robert Ellis said...

I got in miraculously. I would just like to finish before they put the beer up.