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Just happened across this on facebook.... https://www.facebook.com/iconiccycling/photos/a.1515380715383296/2160670...

Basically the company that organises the Bike Oxford Bath and Chester sportives are not giving out medals any more to cut waste and instead offering a free photo. Seems like a pretty good idea to me but appears quite a few of the poential entrants aren't happy! Are these people being precious or should you expect the medal for the price of some of these sportive type events? Was going to enter Bike Oxford and just wanted some opinions before offering my support to them by entering! I do believe they're doing it with the right intentions, trust people here to offer a better counter-argument than some of the knuckle-draggers commenting on their fb page if there is one  1 

47 comments

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cactuscat [287 posts] 1 week ago
5 likes

Ha Ha Haaaaaaa! 

"No more bike Oxford for me, having a medal at the end of a race is The best feeling in the world"

You need to get out more

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hawkinspeter [2764 posts] 1 week ago
4 likes
cactuscat wrote:

Ha Ha Haaaaaaa! 

"No more bike Oxford for me, having a medal at the end of a race is The best feeling in the world"

You need to get out more

To be fair, it's the lure of medals that is making that person get out more.

I can't say that I'm motivated by medals, but I don't buy that scrapping the medals is going to make any difference to the state of the environment. Sounds more like a cost-cutting exercise to me.

What they could do is get the entrants to declare beforehand whether they want a medal or a photo.

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Jetmans Dad [94 posts] 1 week ago
8 likes

Depends what/who the photo is of. If it's me, they can go hang ... I have to look at that in the mirror every morning, why the hell would I want a picture of it?

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cougie [21 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

Sounds fine to me. I think medals for bike rides is a relatively new thing ?  I'd much rather have pics and a bite to eat.  

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peted76 [1209 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

I think a medal is a lovely idea for someone who is entering their first, second or third sportive.. I remember thinking how nice it was to get a medal for finishing a 'big ride', that being a bit of a novelty and something to show MrsD.. but now I'm over it, between myself and my daughter we've collected more medals that we know what to do with... quite literally.

I think a printed map of a 'big ride' would be a far nicer thing to own, probably cheaper to produce and compostable. It'd probably be just as cheap to get it printed on a piece of material, you could call it a hankie and blow your nose on it.

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Yorkshire wallet [2363 posts] 1 week ago
4 likes

Ah, the old cost cutting wrapped up as 'eco'. 

 

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John Smith [177 posts] 1 week ago
5 likes

TBH all the people driving to the start will probably do more environmental damage than a few medals. Fine, ask people if they want one as many probably go in the bin, but don’t paint it as environmentally driven.

Or how about giving out pin badges rather than medals.

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madcarew [899 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

on the topic of well meaning actions having unintended consequences....

It would be a really good idea to establish a causative pathway between scrapping medals and an environmental benefit, as it is quite possible that the lure of a medal is material in getting people to go in the events, which are material in getting people out on bikes, which is material in improving the fitness of people who are then more likely to replace car journeys with bike or walking journeys which leads to greater helath benefits which means less health system infrastructure / ambulances etc, and less roading infrastructure development etc.

Is it a good idea to scrap medals to reudce waste to improve the environment? only if it is demonstrably shown that that would be the case. Is it a good idea to scrap the medals.... only if an equal 'reward' is found so that participation doesn't suffer.

And as for the snide "get out more" comments: Remember, many of the people trying this for the first time are chldren, and a medal really means something to them, and we should get as many children involved as possible for their, and our, benefit. Also, for some people, completing a sportive, especially for the first time, can be something of a mini everest and so, yes, they should get out more, and the lure of a mdeal in plenty of cases is precisely what encourages them to do that, and we all benefit.

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StraelGuy [1601 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

I've done at least a dozen sportives in the last couple of years and I must admit, even at 46, I still really like the medal at the end. I don't think an ounce or two of pot metal is doing as much damage as me driving a couple of hundred miles to the event .

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Brown dog [42 posts] 1 week ago
5 likes

Sounds like a cost cutting exercise or bad planning, I you have 1000 entry’s you only need 1000 medals , some may not be claimed for DNF but it’s must be a small percentage going for recycling.

Getting rid of all advertising junk in you race pack would be a better way of reducing waste 

 

 

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Simon E [3474 posts] 1 week ago
6 likes
John Smith wrote:

TBH all the people driving to the start will probably do more environmental damage than a few medals.

Probably?!?

And that's before the driving done by the organisers, the course setup people, the sponsors, the helpers and goodness knows who else.

They could give something useful (an inner tube & puncture repair kit?) to people who live within a certain radius and rode to the start. That will cut out 99% of the waste as nearly all of them drive half way across the country, often 1 person per car.

Does anyone really needs a medal to show that they rode a well-signed cycle route with free food and mechanical backup? Next thing you know they'll be asking if they can ride to school all on their own, without mummy there.

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Awavey [460 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

Ive done a mix of both events with and without medals, and I know personally at least I dont get anywhere near the same satisfaction or sense of achievement at the without medal events as I do at the ones where I get a medal. without a medal it  just feels like a long bike ride which I dont have to pay anyone to do in reality.

Certainly swapping for a photo is not comparable reward as I struggle to appreciate photos of me at the best of times, when Im a worn out mess covered in however many hours of dust,grime,mud or sweat that Ive just been through, it would go straight in the bin.

the eco angle is just an excuse imo

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don simon fbpe [2702 posts] 1 week ago
4 likes

Having seen some of the professional event photographs, I'm not sure that a) they're worth £4-6 or b) that I'd call it an adequate memento.

I'm sure there are other ways to maximise their profits cut their costs be more environmentally friendly.

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StraelGuy [1601 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes
Brown dog wrote:

Getting rid of all advertising junk in you race pack would be a better way of reducing waste 

 

Totally agree, I love the medal but the packets of Wiggle socks and buffs all over the house from finishers packs will end up in landfill if I ever get round to tidying up my house.

 

 

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Organon [122 posts] 1 week ago
3 likes
StraelGuy wrote:

Totally agree, I love the medal but the packets of Wiggle socks and buffs all over the house from finishers packs will end up in landfill if I ever get round to tidying up my house.

Wow, free buffs. I need to go to the sportives your going to. Honestly the medal isn't even the worst thing, how many free bottles of water are given out? Yes people need hydration, but the bottles are just sponsorship for people who want you to buy more bottled water. It's the same old argument; have us cut down on the little joys of life whilst systematic issues are ignored. 

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rjfrussell [500 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
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Simon E [3474 posts] 1 week ago
1 like
StraelGuy wrote:

I love the medal but the packets of Wiggle socks and buffs all over the house from finishers packs will end up in landfill if I ever get round to tidying up my house.

If those items were genuinely useful surely people would be happy to buy them with their own money, in which case no sensible business would want to just give them away!

Although by paying to enter it could be argued that you've effectively bought those items you didn't want.

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Awavey [460 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
StraelGuy wrote:
Brown dog wrote:

Getting rid of all advertising junk in you race pack would be a better way of reducing waste 

 

Totally agree, I love the medal but the packets of Wiggle socks and buffs all over the house from finishers packs will end up in landfill if I ever get round to tidying up my house.

 

 

The socks I do find useful,even if the colour faded notibly after one wash,the buff though...no its like extra small and cant even use it as a handy cloth to clean sunglasses with

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srchar [1093 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

I've kept a handful (5, I think) of sportive medals, where I've particularly enjoyed the ride and/or it was distinctly memorable for some reason.  Would I care if I'd never been given one?  No.  Particularly if it was for "Bike Oxford"</sportive_snobbery>

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PRSboy [360 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

Muttley finishing a sportive...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qkSe4YM7EY

 

 

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Mark B [37 posts] 1 week ago
1 like
Simon E wrote:

They could give something useful (an inner tube & puncture repair kit?) to people who live within a certain radius and rode to the start.

You'd deny the freebies to someone mad enough to ride in from outside your radius?

 

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andyp [1599 posts] 1 week ago
3 likes

Cup of tea and a piece of cake will do me. No need for a crap medal and the rest of the tat given out. Wait, perhaps Audax is the way to go...

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kil0ran [1190 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

Still use the Powerade bottle I got on my first sportive. Only medals I've kept are RideLondon - I'm on a bit of a declutter/avoid consumption drive at the moment. Systematically sending back catalogues and junk mail, and cutting back where possible on packaging and other useless stuff. Last few sportives I've done I've refused the freebies unless they're gels/cake/other consumables

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tommyraleigh86 [6 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

Wow thanks for responses everyone, now I just don't know! Like I said like to think they've got best of intentions, but end of the day medals don't actually matter that much to me and agree with andyp that a bit of cake and a drink at the end is just fine. Though I appreciate others like the memento. Maybe it should be a tick box, at the end you got a marqee to collect medals from and everyone else moves along? Assuming everyone is honest about it mght be a better way. And I agree promoting greener transport to the events and cutting back on plastic bottles will prob help more than cutting out medals. I"ve entered Bike Oxford though, will make for some interesting mid-ride discussion anyway!

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StoopidUserName [531 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

Personally I couldn't care less about getting an utterly meaningless medal...would be different if it was for getting podium at a race or for some epic distance or for something out of the ordinary.

 

Events like London to Brighton where lots of mostly non (lycra clad) cyclists ride for them a big distance is different - it means something...for a club rider or someone who rides regularly do you really need a medal once you've done your first 60/100 etc? Is it an achievement to ride at 15mph for a few hours? For those where it is then yeah, I get it'd be nice to have a medal but my point it I dont think it is an achievement for many people, it's just about collecting something which'll end up in a  box in the shed.

 

Hasn't stopped me telling my little one I've won ride london twice, so despite the above I do find some value in them  10

 

One final thing - there are people in my club who go crazy for a medal - they literally will not go to some events unless they are sure they'll get one...which I find pathetic but I'm sure other people have this attitude too and it may impact the events organisers...

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FluffyKittenofT... [2295 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes
StoopidUserName wrote:

One final thing - there are people in my club who go crazy for a medal - they literally will not go to some events unless they are sure they'll get one...which I find pathetic but I'm sure other people have this attitude too and it may impact the events organisers...

 

I suppose it's like collecting visa stamps in your passport, or something.  Or like someone I knew who used to collect the ticket stubs of every gig he ever went to.

 

  Probably, unless you are completely immune to such OCD-tendencies, once you start down that route it doesn't feel 'official' unless you have that defined acknowledgement that you've done it.  I remember thinking like that about Youth Hostel stamps when I was (much) younger.

 

I don't believe it makes a signifiant difference to 'the environment' though, compared to all the other impacts of a big organised event.  But organizers are free to decide it's not worth the bother and/or it's a bit silly.

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Saintlymark [24 posts] 6 days ago
1 like

It’s an interesting concept, but I’d be interested to really know the environmental impact of finishers medals. I don’t think there is any harm in doing this, but is a medal any more impactful than the photograph? Some tangible reward for finishing is an important part of the sportive process for some (many?) 

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Awavey [460 posts] 6 days ago
2 likes
StoopidUserName wrote:

...for a club rider or someone who rides regularly do you really need a medal once you've done your first 60/100 etc? Is it an achievement to ride at 15mph for a few

But if you are a club rider regularly riding those distances,and see it as no achievement riding at those speeds for extended periods,why would you pay £30-40 to ride those sportives anyway ? Go do an audax or a club ride instead

It's not OCD for me at least,even if apparently keeping gig tickets as mementos makes it sound like you are some crazy hoarder,heck I've still got my swimming certificates from primary school and a medal from a 5 mile fun run I did when I was barely in my teens,still got my cycling proficiency certificate too :p

But if organisers are charging more than £25 quid for a sportive, and it's a distance I don't regularly ride, I want a medal for it, else i might just as well copy the route and do it by myself later at no cost.

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StoopidUserName [531 posts] 6 days ago
1 like
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
StoopidUserName wrote:

One final thing - there are people in my club who go crazy for a medal - they literally will not go to some events unless they are sure they'll get one...which I find pathetic but I'm sure other people have this attitude too and it may impact the events organisers...

 

I suppose it's like collecting visa stamps in your passport, or something.  Or like someone I knew who used to collect the ticket stubs of every gig he ever went to.

 

  Probably, unless you are completely immune to such OCD-tendencies, once you start down that route it doesn't feel 'official' unless you have that defined acknowledgement that you've done it.  I remember thinking like that about Youth Hostel stamps when I was (much) younger.

 

I don't believe it makes a signifiant difference to 'the environment' though, compared to all the other impacts of a big organised event.  But organizers are free to decide it's not worth the bother and/or it's a bit silly.

Yep fair points, they can be a useful reminder of events you've done

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StoopidUserName [531 posts] 6 days ago
0 likes
Awavey wrote:
StoopidUserName wrote:

...for a club rider or someone who rides regularly do you really need a medal once you've done your first 60/100 etc? Is it an achievement to ride at 15mph for a few

But if you are a club rider regularly riding those distances,and see it as no achievement riding at those speeds for extended periods,why would you pay £30-40 to ride those sportives anyway ? Go do an audax or a club ride instead

It's not OCD for me at least,even if apparently keeping gig tickets as mementos makes it sound like you are some crazy hoarder,heck I've still got my swimming certificates from primary school and a medal from a 5 mile fun run I did when I was barely in my teens,still got my cycling proficiency certificate too :p

But if organisers are charging more than £25 quid for a sportive, and it's a distance I don't regularly ride, I want a medal for it, else i might just as well copy the route and do it by myself later at no cost.

Yeah another good counterpoint. Maybe I was being too harsh

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