Another mixed week weather-wise, and a couple TOUGH segments! But no one made it any tougher than Damian, who rode them at around 4am on Saturday, then did a peninsula loop, THEN did the Big Loop (out to Cowichan, across to Port Renfew, then back). 400km that day. Woof! What a legend!!
It's our penultimate week coming up, and we'll all be speeding through them!
Notes for the week:
I am not fond of drama, but this week I had to put on my serious hat again, and a rider has been banned from the event, and their results erased. (Unfortunately it'd be too much work to recalculate all the results, but I don't think would make too much difference.)
I'd have preferred to do this quietly, but the nature of the situation and potential negative impact on our female participants requires me to address this publicly.
This all requires a little backstory, so it's obvious I am not making an impulsive decision: I had gotten strange vibes from this person from the onset, but chalked it up to personality quirks; I'm the first to admit I'm a bit of an oddball, and for better or worse I have a habit of assuming everyone I meet is a good person.
After helping this person get their rides visible (both account and each ride they were doing were marked 'private', so not appearing on segments), this person on two occasions started email discussions complaining about the Local Legend curse. I tried to keep the conversation light and friendly, but they were very persistent. This person was also very pushy on Instagram, and I'm only sharing this because I'm concerned others may have experienced something like this, and to illustrate that they are not alone in this experience:
(Also this person posted excerpts of our email discussion on Strava - no joke - in an attempt to discredit me, so I figure it's fair game to share this with personal details omitted. Normally I respect private conversations.)
Maybe it's just me, but I felt that was exceptionally pushy, and again, tried to keep it light, but felt it was quite rude.
I never followed this person on IG or Strava.
Next this rider emailed me to accuse others of cheating. I take this seriously, and asked how. They sent me a link to a ride, and said the ride title said they 'rode segments together'.
Kind of like many of us do every week, as cycling is a social sport.
And I explained this (and of course this person ALSO had their own segments titled this way), but they insisted there was cheating occurring.
So I took a look at the ride files of the two riders, and of course there was zero evidence of cheating. It was on the Dooley segment, which has a few sub-segments in it. If the riders were cheating/drafting, those sub-segments would have very similar times. They were not. Their finish times were also very different. And just to be safe, I checked the ride timeline, and it was very clear one person waited ~30 seconds while the other rode off at the start point.
I told this person there was only evidence to the contrary, yet they refused to admit it, or apologize for this false, baseless accusation. After this I gave a formal warning for being unsporting.
Finally, a few weeks later, this person again emails me, to complain about not seeing themselves receiving points for a social media post.
I wrote back that they did, the points were right there on the results sheet, AND I had named the person in a report for receiving the points. The person replied with more accusations, and no hint of an apology or admittance of a mistake. I issued a second warning, for being wasteful of my time.
This person then *continued* to push on, writing 'I just asked a simple question' and at that point I told them they were out. (Others have confirmed this is a common pattern.)
I have since learned more disturbing facts about this person, that this behaviour is commonplace, and this person has been refused membership or kicked out of several other clubs/groups/etc..
Further, this person apparently has a history of harassing female members of those clubs and groups.
Other organizers, riders and friends I have reached out to have also described extremely negative encounters.
One friend I've been in touch with has been very generous with her assessment, but I'd describe her treatment from this person as harassment.
I sincerely hope this person hasn't pressured any of our other Segment Challenge participants, and that I'm wasting my breath here.
But if they have, I sincerely apologize for bringing this person into your personal sphere. It's totally accidental, but I feel terrible that others may have been made to feel uncomfortable or harassed over what should be a light and fun event. The offending person is officially gone.
I don't know what the right answer here is. I'd encourage blocking/reporting this person, on Strava, Instagram, or wherever else they may be harassing you.
And I don't mean to imply anyone is a 'damsel in distress', but this is way too commonplace, I absolutely hate seeing it, and I want to set an example of no tolerance for this. I'm 100% on your side, and will do whatever I can, and if dialogue is of interest, do reach out to me.
In trying to move forward, if you feel like someone is being inappropriate, please consider reaching out to me. Or have someone else reach out to me. And don't hesitate to ban or block someone if they're disrespecting your boundaries. You shouldn't have to tolerate that. Full stop.
Again I hope this is completely unnecessary, and that all of you have had nothing but good experiences with other Segment Challenge riders, but if that's not the case, I feel I'd be remiss to not bring it up.
Thanks for reading all this, please continue to be kind and encouraging to each other, and respect personal boundaries. Again, I really don't know how to navigate this properly, but I hope I'm doing the right thing in addressing it. And no matter what I'm here for you.
Let's carry on with our regular update:
On a lighter note I think this is four weeks without any errors reported, my new system seems to be much more reliable! 😎
If there are any errors, omissions, issues, concerns, or anything else, feel free to hit reply!
This email is sponsored by Water In Water Bottles(Tm)!
Imagine buying a battery, and it had no energy in it.
That's what evil bike stores are selling you when they sell you a water bottle. Why isn't there any water in their bottles?
That's where Water In Water Bottles(Tm) steps up. We sell you water bottles WITH water in them! When you buy a WIWB water bottle, you're ready to go! You're buying a water bottle, we know you're thirsty! Order now and use #WaterYouEvenDoing? for 20% off!
And coming soon: All Water Water Bottles! That's right, why live with the disappointment of carrying around an empty water bottle, when you can have an All Water Water Bottle! Through our special freezing process, the water bottle itself is made of ice, and can be drunk as well! And when you're done, you'll destroy those segment times without the inefficiency of dragging around an empty water bottle. Watch for them in your favourite freezers summer 2023!
I'm a huge Beck fan, and on rotation right now is the 2019 album Hyperspace. It's not one of my favourite albums overall, not quite as many songs that really grab me, but I find the production outstanding, so much jumps out at you, it just sounds so good. 🎶