Author Topic: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more  (Read 17755 times)

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Offline connie_rider

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Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #100 on: June 22, 2017, 01:23:50 am »
OK, I need some idea's..
Let's assume we can do Group Rides for the First Timers.

We want to hold the number or Riders in 1 group to 6 {mebbe 8}
We have 40 possible First Timers/New members/Solo Riders at the national.
      20 of them want to ride with the First Timer group..
Let's say that 20 Experienced National Folks want to go too..
That brings us to 40 potential Rider's...

As LSGiant pointed out, Folks don't like to lead....

So, how can we manage the possible 5 - 8 person groups?
    ie; "If we need to form more groups, {but no (Experienced National Attendee) volunteers to lead},,
                 how do we get someone to lead the other groups"?    

          "Thought's"??
C'mon, there has to be an answer......   :-[

Ride safe, Ted
« Last Edit: June 22, 2017, 03:30:37 pm by connie_rider »
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Offline Ranger Jim

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Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #101 on: June 22, 2017, 01:42:22 am »
8 riders is too many. 7 (including the lead) is enough. More impedes other traffic.
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Offline Jeff Kerkow

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Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #102 on: June 22, 2017, 01:48:31 am »
How about I take em out about 10 miles and say I got an emergency call and have to head back. I will hand them off to the next volunteer. I will tell them i will met them at the lunch spot.

When I get back a I will just grab another group. Should be able to get them all out of there in an hour :)
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Offline Camper Dave

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Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #103 on: June 22, 2017, 10:06:17 am »
Man, you guys really want to over think this.. Are you documenting this, putting it in the official COG constitution? (that will take at least 2 years, better form that committee soon)....

KISS Baby,,, Keep It Simple Silly (I'd never call you Stupid)...

Destination ride:

We are going to Billy's BBQ Pit for lunch. Here's the route: Take a right out of the parking lot onto Rt 123 and follow for 10 miles. Take a left onto rt 345 and follow for 30 miles. Merge onto I-99 North, follow for 20 miles to exit 55 Smith St, take a left and Billy's in 2.5 miles on the right. After lunch, you can take I-99 back to blah blah blah, take the same route back or explore on your own.

I've been on a few rides with over a dozen people (and a lot more turns than I mentioned above) and the leader was able to keep the group together (Shout-out to Kevin, COG #145), I've also unexpectedly lead rides of a dozen. Like I said, the 5 or 6 rider rule is nice but sometimes doesn't work. If you can't lead a group larger than 5, your not leading... Your playing follow the leader or catch me if you can.
<--- is there any mechanism in place to deal with a non- productive, antagonistic, former non- member such as this?

Offline Victor Salisbury

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Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #104 on: June 22, 2017, 11:23:42 am »
Most motorcyclists aren't going to randomly invite someone to accompany them on a ride. Now if someone inquires,"Hey, where you riding tomorrow?" there's a good possibility of an invitation.

Recognize too that most tend to prefer smaller groups (2-5 riders). If they're already at their maximum comfort number, don't expect an invitation.

Another point is that many ( like me, for example) have gotten pretty selective about who I ride with (well, there was that time I was forced to ride with Ted - shudder). Why would they be expected to ride with someone outside their comfort zone?

Orrrrrr, if the experienced National/COGger/attendee/whatever label you want to brand them with invites a new person on a ride, they might like that?   
You say most motorcyclists aren't going to randomly invite someone to accompany them on a ride. Yet, you hold the expectation of a new attendee (with all the thoughts/emotions/intimidation/terror they are experiencing internally, seeing the clique of riders already established hootin' it up) to randomly butt in and ask 'where ya all ridin' tomorrow?'  Can't have it both ways, that new guy aint going to do it.
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Offline ConcoursKZ

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Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #105 on: June 22, 2017, 11:40:04 am »
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Offline Jim Snyder

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Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #106 on: June 22, 2017, 12:56:31 pm »
Group rides are not rocket science. The trick is to have everyone on the same page. By that I mean knowing some basic guidelines. When I lead rides I spend alot of time in my mirrors making sure everyone is still with us. I count the riders before we leave and constantly monitor them along the way. Letting everyone get caught up before taking the next turn off etc. Nothing is more irritating to me than being left behind by the leader trying to break the sound barrier. Stopping for restroom breaks even if I don't need to is also a good thing. I think a lot of times we over think these things.
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Offline Camper Dave

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Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #107 on: June 22, 2017, 02:30:37 pm »
Group rides are not rocket science.
Bingo!! We have a winner!
<--- is there any mechanism in place to deal with a non- productive, antagonistic, former non- member such as this?

Offline connie_rider

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Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #108 on: June 22, 2017, 03:28:43 pm »
In post #100 I asked "how do we manage the rides".
Ya'll seemed to interpret that as "how do we lead the ride".
            Wasn't my intent...

I meant to ask, "If we need to form more groups, {but no (Experienced National Attendee) volunteers to lead},,
                 how do we get someone to lead the other groups"?

So far, LSGiant/Jeff has the best answer... {sneaky, but the best}  :great:

Ride safe, Ted
« Last Edit: June 22, 2017, 03:32:50 pm by connie_rider »
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Offline connie_rider

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Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #109 on: June 22, 2017, 03:47:53 pm »
By the way, when I lead a group with unknown riders. I keep it simple, but I do talk with everyone..
  I have a quick pre-ride brief..
     Route (and possibly route sheets) are discussed.
     Assurance that the lead will stop at all places where we will be turning from the road we are on.
     Ride your own ride emphasized..
     Following distance discussed. {ie; Do not ride in the guy's back pocket, but don't lollygag a mile back}.
     What to do if the pace is too fast for you.
     Question period.

PS: In Europe, the rule was; each rider is responsible for the rider behind him.
      So, everyone is required to keep an eye on the guy behind them.
         If he disappears, they are supposed to stop and wait on him.
      ** If they loose their follower, they buy the beer that night.

     Seems like a simple way to keep track of others.
        If someone has a problem, the entire group would eventually stop/stay in place, and the lead would go back to look.

Ride safe, Ted

PS: My pet peeve is the sightseer/lollygagger..
         Rides a mile back, slows and maintains that mile back, when you slow to check on him..  arghhhhhhhhh
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Offline ZG

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Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #110 on: June 22, 2017, 04:32:49 pm »
Man, you guys really want to over think this..

+1... Crazy how many posts on this thread over the past couple days.  :o

I understand that it's important to welcome newbies with open arms, but come on guys this isn't like the first day of a new school for a kid, we are all grown adults and motorcyclist, I bet that many of the "newbies" to a "COG Nat" are not newbies to bikes or bike rallies in general, there are so many non-COG rallies/events/rides to choose from these days and they are all pretty easy to find with a simple google search.

One thing to consider IMO (I'm sure I'll have darts thrown at me for this comment), if you make newbies the #1 priority at Nat's keep in mind that by doing so you are overlooking and potentially not catering to the not-new folks that are and have been paying members. IMO retention is more important and should be easier than getting newbies to come/join, if you lose your current members it could be harder to get them back then it is trying to get new members to come/join. There's also a chance that word of mouth (or posts on other bike forums) from members that choose not to go anymore (or not renew their COG membership) gets out and that can be even worse than not getting new members, many folks (including myself) are active in other clubs/bikes/rallies/etc, if those folks mention to others that they "use" to go to the COG Nats but no longer because of blah blah blah that word does spread in a negative way. I pay my dues and go to rallies to hang with my friends and ride and do whatever else I want to do, I don't pay dues or go to rallies to cater to new folks, I'm not mean or rude to them, I welcome them, but they are not why I go or pay my dues.

Carry on.  :campfire:  :truce:
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Offline connie_rider

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Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
« Reply #111 on: June 22, 2017, 04:43:30 pm »
Hi ZG. 
The intent is not to make First Timers number 1 priority.
But you have a good point, this is about "First Timers and Others" enjoying the National more..
My intent is to discuss ways to better include the First Timers, {and others} that are having the feeling of being left out.

NOTE: Several Nationals ago, I brought this up and many told me, your wrong. This isn't a problem.
          But, this comes up after every National.

So, I opted to start this discussion to hash out idea's.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Nothing is being promised. No plans are being made,,, just discussion..

Ride safe, Ted



« Last Edit: June 22, 2017, 04:46:57 pm by connie_rider »
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Offline mattchewn

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Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
« Reply #112 on: June 22, 2017, 05:06:07 pm »
Ted,
I agree with ZG completely.
     These are not children that are needing to be coddled, if they are then maybe they need a daycare and not COG. I would simply make up a welcome sheet with some "cold, hard facts" and hand them out to newbies at registration or even beforehand through the forum if possible. Something along the lines of;  Welcome to the COG (insert rally name here), While we want everyone to have a fantastic time and meet lots of people and new friends, some of the responsibility is on YOUR shoulders to meet and talk to new folks. All Coggers, (except maybe MOB), will be more than welcoming to new people introducing themselves and meeting new friends. Take some initiative and I promise you it will pay off exponentially. Please feel free to ask for help, directions, recommendations, whatever from any COG'er here.  They also want you to enjoy yourself.
   It is not our responsibility to handhold and coddle the newbies, they are adults. They are ultimately responsible for their own happiness. We all have a responsibility to be openly welcoming and friendly, we seem to do that exceptionally well for the most part, (forum notwithstanding).
Matt
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Offline Sport Rider

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Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
« Reply #113 on: June 22, 2017, 05:25:08 pm »
Matt, Matt, Matt....you are NEVER right!   :nananana:

I disagree with you guys.   :)  what is important here is going above and beyond to bring people in.  I agree that it should NOT be done to the exception of existing members and their fun, but no one here has ever mentioned that as an approach.  Making newbs feel exceptionally welcome is the best way to keep them as long term members.   I think Jay is wrong about the cost of new vs existing.  In the business world, it's common knowledge that getting new customers is always more costly than keeping current ones.  Just remember that everyone isn't as forward and outgoing as you are.

No offense intended.   just constructive disagreement.   :great:

Offline connie_rider

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Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
« Reply #114 on: June 22, 2017, 06:06:46 pm »
Hey, Matt was right at least once.            Thinkaboutit,,,,,,   :nananana:
   Once, he thought he was wrong about something,,, and he "was" right about that!  :)

ZG/Matt/Jim/others,,, do have a point.
   The First Timers/others are not children and the COG Rally isn't a daycare.
   Anything us old guys do to assure they are more comfortable, will NOT work..
     ie: Nothing "we do" will work, unless they make efforts themselves.

"But" everyone is not as outgoing as others. Some need a little help to blend into the group.
The idea of this discussion is to find ways that they can learn about the COG National, and more easily meet and get to know others.
Again, this is discussion. Nothing promised or planned.

I am for; name tags indicating that someone is a First Timer. {So others will recognize and greet them}
              name tags indicating that someone is an experienced National Member. {So others can seek them out to ask questions}
              group rides. {As First Timers, "and" many others would like to do this}
              First Timer/New member/Solo Riders/etc gatherings so that folks can meet, and learn COG's ways.
              encouraging "Old Timers" to reach out to the new guys..
              a location/person where people can go to ask questions

I am NOT for; mentors. {We can not assign individuals to every First Timer}
                     drawing names to see who you ride with. {People come to a National to ride with friends, and will}
                     excessive special treatment/handholding  {everyone is an adult}

Now, you know my thoughts.
     Ya'll keep discussing idea's, not arguing.
             I'm gonna set back and listen for a bit..     

Ride safe, Ted
« Last Edit: June 23, 2017, 01:35:44 pm by connie_rider »
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Offline mattchewn

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Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
« Reply #115 on: June 22, 2017, 06:20:07 pm »
Dave,
Did you read my post?  I definitely want to welcome all the newbies. I am just not up for handholding and cumbaya all day. Pimping out members to get new members is NOT the way to keep folks here happy and recommending this club to others. People will always see through that crap anyway.  There is a happy medium in there somewhere but we have yet to reach it I guess.

Matt

Maybe you should PERSONALLY greet them all with some of that hooch!   :))
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Offline ConcoursKZ

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Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
« Reply #116 on: June 22, 2017, 06:21:53 pm »
All people are looking for is somebody to go on a ride with. I think we're making this way too difficult. I'm one of the most outgoing people you will ever meet and at the First National I went to it was a bit of a challenge. Some of you guys are a tough egg to crack. Your old ugly and intimidating. LMAO
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Offline mattchewn

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Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
« Reply #117 on: June 22, 2017, 06:31:37 pm »
All people are looking for is somebody to go on a ride with. I think we're making this way too difficult. I'm one of the most outgoing people you will ever meet and at the First National I went to it was a bit of a challenge. Some of you guys are a tough egg to crack. Your old ugly and intimidating. LMAO
This presents its' own set of problems though.  I personally do not want to be the guy leading the run that is constantly waiting for the slower folks to catch up. I have done it many times and will do it more in the future but it is definitely not my first choice. Resolving this means that both the newbie and the "old timers" need to be very clear about their riding styles and comfort levels. Many times this is severely exaggerated by one or more when trying to join a group ride.  I ALWAYS make it very clear that I ride at a rather (warp),speedy pace. I will wait at the turn offs  but if you aren't comfortable then please find a group with a pace more suitable to your particular style. Not being mean but clear and to the point. I know plenty of "fast riders" but that is only when the road is long and straight.  I don't try to insinuate they aren't good riders or demean them, but being clear and concise is a requirement though.
Matt
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Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
« Reply #118 on: June 22, 2017, 06:56:38 pm »
I agree with you Matt. The pace of the ride should always be stated before Riders leave. Members of this group ride and a very spirited pace. I went to an event in Kentucky once with other members. And it was not uncommon for the Riders to get up to triple digits. Like I said in an earlier post the ride its speed etcetera could be posted ahead of time allowing others to sign up.
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Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
« Reply #119 on: June 22, 2017, 07:26:09 pm »
Dave,
Did you read my post?  I definitely want to welcome all the newbies. I am just not up for handholding and cumbaya all day. Pimping out members to get new members is NOT the way to keep folks here happy and recommending this club to others. People will always see through that crap anyway.  There is a happy medium in there somewhere but we have yet to reach it I guess.

Matt

Maybe you should PERSONALLY greet them all with some of that hooch!   :))

that must have been the problem with Helen.  I did personally greet them.  I forgot the bottle.   :-[ :-[ :-[

Offline mattchewn

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Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
« Reply #120 on: June 22, 2017, 07:43:41 pm »
Dave,
Did you read my post?  I definitely want to welcome all the newbies. I am just not up for handholding and cumbaya all day. Pimping out members to get new members is NOT the way to keep folks here happy and recommending this club to others. People will always see through that crap anyway.  There is a happy medium in there somewhere but we have yet to reach it I guess.

Matt

Maybe you should PERSONALLY greet them all with some of that hooch!   :))

that must have been the problem with Helen.  I did personally greet them.  I forgot the bottle.   :-[ :-[ :-[
Dave,
Make more friends.......    With Hooch!    :))
Matt
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Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
« Reply #121 on: June 22, 2017, 07:53:13 pm »
Dave,
Did you read my post?  I definitely want to welcome all the newbies. I am just not up for handholding and cumbaya all day. Pimping out members to get new members is NOT the way to keep folks here happy and recommending this club to others. People will always see through that crap anyway.  There is a happy medium in there somewhere but we have yet to reach it I guess.

Matt

Maybe you should PERSONALLY greet them all with some of that hooch!   :))

that must have been the problem with Helen.  I did personally greet them.  I forgot the bottle.   :-[ :-[ :-[
Dave,
Make more friends.......    With Hooch!    :))
Matt

Ted...you have this one down for Texas, right?   :beerchug:

Matt...will have more at RWTW....

Offline Just Cliff

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Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #122 on: June 23, 2017, 11:01:59 am »
Cliff, while it's on my mind, I wanted to let you know that I thoroughly enjoyed riding with you Thursday. I meant to catch you at the banquet and let you know. Hope to do it again sometime.


Likewise Ed, very nice to meet & ride with you also.

Cliff   :beerchug:
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Offline Victor Salisbury

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Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #123 on: June 23, 2017, 11:57:15 am »
OK, I need some idea's..
Let's assume we can do Group Rides for the First Timers.


I don't think 1st timers group rides are an answer/fix, but if you are going to discuss group riding, that needs to be a 'hole nother stand alone thread and that is going to just as bad invigorating as an oil/tire thread.

From my perspective (from running a few national and regional events and receiving feedback), the first timers not enjoying the show, their biggest concern is feeling ignored when they are off the bike at the venue. Work that part, then they interact with others, then the  "group" ride will happen (whether its a group of 2-3, or more).

But as Dave (I believe?) from the Helen rally had in place, you need a team of attendees who will go out and 'work' the crowd, seemed like a really good system.
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Offline Ranger Jim

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Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
« Reply #124 on: June 23, 2017, 01:43:40 pm »
I agree with Vic. If we can make them feel welcome off the bike the on the bike stuff will follow.
JIM CULP
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