At the initial meeting to decide if we could hold the 2019 Hillclimb event, Raelene mentioned to me how much work there was in running the Poker Ride and how labour intensive it was. That got me thinking, there had to be an easier way!
Why not give riders an actual card which they collect at each stop? No need to record bike numbers and cards drawn, riders just look at what they have at the end and present their hand to the judge if they think itís a winner. Easy!
I went off to Red Dot and bought 20 packs for $1.50 each. 5 cards per rider, allow for 200 riders so 1000 cards needed. 52 x 20 = 1040, use the jokers as a wild card takes it to 1080 cards. All sorted!
At the first Hillclimb meeting I presented my plan. There were blank looks and some opposition. Who would decide the winning hand, what if there was a draw, should we write bike numbers on the cards to prevent cheating by swapping cards, as if! Ronnie and Hugh had been talking Ė why not make it a raffle, give riders a ticket at each stop? Good idea. Make it a Poker Raffle Ride!
So we had cards printed with the club logo on the front and on the reverse was space for the rider's details. We ordered 1500 cards.
Next was selecting two interesting routes, long and short, not easy when youíre on the coast. There are not all that many roads and people donít like gravel. Another consideration was reducing the number of marshals needed, which could be done by merging both rides on the same route as much as possible.
What we ended up with was a 94km short ride and a 130km long ride with just 5 stops manned by club members. It all went very well. Some riders on the long run even got a bonus extra distance due to a slight typo sending them right instead of left at a T-junction.
Although numbers were down on previous years I heard plenty of positive comments from participants. The raffle was drawn during coffee and cake at the Rifle Club and it had turned into a very pleasant afternoon. Next year Iíd like to try the handing out of actual playing cards to make it more of a poker ride, unless someone has a use for 20 packs going cheap?
Thanks to all those who helped out on the day, particularly the ladies taking entries and the marshals on the card displays on the Stirling Terrace stops. Cheers & beers, #147