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Lets do a SWOT for Eroica...

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Lets do a SWOT for Eroica...

Old 09-18-23, 12:19 PM
  #1  
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Lets do a SWOT for Eroica...

SWOT: SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, and so a SWOT analysis is a technique for assessing these four aspects of your business. SWOT Analysis is a tool that can help you to analyze what your company does best now, and to devise a successful strategy for the future.

I think looking at what worked, what was missing and what needs help is a good way to help the organizers do a better job next year.

Things like, "this event was so unorganized, rant rant rant" does not offer solid feedback that can be analyzed.
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Old 09-18-23, 05:59 PM
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There has to be a pipeline of new riders interested in riding "old" bikes. Most of the L'Eroica riders are Males in their 40's or older . There's going to be a point where all the original Steel bike riders are going to disappear along with the nostalgia ,so Having the NOVA ride on Saturday exposes the younger crowd to the Vintage bikes . Which is a huge bonus.

I met a young man who was riding a White Olmo on Sunday ,He worked at a bike shop and was gifted an old Olmo in pristine condition, same model that I purchased new in 1984 , he was very enthusiastic about the Event and loved his steel bike . I even showed him a old picture of me with the same bike he was riding at Eroica, which he got a kick out of.. My old Olmo is long gone but it was great to a similar model being ridden 40 years later . Getting the Young guys exposed to the Vintage Bicycles is key to the survival of Eroica. But How ?
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Old 09-18-23, 06:22 PM
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Strengths: The people! All the great enthusiasts that show up make the event worthwhile. Now, we need more of 'em! Also, the course was well-marked this year.

Weaknesses: Not enough vendors. There need to be more vendors and sponsors.

Opportunities: Nova Eroica is the big one. Gravel has been the Big Show for the last few years in the cycling industry. The Nova Eroica event has to be marketed to gravel riders of the US, especially the West Coast.

Threats: Not enough people attending. This year was the slowest year of Eroica CA, and I've attended every one so far since it's inception.
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Old 09-18-23, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Manny66
Getting the Young guys exposed to the Vintage Bicycles is key to the survival of Eroica. But How ?
I run a monthly vintage group in the Houston area and have a few sub-30-year-old riders. Theyíre very enthusiastic!

How? I think the bicycle industry is doing a lot of it for us. With the price of new bikes in the stratosphere, high end vintage bikes are a steal in comparison. The simplicity is also a huge selling point. Iíll occasionally bring a vintage bike out to my group rides and let them see that they arenít that different.
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Old 09-18-23, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Brad L
I run a monthly vintage group in the Houston area and have a few sub-30-year-old riders. Theyíre very enthusiastic!

How? I think the bicycle industry is doing a lot of it for us. With the price of new bikes in the stratosphere, high end vintage bikes are a steal in comparison. The simplicity is also a huge selling point. Iíll occasionally bring a vintage bike out to my group rides and let them see that they arenít that different.
Excellent point Brad, the new carbon bikes are cost prohibitive which would drive the youngsters to Old bikes. Lets hope it happens on a large scale.
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Old 09-18-23, 08:44 PM
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Would prefer a different last descent

Really enjoyed the weekend and found it worthwhile. I did the Santa Lucia route. Most of the route was great however, I felt that last descent really was a bit beyond the pale from a safety standpoint. Would like to see the organization figure out another option.
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Old 09-18-23, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Brad L
I run a monthly vintage group in the Houston area and have a few sub-30-year-old riders. Theyíre very enthusiastic!

How? I think the bicycle industry is doing a lot of it for us. With the price of new bikes in the stratosphere, high end vintage bikes are a steal in comparison. The simplicity is also a huge selling point. Iíll occasionally bring a vintage bike out to my group rides and let them see that they arenít that different.
but they do not have index shifting. There is a whole swath of riders who are just scared of friction shifting where one has to reach down near the fork crown to shift! And select a gear manually?
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Old 09-18-23, 09:13 PM
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as for Eroica, it's really too bad. I think Cambria leaves a lot to be desired as a venue. Paso was a far better venue in my opinion. More restaurants, more choices in accomodations.

the vintage bike thing has legs. Classic bikes can be repaired and upgraded to provide years of riding enjoyment at reasonable cost.

Properly adjusted analog (non index) shifting can work very well ! However there's a barrier to entry - the cycling inidustrial complex which tells newcomers to the sport that you just have to have 12 speed, e-shifted, carbon frame, disk brakes and a price tag of $12000.

which is sad

/markp
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Old 09-18-23, 09:54 PM
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I've seen no evidence that the organizers of eroica have any interest in what we on this forum have to say about the event. I'm not sure we even know at this point who the organizers are. There was talk a few weeks ago about new management but I've heard no clarification since then.
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Old 09-18-23, 10:33 PM
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I was not able to be there this year , it was the first I have missed. I have a broken hip and had to cancel my plans. My good friend Rich picked up my package for me . I cannot comment on the event but from the pictures posted , it seems less than half what used to show up. I have posted questions about the short ride and no one has responded. I was told by more than one person that the light house was going to be closed to riders, which would really change things. I agree that Paso Robles was a better venue and a more challenging short ride . I also know there were challenges with organizing that event too. I don’t know if there will be more Eroica events in the future , it seems to be not viable with the numbers of attendees.
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Old 09-18-23, 10:45 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Kabuki12
I was not able to be there this year , it was the first I have missed. I have a broken hip and had to cancel my plans. My good friend Rich picked up my package for me . I cannot comment on the event but from the pictures posted , it seems less than half what used to show up. I have posted questions about the short ride and no one has responded. I was told by more than one person that the light house was going to be closed to riders, which would really change things. I agree that Paso Robles was a better venue and a more challenging short ride . I also know there were challenges with organizing that event too. I donít know if there will be more Eroica events in the future , it seems to be not viable with the numbers of attendees.
Amadeao? said it will happen again next year but of course he would, hope it is so.
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Old 09-18-23, 11:01 PM
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I agree it was fantastic in the beginning, like them both and prefer the Cambria version for the more gritty, intimate vibe, probably just me.

The early version won't return I think.

This ain't rocket science,

9 speed brifter Merz, fantastic.



Analog, Eroica compliant 9 speed Merz, also fantastic.



Talked to a young guy on the way back Sunday, asked about SunTour barcons, was thinking about getting some, he will be now.
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Old 09-18-23, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Kabuki12
I was not able to be there this year , it was the first I have missed. I have a broken hip and had to cancel my plans. My good friend Rich picked up my package for me . I cannot comment on the event but from the pictures posted , it seems less than half what used to show up. I have posted questions about the short ride and no one has responded. I was told by more than one person that the light house was going to be closed to riders, which would really change things. I agree that Paso Robles was a better venue and a more challenging short ride . I also know there were challenges with organizing that event too. I donít know if there will be more Eroica events in the future , it seems to be not viable with the numbers of attendees.
I don't know what you're talking about, Joe. I have a bike number badge (#131) with a couple stamps on it that says you were there.

Yes, the lighthouse was closed. The turnaround point was further up the road, probably where it always has been in theory, and the feed zone was between the turnaround point and the (closed) lighthouse. It was unfortunate not to be able to go into the lighthouse area, but ultimately not that big a deal, at least to me. (It does speak to the pre-ride organizational issues that have been an ongoing problem for too long - see #5 below. It did mean that the only strade bianche was the seal elephant viewing point parking lot.
I agree that Paso Robles was a preferable venue and had a better short ride (mmmm, french fries), but that ship has sailed. Cambria seems to have welcomed us where Paso gave us the bum's rush (if the rumors are to be believed), so I am willing to roll with it,

My observations - and they are worth exactly what you are paying for them:

(1) The overall organizations seemed much improved over the last couple events. Food showed up on the Piedras Blancas route in the form of yummy burittos, chips and salsa.. My only suggestion there: cut 'em in half, or at least have knives available for riders to do so. A whole buritto was a bit heavy mid-ride, but a half of one would have been perfect. And mind you, I can and do put away serious quantities of food at a sitting.

(2) Attendance seemed to be down. I think this was mainly a function of rest stop food problems and other other organizational snafus of the past. I also think the combination of COVID and then that long pause between April 2022 and September 2023. People have gotten out of the habit of coming, and that has to be built back up. Make a decision - is this an April event or a September event - and stick with it. Make the event timing predictable, make sure every rider has adequate food and drink, and commit to having a swap meet (and, hopefully, a concours) sooner than a month ahead of time, and people will came back. It's going to take a few years, though.

(3) The people I interacted with all seemed to be having a good time, I heard virtually no complaints. That is a significant improvement over past events and a hopeful sign for the future.

(4) The single biggest selling point of this event is the "gathering of the tribe" aspect. Nice people, cool bikes, shared love of this aspect of the sport - that is what brings me back. I suspect it is was brought in people this year.

(5) For the first time since Wes was running things in Paso, this year did not feel as though Eroica HQ saw the California event as a bastard stepchild once we were actually here. However, pre-event communication from Italy once again was, to put it mildly, substandard. Whether through the website or through e-mail exchanges, information has been far too difficult to come by. Too many of us have had the experience of having routine inquiries about what should be routine issues disappear into the ether, never to be answered. Or worse, answered with a "how are we doing?" but no substantive response. This has been a problem for years now, it conveys the message that the Eroica HQ folks don't give a sh*t about us, and that chases people away. If there really is a local group who will take on organizational duties, I hope that will change, because it is clear that setting this event up from 6,000 miles away works badly.

(6) I had a great time this weekend and that makes me hope Eroica CA continues. The improvements in day-of logistics this year makes me guardedly optimistic that this event can rebound and stabilize. I sure hope so.
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Old 09-19-23, 12:10 AM
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@bikingshearer

Great summary Rich, whole heartedly agree on all points, I tried to summarize it in my post on the other thread but was a bit more blunt, the whiners ain't cut out for this IMO.

Fail to plan, plan to fail.
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Old 09-19-23, 06:22 AM
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Yes , the Paso event is ancient history. I actually like the coastal riding even though the challenge is less , I sure had a blast last year. I am just concerned that the viability of this event is threatened with low numbers . I am convinced I would’ve enjoyed myself if I could’ve been there( apparently I was !), I ALWAYS do. It is good to hear that support has improved and maybe that will encourage more folks to attend. I had a long conversation with Bart on the phone last week and he had revealed a lot of “behind the scenes” stuff about Eroica California that I did not know . I had a similar email conversation a year ago with a person from theCR list that was heavily involved with the volunteer program in years past . There are a lot of bases to be covered and the folks who help out locally get very little support from the organization. The light house is just one example . I would’ve passed on that myself after knowing what was expected of EC just to be able to ride our bikes out there to have our break. It was nice to be able to see that location but there are other spots to hold the turn around without any of the requirements that are involved with opening the gates to the light house. EC needs to update the information on the web site so people know what they are signing up for.

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Old 09-19-23, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Sactown_Albert
Really enjoyed the weekend and found it worthwhile. I did the Santa Lucia route. Most of the route was great however, I felt that last descent really was a bit beyond the pale from a safety standpoint. Would like to see the organization figure out another option.
Would you like to turn around and descend on the road you came up? The only scary parts are the brief moments of doubt regarding our wrenching prowess.
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Old 09-19-23, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Classtime
Would you like to turn around and descend on the road you came up? The only scary parts are the brief moments of doubt regarding our wrenching prowess.
I actually love that descent! It's definitely kinda hairy, but that's part of the fun for me... Although, this year I did it as part of the Nova Eroica ride on Saturday and the 700x45 tires and hydraulic brakes tamed it, and had me flying down much faster than I did in prior years on my vintage bikes.
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Old 09-19-23, 11:35 AM
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I will only say that [1] I didn't attend this year, solely because I've moved out of the area and travel isn't really possible for my work schedule. [2] I loved it when I did ride it and hope to see it continue. [3] The "gathering of the tribe" is indeed its best aspect, although the rides and routes in the area can be phenomenal.
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Old 09-19-23, 12:06 PM
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Got this started for y'all.



​​​​​​
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Old 09-19-23, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912
as for Eroica, it's really too bad. I think Cambria leaves a lot to be desired as a venue. Paso was a far better venue in my opinion. More restaurants, more choices in accomodations.

the vintage bike thing has legs. Classic bikes can be repaired and upgraded to provide years of riding enjoyment at reasonable cost.

Properly adjusted analog (non index) shifting can work very well ! However there's a barrier to entry - the cycling inidustrial complex which tells newcomers to the sport that you just have to have 12 speed, e-shifted, carbon frame, disk brakes and a price tag of $12000.

which is sad

/markp

Funny, from my Cambria motel , I was a short walk from about 10 or more different restaurants and coffee houses. Breakfast , Lunch , and Dinner were All a walk away.
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Old 09-19-23, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa
Got this started for y'all.



​​​​​​
I was thinking a SNOT analysis might be needed: strengths, needs, opportunities, threats.
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Old 09-19-23, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by obrentharris
I've seen no evidence that the organizers of eroica have any interest in what we on this forum have to say about the event. I'm not sure we even know at this point who the organizers are. There was talk a few weeks ago about new management but I've heard no clarification since then.
Brent
Did you attend the Event ?

If so , You could have easily walked up to Amadeo , Nipul , Or Bob and discussed any concerns with them ,I sure Did ( as well as many others), and They listened and were Very accommodating to all our concerns about the Event and making it successful in the future .

I am 100% Certain that all the Negative talk on the Internet by disgruntled past attendees is doing more harm and ruin to the success of the Event , and turning Many people away,, more so than the poor mismanagement could ever do.
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Old 09-19-23, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac
@bikingshearer

Great summary Rich, whole heartedly agree on all points, I tried to summarize it in my post on the other thread but was a bit more blunt, the whiners ain't cut out for this IMO .

Fail to plan, plan to fail.
I agree with your Agreement on Bikingshearer's post , and then some !
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Old 09-19-23, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa
Got this started for y'all.



​​​​​​
Well , I must say ... the broken hip took me out of the game!!! Nice one SurferRosa
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Old 09-19-23, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Manny66
Did you attend the Event ?

If so , You could have easily walked up to Amadeo , Nipul , Or Bob and discussed any concerns with them ,I sure Did ( as well as many others), and They listened and were Very accommodating to all our concerns about the Event and making it successful in the future .

I am 100% Certain that all the Negative talk on the Internet by disgruntled past attendees is doing more harm and ruin to the success of the Event , and turning Many people away,, more so than the poor mismanagement could ever do.
The first year we had it in Cambria they ran out of posters . There were other things that were a bit annoying but for some reason , THAT irritated me. I had a blast at the event , as always. I sent off an email to the organizers and was convinced no one cared or heard me . I mean , it's just a poster after all. About a month later a cardboard tube showed up at my front door , inside were two posters . I guess they DO listen.
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