Tent and NO porter

Moderators: Cowboy, Jackson, chris@cycleoregon

Tent and NO porter

Postby raftersteve » Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:32 am

Was it just me or was tent and porter a big disappointment this year?

I helped unload the truck at least 3 times and ended up carrying my own bags at least 4 times. Half the days there were no chairs at my tent at any point even late in the afternoon.

Switching over to the Job Corp people was a big mistake. :x The high school team did a much better job.
CO '10,'11,'12,'13
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 2:27 pm
Location: Portland

Re: Tent and NO porter

Postby johnncarol » Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:44 am

AMEN, our experience was just like yours. Not only were bags and chairs late or not at all but the kids had a bad attitude. When I asked two kids on a 4 wheeler where my bags where they pointed to a big pile and said "there". Normally I tip very generously because the kids are so great but this year, not a dime. Carol and I are both Court Appointed Special Advocates so we work with these kinds of kids and understand them but when I pay for good service I expect to receive it. I am sure the intentions were to help these kids but lets get back to the high schoolers.
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:41 pm

Re: Tent and NO porter

Postby Rugbydad » Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:12 pm

Make your feelings known the the Estacada HS Wrestlers did an awesome job the previous 4 years. That is the only way changes can be made.
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:15 am

Re: Tent and NO porter

Postby dunshay04 » Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:22 pm

Yeah, I was wondering what was up with Tent and Porter this year and I was in an RV. It was pretty obvious something wasn't working. We went looking for friends in Powers and the tents were all out of order. Tent 1 was on one side of the field and tent 8 was on the clear opposite side with the 400s and 500s somewhere in the middle and the 200s were hidden behind the massage tent with no blue rooms -- they were brought in later. My friends didn't have chairs yet either. We're pretty slow riders so the trucks had plenty of time to get there and get unloaded. My husband even commented once we got back home that he noticed the lack of tipping this year and he has lots of time to observe while he's waiting for me to ride into camp each day. Seemed completely unorganized.
Posts: 107
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 9:01 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: Tent and NO porter

Postby willsd » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:07 am

I have an alternate theory as to why service may have seemed worse this year.

Did anyone notice that there were 600 porter tents this year? Isn't that a big increase over past years? When they started porter tent service, they only had something like 300 tents to do. Also the Job Corps kids have to do the volunteer tents as well.

Maybe they didn't hire enough kids for the job. My husband and I ended up having dinner next to one of the tent/porter Job Corps people and she said she was exhausted and they barely had time to do all the tents and bags.
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 7:41 pm

Re: Tent and NO porter

Postby Force 5 Robert » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:23 am

They must have had different kids doing the bags for tent city, as both in the pm and am the kids were jumping to get our bags for us. Better than most years...
User avatar
Force 5 Robert
Posts: 532
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 11:46 pm
Location: PDX

Re: Tent and NO porter

Postby On Your Left » Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:35 am

I concur with those observing a compromise in service compared to prior years. My tent was in its proper place each day, however, I had to retrieve my bags and chairs all but one day. I didn't protest but figured perhaps it was a planned change in service. When I spoke to a CO rider services person he said it was a bit of a learning curve for the Youth Corps. I'm unsure of any changes in bag / tent quantities for the new service. I was curious if the service is up for bid annually and Youth Corps won low bid this year over Estacada?

Considering all attributes on the survey list, only tent and porter service received low marks from me. All others I rated as superb. Cycle Oregon is indeed a class act and a great value.
On Your Left
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:43 pm

Re: Tent and NO porter

Postby johnncarol » Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:35 pm

T&PS says " tents will be set up and bags and chairs will be at your tent by 2:00 PM each day". We are quite familiar with the various disadvantaged youth programs as we are both Court Appointed Special Advocates for kids in the system. I would never reccommend that these kids be hired to interface with a public that had paid a substantial sum for service. These kids have all of our sympathy and a great deal of our time and effort but T&PS is not a good project for them. Bring back the high school kids. With all the expense cuts they are needy as well.
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:41 pm

Re: Tent and NO porter

Postby Tender Chunks » Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:13 pm

I'm not much for complaining, but for me - when I come into camp, one of the first things I do is plop down in my chair, take off riding shoes, call the missus, and relax for a good long while, rehydrate, before unloading my bag and setting up. Not having the chair is almost a bigger deal than no bag, at least for first 30 minutes. If I was a real grump (I'm not), I'd say I want a prorated refund for no chair to sit in on 3 days (until I got my own), and 2 days of no bag, until I gave big tip to one of the kids to go find it. btw, I arrive probably in last 1/3 of the pack, so get in late-ish. Ended up lying in tent on floor, until bag came, blah blah blah.

Loved the ride, and still consider basic CO a good deal for the $.
Tender Chunks
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 6:08 pm
Location: Eugene, Oregon

Re: Tent and NO porter

Postby EZPZ » Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:59 am

I'm not sure that all the chair problem can be attributed to the setup team. I had a group that congregated next to my tent that sat in a big circle for coctails most nights. They seemed to suckup most of the chairs in my row and were reluctant to give the chairs back. What's the expression? "You can't choose your neighbors"?
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 8:59 am

Re: Tent and NO porter

Postby oregano » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:32 am

A neighbor of ours in the Tent and Porter section who was doing CO for the first time and who was used to the more typical bicycle camping weeks noted that "this thing is a Dude ride". And he's right. We've done several week long 150-250 person rides in various parts of the country, and have paid significantly more for significantly less support. But have been just as satisfied, perhaps more so. CO offers SO many amenities that it's more of a landbound cruise ship than a bike tour. And, unfortunately, that makes for little tolerance amongst the participants. For heaven's sake, CO will be street-sweeping the course next year! What tour short of the Giro or Tour deFrance does that?
We should remember that CO's mission is to lift up the communities it passes through and the residents living there. Yes, there were some problems with Tent and Porter - it doubled in size this year, and that might have been too much to attempt. But blame the organizers and supervisors, not the team members. They were not sufficiently trained, and Tent and Porter is an extremely complex undertaking. The Youth Corp kids that schlepped your bags were quite capable of doing their job, had there been enough of them and had they been sufficiently prepared. The local high school wrestling team would have struggled just as much, tired just as quickly, and probably gotten on occasion just as surly. It also would have been too small to handle the massive job. CO had no choice but to go with a larger source of manpower. And again, the point of CO is to give those kids a chance - one of the very few that they will come by in rural Oregon.
The tone of the comments on this thread are very disquieting. The mission, fun, and adventure of CO - and of bicycle touring - seems to have been lost in an atmosphere of entitlement. This atmosphere was present in 2009, but was more obvious this year. And it's why we will not be riding CO again.
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:10 am

Re: Tent and NO porter

Postby davek » Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:30 pm

I'm pretty sure CO sweeps the roads, I've never found cleaner roads than what we had this year.
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2007 4:27 pm

Re: Tent and NO porter

Postby Jackson » Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:11 pm

CO did use a street sweeper this year. It was a tow behind the vehicle type.
User avatar
Posts: 766
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 3:49 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: Tent and NO porter

Postby riding2live » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:19 pm

That could consist of a guy with a broom on a trailer!!! High tech.
I liked the way Pendleton did it after the parade. A whole "phalanx" of street sweepers that got the S... off the road.
Ride like the devil's behind you, becuz he is---and he/she is drivin' a car textin' on the phone.
Posts: 226
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:46 pm
Location: Eugene, Oregon

Re: Tent and NO porter

Postby David R » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:16 am

I'm not trying to start a flame war but some of what Oregano said is speculation and an insult to the previous T&P team. The previous T&P team showed up with more equipment and better orginazation to do a smaller job than this years team. The leader of last years T&P team was on the ride this year and offered some assist the current T&P team (how much assistance I don't know). To say that last years T&P team would have failed at this years increased T&P is insulting thosse hard working people from last year.

Oregano then goes on distort the CO mission and insult the participants of CO.

I'm sorry you didn't like CO but I don't think the insults were necessary.
David R
Posts: 161
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 9:32 am
Location: Seattle, WA


Return to 2011 Week Ride - September 10-17