Registration for Cascade Bicycle Club’s big annual rides opened yesterday, and computer problems plagued the sign-up process. But problems did not stop the 1,400-person Ride from Seattle to Vancouver BC and Party (RSVP) ride from selling out within hours. Other popular rides, such as the Chilly Hilly and Seattle-to-Portland are still open.
Registration is open to all members. According to Biking Bis, Cascade used to contract registration out, but attempted to do it in-house this year. They seem to have gotten a little too confident in Amazon cloud servers.
Some members could not get onto the Cascade website in the opening hours of registration, while others reported the booking process took from 2 to 4 hours. Those who could not stay online that amount to time found RSVP had filled up by the time they finally got through.
While being shut out of RSVP is nothing new, apparently wrestling through the registration process for that many hours only to discover the ride has been sold out is something new.
In previous years, Cascade contracted out the registration process through a third party. This year, Cascade is handling the event registration in-house using Amazon cloud servers. Some speculated that insufficient capacity led to the login and registration problems.
The frustrating problems has led to speculation to how the process could be done differently in the future. For example, if RSVP is going to sell-out so quickly, perhaps some kind of lottery system would be better than a frustrating try-to-register-online-first kind of system. Or maybe the on-sale dates for different rides could be staggered instead of trying to sell them all at once.