Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Confusing State

This past weekend Thomas and I were working our arses off trying to prep for the race that we, ETSU, were hosting this past weekend on campus. Turnout was a tad off with only having 70+ riders for gravity. We've been pulling over 100 for the last few races. Downhill and Slalom went off without a hitch. Well, except for this poor girl in practice that broke her ankle. After a quick trip to the ER with her boyfriend she was back and watching the event and having as good a time as any..... with a broken ankle that is. Glad shes doing better though.

Sunday was a different story. With the threat of rain looming from the massive upper level low pressure system in the area most folks didn't show. We did have 14 die-hard troopers (4 teams & 2 solos) that came out and gave it their all for 6 hours - thank you guys VERY MUCH! Oh, it never rained for more than 20 minutes just for FYI. I think I'm through with promoting mountain bike XC racing in the Tri-Cities now. There are no racers here but a small hand full. There were times when I used to let a little wet weather shy me away from races after reaching 40 but a few yrs ago it dawned on me that these promoters do alot of work and if no one shows for bad weather these guys can't even break even. I'm  by far the biggest cheerleader against high registration fees but if someone hosts a race in your backyard you should go support it. You'll save traveling and hotel costs so it would seem to be a no brainer. It's funny how one of the team members described our local mtb population. "They'll spend thousands of dollars on high-end racing bikes but won't ride them more than an hour or so at a time". Meh, I just don't get it. I'm starting to think our area only likes friendly competition amongst themselves and can't stand the pressure when the heats turned up? I could be wrong who knows. Last year there was a huge Jr race held at one of the main local riding spots......... turnout for that? It sucked too. There were several Jrs but very few adults... sad. There's also another race at the same place during funfest and that non-USAC affiliated race gets about 40-50 people, I don't get it. Is it USAC and their licensing fees? If that's it peeps are crazy! The insurance liability coverage they provide with their permit is priceless. Would you go out and host something for the cycling community and risk everything you own? You know you wouldn't!

Let's do a quick minimal rundown of what it costs to put on a very small 1-day race of  <100 people:="" u="">

USAC Permit  $100-$250 (according how close you get it to race date)
USAC Officials $180 (for 2)
Supplies $200+ (gas,tape,etc.)
Prizes $?? (how big do you wanna go?)

This is just for a tiny race, there's so many other costs that could be involved here. So hey all my fellow peeps in the 423 keep riding your "race" bikes. I bet ya'll could get a sweet trade-in for some comfort bikes with knobbies. If this offends ya you're probably the demographic I was aiming for...

Ok, I'm over my whining rant, thanks for being patient with me.

By the end of the semester I was able to secure funding fro two more of these trailhead repair stations though the green fee committee. There will be one installed at each trailhead just like we have around campus. These little things are sweet and have almost everything you need if you encounter a problem out on the trail.

This weekend the Karls Kaleidoscope race is back in Marion, Va. It's expensive from a race fee perspective ($50)  but these people don't hold back. Food and beer provided! Last year it was Fat Tire... a truck full! For the Xpert class they award $500 to the male AND female winners of that class. Last year I won a hand-made kaleidoscope from England for winning sport class. It was only 18 miles and I was planning on moving to Expert for the 52 mile course (knowing I don't have a chance of course) this year but they extended the sport mileage to 27 this year so I'm going to give the sport class another go. They had a low turnout too for the area in my opinion with roughly 40+ riders last year.

I did run across an interesting fact.... the state rankings for bicycle friendly states.

I've started looking for any type art that has bicycles incorporated into it. I'm starting to collect quite a few digital pieces too. If I had a big printer I would fill the townhouse walls full!

Oh, last day of classes was Tuesday! #BRAAAAAAPPPPPPPPPP

LAter G.................

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