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The Water Cooler, Scuttlebutt, Chit Chat Thread

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The Water Cooler, Scuttlebutt, Chit Chat Thread

Old 06-12-17, 02:12 PM
  #426  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
I know a few guys who spent 3-4 years as a cat 4 with no progress and they finally just stopped and moved on to other areas.

I imagine that's the case in most sports/hobbies, though.
Everyone tapers. I'd been a 3 for 25 years when I upgraded to 2, and then I promptly downgraded back to 3 the following year.

I classify racers as the following:
1. Want to win and good enough to win locally. Will continue racing as long as this is the case, and I figure for a decent talent racer that'll go on forever.
2. Identify as a racer (usually at a social level, like a dad or mom or promoter etc). Will continue racing although many of their races may only last 1-2 miles before they're shelled.
3. Races to beat others. Will quit racing after being spectacular for a while. A lot of the incredibly strong riders get to their tipping point then quit because, well, they're not beating the next level of racer as a whole. Even World Tour riders have to target races.
4. Strives to race as well as possible, regardless of form/fitness. Will continue racing because the race itself is the goal, not the result.

All racers must have limited distractions, meaning other hobbies or time sucking activities.
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Old 06-12-17, 02:13 PM
  #427  
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Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin View Post
I am curious how those retention numbers compare to other high(er)-cost high-risk sports like auto racing, moto gp, and the like.
Interesting... I would never think to consider cost and risk as reasons to leave a sport.

The 50% in the first 2 years makes total sense. People are trying something out for fun. Lots of people try all sorts of stuff and don't stick it out very long.

After that it seems to me the biggest reason to quit is it just takes over all of life.

Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
Everyone tapers. I'd been a 3 for 25 years when I upgraded to 2, and then I promptly downgraded back to 3 the following year.

I classify racers as the following:
1. Want to win and good enough to win locally. Will continue racing as long as this is the case, and I figure for a decent talent racer that'll go on forever.
2. Identify as a racer (usually at a social level, like a dad or mom or promoter etc). Will continue racing although many of their races may only last 1-2 miles before they're shelled.
3. Races to beat others. Will quit racing after being spectacular for a while. A lot of the incredibly strong riders get to their tipping point then quit because, well, they're not beating the next level of racer as a whole. Even World Tour riders have to target races.
4. Strives to race as well as possible, regardless of form/fitness. Will continue racing because the race itself is the goal, not the result.

All racers must have limited distractions, meaning other hobbies or time sucking activities.
I feel like if one grew up in the racing scene or has long term friends who race, like maybe people who came to racing through people vs me who just decide to try racing, would be far more likely to stick with it as that may be their leisure/go-out-and-hang-with-friends/have-fun-after-work time.

Me, I may not race into my late 30s. For me it kinda suffocates any social life. But OTOH since I'm not very social by nature it's kind of a nice distraction.

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Old 06-12-17, 02:31 PM
  #428  
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Originally Posted by globecanvas View Post
MV of CRCA continues his interesting (to me) series of articles on the health status of bicycle racing:

https://www.tobedetermined.cc/journa...ics-of-cycling

The interesting graph shows a representative group of new racing members and how they are extremely not retained over a short period of time:



There is some proxy data and assumptions in here but in short, the graph suggests that half of new racers are out of the sport within 2 years, and 90% are out within 7 years.
Been saying this for years.

Worth noting that other "high risk" sports that require you to attain basic competency retain a much higher percentage of participants, with a much lower carnage level.

It's quite easy to die SCUBA diving. Back in the "bad old days" people just grabbed a tank and jumped in the water. Unsurprisingly, a high percentage of participants got hurt or died. The sport created certification agencies, and that number dropped to tiny, and mostly on the fringe (cave diving, mixed gas deep diving, Etc). The sport grew exponentially.

By it's nature cycling will always have crashes. People fall down in their driveway. Just as a few people still die SCUBA diving. But we no longer just hand people who ask SCUBA tanks, while we hand out racing licenses to ANYONE with $10. That's just nuts and inexcusable. Hope is not a strategy and in the long run it's a crappy training program. But that's what we run on.

But we can put a lot of resources to stopping doping because that's been so obviously effective and it's why Cat 5's do one or two races and go "eff this".

Oke doke.

I've been around two wheel sport almost my entire life. I've seen how training and certification programs improve both the quality of the participants, and lessens the number of incidents. You keep people off the ground and they will hang around longer. Same if you improve the level of riding. If you lose 10% of the people who think taking a class or two and having to be approved is too much hassle, you'll more than pick that up in retention.

In 650 races, give or take, I've been down 5 times, four of those were solo things where I could have been out training. Crashing can be a minimal part of the sport if you have knowledge and skills.

Training was a good place to start, that should have happened a long time ago. 3 years ago I sent a petition to USAC about this. DBH publicly stated they were working on a program. Crickets.

That we can't make things perfect seems to be one incredibly lame excuse. The other biggest push back against requiring training seems to come from people who end up on the ground a lot. "You crash if you race". There's a lot of Dunning-Kruger right there.
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Old 06-12-17, 02:36 PM
  #429  
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Originally Posted by globecanvas View Post
MV of CRCA continues his interesting (to me) series of articles on the health status of bicycle racing:

https://www.tobedetermined.cc/journa...ics-of-cycling

The interesting graph shows a representative group of new racing members and how they are extremely not retained over a short period of time:



There is some proxy data and assumptions in here but in short, the graph suggests that half of new racers are out of the sport within 2 years, and 90% are out within 7 years.
And that presumably doesn't even take into account folks trying out racing on a one day license, does it?
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Old 06-12-17, 02:40 PM
  #430  
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@racerEx for USAC president!
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Old 06-12-17, 02:45 PM
  #431  
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
Been saying this for years.

Worth noting that other "high risk" sports that require you to attain basic competency retain a much higher percentage of participants, with a much lower carnage level.

It's quite easy to die SCUBA diving. Back in the "bad old days" people just grabbed a tank and jumped in the water. Unsurprisingly, a high percentage of participants got hurt or died. The sport created certification agencies, and that number dropped to tiny, and mostly on the fringe (cave diving, mixed gas deep diving, Etc). The sport grew exponentially.

By it's nature cycling will always have crashes. People fall down in their driveway. Just as a few people still die SCUBA diving. But we no longer just hand people who ask SCUBA tanks, while we hand out racing licenses to ANYONE with $10. That's just nuts and inexcusable. Hope is not a strategy and in the long run it's a crappy training program. But that's what we run on.

But we can put a lot of resources to stopping doping because that's been so obviously effective and it's why Cat 5's do one or two races and go "eff this".

Oke doke.

I've been around two wheel sport almost my entire life. I've seen how training and certification programs improve both the quality of the participants, and lessens the number of incidents. You keep people off the ground and they will hang around longer. Same if you improve the level of riding. If you lose 10% of the people who think taking a class or two and having to be approved is too much hassle, you'll more than pick that up in retention.

In 650 races, give or take, I've been down 5 times, four of those were solo things where I could have been out training. Crashing can be a minimal part of the sport if you have knowledge and skills.

Training was a good place to start, that should have happened a long time ago. 3 years ago I sent a petition to USAC about this. DBH publicly stated they were working on a program. Crickets.

That we can't make things perfect seems to be one incredibly lame excuse. The other biggest push back against requiring training seems to come from people who end up on the ground a lot. "You crash if you race". There's a lot of Dunning-Kruger right there.
I think that assumes people are giving up on racing mostly due to the risk factor/crashes - is that a true assumption?

I'm sure it's part of the reason for a lot of people, but the people I know that gave up on the sport was because it was a) too hard or b) too time consuming, or both, for the most part.
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Old 06-12-17, 02:47 PM
  #432  
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
Been saying this for years.

Worth noting that other "high risk" sports that require you to attain basic competency retain a much higher percentage of participants, with a much lower carnage level.

It's quite easy to die SCUBA diving. Back in the "bad old days" people just grabbed a tank and jumped in the water. Unsurprisingly, a high percentage of participants got hurt or died. The sport created certification agencies, and that number dropped to tiny, and mostly on the fringe (cave diving, mixed gas deep diving, Etc). The sport grew exponentially.

By it's nature cycling will always have crashes. People fall down in their driveway. Just as a few people still die SCUBA diving. But we no longer just hand people who ask SCUBA tanks, while we hand out racing licenses to ANYONE with $10. That's just nuts and inexcusable. Hope is not a strategy and in the long run it's a crappy training program. But that's what we run on.

But we can put a lot of resources to stopping doping because that's been so obviously effective and it's why Cat 5's do one or two races and go "eff this".

Oke doke.

I've been around two wheel sport almost my entire life. I've seen how training and certification programs improve both the quality of the participants, and lessens the number of incidents. You keep people off the ground and they will hang around longer. Same if you improve the level of riding. If you lose 10% of the people who think taking a class or two and having to be approved is too much hassle, you'll more than pick that up in retention.

In 650 races, give or take, I've been down 5 times, four of those were solo things where I could have been out training. Crashing can be a minimal part of the sport if you have knowledge and skills.

Training was a good place to start, that should have happened a long time ago. 3 years ago I sent a petition to USAC about this. DBH publicly stated they were working on a program. Crickets.

That we can't make things perfect seems to be one incredibly lame excuse. The other biggest push back against requiring training seems to come from people who end up on the ground a lot. "You crash if you race". There's a lot of Dunning-Kruger right there.
It's not nuts, it's the only sane thing to do.
I guess I'm one of those 10% People are hesitant to try racing AS IS. If it was gonna require a bunch of BS I likely would never have tried it. It's not that dangerous. There's no license required to enter the skate park for crying out loud. There's no license required to go get hit by a driver in a road rage incident either. But you want barriers to entry for a few guys to ride bikes in circles.
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Old 06-12-17, 03:31 PM
  #433  
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
I think that assumes people are giving up on racing mostly due to the risk factor/crashes - is that a true assumption?

I'm sure it's part of the reason for a lot of people, but the people I know that gave up on the sport was because it was a) too hard or b) too time consuming, or both, for the most part.
There's different reasons for different people. I know that a lot of people saw, and see the risk/reward as an issue. This is a regular topic about some events with my coaching clients, who are mostly in the "I have a job and family" demographic. That includes high end racers going "that's a BS (too dangerous) race".

In my experience time does come into play for some people, but often when you hear "too hard, too much time" that sort of falls by the wayside when the same people take up "easy/very little time" things like triathlon or marathons. Or golf. It's a lot like "my wife won't let me". At least on the male side most guys aren't going to say that they were scared ****less in casual conversation.

I can tell you that, having crashed into a concrete wall at over 100 MPH, having been lifted out of the water by a 700 pound shark, and having seen more than my share of bike racing injuries, it's not always the one incident or the one friend you lost that makes people question participation in certain risky sports, but often an accumulation of incidents. Tipping points happen.

Hard and time consuming are only nominally controllable in bike racing, beyond course selection. But hard and time consuming seems to work just fine elsewhere. What we can control to improve safety and create a positive participant experience we should. That's just intelligent business. We don't.
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Old 06-12-17, 03:41 PM
  #434  
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Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin View Post
@racerEx for USAC president!
I'm having a hard time fathoming him as politician in the current climate. The image I've gathered isn't one of the underwriters proposing a new holiday in his name. The platform he'd run under would be a legitimate cause célèbre in our little world though.

I wonder if he would ever consider taking on a Lord Buckethead persona dressed as Racer Ex?
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Old 06-12-17, 03:51 PM
  #435  
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If we get @Racer Ex some corporate flag naming rights and a bit of light graft I bet we can get him to run for anything.
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Old 06-12-17, 04:05 PM
  #436  
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Originally Posted by aaronmcd View Post
It's not that dangerous.
Yeah. I was just sending a guy in ICU a note about getting well. Hope his brain stops bleeding.

I might have missed the part where 60 skaters line up and all head down the ramp at the same time hoping one of them doesn't do anything stupid. Work on those analogies.

Originally Posted by aaronmcd View Post
But you want barriers to entry for a few guys to ride bikes in circles.
No, I want want to see more than 1 out of 10 people return to racing, and for racing to be a bit safer and improve the quality of riding. As I pointed out, that's been pretty successful in other sports. There are virtually no barriers beyond $10 to racing now. Your way isn't working.

If you don't understand what losing 9 out 10 people means, go cut off 9 of your toes. Now try walking with the one that's left.

You've probably never mentored a field of new racers, or heard their comments after a pretty short info session. I have. You may be one of those people that just yell and never take people aside to make them better/safer. Or introduced people into the sport. Or contributed money to junior programs. Or bought bikes for high school programs. I have actually done all those things. Care about the sport. Been in a bunch of high risk things over the years and know what works and what doesn't.

I even taught my 6 y/o niece to ride when her Dad gave her up as hopeless.

Pre entry in a 1/2 race I looked at recently was 4 two days before the close. There you have it.

The other reality we have is a myopic approach to bringing people into the sport. Especially now when every kid doesn't have a stingray or cruiser in the garage. But I don't think it's worth stepping that up if we're still at ultra low retention. We squandered the Lance boom.

And yeah, enough graft and I'm up for any elected position.
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Old 06-12-17, 04:13 PM
  #437  
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Interesting data. Shared it on the ncnca page. Curious if they've looked at retention numbers. The meeting minutes are usually a bit bare bones for that topic.
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Old 06-12-17, 04:42 PM
  #438  
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
Pre entry in a 1/2 race I looked at recently was 4 two days before the close. There you have it.
Harlem Skyscraper Classic is the highest profile crit in NYC. I was going to write "arguably" but I can't think of any argument against it. It's the only summer crit in the 5 boroughs, the only non-predawn race, the only closed-road race, etc. The event is this Sunday. Current pre-registration is 49 guys. Total, all fields.
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Old 06-12-17, 05:33 PM
  #439  
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
Yeah. I was just sending a guy in ICU a note about getting well. Hope his brain stops bleeding.

I might have missed the part where 60 skaters line up and all head down the ramp at the same time hoping one of them doesn't do anything stupid. Work on those analogies.
Just pointing out there are lots of dangerous activities out there that aren't policed to exclude participation. (Talk about elitist racers lol). Maybe your opinion is biased by what you've seen, or maybe you're life philosophy implies any dangerous activity should be policed.

Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
If you don't understand what losing 9 out 10 people means, go cut off 9 of your toes. Now try walking with the one that's left.
Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
Work on those analogies.
Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
No, I want want to see more than 1 out of 10 people return to racing, and for racing to be a bit safer and improve the quality of riding. As I pointed out, that's been pretty successful in other sports. There are virtually no barriers beyond $10 to racing now. Your way isn't working.
First, what does it do to the numbers if a small number of people stick with it longer because they feel slightly safer if half the guys who thought to try it on a whim chose not to because of the restrictions?
Second, How many people who join a sportsball league on a whim continue for more than 7 years?
Third, which sport restricted access and got more participants, and what are the numbers before and after?
Fourth, my way worked for me. Your way wouldn't have worked for me. Thank god you didn't get your way a few years ago.

Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
You've probably never mentored a field of new racers, or heard their comments after a pretty short info session. I have. You may be one of those people that just yell and never take people aside to make them better/safer. Or introduced people into the sport. Or contributed money to junior programs. Or bought bikes for high school programs. I have actually done all those things. Care about the sport. Been in a bunch of high risk things over the years and know what works and what doesn't.

I even taught my 6 y/o niece to ride when her Dad gave her up as hopeless.
Cool, you can puff out your chest farther than me, have a bigger resume. Why didn't you mention you're faster in there somewhere, cuz that would really prove your point. You must be right.

Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
Pre entry in a 1/2 race I looked at recently was 4 two days before the close. There you have it.
And this proves what exactly? That numbers are low? We already know this. Lets not make 'em lower.

Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
The other reality we have is a myopic approach to bringing people into the sport. Especially now when every kid doesn't have a stingray or cruiser in the garage. But I don't think it's worth stepping that up if we're still at ultra low retention. We squandered the Lance boom.

And yeah, enough graft and I'm up for any elected position.
Well, now we're talking way pre-cat 5... I mean I guess I'll talk up racing bikes if I'm around kids. One of the kids I coached gymnastics to got a road bike cuz he though it was cool that I raced. Don't have access to children anymore haha. It's not my mission in life to grow the sport, and it's cool that you care about it enough to actually go out and do things. I just really really disagree with creating more barriers at the cat 5 level.
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Old 06-12-17, 06:22 PM
  #440  
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Originally Posted by globecanvas View Post
Harlem Skyscraper Classic is the highest profile crit in NYC. I was going to write "arguably" but I can't think of any argument against it. It's the only summer crit in the 5 boroughs, the only non-predawn race, the only closed-road race, etc. The event is this Sunday. Current pre-registration is 49 guys. Total, all fields.
what?

I remember getting on the waiting list there one year. I was like #3 on the waiting list.

FOR A 250 RIDER CAT 3 FIELD!

I was psyched because I was so close to racing. Then I thought about the absolute stupidity of doing a 250 rider Cat 3 crit and withdrew my name from the list. I left because I didn't even want to be around for all the crashes.
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Old 06-12-17, 06:31 PM
  #441  
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I was almost indoctrinated into racing. I started thinking about racing at 14, started racing at 15, and all my free time was spent either riding, playing violin, or frantically catching up with homework. I worked at the bike shop, raced, got involved in the team.

All my friends were a bit older, in their 20s and 30s. I pretty much had zero high school friends, just a couple. Everyone knew I rode bikes and that was it. I traveled a lot to races with a "veteran" racer, which is what the M35+ racers were named. I think nowadays there'd be suspicion on his motives, but they were pure, he drove us Juniors to all the races for years.

I naturally fell into a leadership role at UCONN, leading bike handling clinics and the like. It was "natural" because no one else had been involved in cycling as long. Since a few of my club teammates went to school there (except they were much older, even grad students) we remained pretty close knit.

Then after I was handed the Bethel Spring Series folder (about a quarter-inch thick) and told I was the last hope for the race as the guys who started it were moving or quitting.

That bought me 20-odd years of duty/commitment, including a solid 6 or 8 or so years where I absolutely hated promoting the races. I just hated it, but at the same time I felt like I had to do it. Absolutely the worst. It's like doing intervals but they last 7 weeks per rep and you have to do sets a year apart.

Now that the Series is over, as of 2016, I feel much less tied to the scene. I feel like I could walk away and nothing would change, and that's sort of a good feeling.

I think a huge part of retention is social, at least for the pack fodder like myself. If you meet cool/fun/sane people you'll hang out. Meet some of those obnoxious officials (not you @shovelhd) or wacky bike racers, you'll be inclined to find a little more socially rounded thing to do. Back in the day cyclists were the weirdos and therefore attracted a lot of weirdos. Probably still does, but it's definitely more mainstream now.

The serious racers, the ones that almost always inevitably quit, don't really care about the social stuff. They just show up and wreck dreams, until their dream explodes in horrifying reality.
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Old 06-12-17, 06:37 PM
  #442  
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
A 250 RIDER CAT 3 FIELD!
I feel like a 250 racer field at Harlem would lap itself, like a snake eating its own tail.
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Old 06-12-17, 06:44 PM
  #443  
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Originally Posted by aaronmcd View Post
Just pointing out there are lots of dangerous activities out there that aren't policed to exclude participation.
Few in a competitive group setting with the same risk level. Or where your mistake is my brain injury.

I had to take a safety course to get a hunting license. Drivers licenses for both motorcycles and cars (go drive in the third world and you'll see the value of education and licensing, as bad as the driving here is). Courses and testing to get my aviation mechanics license, and my water treatment certifications. The common thread here is that if I eff'd up any of the things listed, I could kill someone OTHER than myself.

You don't believe there's value to people knowing a bit about what they are doing if it's inherently dangerous to other people. I do. I believe education can provide skill and confidence, which make people more likely to stick to something. You don't. You have the right to an opinion but I would argue that you've not marshaled many facts to support this.

Originally Posted by aaronmcd View Post
Third, which sport restricted access and got more participants, and what are the numbers before and after?
If you want big growth numbers under that scenario, already pointed out SCUBA (3.5 million US, 11 million worldwide). Recreational aviation (600,000 US). Motor Sports in many areas, though that has a big financial barrier. Still, Ritchie Rich has to go through SCCA school before they can do mass start races.

Originally Posted by aaronmcd View Post
Fourth, my way worked for me. Your way wouldn't have worked for me. Thank god you didn't get your way a few years ago.
And while we are pleased you are still here, define worked.

Originally Posted by aaronmcd View Post
Cool, you can puff out your chest farther than me, have a bigger resume. Why didn't you mention you're faster in there somewhere, cuz that would really prove your point. You must be right.
Yeah, that's my whole point. I'm fabulous. Nothing to do with an experiential base for any opinion.

What would be an interesting comparison though, would be our race:crash ratio.

On of the things you're missing is that you're lucky to race in a district which has a pretty stout mentoring program, along with an educational early bird series. So you're reaping the benefit of the very thing you seem to think is so awful.

Originally Posted by aaronmcd View Post
I just really really disagree with creating more barriers at the cat 5 level.
There are none.

Which is you still missing the meat of this, which is retention.

Last edited by Racer Ex; 06-12-17 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 06-12-17, 06:51 PM
  #444  
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
Hope his brain stops bleeding.
Me too.

He came and visited in the trauma center after racing was done when one of my best friends had her face ripped off and fractured a couple vertebrae and helped a lot in keeping her spirits up while we waited around for the various medical imaging to come back. A bunch of people came by and they actually let them all in to hang out and everybody told ER stories while we waited. Almost everybody had at least one.

That incident is probably why I stopped racing, though I had already been burned out on it for a while. I promoted and officiated for a while after that, but I think I only raced a few more times. I might get back to it, but the one you're referring to reminded me how dangerous it can be.

It's also a like a second full time job if you want to stay competitive, and these days I mostly just want to go out for a nice ride.
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Old 06-12-17, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by aaronmcd View Post
It's not nuts, it's the only sane thing to do.
I guess I'm one of those 10% People are hesitant to try racing AS IS. If it was gonna require a bunch of BS I likely would never have tried it. It's not that dangerous. There's no license required to enter the skate park for crying out loud. There's no license required to go get hit by a driver in a road rage incident either. But you want barriers to entry for a few guys to ride bikes in circles.
I think a well designed clinic, mentoring program would lower the barriers to entry. Rather than being thrown in the deep end not knowing what to do, starting with a program that has a little instruction, and some "racing" in a controlled, mentored environment would be a lot less intimidating way to get started.

More people might give racing a shot if they knew they'd have some help getting started in a low pressure situation.

Thus, I think, on balance a well designed program would decrease the hesitancy to try racing.
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Old 06-12-17, 07:39 PM
  #446  
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I agree. How many threads do we get of someone asking if he/she is ready to try racing? A clinic would make you ready. I reckon more people would give it a go if some help getting started was available.
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Old 06-12-17, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by aaronmcd View Post
It's not my mission in life to grow the sport...
And this is the issue 1000%. A great many people in bike racing feel this way. Reach a hand out to someone outside your peer group to help him/her find success the sport? F that, if it means I ever have to compromise in what I'm doing for my self. I'm gonna race my bike.

This attitude is completely utterly foreign to me. You have something you love to do? You achieve some kind of success doing it? If that kind of good fortune strikes, it's almost an obligation IMO to share it and to cultivate the thing you love.

Making bike racing work for more types of people would make the sport more robust. I roll my eyes every time someone here pontificates as to why the other guy isn't racing crits or road races. Delusional, the idea that it's all about the need for participation trophies or that women just aren't competitive.

Whatever.
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Old 06-12-17, 08:32 PM
  #448  
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Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
And this is the issue 1000%. A great many people in bike racing feel this way. Reach a hand out to someone outside your peer group to help him/her find success the sport? F that, if it means I ever have to compromise in what I'm doing for my self. I'm gonna race my bike.

This attitude is completely utterly foreign to me. You have something you love to do? You achieve some kind of success doing it? If that kind of good fortune strikes, it's almost an obligation IMO to share it and to cultivate the thing you love.
...
Whatever.
There is the other side. Some people don't want to hear it. They especially don't want to hear it from a middle age fat guy who doesn't race while the top USA riders are being coached by middle-aged fat guys that don't race.
Whatever.
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Old 06-12-17, 09:53 PM
  #449  
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Re: the decline of bike racing - instead of postulating, guessing, estimating, why don't we ask people that have quit the sport?

In some cases they are long gone from the scene, so it's hard/impossible to even ask them; but there are plenty people here in the 33 (+ lurkers) that could surely chime in on why they quit the sport.

I bet what you'll find is that it's not just one thing - danger, money, travel, difficulty, etc - it's a mix of all of them. Trying to solve the problem by tackling only one of those things is a bad idea, I think.
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Old 06-12-17, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
In some cases they are long gone from the scene, so it's hard/impossible to even ask them; but there are plenty people here in the 33 (+ lurkers) that could surely chime in on why they quit the sport.
"quit the sport" depends on how you think of the sport. Many, if not most, people who quit the sport probably continue riding even though they're not racing. From the point of USAC they don't really exist anymore, but they're all over bike forums, and all over outside riding.

I bet what you'll find is that it's not just one thing - danger, money, travel, difficulty, etc - it's a mix of all of them. Trying to solve the problem by tackling only one of those things is a bad idea, I think.
It's probably a mix of those for everybody, and it comes down to priorities. Bike racing takes up a lot of time, and while it's lots of fun, it crowds out other things you might want to do. I've had two periods of racing, and will probably have more. The first was when I started, and it lasted for about 5 years, then I stopped for a while (but continued to ride), and then started again around when they completed the new velodrome in LA, but then I stuck to the track where I'd done road races, crits, cx, and track before. I was racing and promoting, and was getting burned out on it. And as a promoter or official you see the risk a lot more directly - when you're racing all the crashes you aren't in eventually end up behind you and someone else cleans up. When you're a promoter or official you're often calling the ambulance or helping get them moved. For a while it seemed like every time they had an omnium at Encino someone would leave in an ambulance. And it all takes up a lot of time. When other things start to take priority and racing starts to feel like work, you move to the other things.
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