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Why don't people go to bike races?

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Why don't people go to bike races?

Old 07-27-19, 02:05 PM
  #26  
Cyclist03516
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Wake up early, pack your sh...stuff, find a place to park, stake out your spot, (if at finish wait an hour or two), ZOOM! Over in 6 seconds. I have worked races going back to the Coors Classic and the only good spot is on a brutal climb where the pack get fractured. Even then, after the leaders have passed its just watching guys/gals try not to puke!

Like golf, better to do it than watch it.
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Old 07-27-19, 03:03 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Mountain Mitch View Post
I’d rather ride my bike.
That said, I don’t really watch any competitive sports. I’d rather participate in a sport. Watching is boring.
Speaking of people participating in the sport/activity of cycling without the need or draw of competition, over 20,000 bicyclists from everywhere came to town yesterday and were welcomed by many, including the local high school cheerleaders. Fun was had by all and nobody was bored.
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Old 07-27-19, 04:19 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
I have ridden out to “meet” the ATOC every year that it has been out here in my backyard. Good race to watch up and close.

https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...d9ec3e292.jpeg
That's an incredible picture, I've never seen so many racers descending/cornering on the drops.
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Old 07-27-19, 04:30 PM
  #29  
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TDF is about watching people do crazy fast stuff on bikes where either no sane person would do it, or the setting is so beautiful that it really doesn't matter nothing much interesting is happening.

The vast majority of cyclists and cycles have absolutely nothing to do with racing. Most riders get on some form of flat bar bike wearing street clothes and regular uncleated shoes, and don't talk about training or cadence or worry about if they can shave a couple grams by buying a really expensive tire.

BF can really skew perceptions of what most people are doing on their bikes.
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Old 07-27-19, 05:07 PM
  #30  
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In general, it's very difficult to sell a sport to spectators when they can only watch the event for 1 to 2 seconds.

The only sport that's consistently exciting to watch is UFC's version of MMA. Even fights in competing org's like Bellator often aren't that much fun to watch. I can watch every fight on a UFC main card and be on the edge of my seat for every second of every fight. The tiny gloves and unpredictability of the fights makes for some pretty amazing action.

I don't watch much football, but the NFL conference finals and Super Bowl are pretty close to must watch TV. The national college football championship is right up there as well. Likewise, I rarely watch boxing, but PacMan is one of the greatest athletes of all time. He's pretty much manhandled the entirety of the Americas south of the border.

The TdF was a big deal when Americans were dominating but decades of doping and motors have destroyed the sport's credibility. In general, it's very difficult to sell a sport to spectators when they can only watch the event for 1 to 2 seconds.
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Old 07-27-19, 05:15 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
That's an incredible picture, I've never seen so many racers descending/cornering on the drops.
That’s Stage One of the women’s 2019 ATOC. They are coming down Gobernador Canyon Road and turning right into Highway 192. I often do that same ride but not nearly as fast, after all I am an old fart.

The rider to the left of the picture, on the yellow Cannondale, is a member of the British women racing team DROPS. They are about to stop racing due to lack of funding. Maybe INEOS can drop a few quid to fund the team. God only knows they can well afford it.

Here are a few other pics from the same corner/turn:




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Old 07-27-19, 05:20 PM
  #32  
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I can’t speak for anyone else, but I find it boring to watch in person. Painfully boring. I would rather watch grass grow because at least I can do that from my porch.
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Old 07-27-19, 05:41 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I find it boring to watch in person. Painfully boring. I would rather watch grass grow because at least I can do that from my porch.
I am fortunate that every year there is one stage of the ATOC that comes close enough to me so that I can ride out to see them go by.

I find it exciting to watch, especially on the climbs.

I hate watching grass grows, it just means that eventually I have to go out and cut it.
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Old 07-27-19, 05:51 PM
  #34  
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So in the womens race the other night. From laps 20 to go, till the finish, there were $50 and $100 primes every two laps. Each lap was about 2 minutes. So every 4 mins there was a sprint for some pretty good money. So in the last 20 laps there were 10 sprints. Pretty good action there.

The mens Pro race was non stop action. Multiple break aways and sprint laps. Over the last 20 laps 4 guys got away, joined by 6 more. A crash right in front of us took out a guy in the lead break. He got a free lap, got his s--t together and was pushed and sprinted back into the break. With 5 laps to go the whole race went bizeerk. The 10 lead riders attacked each other. Multiple attempts to bridge the gap between peloton and break. And on the final lap one rider broke free of the breakaway and soloed to victory. God it was boring.

Oh, and out of the final turn the guy that soloed to victory was clocked at 37mph. Just another boring statistic.
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Old 07-27-19, 06:32 PM
  #35  
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Tour of Utah passes my house pretty much every year. So I take off work to watch that stage. I just sit out in the side yard with the camera and watch them go by. Some years they've made multiple passes by the house but this year it's only once. But they will go around the lake twice and then finish up Powder Mt so I'll probably catch them 3 times this year as they be making the multiple passes right down the street.



There's a crit in town each fall too that's pretty cool to watch.
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Old 07-27-19, 07:14 PM
  #36  
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I've been able to attend at least two stages of all the Amgen Tour of California races. It's TRUE that the finish line area is almost always packed, but I've ridden out to to remote areas and it always amazes me how many people actually do show up even out there. My favorite day was the stage into Santa Clarita, where, I rode out, watched the race pass by, and, on the way back, picked up 9 souvenir discarded pro water bottles. By taking a shortcut, I was able to make it to the finish line sprint too. Here's a few random pictures, though I don't usually concentrate on crowd shots, but rather the bright shiny objects flying by. I do prefer multi lap finishes, and can usually find one on the Amgen. They provide more photo ops. When you can't get there, watch TV, when they are available get on out there.





Nobody goes to bike races ... it's too crowded.

I was even able to meet up with a distant relative of mine at Long Beach last year.
I know, I spelled his name wrong. I said he was a distant realtive ... thru marriage.

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Old 07-27-19, 07:35 PM
  #37  
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Cool pictures Steve.

Here is my souvenir bottle from a couple of years back (the bottle was shed as the racers went up Grimes Canyon to Highway 126 and the finish in Santa Clarita). It is from Team UAE—they ride Colnagos.

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Old 07-27-19, 09:59 PM
  #38  
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The tight packs in many types of racing ruins it for me. It's no longer who is "fastest" when so many other factors come into play.

Time trails beat group races, and drag racing beats Nascar.
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Old 07-27-19, 11:31 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
So in the womens race the other night. From laps 20 to go, till the finish, there were $50 and $100 primes every two laps. Each lap was about 2 minutes. So every 4 mins there was a sprint for some pretty good money. So in the last 20 laps there were 10 sprints. Pretty good action there.

The mens Pro race was non stop action. Multiple break aways and sprint laps. Over the last 20 laps 4 guys got away, joined by 6 more. A crash right in front of us took out a guy in the lead break. He got a free lap, got his s--t together and was pushed and sprinted back into the break. With 5 laps to go the whole race went bizeerk. The 10 lead riders attacked each other. Multiple attempts to bridge the gap between peloton and break. And on the final lap one rider broke free of the breakaway and soloed to victory. God it was boring.

Oh, and out of the final turn the guy that soloed to victory was clocked at 37mph. Just another boring statistic.
Here's the thing --I understand all of that is impressive in some way, but I still have no desire to watch. I'd rather pedal my own bike to 27 mph than watch somebody else ride 37.
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Old 07-28-19, 12:15 AM
  #40  
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A lot of people think that auto racing is boring too. "Aw, they just go in circles. What's so exciting 'bout that??"

Well, to someone that doesn't know jack squat about it, I'm sure it is boring. But... when someone does know all the ins & outs, knows the technical aspects, watches it religiously, knows the drivers and their personalities, knows what's on the line, etc... it can be pretty darn exciting!

It's all what blows your skirt up.

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Old 07-28-19, 12:19 AM
  #41  
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The popularity of racing has always depended on spectators identifying with a lifestyle associated with the race. That's the key to NASCAR and any closed track, repeat circuit racing. There's money in it because spectators imagine themselves behind the wheel.

Same with track and field. Track is among the most accessible of sports for any aspiring athlete, regardless of budget. Spectators enjoy it because they imagine themselves being that fleet of foot.

Cycling has a limited appeal because it's always been an insular, even elitist, sport. Too expensive to cross economic demographics, yet not rewarding enough to naturally find an equitable entry point for anyone who wants to participate.

Most Americans regard bicycles as inferior transportation. Cycle racing was briefly popular in the US only because spectators could aspire to riding their own bikes faster. As soon as automobiles replaced bikes, the interest narrowed to athletes and fans of athletes who were born into that demographic niche.

Find a way to make bike racing appeal to a broader demographic through lifestyle association and it might catch on again. That's a tough sell because most of the money in popular sports comes from a mostly sedentary fan base who can live vicariously through heroes without the risk of ever breaking a sweat.

Also, Americans like winners. They readily forgive ruthless winners. Lance Armstrong helped make cycling popular again in the US. I've never met a non-cyclist who'd heard of Lance Armstrong and gave a damn about his doping and ruthlessness. If anything they admired his take no prisoners determination. Same attitude most Americans have about all athletes and powerful people. If anything they admire ruthless people more because they get away with behavior that would have serious consequences for most of us.

If anything, banning Armstrong and nullifying his TdF wins alienated Americans who might have had some interest in bike racing. Wanna see how quickly Americans would abandon pro football if the Patriots and Tom Brady's wins were nullified? We may gripe about cheating and doping and underhanded dirty tricks, but we still love winners. We aren't like the French who quickly pivot from infatuation to disdain when one guy dominates the Tour de France for too long.
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Old 07-28-19, 02:20 AM
  #42  
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Sports spectating is decreasing generally. The NFL has been in a ratings decline for years, same with MLB and NASCAR. The only things I believe are up is the NBA and MMA. Even the WWE is in trouble, which is unabashedly about identification and story lines, and not about real competition.

Getting people to watch a single thing for hours at a time is increasingly difficult. I don't particularly think sports spectating is an important activity, but if you're hoping for more of it, you're going to be disappointed.
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Old 07-28-19, 03:32 AM
  #43  
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Maybe it is time to revive the Tour de Trump. (It really was a bicycle race in 1989.)
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Old 07-28-19, 05:58 AM
  #44  
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I watched this one for a couple hours yesterday.

https://www.riverwest24.com/
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Old 07-28-19, 06:03 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I have absolutely no interest in bike racing....I am just a commuter and recreational rider who rides for fitness and fun.
Same here.

I could add that i think that modern bikes look ugly and that being competitive is a character weakness.
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Old 07-28-19, 06:42 AM
  #46  
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Yep. No spectators whatsoever. When my home town hosted the U.S. Pro Championship it was even worse. You could hear the crickets chirping, especially the year Lance rode.


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Old 07-28-19, 07:11 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Kovkov View Post
Same here.

and that being competitive is a character weakness.
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Old 07-28-19, 07:59 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Sports spectating is decreasing generally. The NFL has been in a ratings decline for years, same with MLB and NASCAR. The only things I believe are up is the NBA and MMA. Even the WWE is in trouble, which is unabashedly about identification and story lines, and not about real competition.


Getting people to watch a single thing for hours at a time is increasingly difficult. I don't particularly think sports spectating is an important activity, but if you're hoping for more of it, you're going to be disappointed.

Your are correct. Since the advent of electronic devices, we're becoming more and more of an "instant gratification" type society. Kids today can't keep their attention on just one thing very long at all. Some might argue that's not a bad thing, but I disagree. But that's another topic for conversation...
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Old 07-28-19, 08:10 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
It‘s the foundation of conflict. It favors the reckless that do anything to gain an edge.

I think a an adult person should be able to know it‘s skill levels without having to compare them to those of others and be able to improve them if necessary without the help of a broad audience.
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Old 07-28-19, 08:17 AM
  #50  
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I think its just the way people have come to experience things now days. Its all produced, music added, and delivered to your home on a 60inch screen. The live experience is "boring" in comparison. And me in my old way of thinking find the live event as something unique and exciting.
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